Who am I?

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I'm very eclectic, some may call me weird... I love to read, I love my nook, I love my cook HAHA Just kidding! I wish I had one! I love to have fun,and laugh, shopping, dancing and listening to music,is what keeps me entertained. I love babies and am scared to death of having one, I love to be creative and although I I know so many plans I wish and hope to have, I still feel like I need to find who I am. This blog may just help me to discover that.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Better late than never!

                                 First off I want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays!

Second, I want to apologize for not writing in sooo long. Things have been pretty wacky lately, ever since my step-daughter's birthday bash (which was a blast! We had so much fun at the skating rink!) I have had something to do every weekend. Then of course the holiday's crept up on me like I was the hot dumb chick in a scary movie about to get sacked by the funny-looking-tormented-as-a-child murder!  

                  Any who, next I want to get into 1 of the 2 blog post's I promised.

 Meeting Nicole Peeler! OK, OK. I know, I know...  It's really really late... but as the very cliche saying goes- It's better late than never! So, as readers may know November 6  was the Nicole Peeler book signing, 2 hours away in Lancaster, PA. I was so excited as it was the first time I had ever gone to something like this. There have been a few that I wanted to go to, however, unfortunately I was unable to because they were during work/school hours or they were absolutely way too far and inaccessible to me. So, after reading the beginning to her series I started to look around her website and noticed that she would be in Lancaster, PA and got really excited. I wanted to learn about how she got to where she is and how in the world did she come up with Jane True. In addition, from what I read about her and from her I thought she was a creative genius. So, I asked my 15 year old niece, who pretty much goes everywhere with me, to tag along. I had already been telling her about the books so she was more than willing and excited to come. My sister had mentioned that she was interested in attending, although, she opted out last minute. Which I was not mad at!

Hmmm... Does that make me sound like a nasty little sister? I guess it would... Well, you have to know my sister to understand me and where I am coming from. I love her dearly! I do REALLY !!! But there are times where I sure want to kick her A$$!

Our trip was long but sure was fun! It was like a girls only mini road trip! I have got to say, NJ has really spoiled me as I was appalled at the fact that I had to pump my own gas in PA!!!

Having to pump my own gas aside I had a blast and think I might just have to do it again on Jan 29, 2011. Which is when Nicole Peeler will be at the same Borders in Lancaster, PA, which is shortly after the release of her third book! Tempest Legacy!! I can't wait to get this on my nook!!!!

                                          Here are some pics we took on the way!

                         We could not believe the exits went so high, 333, and that was not the highest
                            we started at. I think we started at about 346 and our exit was 286!!!

We don't look related at all! Jeeze!! 

Could you tell we are city girls!?!?! Cows never cease to amaze us even though we now live minutes from a bunch of farms!!! LOL!! 

 Moving right along, this was this first time I had a attended something like this and was so UBBER excited! I arrived a lil past 2pm and left a lil past 5pm. Nicole Peeler was gracious enough to bless us with a reading from book 2 "Tracking the Tempest"!!

She also shared with us her inspirations, likes, methods, and let us know a lil more about her characters and the wonderful world she has created! She was so natural and REAL! It really was treat meeting with her and seeing how down to earth she is in addition to how much she cares about her work, and about her readers! For some one like me, who loves to read and hopes to one day have something to do with the world of books and publications it makes the dream that much more real. It actually feels attainable! Nicole Peeler connects with her readers and constantly keeps them on their toes while going out of her way to stay connected and in tune with them! How you ask? Her blog is constantly updated! She runs contests (I just won one might I ADD!!! WOOP WOOP!! I am getting the MP3 CD audio book of her first novel Tempest Rising!) and post's video blogs that have sneak reads, in addition, her tweets are hilarious!
                                             In short, Nicole Peeler = AWESOME!

Check out her website here , follow her on twitter @nicolepeeler and if you are a Tempest fan already and can't wait till Jan 1st, 2011! Check out an interview with Anyan  here and an interview with Ryu here! (Courtesy of Melissa, @MeiLHay! Thanks Melissa!! They are ubber cool go check 'em out!!!)

              Nicole I had a blast THANK YOU!! Hopefully I will be seeing you again on Jan 29!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm back!!

It has been some time since I have written a "ME" post. I have had to do work on the blog  for school lately.

I recently finished my communications capstone with Ashford and am now off from school until 12/7, which is when I start my first Entrepreneurship class! I am very proud to say that I achieved an "A" in this class and got a GREAT grade for this blog assignment. I want to thank everyone who helped with their valuable feedback and AWESOME comments and ideas!! Thank you Nicole Peeler for motivating and inspiring me with your greatness!  I was unsure if I was going to keep it going considering the class was going to be over and I was going to begin other classes, however, I have had a FANTASTIC time blogging everything from my assignments to the "ME" posts. Therefore, the blog post's shall continue, it maybe not as often but I am going to try really hard to keep it up!!! I am going to continue providing book reviews, insight and discussions on communications, updates on what is currently happening with me, and of course updates on school and my classes. In addition, this class has helped me in realizing how much I love to read and write which has helped me to notice the possible world of publishing for career opportunities, as well as inspire me in so many ways! I have started thinking about the possibilities of graduate school and perhaps achieving a MFA in creative writing, writing popular fiction, writing in general or in English. I know I LOVE the world of literature, writing, publishing and all that great stuff so I sure do plan on ending up somewhere in the vast universe. At the end of my Entrepreneurship minor I am going to be taking a creative writing class that I am so UBBER excited to embark upon. This class will assist me in beginning to make various career decisions. Hopefully this is the beginning of a WONDERFUL thing and I am so excited about it I can cry!!!

