Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Impossible to Communicate Without Communication!!!

We can all agree that communicating with our teachers can be a bit of an issue, right? Also, the way our teachers communicate with us is not always convenient or in either of our best interests. So, to make JSU a more efficient 21st century environment, we have to drop everything we're doing and begin to improve the communication between professors and students. So, to put this plan into action, I proposed the following ideas: 1. Text alerts should be used as an alternative or addition to our GEM system. Most students had previous email accounts before attending JSU, so checking our GEM accounts is not much of a priority although it should be. However, incorporating these text alerts will allow professors to still message us through their GEM accounts, but instead of having to check our emails constantly, we students will get an INSTANT text message with the information. This will definitely benefit students campus wide, especially those who commute to school. 80% of students who attend JSU don't live on campus and commute to school everyday. If class were to be cancelled, this will save them gas, money, and most importantly, time. This will also be beneficial when the professor doesn't finish giving out complete details for an assignment in class. It's a quick and simple way to get things done and make things known more efficiently and immediately.



2. In addition to the text alerts, professors should also incorporate Google Hangout into their daily schedules. As much as we LOVE to sit and listen to our professors lecture each and every day, (please be aware of the sarcasm) sometimes it's a little challenging to retain every bit of information that is being taught that day. And sometimes we just so happen to doze off into another world beyond the white brick walls, old screeching desks, and the monotone human being standing before us. Therefore, using Google Hangout would be very beneficial. I think I speak for us all when I say that meeting your professor outside of the classroom to get help can be a little intimidating. Using Google Hangout will allow professors ad students to communicate with each other on a more efficient, and personal level. It will also give students the opportunity to explore the many great features that Google has to offer. I mean, we usually sit at our desks all day on the computer anyway when we're not going to class or teaching class. Hangout allows you to group chat with up to 10 people, and is a GREAT alternative to actual classroom teaching. It allows students to interact with each other on a more personal level and also allows the professors to see what kind os students they have in their class. All in all, let's confess that JSU is one of the greatest schools to date. But let's also confess that we could use a little bit of change around here to help make it a more 21st century environment, and improving communication between students and professors is a great place to start!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Freshman English...Not the Death of Me After All!!!


Before I begin, lets have a round of applause for Ms. Tanya Sasser! For this being my first English class at JSU that I thought I would completely dread, I actually ended up LOVING it.  I was expecting this hybrid class to be completely ridiculous, but Ms. Sasser definitely made it meaningful and worthwhile. She incorporated different methods of teaching that, overall, made learning much more effective. She also didn’t do the typical “outline,” “rough draft,” “essay” type of English class. She used blogging as an alternative which, might I say, was very effective for me personally. Because of her, my writing skills have made a drastic improvement. Let’s take a look at my progress over the past couple of months:
In my third post, COLLEGE: The Good Of It In a Nutshell, you can see where I expressed my opinion more and began to lengthen my work compared to my two previous blog posts. I went from about 260 words to nearly 700.  I also began incorporating quotes, links, and graphics from a variety of sources. And let’s not forget photo pin! I can honestly state that I was one of those people who copied and pasted images from Google onto my own work, thinking it was legal. Boy was I wrong! I learned so much about how to do things the right way instead of the “doing it just to get it done” way.
My fourth post, “You can have more degrees than a thermometer, but is college really enough?” emphasizes the fact that simply going to college and retrieving a degree is not enough to make you a successful human being. Being successful requires motivation, determination, courage, sacrifice, and a strong desire to be the best at EVERYTHING you do in life. Throughout my post I added multiple sources to support my thesis. I spoke about how the sources contributed to my claim and I even made it relatable so that people reading my post would better understand what I was saying.
                        In the article, The Case Against College Education, the dominating opinion is that college is not always enough to guarantee success now or in the future, nor does it always do the job in preparing an individual for their chosen career field.

“It is absurd that people have to get college degrees to be considered for good jobs in hotel management or accounting — or journalism. It is inefficient, both because it wastes a lot of money and because it locks people who would have done good work out of some jobs. The tight connection between college degrees and economic success may be a nearly unquestioned part of our social order. Future generations may look back and shudder at the cruelty of it.”
Throughout my fifth post, I took a more personal approach by focusing on intergeneration collaboration. I seemingly managed to connect with the audience, especially my own generation. I included vivid language and posed questions to keep the reader’s attention.
                        While reading an excerpt from the book “Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis,” I came across one particular passage that stuck out so vividly to me. It told the story of a girl who was living in the BIG, BOLD state of New York on a $25 per week stipend from volunteering with $60,000 in debt from student loans. (Now you and I both know that this is a rare occurrence. C’mon, whom do you know that would volunteer for ONLY $25 per week? Especially in New York!) She spoke about how “society has already forcibly stamped “Generation Y” on [her] forehead, at the sight of which older generations stop and scour the floor in search of [her] pacifier.” (Is this not true? Do older generations not think of us as “innovative, but impatient,” and “smart, but selfish?” And is it also not true that we “youngsters” think of adults as incapable of even coming close to knowing how the technological world operates? Think about that for a moment………)
            …OK, moment over.

