August 2008 Archives
There were a lot of good points made in the text, so I didnt choose just one. Instead, I reviewed each point and added my own tips.(By the way, the title of the blog is a line from a Queen song).
course site: Writing Effective Email: Top 10 Tips
1, Write a meaningful subject line
Regardless of who you are sneding the email to, do not forget to label it. I do not have a printer of my own, so I have to email my papers to myself and then open them up on a school computer with a printer. The problem is, I usuall forget to label them. Sometime I send myself 5 papers a week. There is never typically a problem unless I have to go back through my archive to find one to put in a portfolio or quote from. Thus begins the hours long process of sifting through the endless "no subject" messages.
As for emailing others, if there is no subject written in theheading of your mail, the recipient may feel that since you didn't take the time to label it, that the message must not be that important.
2. Keep the message focused and readable
I know that when typing on a computer, I tend to get long winded and ramble. This is ok for blogging, when your writing is supposed to be thoughful and inquisitive, but emails are supposed to be short and to the point. I really see no need for colored letters or different fonts. Save that stuff for facebook. The person responding to the message probably only cares about the message and not the aesthetics. There is a reason they are called "email messages".
And here is something my grandmother still has not learned, whether she is using aim or email: please type in short paragraphd. No one wants to read 3 pages of single spaced 10 point font. It seems like more of a chore to read when everything is bunched together.
3. Avoid attachments
Do so especially when emailing your articles to the Setonian. It saves time, because the editors do not have to open the file in a word document; we can just print it out.
If you are emailing a paper to your professor, fine. Otherwise, do you really think the person on the other end needs to read pages and pages? Condense your message.
4 Identify yourself clearly
I can't tell you how many times I've gotten emails from people I have never even heard of. Typically, if I don't recognize the name, I delete the email immediately (how do I know it is not a virus or spam?). When emailing classmates and professors, especially if you are a new student, I suggest entering in the subject line: "This is_____ from EL ___"-you get the point. Professors have so many students. They cannot be expected to remember your personal address.
5. Be kind. Don't flame.
Let me put it this way (speaking from experience): we all need to vent. But do so in a word processing document. I was more than a little perturbed at an ex when I was in Paris this past summer. I typed a long and angry message about how I felt about said person, not intending to send it. Unfortunately, the keyboards in Paris are not the same as American keyboard. I hit where the tab button would have been on an American one (this is where the enter button is in France). The message got sent. Lookign back, I don't regret anything content wise, because things needed to be said, but the moment I hit that button, my heart jumped into my throat. Don't take any risks. Just vent in a word processor and hit save.
I'm sorry, but bad grammaer just bugs the heck out of me. I mean, we got taught the basics in elementary school. If a message is important and you want the recipient to respond, wouldn't you want to make it seem like you took the time and effort to make sure your message was the best it could be? There are spelling and grammar tools for email; you could also type in a word processor and then copy and paste the file into an email once you corrected it.
7. Don't assume privacy
Perosnal email does not translate to "private". Many of us have had our facebook/myspace accounts hacked into. It is just as easy to do so with email.
8. Distinguish between formal and informal situations
Just as I said in my blog on the roles we play in life: just remember who you are talking to, who your audience is.
9. Respond Promptly
I suggest checking your email every couple of hours. Respond quickly, because you never know if the person is sitting at their computer or not. Also, do not send someone an email at 11 pm about a class at 9 am, because you will most likely not get a response. Be aware of WHEN you are sending a message.
10 Show respect and restraint
I don't think I have ever used BCC or CC, so I've never had a flame war problem. Just picked out the person in charge. If a professor sends out a mass email to the class, respond to only him/her. Good to know that BCC keeps names hidden. I never understood what that function was before
know that you've listened to my ramblings, here's something entertaining:
"Some student newspapers have a buddy system that links incoming reporters to more experiences staffers; others assign a senior staffer to act as a writing coach."-SNSG, pg 13
I see already that many of us have picked this quote.
I know I was lost my first semester as a journalism major. Rightly so, because I had missed a whole semester of classes due to switching majors AFTER the add/drop period. I took article assignments and began writing without knowing any AP style rules whatsover. As a guide, I took past issues of The Setonian and looked at article structure and content. This way, when I got to newswriting last fall, I was already well versed in newswriting sturcture. I taught myself, because I had to.
Last year for me was all about getting into the rhythm of production and doing more than just writing and emailing an article. There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes. There is copy-editing (which no one seems to enjoy doing. That baffles me, since it is one of the easiest jobs once you know AP style), not to mention endless layout hours. I think the production requirement is a vital component of our program here because it teaches students how to get in the habit of helping with production so that they are not lost.
I found the Setonian staff to be welcoming and helpful. Valerie, Leslie, and Stormy all gave me vauable advice and tips. Freshman, don't be afraid to approach me or any of us for writing adivce or more. We're ready and willing.
random fact: one night, me and Leslie caught and killed a cockroach that was running amock in the office
good times, good times
"many people on college campuses...don't understand the role of the student press of the basic tenets of press freedom" pg. 8, SNSG
This comment is very true. Many do not understand the true meaning of freedom of the press. I will atempt to give an explanation beased on what I learned in newswriting last fall:
Yes, we are allowed to say what we want, within certain parameters. You have to be aware of any potential harm that your writing may cause. Above all, be aware of your audience before you begin writing. Think about who might possibly be offended by your content. There could possibly be a backlash. Is it worth it?
As I recall, last spring Andrea Perkins wrote an article about a reception Seton Hill had for accepted students. She was perturbed that the student were fed all kinds of delicacies like steak and seafood. Those of us who attend Seton Hill know very well that our food is very arely of the gourmet quality (see, I'm saying the same thing Andre did, just a little more conservatively). I believe she felt (don't quote me on this) that the school was somehow lying to the accepted students by painting a false picture. The article was printed and there was ultimately a backlash.
