Saturday, March 27, 2010

Incidentally, did you know...

Today I am taking my comprehensive exam for graduate school - a 7 hour marathon of writing that had me up at 5:30 A.M.

I woke up.

I hit the snooze.

I woke up.

I went to the bathroom.

I got in the shower.

Just as I closed the shower door I saw something fly across the bathroom.

I got clean.

I saw said UFO buzzing near the ceiling light.

Wait, did I say buzzing?

That's right, just as I got naked and vulnerable, I noticed one of these angry little bastards in the small confines of my safe place.

I contemplated how to get out of the shower, get a towel, and escape the bathroom with as little movement or threat to the tiny, menacing, death machine as possible.

I made it happen, quickly slamming the door in a false sense of security.

Then realized that everything I needed was still in the bathroom with that blight of creation.

What to do?

If I try to smash the minature Mephistopheles with a book, I might miss and it will get me.

Plus I don't want to get my book full of juice.

I looked under my sink for any chemical with aerosol capabilities. Surely a 10-12 inch spray range would keep me safe as I sent that bugger back to the flames of hell.

Incidentally, did you know that wasps can be killed with a shot of Resolve carpet spray?

Spot magic indeed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The great thing about graduate school - and academia in general - is the ability it provides for experimentation.

Currently, I am hard at work experimenting with a bevy of new skills and websites for my professional project.

Just last week I joined Issuu, an online publishing site where it's easy to upload a PDF file and create an eBook. I'm writing a children's book with a classmate and surely this will be a great place to publish it for download.

Speaking of which, I've never written a children's book before, nor tried my hand at illustration. So these are new skills for me, and while I'm a bit afraid of the challenge, I'm excited to stretch myself and see what I can do.

My professional project entails telling stories in written and multimedia formats. Weebly, an online web design site, helped me build my site. Since my focus is on the content and not the design, I figured why spend my time in Dreamweaver when I can simply drag and drop?

Speaking of content, so far I'm working on stories that will utilize a variety of skills that I am excited to develop...again, stretching myself through the fear of a challenge.

I'm thinking of producing a story in public radio's This American Life format, and might check out Transom for tips and feedback. I'm beginning to enjoy radio more and more as I get older (read: mature), and Jay Allison has some insight as to why that may be.

Another discovery I've made is Prezi, which is a new software developed in Hungary that is taking presentation to a new level. I've found it's fantastic for the interactive teaching of dull, dry research models. I'm definitely looking forward to experimenting more with it's possibilities.

One other site I've discovered is Ning. It's a place to create your own social network online. While I haven't yet begun to explore this possibility to its fullest, I'm hoping it will take my project to a whole new level. That, or it will be a shameful, empty space and a black mark on my Master's project.


Let's hope not.

The web has much to offer and many hidden treasures to discover. This is what I love about my future career - though keeping abreast of the latest trends takes a bit of work, I love the possibilities for growth and education.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lesson Learned too Late?

I, like many others in this economy, am searching for a job. This week I was caught making a major mistake in my job search that left me red-faced.

Even worse, since it happened I've been busy updating my resume and online portfolio and realize that several grammatical mistakes should have caught my eye but did not.

The Story
I usually lurk around Big Shoes Network for job postings, being the skilled marketing and communications professional that I am.

Humble, too.

I found a posting for a local Milwaukee organization that seems like the perfect fit for my mad social media and multimedia skillz, not to mention a perfect complement to my witty, recently overly sassy personality (more on this in a minute).

I applied immediately.

Can't be too on top of these things, after all.

The problem?

Apparently, this personal adage is not true.

In an attempt to get my foot in the door, I actually got a mouthful of black leather pump as I promoted a new website I'm building for my Master's professional project.

"What's so wrong with that?" you ask.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

I'm glad you asked, because, you see, said website was not yet published. To add insult to injury, I've lately been rather sassy and over-confident in my writing. This seems to be great fun for my classmates, but sometimes not such a good idea for job searching.

The tone I set which promoted this project, while true to my personality and in line with the company's feel, only added to the injury of me breaking the cardinal rule of web development. While I was busy confidently proclaiming my domination of social media, and harnessing it's power for good, I also likely frustrated a prospective employer by not delivering on said awesomeness.

As Homer Simpson would say, "D'Oh!"

The Lesson
I consider this a lesson learned and to be filed away for future reference when applying for jobs.

On a good note, I used the opportunity to publish the aforementioned site, update my resume to fix the tense and voice issues, as well as fix a broken link on my online portfolio.

In the end, not such a bad experience if it has such a motivating conclusion, no?