Keep your eyes peeled as I will be working on posts soon regarding how my journey to Lancaster, PA to meet Nicole Peeler went (even though it was a few weekends ago) and my review on the recently read Dracula in Love by Karen Essex.

Can't wait to bring you more...
Until next time everyone!!
Happy Reading  My Friends!!!
<3 Mickey

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Functionality Of The Blog!

When I first started this course I was excited that I had to begin a blog. I had been thinking about it for some time but kept pushing it back, afraid to commit to any one subject and afraid of what was going to happen once I started. Would I be able to keep it up, would I have followers or am I going to hate it instead of love it? I didn’t even know where to begin. Although this class gave me reason to go through with it, whether I liked it or not this had to get done, at least for a short period of time, and from there I would be able to know whether I would want to continue or not.  Well, when it came time to create the blog I was given a structure.  I mean I expected nothing less from school, however when I was finally confronted by the words “Professional Blog” I blanked. I kept thinking to myself “What is a professional Blog?”  I was so lost and had no idea what to write about.  Well one day speaking with my sister, while having my stepdaughter present, my sister asked, “What exactly is a BLOG?” Briana, my stepdaughter looked at her like she had three heads and said “Titi, a blog is a website where someone writes whatever they want to write, kind of like a journal but on a website! Enough said, I didn’t even have to answer my sister. Now, I knew for sure my sister would not be able to help me with figuring out a professional blog; I was climbing this ladder solo.  After much contemplation and correspondence with the Professor, I was able to come to terms with the professional blog as a website where I would discuss something I enjoyed minus the curses, angry fits and down right unprofessionalism.  So reading, writing, anything having to do with reading and communication would be the main focus of my blog.  So in a nutshell the purpose of my blog is to entertain, update and discuss various books and topics such as communications and anything that has an affect on communications. Being as though I have many topics being discussed in this blog the design was difficult to mange.
            When I first started my blog I wanted something nice and calming in the background to invite people in instead of repel them. Although I loved the background, I hated that it wasn’t very “me”. I kept playing around with some until I found one for a while. However, during the week where we critiqued each others blogs, a classmate pointed out that my posts where difficult to read because of the way the layout ran all the blog post’s together. The layout made it look like I had one big, long post, instead of individual posts.  I searched, tweeked and messed more until I was able to find a template that individualizes each post making it easier for the reader and the writer. I also used one of the simplest layouts to make it as user-friendly possible. I didn’t add too many ad’s or gadgets because I didn’t want the reader to become overwhelmed with all of the side notes and not pay attention to the important portion of the blog; the content.
            The contents are mainly focus on anything having to do with my hobby of reading, technology and communications.  Some are my personal experiences and some are from previous schools assignment, which fit the blog so well. Although I love entering my fun narrated personal blogs I wanted to show that I also have the capabilities to provide a well though out, professional assignment as well.
            Many think this blog is for the younger computer based individual, however, this is not true. These posts are for the typical adult blog reader because of the nature of some of the adult novels I read. I hope this blog is enjoyed! <3 

Monday, November 15, 2010

What is a Good Story With Out a Conflict? Nothing, But Oh Wait What Kind of Conflict Is It?

Lets Look at the Topic of Communication just a bit... 

