Monday, December 10, 2007

Survival Guide to English 304

Having Ms. Rogers for English 304 is a true blessing. She puts so much effort into the class on her end that it will be easy to put effort into the class on your end. She makes the relevance of English 304 in the real world very clear and I really appreciated that - otherwise the class would have just been another requirement for me to graduate.

The main focus of the class is a client based group project. At first, the project may seem scary and overwhelming but Ms. Rogers walks the class through step-by-step and is there to help. Also, because it is a small group project (3-4 people), it is easy to distribute the work load evenly. The critical thing to remember here is to elect a group leader who is good at delegating work so that everyone puts in the same amount of work. Also, show up for you group meetings and pull your own weight. The project is a wonderful way to give back to the community and it takes the entire group to pull it together.

Don't forget about your blog. You will have a blog entry due every Sunday. It is a very simple assignment but an easy one to forget about.

Finally, put a little effort into your online portfolios and the documents you include in these portfolios. You will have 3 portfolios due across the semester and one of the most important documents you will include in these are your resume. Put some time and effort into this because if you do it now you won't have to change it too much when you graduate and are actually looking for a real job.

Enjoy English 304 with Ms. Rogers! She tries so hard to make it fun, rewarding, and relevant and you should appreciate that because there are many teachers out there who don't care whether you succeed or fail in school or in the real world.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rainbows + Plants...who knew...

This past week, a major research paper was due for my horticulture class (vegetable crops). My topic, which my professor came up with, was about rainbows. More specifically, how rainbows are created, the pigments involved (and the perception of those colors), and how the pigments in rainbows are significant to vegetable crops. When I first read this topic, the first thing that ran through my mind was, "Oh man, how in the world am I going to get 5 single spaced pages out about rainbows?!?" I was panicked. But, once I got on the right track with the research it was hard for me to stop writing. Apparently, plants are able to perceive different colors, and many of the colors in the rainbow can have a great effect on the plant in many different ways. Green, for instance, is a color associated with the photosynthetic processes of the plant. Also, the colors that surround a plant can help stimulate plant growth. For example, research has shown that if you mulch tomato plants with red mulch, they grow much taller and more vigorously. I also truly began to understand not only the horticultural implications of such knowledge but also the economic impact for both large operation and small farmers.

I was pleasantly surprised at the wealth of knowledge I stumbled upon once I began to dig deeper into this topic. It has been a while since I've had to write a research paper, which could help explain my initial anxiety about the task. However, being assigned a topic with a surprising amount of hidden significance (and realizing that there is more to a rainbow than just a just a band of color with a pot of gold at the end).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Employers Study Applicants' Personalities

I found this article to be very interesting because I actually find it comforting that there are companies out there that care about how well their employees fit within the "company culture." I think that as a college student, I have been subjected to one of the major "weeding out" most people go through in life and I think it's something that is not to be taken personally. True, it stinks if you don't get a job because the person interviewing you didn't think you'd fit well within the company because of your personality, but honestly, you're probably better off not working there. I've watched my mom stay in a job where the people she worked with were some of the worst co-workers you could ever ask for and it not only negatively affected her work but also the quality of her life. I think it's a shame that my mom had to go through this but perhaps if her boss was more selective about who got hired then it wouldn't be so difficult for my mom to get up and go to work every morning. I guess it's easy for me to say this now, as I've never truly been completely rejected from a job, but I hope that in the future when I do have job interviews and potentially get turned down, I can keep a good attitude about it and realize that it wasn't meant to be and that when one door closes somewhere another opens. I also hope that I will find a job that I enjoy going to every morning, both for the work as well as the people who I work with.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Who doesn't love a good group project?

Well, I have to be honest. This group project was pleasantly surprising in that it wasn't painful to try and get everyone together and get each member to actually pull their own weight and do their part. I think my group worked very well together. I think we were all able to pull from our individual strengths and use what we had to get the job done. I think we all learned that even if you're doing something that you're not entirely sure you know how to do, sometimes you just have to grab the bull by the horns and jump in there and do it. It's better to bring something to the table (even if it's not that great) than nothing at all. Even if our proposal doesn't get chosen, I think that my group should be proud of the work we did because it was something new for all of us and we did our best. (Cheesy, I know!)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mock Interview

My mock interview was this past Monday and I thought it went very well. I think the mock interview is a great idea. If nothing else, it forced me to re-visit my resume and update it. It also gave me a great, no pressure opportunity to get some feedback on the content and layout of my resume. The mock interview also made me really think about what my future interviews will be like and how I can prepare for them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well, Chicago was a blast! Exhausting, but fun. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were full of scheduled tours and Saturday was a free day. One of the things I most enjoyed was visiting the IIT campus as well as Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio. I'm not a huge fan of Wright as a person but I can't deny that he was an amazing designer, acutely aware of every detail. Thursday afternoon, we took an architectural boat tour and it was absolutely freezing! After the first 45 minutes, the tour guide had lost us all - it was terribly difficult to focus on her over the loud roar of clattering teeth. Needless to say, the last 30 minutes were a bust. One night, a small group of us found a great dueling piano bar and it was such a great time! Why can't Clemson have something like that?!?

I really enjoyed Chicago as a whole. It was a nice change of scenery from Clemson and it seems to be a very accessible city (for the most part). I love having everything you could ever imagine right there for the taking..everything from food to shoping to art and music. Quiesha and I found a wonderful Asian fusion restaurant on our last night and it was a great way to end the trip.
The presentation that I really enjoyed was Megan's speech about the meaning and influence of the different colors. It's an idea that I've always been aware of but never really thought about. I think this is probably true for everyone. We all intuitively know that colors affect how we feel, but we might not automatically associate a specific color with a specific feeling. I also think it is funny that supposedly red makes us hungry and therefore many fast-food places use red in their logos and signs. Who knew?! I remember when I was in middle school, someone did a presentation on how people associate certain letters with certain numbers as well as certain colors, but it seems that no one really knows why people make these associations. Megan's presentation reminded me of this. I would like to do some more research on this because as an architect (or anyone in the design field), it's incredibly important to be aware of this.