But was it worth is? I don't believe Andrea apologized. She stuck to her guns. Many students did agree with her, including myself. Andrea felt that something has to be said, and she was prepared for the consequences.
My point is that Andrea had every right to say what she said. And the people who responded to her article had every right to do so as well. Freedom of the press gives you freedom to say what you feel needs to be said, but it does not protect you from the consequences.
“I think this is not a worrying issue at all,” -Richard Sterling
I'm proud to say that I am a member of the grammar police. I don't believe I have ever used an emoticon or text shortcut in a school assignment. In private emails between me and my friends? Absolutely. I know when to turn the switch on and off.
And now here is the first of what is certainly going to be one of many parallels between theater history and this class:
today we discussed what theater is. There is not really a clear-cut definition, but the authors of Living Theater spend an extensive amount of time theorizing where it might have had its origins. One of the theories is that theater sprung from everyday life, in that we play a series of roles, such as daughter, friends, student, castmate, etc. Each is different, and in each role we act a way we wouldn't in any of the others. There is a time to be casual and a time to be formal, and :) lol omg rotfpmp don't belong in the academic world.
Maybe I'm so rigid with grammar because my fingers never had a chance to get used to texting (the whole month I had it)
speaking of grammar police, I sopt an error: shouldn't Richard Sterling have said "I don't think this is an issue to worry about at all?"
It's a substantial change in how we engage in discourse, especially in this country," -Alex Halavais, Freedom of Speech Redefined by Blogs
It was kind of odd to see our little school in the news. By now, I'm so used to the daily blogging that I barely realize it is part of what sets us apart from other schools.
I think that one of the reasons why we have had so few violations is because we are using thiese blogs in lew of tests and quizzes. They are proof to classmates and professors that we are learning. But I believe the fact that the blogs are student blogs makes us more cautious of what we put on them. We are aware of our audience.
I believe the term "private blog" is an oxymoron. You may have it set to private, so that only youre friends can see what you write. But these accounts are easily hackable. Who hasn't been myspace spammed at least once? Both my myspace and facebook accounts have been hacked into in the past, and while I have nothing on either short of an occasional melodramatic "I hate this class", it still wasn't pleasant to have to go and write on everyone's walls stating that I did not post hotornot.com offer (or something similar).
If you have something to say or need to vent, go down to one of your friend's dorm rooms and have a chat. Or keep a diary-a paper one. Or go to Toys-R-Us and buy one of those inflatable bop bags and go at it.
I can't believe I've written that many...anyhow
since there is no slot for turnitin.com for EL 405, here is my goal statement:
New Media Projects
This one is easily the most complex of the programs we will be using. Just by opening the program, you can see that it has at least a hundred buttons. Trying to make Blender work for me will probably be like trying to read hieroglyphics: incredibly hard, but doable. When researching Blender online, I found that I was barely able to understand the language describing the functions: widget, python expressions, LBM, etc. I really don't even know where to begin. I think that Blender will probably be the “El 336 research paper” of the semester, by which I mean that I will be very glad once I have conquered it, but will hate the process.
This is the tool I am most excited to use. I have wanted to learn how to make a flash animated cartoon ever since I saw Neil Cicierega's cartoons. Neil created a genre called animutation, which is essentially a flash animation parody of pop culture. Basically, this is where I move beyond my observational sarcasm print cartoons. From what I gather from my research, all the characters in flash cartoons are created in a drawing applications, which is great for me because I cannot draw well. There is a reason why there is only a man's hand in my next Setonian cartoon-all human characters end up looking like stick figures. The drawing application will allow greater fine-tuning of character features.
I hope we are going to discuss this tool and have a lot of practice time, because I understand about a fourth of the Wikipedia entry. From what I can make out, Inform 7 is a tool used to make advanced interactive fiction programs. My brain is already hurting from reading a sample “source code”. My only interest in interactive fiction was that of last semester's class. I am an imaginative person, but I also like having descriptions and occasional pictures present in the text. Part of the appeal of the “Harry Potter Series” is that Rowling gives such a flowery description of the setting, but every person is free to piece together the descriptions as they see fit. Most interactive fiction samples that I have seen, those of Mechanisms read: you are standing in front of a house. But what kind of house? What does it look like? I don't want to be told outright what it looks like, but guided into a certain direction. Naturally, I could make the interactive game as I see fit, but it seems that part of these games' appeal is that they are blank slates for the player's imagination, and not the creator's.
This tool could actually prove useful to me, as I am trying to start an Internet show with some friends back home. From the official website, I gather that I could animate the beginning segment to be played at the beginning of every show, sort of like a news logo. I cannot remember if this is the program that Dr. Jerz said can create a “Myst” like program with still images on the wall. If so, then I could use CamStudio to make a really cool honors presentation, sort of a virtual museum of my Paris pictures with captions about each place.
Blender 3-D and Inform 7 may seem overwhelming now, but I am sure that I will look back on my course samples at the end of the semester with the same kind of frustrated fondness that I now have for my EL 336 papers. Yes, there were parts of that class that I certainly enjoyed more that others, but all was worthwhile. The same shall go for El 405. I want to be able to work all 4 programs adequately; this is my overall goal for the class. My project goal is to either create a new flash animation parody or create the virtual museum. Either way, the research required for this goal statement has made me less apprehensive and more excited about this class. Yes, it is a means to an end, because I am not going to be pursuing a post-graduate career in new media. I am here for the writing. So my goal is essentially to have fun while creating a good product.