Best Practices
            Communication and conflict is often thought of as going hand and hand together.  It is often misunderstood for an exciting game of hot potato.  Many imagine conflict communication as words jumping from one hand to another failing to make a mark on any one contestant in particular and burning hands until a contestant emerges victoriously. It is perceived as such because at one point this is how it was and how it still is for some who lack the knowledge of effective communication in conflict resolution.  Because of studies and now common known knowledge about it, communication has evolved along with today’s ever changing technologies. It is now seen as something that both contestants’ partake in; where they must collaborate in order to achieve effective conflict resolution where they all emerge victoriously. Because communication is no longer a conveyer belt process the following factors are key in interactive and effective communication; stopping, thinking, listening, expressing, remaining focused, compromising, communicating and collaborating, although, not necessarily in that order. In addition there may be times where a step is repeated.
            Conflict occurs when two or more parties “seek incompatible goals” (Cahn,.D.D. & Abigail,.R.A. 2007, p.3). The text also informs us that the participants are interdependent meaning they depend on each other making the conflict all the more significant (Cahn,.D.D. & Abigail,.R.A. 2007, p.3).  We continue to read that conflict is viewed as competing responses to a single event accompanied by differences, and hostility amongst the parties with a problem that will need to be resolved, which is how conflict is viewed by many. Although many view conflict in a negative light they fail to see or understand that conflict can bring about positive change or needed realizations in many situations. The way I view change is that change is the only constant, so, let us adapt and learn how to accept change the good and the bad because it is a part of life just like conflict is.  Conflict in its various forms is something that is inevitable due to the various opinionated personalities and the ever-changing acceptances of today’s society.
            There are a few different types of conflict: Unreal conflicts that consist of false conflicts and displaced conflicts, misplaced conflicts, real conflicts, and competitive situations just to name a few. One of the most significant conflicts is a false unreal conflict that occurs “when at least one person in an interdependent relationship thinks that there is a conflict but after talking to the other(s) involved, finds there is no conflict”(Cahn,.D.D. & Abigail,.R.A. 2007, p.23).  I like to think of this as the paranoia conflict because often times we are our own worst enemies our mind likes to create situations for us, which do not exist. However because sometimes we, especially me, can become so paranoid when we jump to conclusions and make outrageous assumptions we come to believe that the false conflict is actually true. Often times the only thing that can tell us otherwise is when the confrontation of the other party informs us that it is indeed false. 
            Another significant conflict is the real conflict that actually exists. As we learn in chapter two the real conflict can range from a minor issue to a conflict so serious that if left unattended can severely hurt a relationship (Cahn,.D.D. & Abigail,.R.A. 2007, p.26). Both unreal and real conflicts should be handled carefully because if mistreated or misunderstood the conflict can be blown pout of proportion causing bigger conflicts or failed attempts to conflict resolution because of ineffective communication and/or conflict resolution techniques. This is why conflict resolution and communication skills are daily struggles for some. It takes years to master techniques that will assist in resolving matters let alone how to remain calm. Many people have difficulty with handling stress, anger and confrontations which is why it is important to learn ones own style of handling conflict in addition to learning various conflict resolution strategies for when put in a position where compromising your style is required.
            There are numerous ways that people respond to conflict and no matter how predictable one may be predictability is not something to count on. At any moment that person can hit you with something that was completely unexpected. Chapter three of our text assists us in understanding one of the most important behaviors that is portrayed as a reaction to conflict. Becoming defensive is a response that occurs most often when confronted by conflict. In chapter three we learn that defensiveness is “a somewhat hostile, emotional state which causes people to either partially or totally reject incoming messages and other stimuli which they perceive as being incorrect or contradictory to their point of view”(Cahn,.D.D. & Abigail,.R.A. 2007, p.50).  When defensiveness comes into play one must from then on be extremely careful with how to proceed and attempt conflict resolution because of ones sensitivity.
            If one becomes defensive they are offended, sensitive or irritable which means that because they are already in that state of negativity they can easily be tipped towards the dark side.  This is when they can become aggressive and angry, possibly even violent. This is where conflict styles and strategies come in. We must know our own conflict style so that we know when to put it aside and choose a strategy to utilize if necessary. In chapter 5 we learn that a conflict style is a set of behaviors for dealing with situations and we use it whenever and wherever we can (Cahn,.D.D. & Abigail,.R.A. 2007, p.78). We also learn that a strategy is an over all plan that is utilized for one situation. Once you begin to utilize that strategy more then once it becomes a style rather then a strategy. (Cahn,.D.D. & Abigail,.R.A. 2007, p.78). Some strategies include avoidance, accommodation, competition, compromise and collaboration as we can see from Table 5.2 on page 81 of our text. Well, what happens when we don’t know if we should use our style or our strategies? In chapter three we learn about one of the most effective communication devices that I have learned in this class. No matter what the situation this device will assist because of its simplicity and flexibility.  
            The S-TLC, which is widely known and utilized device assists us in remaining calm, to understand fully what is going on at the moment as we listen to our opponent and then assists us in figuring out how to proceed by communicating with each other. It can also assist us when trying to figure out how to continue the process of conflict resolution. If I were to use this device to assist me in figuring out how to continue conflict resolution it would go something like this. Stop-take a moment to compose yourself and focus on what is occurring at the moment. Think- did I utilize my style or a strategy when approaching this conflict?  Whatever I utilized didn’t work. My opponent got defensive so where should I go from here? Listen- really listen and understand what they are really saying. By reading in between the lines and really understanding this person from what you have heard you may be able to find out how to approach this situation from here on with out offending or creating a bigger conflict then there is at the moment. Communicate – speak to this person while utilizing the strategy you have chosen to maintain the situation under control.  By utilizing this device you will always be able to maintain the situation under control. The S-TLC devices contains four key factors of effective communication that where mentioned above.
