Text me: I’ll over-analyze it. (via A Nice Ring to It)

I’ll own up to the fact that I prefer texting to vocal phone communication. It’s not to say that I fear having conversations over the phone; it’s just that I’ve always felt that I can communicate better with the written word.

That said, texting has its downfalls. Seeing that I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus and that I’m still trying to collect all my thoughts surrounding the experiences I’ve had during this first third or so of summer, I’m going to get back into my “regular schedule” by reblogging this cute little piece. Enjoy!

Text me: I'll over-analyze it. "Hey." Not a particularly welcoming salutation. Not unfriendly, but no enthusiasm. It's firm. Finite. Is he mad? "Hey" This one's completely different. It's casual. The lack of punctuation says, "I'm on the go — Just didn't have time for that little dot!" If you find this analysis over-the-top and slightly nauseating, I'm wit … Read More

via A Nice Ring to It

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Prestige

In my History of American Higher Education class, we’ve been learning about the creation of the American university. Harvard was the first, in 1636– I won’t be forgetting that fact anytime soon. Also, I hope that I will be of much better use to any trivia teams I join in the future.

What I wanted to point out is something that I think liberal arts majors may appreciate.

Science didn’t come onto the scene until around the 1850s. And when it did, people were like, “Ew, a science degree? You’re such a loser!” It was the cool and prestigious thing to have a Bachelor of Arts, not a Bachelor of Science (or a Bachelor of Philosophy, as Yale called their degree).

I find it funny to see how things have changed, to see how I tend to defend my “soft science” communication degree, or how I explain that, “Yes, I’m good at math and at science, but I don’t want to do that,” quite often. I also see the other side of it, how people with “hard science” interests struggle with their other interests in communication or languages or psychology or philosophy.

It used to be that practicality was pretty much laughed at, in terms of the types of degrees students sought out. Now, we’re all so worried about finding a relevant job and applying a degree that practicality is the only thing that matters. Perhaps, though, as others have done before, it’s best to balance the two– after all, college is a unique time to explore interests and passions.

I loved communication, and I formally paired it with business administration. I informally paired my degree with athletics and ethnic studies through my activities. Other people paired their hard science major with a seemingly unrelated minor.

As I keep saying, one of our biggest responsibilities in this lifetime (and especially at college) is to be accountable for and to ourselves. Don’t live too far in the future; cultivate yourself in the now.

Step into my Office

Or my mind, or my world, or whatever.

I’ve realized my work and class schedule don’t let me post blogs at reasonable hours. But that’s fine, I suppose.

Lately, I’m feeling good about my chosen course of study, mostly because it feels like I picked a focus that naturally progresses from my undergraduate work and employment. UG work gave me theoretical basis and practice for human interaction, as well as knowledge of how business administration works. It also gave me foundations in ethics and best practices, and my employment in the corporate world re-emphasized business admin. and how to deal with real-life situations.

As a graduate student in student affairs, I feel like I have an upper-hand because there seems to be so much cross-over between communication theory and student development theory. I’m sure a psychology major would say the same thing, but when you work with people, those types of fields will naturally draw from one another. It makes sense.

I was challenged in my course of study as an undergraduate, and in doing so, my professors prepared me for the high standards of graduate work. I feel like some of the papers I’ve produced so far aren’t my best work, and that can be partially reasoned by looking at the problems I’ve had with retrieving information from the library and the Internet. Much more difficult than I remember, but using a new school’s system is always challenging, whether you’re an undergrad, a grad, or staff… whatever. Learning the ropes, so to speak. I believe as time goes on, I’ll push myself to create even higher quality work.

It could also be that I’m being hard on myself as I have a history of being somewhat of a perfectionist. Or maybe I’m just enjoying what I’m doing so much that I think that good work shouldn’t be this fun.

I’ll leave you with those thoughts for now. In the meantime, we’re more than halfway through the week! Yippee!

In the Meantime

Yesterday’s computer set-up process was way too smooth for today’s to be any good. Yesterday, I got onto the network in one of my new offices, got all the required folders, everything looked great– yay, happy times for all.

Today, I called up the tech people to hook up my computer(s) in the other office, and everything went wrong. Okay, not everything, because the only thing that went wrong was the fact that the computer couldn’t detect the correct network.

Which means I couldn’t log on or do anything else. And tech couldn’t figure out why the network wasn’t available.