I think that my approach on making the audience feel as if they had read the book for themselves was a success.Overall, I believe that I have radically improved as a writer. My posts show for themselves that at the beginning, my writing style was more timid and non-exuberant. Now however, I have found and accepted my writing style and continue to thrive to get better throughout my English career at JSU!
Credit:
photo credit: whatmattdoes via photopin cc
 photo credit: Ken Whytock via photopin cc
photo credit: adinasullivan via photopin cc

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What'd You Ask? Why College? (Revised Edition!)


Why College, huh?  Well, to me, college equals FREEDOM. Now when I say freedom, I don’t mean the typical teenage freedom: partying, drinking, staying out all night, or doing things I wouldn’t do if I were at home. I mean freedom to be the best I can be without any circumstances holding me back, freedom to take charge of my life, freedom to seclude myself from my family’s horrible tradition of not putting their best foot forward and not setting strong examples for my generation. I know I’m throwing a lot at you and you probably feel like your missing a bit of information from my life, right? Well, let me tell you a little bit about my past:
 When I was a kid, I could never come to terms and figure out why the majority of my family was always struggling and burdened by things that I was so unaware of at the time. Every time we came together, there would always be at least one person that was under the weather or in dyer need of support, financially and emotionally. Whenever my elders would begin to talk about things that “weren’t for kids ears,” they would always shoo the kids out of the room, all of them except for me. They didn’t want us to see or hear their struggle. But me being the youngest at the time, I was considered the special one or the “favorite.” It was ok for me to be in the room because of course a little na├»ve kid like me wouldn’t know how to piece together what they were saying or comprehend the strong discouraging emotion that was reflecting on each and every one of their faces. Little did they know, I was very observant and had what some would call an overly active memory.
So as I grew older and began to notice more and more, things started to become clear to me. In my school system, we were introduced to the idea of college at a very early age. By the time second grade rolled around, I was convinced that college “makes people happy” and “gives people money” and “makes life easy” and will one day help me become the “doctor” or “scientist” that every little kid wanted to be. And then it hit me… “Why hadn’t the majority of my family gone to college? Why would they do such a thing? Is this why they are always so unhappy? It has to be! They didn’t go to college, so they didn’t have a good chance at becoming successful, so they don’t have that much money so life is hard for them.” I noticed that with the exception of my mom and one out of 10 of my aunts, no one in my family had achieved any form of higher education outside of high school. It all started to make sense to me. Watching some of my cousins being taken away from the family because their parents couldn't provide a suitable living place for them because of their lack of education and money, and also seeing some of the things my family members were doing to try to survive quickly made me realize that I did NOT want to follow in their footsteps and live my life like they were living theirs. I had to find a way to become more than what I was surrounded by. So, for me, college was my way out. I chose to go to college because I figured that if I kept pushing myself, and kept striving to be better than my best, then I would get to a point in life where I could live FREELY, without burden, and could eventually help my family build themselves up. I’ve always strongly believed that knowledge is power, and if I were to ever come to a point in life where I lost all my possessions, I would still have my knowledge, and with it I can create a better world for myself and even others at any time.  

 photo credit: Brett Jordan via photopin cc
photo credit: Krissy.Venosdale via photopin cc

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Heartbeats and Hashtags"


Truth be told, our generation is looked down upon way to often. I mean, seriously…the only difference between past generations and us is simply the time period that we grew up in.  And to be honest, we can learn a lot by working with one another instead of criticizing what we believe each other’s morals are and how we go about our daily life routine, whether it involves refreshing your news feed or reading the newspaper.  There are so many different possibilities and opportunities available if we just take a step back, think outside the box, collaborate with each other and let all of our different intellectual juices flow together.

photo credit: DonnaGrayson via photopin cc

While reading an excerpt from the book “Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis,” I came across one particular passage that stuck out so vividly to me. It told the story of a girl who was living in the BIG, BOLD state of New York on a $25 per week stipend from volunteering with $60,000 in debt from student loans. (Now you and I both know that this is a rare occurrence. C’mon, who do you know that would volunteer for ONLY $25 per week? Especially in New York!) She spoke about how “society has already forcibly stamped “Generation Y” on [her] forehead, at the sight of which older generations stop and scour the floor in search of [her] pacifier.” (Is this not true? Do older generations not think of us as “innovative, but impatient,” and “smart, but selfish?” And is it also not true that we “youngsters” think of adults as incapable of even coming close to knowing how the technological world operates? Think about that for a moment………)
            ……..OK, moment over.
Anyway, the girl was led to a community life center a block away from her apartment, and soon met a lady named Sister Margaret who was the executive director of the foundation.  She’d met the lady online when her Google search failed to give her any relevant results, but instead, brought about a blog that had not been updated since 2008 but seemed like it was supposed to be of great importance in the Bronx community. Later on after Sister Margaret and the girl agreed on a position that could be filled, the girl began to think of ways that she could help Sister Margaret expand her business. And of course! What else is our generation known for besides our ability to thrive in the technological world? The girl came up with the idea to “lace together the strings of social media with the cords of social good.” One thing our generation knows extremely well is social media and its abundant purposes.