            They were mentioned above because they are also a part of what I feel are best practices of how to deal with conflict. The eight factors are: stop, think, listen, express, remain focused, compromise, communicate and collaborate. I will explain why each factor is important to effective communication. Stop assists you in remaining calm and breathing allowing oxygen into the blood stream and maintain a clear mind. At the same time it provides a moment for both yourself and your opponent to restructure. Thinking assists you in staying one step ahead with in knowing what needs to be done next or in assessing the current situation. 
            Listen, which in my opinion is the most important factor possible. Listening does not come easily, it is something that takes practice and a real willingness, it may take some years “Listening is a desire to pay attention to the other person, characterized by openness to the other person’s view, willingness to suspend judgment during the discussion, patience to hear the other out, an empathic response to the other person, and a commitment to listen to all the other person has to say”(Cahn,.D.D. & Abigail,.R.A. 2007, p.50).  By listening you are showing that person that you are making a conscious effort in their favor, to understand what they are saying and to attempt to understand how they are feeling. Something as simple as listening can sometimes be something so powerful. Sometimes it is all that is needed to resolve the conflict because that person just wants to be heard, recognized, or acknowledged and by truly listening you are doing just that for them. As an HR assistant it is my job to listen. To everyone.
             It is necessary to field calls and figure out what is going on with the calls, figure out what is a priority and what is not, what has to be sent to a higher level or if I can take care of the situation easily, what matters are more serious and which are dire. So it is important that I have good listening skills in order to show the employee that I am listening to them and in any situations which is important to the employee I need to be able to empathize with the person as well to show that their situation will indeed be taken care of and show him /her my understanding and urgency. Which is why I think that listening skills are most important, however on the flipside I think that it is very important to express oneself as well.  Because just as one is able to listen and take pounds off of their opponents shoulders the same must be reciprocated for the person who first listened. In addition it would not be ethically right to allow one to say everything on their mind and the other to not. The initial listener should be able to speak as well in order to receive the same relief.
            By expressing and receiving relief I think that it assist in remaining focused which is our next key factor. Remaining focused on the topic at hand is important because it is too often that during conflict the parties become irrationally with anger and loose sight of their goals. Moving on to irrelevant subject that does not contribute towards conflict resolution but take away from the progress that is why remaining focused is a key factor to conflict resolution.
            Compromise, communicate and collaborate are all in the same playing field. C3 is how I like to think of it, ironic because math is my worst subject.  However, these work together because not all three will always be required, although, they are all important. Compromise is important because there will be cases in which one must give up or make a sacrifice in order to achieve conflict resolution. As learned in chapter three, Communicating is important because the opponents must send and receive messages as well as create meaning together, therefore communication must occur through the linear form of communication or the transactional model of communication. Last but surly not least collaborating is important because the opponents must work together to achieve conflict resolution. I have been able to implement many of these factors and they have allowed me to successfully learn and earn experience as I achieve conflict resolution.
            There was recently a situation in which I received a phone call from one of our teammates in regards to a password needing to be reset. He was livid and immediately called me insulting names because he stated that it was my fault the password was not working. Of course, I wanted to reach my hand through the phone and show him some… however I new better. Two wrongs will never make a right. First I stopped and took a few deep breaths to ensure I was composed while he was on hold waiting for me. I thought about the situation his request is simple and it can be accomplished as long as he has patience.
              However, he has already lost it some how, his stress, anger and frustration must be misplaced because I have been on the phone with him all of 2 minutes and it has been him yelling at me.  So I am going to utilize a very passive strategy here to get him to work with me in this situation. I was able to slowly calm him while I understood to everything he had to say and when he spoke to me inappropriate I calmly but assertively requested that he refrain from such language since I have yet to utilize that tone with him. In addition I had done nothing wrong but am only here to assist him with his concern. Thankfully he refrained and ended the conversation in thanking me for assisting him. I don’t think that I would change anything about this occurrence because it assists me in toning my skills in addition it started out negatively yet turned for the better by the end of the conversation. Sometimes there are situations that are not all factors are utilized however it is always good to have these eight factors brewing in the back of your mind for when required.
            There is a conflict that I anticipate to have with in the next few weeks. At the beginning of this class I was put up for a promotion and because I do not have my BA yet I didn’t not get the position, even though I am so close. I intend on approaching the VP of HR with a request for some private time in order to discuss why it was impossible to work with me until I had my degree in one year and one month. I am going to approach her with a positive, passive yet firm attitude, if that makes sense. I have full intentions of having all eight of my factors in the back of my mind in addition. I will just have to remind my self to breath and remain calm. I must keep in mind that this is something I will go through at the moment not only with my current employer but possibly other employers until I get my degrees am official.
            Communication is no longer a conveyer belt process the following factors are key in interactive and effective communication; stopping, thinking, listening, expressing, remaining focused, compromising, communicating and collaborating, although, not necessarily in that order. I must contain these factors in mind whenever engaging in conflict in order to grown as a person and to learn from others as well. 
Abigail, R.A. & Cahn, D.D. (2007) Managing conflict through communication. Boston: Pearson.

