Oh, Thank Blog!

The other day, my post on Meme’s gained some attention after being “Freshly Pressed” by WordPress. My measly 10 random views a day skyrocketed to over a thousand. Comments came pouring in, as did ‘likes’ and even subscriptions to my blog. In fact, the primary reason most of you are reading this now is probably due to my one minor success. I’m not writing this as a boast, but rather to convey my disbelief that quickly led to some over-analyzing of the splendid situation.

I started this blog for a couple of reasons:

  1. To vent to an online community of nameless readers.
  2. To keep myself updated on PR & Media related events.
  3. To get myself (and my resume) out there, even if only as a resume builder.
  4. To deliver news as well as my own opinions.

Going into this experience, reasoning number four was not necessarily leading the pack. I realized that as “just another silly blogger” my chances of actually delivering my messages to a mass audience were pretty slim. I’ve been on twitter for some while, and despite any wit or wisdom (or at least what I would consider to be the two), my followers still mostly include real-life friends and the random spammers who want me to buy prescription drugs off the black market (and I of course don’t block these individuals because, let’s face it, I like to see my number of followers as high as possible–even if they are scumbags or robots). Due to my limited success on twitter, I came into the blogosphere with similar expectations. I planned for it to be more of a personal social networking tool, rather than one with mass appeal. But after the other day’s “Freshly Pressed” occurrence, I found my blog open to whole new opportunities.

The idea of people actually reading these posts is slightly intimidating (sorry for all the grammar and spelling mistakes…), but even more frightening– it’s slightly empowering. While I know my readership isn’t exactly of epic proportions, it’s more than I would ever expect. These readers, and the supporting and informative comments they’ve made lead me to the ultimate point of this latest post: The internet and its social networking sites have truly revolutionized the power of the people in getting their voice heard.

Perhaps I was first struck by this idea when I heard that Tweets would start to be recorded for the Library of Congress (so, years from now, some extremely bored relative of mine can look up my nonsensical 140 character ramblings). This latest blog experience has added to my disbelief. The internet is such a powerful resource in getting our voices heard. PR and Marketing companies caught on to this trend from the very beginning, capitalizing on the free publicity and tools. The best examples of the public using this power comes from Presidential elections, especially this past election when the youth voters made up a great majority of Obama’s support. Our ideas and opinions can be posted for the world to see. There is not filter or gate-keeper to keep our voices from being heard. Of course, garnering enough attention to make your message worthwhile is another campaign, but there remains that ability to freely voice your opinion to the possibility of a mass audience.

I know people will be reading my posts now. This fad may only last another week, or another month, but I at least know that my voice is being heard. People value my opinion and what I have to say. Whether they agree with me or not, whether they learn something from my posts or find them to be aimless ramblings– I know that people are at least taking the time to look at these words that I’ve put effort into creating. This is a wonderful feeling.

While I wanted to (quick) post to reflect upon the powers of the internet, I also want to take the chance to thank everyone for their support. The internet is filled with faceless and nameless viewers that I may never meet, but the positive and encouraging reactions they have to my writings are humbling. Thank you so much for your support and viewership. I wish you success in your blogs, and look forward to reading what everyone else has to say. We live during a very interesting time, and it’s wonderful that we can get the full effect of events through the opinions of others.

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On entering “the real world.”

Warning: This post will feature no tidbits of knowledge, pretty pictures, or catchy words.

I’m taking this time to write more of a personal post. This upcoming week I begin the last semester of my college career. While I find it hard to believe that four (amazing) years will have come and gone, I find it even harder to grasp the idea of being a part of what I have dubbed “the real world.”

Having an older brother, I remember two years ago when I saw him go through the same experiences as I am now facing. He graduated, we all cried, it was an emotional time. I couldn’t believe he had reached that point. I couldn’t believe that my childhood playmate, the kid who used to make me laugh as well as cry, the one who always knew how to set up the coolest Lego creations– he was graduating. I think it was around that time that I first realized that it wouldn’t be long until I found myself in that same position. And here it comes.

I’m almost 22, I’m about to graduate from college…now what?

As of yet, I don’t have a job. I’m a public relations major (um, seen the website?–duh) and I’ve absolutely loved the work that I’ve been able to do in that field. I’m a media enthusiast in general, and would love to combine my interest in film and television with my love for public relations.

The logical next step is the job search, an intimidating practice that I’ve attempted a multitude of times. From Monster.com to Indeed.com, to my university’s private job listings, the process is always lackluster and disappointing. The problem is finding an entry-level job in the first place. Most listings are looking for professionals with “min. 5 yrs exp.”

Why should an employer take a gamble on hiring a newbie, fresh out of school, who they will undoubtedly need to coach on the basics (no matter what experience the student may have had)? With today’s economic climate, convincing an employer of your worth is harder than ever. Jobs are scarce and the competition is fierce. It’s like a jungle out there (please ignore the corny phrasing).

But I will enter this final semester with my head held high. And come graduation? Well, there will be tears (plenty of them), but I promise to also look excitedly toward the next big adventure in my life, even if it means I’m entering “the real world.”