Instead, I rearranged some furniture in the office, then switched buildings to draft e-mails to send out next week for recruiting assistance for various events, and then I made a draft of a “HEY! DON’T EAT IN HERE!” sign for a classroom. I also worked on various other tasks that needed to get taken care of, and then I decided it was time to eat.

I live an exciting life.

Actually, last night was fun. There was a “fall harvest” festival in the dining area of the hall I live in (did I mention my GTA is a live-in position?), and the RA’s, RD, and I all ventured downstairs for some rather good food. Pulled pork sandwiches and berry cobbler? Yes, please. It was a good way to connect with the RA’s here, and as I told my boss today, “I figured it would be nice to let them know that one, I’m not a big, scary grad student, and two, I’m actually not a first-year student, despite what my size and appearance may say.”

Off I go again.

In Which I Fill my Free Time with Books and Movies

I went to the library on Monday. First of all, I walked there, and that’s about a one mile walk downhill. (Which means the way back is one mile uphill. Oof.) Second of all, it means I fixed my PIN and can now hold and reserve books, and that makes me happy on many different levels. Free books! Yay! I have a book on hold that I need to pick up before the 1st. Hoping to get there today at some point. Anyway…

I checked out The Red and the Black by Stendhal, as well as The Strangeness of Beauty by Lydia Minatoya. Began reading Stendhal, which is fun because it was part of a customized recommendation list that the Super Ninja put together. It’s a nice little push to get some extensive summer reading done. Like I’ve mentioned before, this “lazy-smart” thing has got to go; I have a lot of reading to catch my nerdy self up on. Not to mention that since probably high school, 99% of my reading has been purely academic. That probably explains why I have a hard time referencing anything other than personal experience or textbook answers for questions Teh Ninja has asked.

Additionally, with all this spare time, I’ve decided to get some movie-watching in. So far, I’ve conquered Forrest Gump, Flannel Pajamas, and Star Wars Episode IV. Forrest Gump was great, and I’m glad I can no longer say, “I’ve never seen it before.” However, I already wrote about that movie, so… y’know.

Flannel Pajamas was interesting. It was basically a movie that says, “Here. Watch this relationship develop from the day these two kiddos meet.” It’s quite honest, and as another reviewer said, the director never seems to judge his characters for what they do. There aren’t any frills in the movie, a few nude scenes, but it’s quite bare (no pun intended). Even the background music is sparse. It forces you to focus on the relational development between the lead characters.

SPOILER ALERT: I will tell you what happens in just a few lines.

That said, here are some of my take-away comments on the movie.

I understand that the movie is trying to show the other side of “happily ever after.” Most movies would only follow from the meeting until the happy wedding day. The wedding in this movie happens about an hour into the film, so I could tell that, obviously, more things were going to happen. Also, I was warned ahead of time that it dealt with the unpleasant sides of relationships.

Well, in the end, the lead characters separate. Not a surprise to me.

Why?

They don’t communicate.

In the beginning, there is a scene where Nicole and Stuart are trying to be absurdly honest with each other. I actually do the same thing. But, throughout the movie, they rarely seem to go deep into conversation until it’s too late, until their relationship has already stagnated and begun to deteriorate. They don’t talk about their pasts or their baggage; they are blind to the person behind the facade.

Instead of recognizing what’s going on and remedying it, Nicole shuts herself off from Stuart. He does everything in his power to demonstrate he loves her– but he doesn’t communicate. Nicole calls him out and says he never listens, which implies he only talks. And that’s not communication.

Of course that relationship won’t work. If the information exchange isn’t working (or in this case, pretty much nonexistent), how will their feelings  grow or develop positively? I know that for me, I need to constantly be learning about someone, by sharing thoughts, or going out and doing something new and different, in order to see sides of that person I’ve never seen before. However, I can’t say that I haven’t been in relationships with bad communication and bad sharing; sure, they were wonderful in the beginning, but without development, they stagnated, and they eventually ended.

I guess the communication student in me was bothered the most. Communication isn’t a magic remedy for every relationship, but it’s a huge factor for me in my love life. So naturally, I’d pick that out in the movie.

On the plus side, the movie never showed the couple looking for love (or lust) outside the marriage. I appreciated that. People in troubled relationships don’t automatically rush off to cheat on each other, I think. It’s sensational, after all, which means it makes good television or theater.

So what do I take away from this, after picking apart what went wrong? Well, I can tell you that it reaffirmed my already-existing beliefs. Successful couples fall in love over and over again, with the persons they each become. It takes effort and determination for a relationship to work, too.

And for Pete’s sake, it takes communication.