Blogs: Helping The World to Become a Global Village. One Blogger at a Time!

My opinions about a global village and being asked to pack up and move for a one in a life time opportunity:
In my opinion, living in a global village is inevitable.  “Advances in telecommunication and transportation technology have changed our sense of distance and of place” (Trenholm, 2008,p.348), as discussed in the text, today’s world is ever evolving at a rapid pace.  I stated in the organizational communication post that in today’s times people want options and I state it again people want as many options as possible. And when all the local options have been explored what do we do? We reach father to discover options foreign and new to us.
 This may sound like I am contradicting myself, in many ways, but here it goes. The text also states that the world is shrinking because of how easily it has become to attain the once unattainable. However, there is so much out there to see and experience.  Therefore, I think that living in a global village is a great benefit.  Who knows what can be found or what advancements can be accomplished?!  
On the other hand at this point in my life I don’t know how I would feel about packing up and moving to a different country for several years especially with a roommate that I wouldn’t know. I surely would not embrace the situation easily, and be highly uncomfortable because it is an entirely new situation; it is the unknown.  My answer would depend on what country it is because I would want to know if I were going to a third world country or something that is a bit more developed. I would want to know what I am getting myself into before I agree to it.  In addition, I would want to make sure that I can communicate and that there are no language barriers in the way.
Perhaps if I were single and had no family I would be more apt to the situation given that I knew I would be ok.  If the position told me that all I needed to do was travel to the other country but I could still live with my family in America then I would do that with out a doubt as well.  I think I feel this way because I have heard my fair share of horror stories in regards to some countries.  It would depend on the job, country, and length of position.
However, technologies such as blogs are assisting with issues like these. Not not only can I blog about meeting people and classmates around the world but I can see them via their profile pictures and post's.  Blogs are helping the world become a global village one blogger at a time. 
Trenholm, S. (2008). Thinking Through Communication
 Boston: Pearson 

Why Our Youth Should Read More Books! Hide the TV's!

“Oh my goodness, that night was crazy! I had so much fun; next time we go out I want one of those belvedere martinis, the kind that girl Serena orders, you know Serena from Gossip Girl? Yeah I heard those are really GOOD!!”
            All I could think of was “Oh my goodness, we are at Wal Mart and that girl was for sure under 21”. On the way home from Wal Mart Jaime Foxx’s hit single “Blame it on the Alcohol” shattered my ears as I realized how much media really has to do with teenage drinking and binge drinking. Television and music producers do not acknowledge how much influence they have on their audiences, and how young most of their audiences are. Teenagers are highly influential and unfortunately they are the eyes watching shows like Gossip Girls and Degrassi, and then listening to Ludacris’s “One more Drink” without taking a second to think about the dark side of drinking. 
            Unfortunately, late August and early September are not only the time for back to school. But to students, it calls for a prominent celebration, one year closer to adulthood or college or any other event worthy enough of a celebration complete with liquor and drugs, sometimes a reason is not even needed and of course we mustn’t forget new seasons of Gossip girl and Degrassi that coincidentally arise at the same time in the year.  Which bring us to the problem with today’s media. It portrays drinking, which is negative in too much of a positive light.  They show it as a glamorous and fun thing to do, however they forget to expose the negative effects, the way the alcohol slows down the brain, impairs judgement, and provides a possibility of psychological impairment and depression. All of this goes without mentioning that many times alcohol is the gateway substance. Once teenagers are comfortable with alcohol use they become susceptible to develop alcohol abuse, in addition becoming more likely try a number of damaging substances. Higheredcenter.org’s Daniel Ari Kapner informs us of some statistics that stem from underage drinking. Kapner informs us that “Every year nearly 600,000 students suffer nonfatal injuries” in addition to the “1,700 college students that die from alcohol-related causes and the 1,300 of these deaths involve drinking and driving” (Kapner, 2008). Which brings me to my biggest problem with today’s teenage drinking dilemma the justice that the offenders come face to face with, especially offenders that are in the limelight.
             Linsday Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Khloe Kardashian, Charles Barkley, Amy Whinehouse, Shia LaBeouf, Heather Locklier Micha Barton, Pitbull and Mel Gibson are all drink and drive culprits, although they are not all are under 21,they are all on the display table and ready to be observed by America’s teenagers. These people known as figures of the media commit their crimes and do not a pay proper price for the crimes they commit. Most of the times they go to a few court dates, pay some fees, do a little bit of community service, maybe get an ankle bracelet and then they are set free, which give our children the wrong idea entirely. For Example Linsday Lohan, back in August of 2007 was involved in a car accident in which she was found to have a blood alcohol level of .13 in addition to having used cocaine driving while all of this (Schneider, 2007). She then went to rehab for some time was placed on house arrest and then her story slowly drifted away, she basically got a small slap on the wrist and kept on moving on her little way. Various celebrities and media figures affect our children more then they or we would ever imagine. By these celebrities simply receiving such an insignificant punishment Americas children are under the impression that nothing serious can happen to them, which is for sure not the case as we learned earlier not only can thing happen to them physically but they ruin their life in a blink of an eye once they are charged with a DUI or are in a car accident in which another persons life has been taken.
            How can we make sure that our children are safe and are not in a situation as such, ever? Talk to your children, stay involved in their life, and know what is going on, whom their friends are, and what they do when they are together. What they watch and what is going on in their lives. And most important of it all is, if there is a situation in which you take notice that there is something going on with your child, do not ignore him/her, get help. Show her or him that you are their for them no matter what happens and that you as a family can work together, as a team, and get help as a team.