Reverting to Childhood

Sometimes, when I’ve had an especially bad day, I want nothing more than to crawl into some fantastical pillow and blanket fort (See Photo Below).  Today was one of the discouraging days when a little bit of childhood regression, and a whole lot of child-like imagination, would have made me feel a bit better. To compensate, I’ve decided to turn to an old childhood favorite movie instead– Peter Pan. Because we do have to grow up, but we don’t always have to like it.

B is for…Blatant Bias

When it comes to school, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I never used to be this way until college. And now, alas, it is my curse.

So, when I get a bad grade (keep in mind, a bad grade in my sick little world is anything below an A-), I want to know that I at least deserved it. Instead, I am stuck with a dreaded ‘B’ in a class that I can only begin to describe as the worst college experience of my life. Not only was the teacher inexperienced– something that can be understandable if they at least admit their novice position– but she also clearly wasn’t well versed in the subject at hand. A major part of the class, and an aspect she graded us on, was so beyond her ability that she asked another professor to come in and teach class for a couple of days. Now, call me crazy, but I don’t want this same woman who has already admitted her ineptitude in a field to be grading me on that same field.

Her tendency to play favorites was also beyond obvious. We all have favorites– favorite friends, favorite neighbors, favorite relatives. That’s normal and acceptable. However, it is incredibly unacceptable and unprofessional for a professor to act on this favoritism.

Before I explain this specific situation, let me backtrack a few years and explain why I so hate when teachers blatantly favor one student over another. It was 10th grade, English class. I was loud, talkative, and, I’m willing to admit, a bit annoying. Therefore, my teacher did not like me. Understandable. What was not understandable was my inability to get above an 84 on an essay. I wasn’t the best writer, but I was convinced some of my work was worthy of at least a B+. And yet, like clockwork, my essays came back with the dreaded ’84’ on top. Somewhere half way through the semester I started going to my father for help. Gradually, as my grade refused to change, his corrections became more and more intense. Finally, for one of the last essays of the semester, my father practically wrote my paper. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t approve of parents during their kid’s homework, but this was just ridiculous. And, once again, I got an 84. Now let me explain a few things to you. My father is a pretty smart guy, and I’m not just saying that as his daughter. He’s a partner in a law firm. He went to Yale. And, ironically enough, his was an English major. And yet, according to my teacher, his essay was only worthy of an 84 in a 10th grade English class.

Well, I gave up on that futile fight. As I mentioned, grades were less important to me back then. However, ever since then, I’ve had a special hatred of favoritism by teachers (I think this is a good point to mention that I graduated from High School with the superlative “Teacher’s Pet”– I had learned to play the system, but still didn’t approve of it). Now, this inept professor also showed favoritism as extreme as my 10th grade English teacher. When handing back tests one day, she said to one girl that she was “shocked” and “disappointed.” I myself had gotten a similar grade, but did not receive such a comment. Was she simply not shocked at my having done poorly? Did she expect as much from me? And this was only a couple of weeks into the semester. We had gotten no other grades in the class by which she could judge are scholasticism. Later, she had a conversation with this same girl about how people like “them” had a “hard time” and more was expected of them because of their genius. At this point, I would like to call shenanigans. You see, my teacher was far from a genius. As previously mentioned, she didn’t even understand the subject she was teaching.

She just simply didn’t like me. I got a 100 on an exam and when she handed it back she said, “I looked it over 3 times and couldn’t find anything wrong with it.” She was frowning and I detected a blatant disappointment in her not being able to penalize me in some way. When she handed an exam that got a 90 back to an owner that she clearly preferred over me, she said to them a simple “good job,” with a smile on her face. Can you figure out what’s wrong with this picture? (and I’m not saying a 90 isn’t worthy of a ‘good job’)

I am also 99% sure that I got points taken off an essay because I didn’t have time to send her a copy of my rough draft to look over. Instead, my friend who was doing a different essay and had sent in her rough draft, sent me the corrections on hers so I could gauge the corrections I would have to make on my own. Apparently that wasn’t good enough. So what if I put in hours upon hours of work. It was a damn good essay, but not to her. To be perfectly honest, and I swear this isn’t just some low blow, but I’m pretty sure the reason I got points off (though she would never admit to it) is because I used B-I-G words. Oh. Dear. God. What has this world come to?

So yes, I’m peeved. I got a B, which isn’t horrible, but the fact remains that I got it in a class where no actual learning/teaching was done. All the classes got out a half hour early, and most of them had us “doing group work” when we really didn’t have any “group work” to speak of.

If I get a B, I want to have deserved the B. Instead, I had the misfortune of getting a B from a professor who I am completely unable to respect. Listen, the simple truth of it all is that some people are just naturally great teachers, some people can learn to be great teachers, and then some people have no freaking clue what they’re doing and should get out of the field as soon as possible before they anger another group of students (oh yes, there are multiple students who have expressed similar discontent) and lower their GPA (right before graduation, thanks for that). Can you guess which category my teacher fell in?

And now to enjoy a very merry winter break filled with emails and phone calls as I attempt to repeal my grade and ultimately challenge the authority of this professor. Oh joyous occasions.