photo credit: Jobs with Justice via photopin cc

By the time they finished all of their planning and collaborating, they had each learned something from one another. Sister Margaret taught the girl how to develop a sense of good will and how to translate impoverished, under privileged heartbeats when today’s economy is all about the dollar sign. Meanwhile, the girl was educating Sister Margaret on the importance of evolution and how vital social media can be in helping better the world.
So kids, the moral of the story is this: when we come together without judgment and with the willingness to work together and think outside the box to meet a common goal, there are endless opportunities for all of us, and anything is possible. Whether you’re a Baby Boomer, from Generation X or Generation Y, your specific knowledge and skills can be passed off to individuals, and can ultimately lead the world to greatness.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You can have more degrees than a thermometer, but is college really enough?


      Let's be honest...How many of us spent most of our high school days contemplating what we're going to do after the long awaited graduation day? And, how many of us realized that just because high school was over, doesn't mean that we couldn't sit around the house and wait for mom to make us sandwiches the rest of our lives? AND, how many of us came to the conclusion that if we want to be something in this world, then sooner or later we would have to go to "Almighty" college to be successful? Go ahead. Raise your hand. It's ok to admit because we've all been there and we've all been told that college is the way to go! But, think about it...Is college really good enough? Is college actually all you need to be successful?....
         According to the College In America Info graphic, college isn’t all its cracked up to be. Why? Because of the rapidly decreasing job opportunities, poor graduation rates, and even some of the most absurd classes! Studies show that more high school students are aspiring to go to college than ever before. However, they don’t yet know that going to college alone, isn’t going to guarantee them success in the 21st century. They can have more degrees than a thermometer, but that one piece of paper with their name and degree of study stamped on it means absolutely nothing unless they put it to use. Unfortunately, school systems today are teaching students everything except how to thrive after college graduation. In some cases, it seems like they’re teaching the exact opposite, implied in John Coleman’s article "The Bad Habits You Learn in School."

“It can be tough to help new college graduates adjust to the real world. Joey, a 22-year-old, Ivy League graduate who joined one of my consulting teams, was a great example. He was bright, hardworking, and motivated. But he had bad habits that were hard to break. Joey would become so focused on the perfect answer to a problem, he wouldn't consider implementation. He feared failure so much that he would hide his mistakes until they grew worse. He was only interested in getting his own work right — rarely helping the rest of the team proactively. And he saw the world in terms of hierarchy: I was his "boss," and no one else's opinion really mattered.”

     All throughout the twelve to twenty years that people attend school, they are taught about authority and that being the leader means being the boss. And who doesn’t want to be the boss!? We’re also taught to compete against others so that we can have a better rank than them, especially in college. Learning to work together to accomplish a goal is one skill that is most definitely being thrown out the window. Instead, it’s a race for dominance. Also, students are being taught that there can only be one right answer to a question and that thinking outside the box is not the way to go. Students have gotten so used to looking for the textbook answer. However, in the real world, textbook answers aren’t going to be as beneficial when you have to do a job that requires you to use common sense rather than book smarts.
The video Is College Enough gives a great explanation about college and outside skills that you need to acquire that some people don’t learn during their college journey. Adaptation is a big part of being successful in the 21st century. Because of all the new technology and sudden requests, knowing how to adapt to certain situations is a MUST! But, most of the time, college only teaches you how to manage things when they are going how they’re supposed to. How are students supposed to know when and how to adapt with their environment?

In the article, The Case Against College Education, the dominating opinion is that college is not always enough to guarantee success now or in the future, nor does it always do the job in preparing an individual for their chosen career field.

“It is absurd that people have to get college degrees to be considered for good jobs in hotel management or accounting — or journalism. It is inefficient, both because it wastes a lot of money and because it locks people who would have done good work out of some jobs. The tight connection between college degrees and economic success may be a nearly unquestioned part of our social order. Future generations may look back and shudder at the cruelty of it.”

        So, to wrap it all, the answer to the BIG question is no. College is not enough. “Your education won’t guarantee success” (Hughes 2008) College teaches individuals how to compete against one another and how not to think outside the box. Without a person’s will power to go further after graduating from college, more than likely, they will not succeed in today’s economy. College graduates still need to learn certain skills that are not taught in college, they need to be able to adapt to their surroundings, and they need to know what behavior to use in certain situations that arise.