Schneider, K. (2007,August 6). Falling Apart. People Magazine.VOL.68 No.6 Retrieved September 25,2009, from, http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20061498,00.html
Bachman, J., O’Malley, P., Johnston, L., (1998) Alcohol Use Among Adolescence. VOL.68, No. 2 Retrieved October 8,2009 from,
Kapner, D.A., (2008, August) Alcohol and Other Drugs on Campus The Scope of the Problem. Retrieved October 5,2009 from http://www.higheredcenter.org/files/product/scope.pdf

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up? Hmmm... Career Fields To Look At.

What do I want to be when I grow Up? I am still trying to figure that out. What do you mean I am a grown up? Really? Well, let's get crackin'
I knew communications had varied options but I would have never even thought about some of these.

1. Public Relations Specialist
Summary: A public Relations Specialist job is to look out for the best interest of the company he or she is working for. They must seek out new ways to maintain the company image in a positive light within the media, targeted customer and the surrounding communities. They must be capable of communicating on the fly in a very professional manner while multitasking and staying chipper.
Salary Range: bls.gov reports an average range of $38,400 - $71,670
Potential growth: Bls.gov reports a growth of 24% from 2008-2018. Which means that it is growing at a very rapid rate, however competition is tough.
Required credentials: At least a B.A in public relations, journalism, marketing or communications.
Required Experience: The norm would be 5 years experience.

2. Author
Summary: Authors basically produce original written work. Either for entertainment or, information, as a part of a magazine, newspaper, novel, textbook, play writer and so on.
Salary Range: bls.gov reports the average salary range to be $38,150 - $75,060
Potential growth: bls.gov reports that this field may grow about 8%, which is average. However, competition is tough here as well because many are attracted to this field.
Required credentials: At least a B.A in communications, journalism, or English.
Required Experience: There really is no minimum requirement of experience needed. The writer needs to be able to express himself or herself clearly and coherently they should also display a broad knowledge, and creativity.

3. Technical Writer
Summary: “Technical writers, also called technical communicators, put technical information into easily understandable language.”(bls.gov) Technical writers create How-to manuals, instructions on how to put together a desk or how to utilize a coffee pot and so much more.
Salary Range: Bls.gov report an average salary range of $47,100 - $78,910
Potential growth: An expected 18% increase from 2008-2018
Required credentials: At least a B.A in communications, journalism or English. Knowing another language would be a plus. Experience with web design and computer graphics is helpful as well.
Required Experience: Must be detail oriented, and have a great ability to solve problems in addition to being self-motivated and communicate effectively.

4. Interpreters and Translators
Summary: Talk about intercultural communications! Interpreters and translators must know at least two languages, fluently, very fluently. Bls.gov reports that although they sound similar, Interpreters deal with spoken word and translators deal with the written word. Interpreters convert one language into another. Translating converts written material from one language to another.
Salary Range: bls.gov reports an average salary range of $28,940-$52,240
Potential growth: Growth is expected to increase at a much faster pace than normal. Increasing 22% from 2008-2018
Required credentials: At least two languages, usually. Possibly a B.A
Required Experience: At least 3-5 years experience in the field, a B.A or both.

5. Announcers
Summary: Radio and television announcer makes commercials, report the news and are on the radio or on air live all the time. They announce schedules, shows, public service announcements and so on. Sometimes they read from scripts sometimes they read from, a TV prompt, or possibly even que cards.
Salary Range: Average hourly rates are $9.05-$20.31
Potential growth: Whew, talk about competition! This job attracts many, however it seems that there is going to be a decline from 2008-2018 by 4%.
Required credentials: B.A. in communications, broadcasting or journalism, along with formal training in broadcasting from college or technical school.
Required Experience: loads of years in the field.

Out of all of these I must say the one that calls to me most is the Author. I love to be creative and love to write because I love to read! In addition, this class has helped me to realize that I have really enjoyed working on the blog and the idea of others reading and enjoying my writing. UH oh, watch out Stephanie Meyer here I come!!! HAHA!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amazon Sisters, Jane True, Anyan Can't Be Sinister And Of Course HOT Ryu!

Well, I had jury duty today and I was there for a while...then... I discovered the vending machine. Ahh what bliss a vending machine can cause! I got a Diet coke and package of Chex mix, pulled out my journal along with my trusty nook and went to town! I wrote so much I have a finger blister, I guess my delicate hands got used to typing. HAHAHA!! ;)

I'm very excited to say that I have two more days until I meet Nicole Peeler Author of the recent Jane True series. Of course I follow her on Twitter and tweeted a few messages to her... Well, she tweeted back to me!!! FOUR times!!! A few days ago I informed my sister of my excitement and of course she pulverized my glee like SASQUATCH!!! You know what she tells me??!! "oh, duh! She responded because its her job, you are like her business of course she responded or at least her assistant did" This is how she slowly murders my buzz... Whatever you bubble buster!!!

