Working in Difficult Situations

This week’s blog post was to be as follows:

The importance of working in difficult situations; how to make and maintain
contact with an online team.  If this were a job, what else would you have done
to ensure success?

I would have to say, to start with, that I saw little to none of the communication that was needed in order to have an effective, successful project completed.  I had made a couple of attempts to communicate regarding this project and how it was supposed to work, to the instructor, the group members, AND the class as a whole, and received a grand total of ONE response, and that was from a fellow student who is just as confused as I am.

To be fair, there were a couple of weeks there that I could be considered incommunicado for the most part, only coming on to do the bare minimum, due to a major surgery on my foot and a slow recovery.  Apparently my body has a major aversion to anesthesia!  I am not trying to use this as an excuse; more an explanation as to some of my lack of contact during a period of the semester.

Aside from being VERY frustrated, and extremely disappointed that this will most likely adversely affect my grade, I would have to say that this is a very poor way to create an effective group and continue to have that group be successful in their endeavors.

I suppose that all I can do at this point is hope that my other projects and assignments are graded well enough to keep my overall grade in this class from tanking.

Social Media Problems

My next assignment for Professional Writing is a short post regarding: “what you find most helpful, and problematic about social media (facebook, twitter, blogs etc)”. 

I really enjoy using Facebook, mostly because I have members of my family primarily on my friends list, who are scattered all over the country.  Without Facebook, I would have no easy way to communicate with these family members on a regular basis; with people’s varying work and personal schedules, this is a perfect way to converse without being tied down to a phone, or writing out a whole letter or email all at once.  It also helps us to advertise for things; for example, we’re running the Project Graduation for my daughter’s graduating class.  We have upcoming “events” that we circulate on Facebook, and I really think that that improves the turnout for these functions.

On the other hand, unfortunately there are WAY too many people who use Facebook as their own personal board for spouting vitriolic opinions of others without regard to anyone else’s feelings.  They also have a tendency to post the most ridiculously inane things that someone wouldn’t normally talk about to anyone, much less extended friends and family.  “Off to work, then coming home to watch an hour of TV and go to bed.”  Really, I can’t imagine WHY people would bother to post things like that.  It seems like a silly waste of time.

I have a tough time with blog sites myself; I am VERY grateful to others for their sites, though!  I find wonderful free crochet patterns, craft ideas, and recipes on several different blogs.  I, however, cannot seem to get a blog started and keep it going.  Not for lack of trying; I just have so much other stuff to do, that this falls to the end of the list, if not right OFF the list.

There are DEFINITELY good and bad things about all of the social media available.  It’s up to the people themselves to make them as good as they can possibly be.

Professional Blog Write-Up

Hello!

This week’s blog assignment is “Find another (professional) blog or twitter to follow. Discuss why you chose it and what you can learn.” It was a bit tough for me at first because most of the blogs I follow are for free crochet patterns. I also have a keen interest in photography, which I can attest to by pointing towards my incredibly large photo album section of Facebook! The blogger was brought to my attention some time last year, when she posted a particular article regarding those who bully others; in her case, high school students who created a Facebook page specifically to post cruel, hateful things about others:

http://jenmckenphoto.com/2011/08/if-youre-ugly-i-wont-take-your-photo-indiana-county-pa-photographer-personal/  by Jen McKen

As a high school student, I was bullied incessantly on the basis of my weight. It got to a point where I was missing more school than I was attending, and my parents and I finally got to a level where we decided that the
best thing to do was to quit school, and obtain my GED. In this time of my life, looking back and with a high school senior for a daughter, I realize that I missed out on a lot of wonderful things in school because of this. But, I also have a lot of experience, unfortunately, that I believe has helped me shape my daughter into a thoughtful, intelligent, caring person.

Jen McKen is an inspiration to me in that she doesn’t allow other people’s inner ugliness to go ignored. She even cancelled some of her photo shoots with these people who were posting vitriolic things about their classmates, and for that I cheered on the inside! Anyone willing to stand up to that kind of horrible attitude to a point where she loses money but keeps her respect, has certainly earned accolades from me.  On top of all of that, Jen is a PHENOMENAL photographer, as you can see by checking out her blog, which only endears me to her more.

The event in my life that helps define who you are, and why

This is a tough one!  I can’t really think of any one event in my life that specifically made me what I am today, other than possibly finding my husband, Derek.  He brought about the most amazing light of both of our lives, our daughter Jennifer.  He has also shown me the incredible depth of compassion that is within him, by spending the majority of the time during the months of my mother’s illness with her and my father, and after she passed away, helping them out in any way he could.  Seeing this has shown me how easy it is for people to become mired within their own lives and concerns, and how awesome it is to help others with their troubles.  I have always aspired to be as compassionate as he was with them and is with others; I don’t believe I will ever reach his ability, but I do my best to try to be there for others who may need it.  We have also done our best to show our daughter how wonderful it is to be that kind of person, both for the other person and for your own soul.

My Favorite Place

This is my “happy place.” I have been visiting the Apple Farm in Fairfield since before my 17-year-old daughter was born, and will do so every fall as long as I am able. It is killing me that I have had to have surgery on my foot, so I can’t walk around there, but I’m hoping I’ll be in shape to get there for the last part of the apple season. The orchards are amazing, the food is amazing, the people are fantastic, and I have so many memories of awesome family times there. I go to remember my mom, most of all, since she loved the place almost as much as I do.

Aside

As a writer, I will consider myself successful when I am able to convince someone, based solely on my writing prowess, to change their ideas about a major life choice.  For example, I have an online friend who has been a smoker for many years, but she intends to try to have a baby in the near future.  When discussing this, it never enters into the conversation whether or not she plans to quit smoking during her pregnancy.  She is very, very attached to her habit, unfortunately; I am afraid that anything I do to try to convince her will either be ignored, or have the completely opposite effect! 

If I can impart the importance of quitting, and the effects that smoking will have on an unborn child, not to mention the second-hand smoke after the baby is born, enough to cause her to actually quit, I will feel like I have accomplished a truly positive thing that will affect multiple people’s lives.  I know a couple of people who smoked during their pregnancies, and those moms’ stories about their kids’ severe medical issues, I think, will go a long way towards convincing my friend that she needs to quit.