I KNOW it was Nicole Peeler creator of JANE TRUE and not her assistant, she doesn't even seem like the type of person who would have an assistant first of all. And, sure, maybe I am kinda like her business the way your putting it, but that's not the point. The point is that she read what I wrote and acknowledged me and responded, FOUR TIMES! Done deal, hands down, she is awesome! :D

She maybe just an author to you but to me she is someone important and really cool with her creative geniusness. Not to mention she is living proof that dreams can come true! So, lovely yet sometimes scary amazon sister of mine, I see and understand that you are not privy to today's amazing technological world of blogs & twitter which enable wonderful superstar, PhD holding authors like Nicole Peeler to keep in touch with her amazingly lunatic #1 fans like me. But keep the faith sister perhaps one day you will gain access. Until then, LOVE YOU BIG SIS!

Oh, and FYI. This weekend, Saturday 11/6/2010 while attending Nicole Peelers book reading and signing at Boarders located at 940 Plaza Blvd; Lancaster, PA 17601 from 2pm-4pm you better not ruin my day, burst any bubbles and no Sasquatch steps! Just let me be in an extraordinary good mood and leave me in my "OH-MY-GOD-I-am-actually-meeting-an-awesome-author-I-think-I-am-star- struck..." state of mind. Just this once.

Now Moving right along to my thoughts on the first two installments of The Jane True Series!

First came "Tempest Rising", then came "Tracking the Tempest" and now I can't begin to tell you how anxious I am for the arrival of # 3 "Tempest's Legacy" coming soon in January 2011. I, like thousands of others, have absolutely fallen in love with Jane True! I love her quirkiness and am floored by how Nicole is able to develop the characters along with the progression of the story. She is able to bring depth to the characters of this fast past page turner and really brings them to life enabling you to feel an attachment to the characters at the same time that you are wishing this world was real! I love that it's not your typical "Oh my daddy left when I was little, I don't fit in and I have not found true love. Oh wait! Scratch that- my true love has arrived and now this is the part of the story where we fight for love and come out on top!"

Jane True has a REAL story, a history which proves she is not perfect, in fact she may just be a lil off. We later find out that she is no saint and she is not afraid to get nasty and raunchy. She starts out shy and quirky. Then along the way she looses the shy, keeps her quirky and gains a bucketload of sassy with a side order of extra special friends.

Speaking of friends and other characters. What is a good book with out a love triangle? I LoVe, LOve, LOVE RYU & Anya. Even if I am still a bit miffed with both of them at the end of book #2. I adore that they have a mysterious history , which I am just dying to find out! And, the fact that they are complete opposites gives the reader the best of both worlds! AWESOME!

Ryu and his metro sexual vampire pimp swagger will entice you. While Anyan's big fluffy, sexy, sweet yet secretive demeanor will make you swoon. Did I mention he is an artist and has a motorcycle that helps him maintain his rebel double 07 type image that just comes naturally to him? DOUBLE SWOON!!! Not to mention, I am smitten by the affection and caring he displays for Jane from the moment he is introduced.

Hopefully I am not giving away to much but am providing enough that will convince you that this is a must read! And now I am going to stop my rambling and on with my closing statement.

Nicole Peeler doesn't waist words, pages or time with irrelevant details yet provides all you need in order to paint the picture. Even the smaller characters she created are awesome in their own way while providing value to the progression of the story. While book one lays out the base of the world she has created, book 2 builds on the base layer reeling you in deeper as you gasp for MORE! More Jane, more Ryu, more Anyan, hey what the heck even more of Iris and her sultry succubus self!
For those who love the non-normal, paranormal, this is one you have got to get!!!!

Come back soon!
Until next time!
Happy reading everyone!!!
<3 Mickey

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Did They Really Just Ask Me Why I Blog About Books?

When I was young, I was never an avid reader. I thought it was okay but never did I feel the way I feel about books now. It all started with a high school audition...

I was about 14yrs old and was auditioning for high schools. Yes, the high schools I applied to, you had to audition for in order to be accepted. I know, I know...NY and their weird school system. Any who, it was in the beginning of my 8th grade year and my sister was taking me to my auditions since she knew how to get around Manhattan and no one else who could take me knew the city very well. Well, when she took me to my audition at Washington Irving High she was reading Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. Before I continue, some back story for you. Washington Irving High is a 100+ year old building that was once an all girls school and the now cafeterias where actually dorm rooms. That being said the build of the school is beautiful, especially when you first enter the main entrance. You walk into a grand lobby framed by large marble stair cases that center a non-working but still very much there fire place with sculptured mantle. The auditorium has a mezzanine and the stage reminds me of the Apollo theatre. Well, my sister swore up and down that the school could be a part of the world of wizards "It would fit the environment so well!" She squealed. To make a long and sad story short, less then 10 months later my sister was in a fatal car accident and I found myself accepted to the school after being on their waiting list for what felt like forever.

That year was a very defining moment for me, although it was a year it felt like seconds it went by so quickly.

I decided to attend Washington Irving High making my morning commute from Queens to Down Town Manhattan and hour and a half long. I think subconsciously that is what made me pick up a book. A scary huge school, a long lonely commute and the need to keep my mind occupied at all times forced me to begin exploring the city. After my first month of school I found out that there was a huge three story Barnes & Noble two blocks away from school, it quickly became my favorite place to be. Somewhere where I could hide or escape reality and engulf myself in the world of knowledge not to mention oddly enough it made me feel peaceful. I still wasn't an avid reader, however I just loved looking at books and skimming through them. I remember walking into the children's section one day and seeing a Harry Potter display and remembering my sisters words... I grabbed a book and began to skim it. Then I remembered that I had inherited my sisters HP books; they were sitting in the untouchable section in my room because I just didn't want to go there. I went home that night and fell in love with the world of fiction. And the rest is, as they say, history! At this point I am sure I haven't touch half of what others have tallied, but I do have to say I have read a whole bucket load of books. Reading has become a part of what I do, and who I am, even as I still till this day am figuring that out, it is something that I enjoy oh so much. The excitement I get from finally landing a a book that I know will be a good one is great! So, you ask me why? Why blog about books? Are you kidding me! WHY NOT!?!?!?! They are great fun, IQ boosters and mind relaxers. They really are awesome, not to mention the increase in your vocabulary and they make you look intellectual!!! HAHA Just Kidding!!
So now, all that being said, my question to you is "Why not blog about books and reading?"

Oh and By the way, those are pics of the actual Barnes & Noble where it all began, where I used to hang out at on 17th street in Union Square two blocks away from my school. In all it's brick and window glory.

Until next time readers, Keep turning those pages!
Oh and all you nook and Kindle users - Keep hitting those arrow buttons!
Happy Reading All!!!
<3 Mickey

Delivering Bad News... The Proper Way? :(

Delivering bad news is never easy, especially when it has to be done face to face. What makes it difficult is the people’s reactions and knowing that you have caused the reaction. Although, nine times out of ten one shouldn’t take bad news personally one usually does. Bad news is very tricky to deliver because of its usually sensitive nature; one must be empathetic however must remain professional as well. Deborah Britt Roebuck’s text “Improving Business Communication Skills” provides an entire very helpful chapter on delivering bad news.

Although, Roebuck’s text discusses delivering bad news in writing some of these guidelines can be utilized when dealing with situations in person. However, before going into the guidelines that I find most useful from Roebuck’s text I must state what I would do in addition. As a manager I would ensure that there is a witness to the conversation being held.

I would also make sure that there is some form of documentation that all parties present will provide a signature for enabling proof of the event that occurred and the conversation that took place. It would not be a sort of disciplinary action or counseling, considering that this is the first time the employee is being spoken to about his/her performance and behavior; it would be a simple note to his/her file. Something that may simply state:
“ On this day, a conversation took place in Micaella’s office with John Smith, with Micaella Acevedo, and Jodi Lee present. The conversations was regarding Jodi Lee’s recent performance issues in addition to creating a possible hostile work environment. Jodi has been informed that improvement must become apparent immediately or further infractions may lead up to further disciplinary action possibly leading to further disciplinary action including but not limited to Termination.”

Once the conversation is over and all parties have come to a conclusion all must provide a signatures for the document that will be going into the records for future reference. In addition, to this if the teammate would like to submit their own statements then they are more than welcome to do so. Because the employee has become irate and confrontational I would approach the conversation with great caution and being as neutral, yet understanding as possible. Also, I would use some of Robuck’s guidelines provided such as starting the neutral statement. Another tip is ending on a positive note, because no matter how big the event, or how negative, or how upset the receiver may be at the end of the conversation a positive note always softens ones response and provides reinforcement, motivation and a "On a positive note".

(Robuck,Ch.4, p. 85-90).

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gadgets, Toys and Media Technologies!

Ah media technology, one of the greatest ever-changing topics. It is like a chameleon changing with the times.I swear every time I say the words "Media technology" there is a new technology out; ipad, 4G, video conference on dell phones, map apps (all kinds of apps),e-book readers, netbooks, now Mac has unveiled thinner laptops and the list goes on. However, there are some forms of media technology that are solidly ground and evolve only to accentuate the technologies greatness.

Let us start with:

At one point in time those who had e-mail addresses where scarce, because they were more commonly used in business’. However, now people have two three, sometimes five or more. An e-mail address is needed for everything now, anything from applying for a job to online shopping. Which is why it’s audience is so vast, for goodness sake; my 7-year-old godson has an e-mail address. E-mail allows you to send quick messages to others accompanied by documents, voice recordings, pictures and more. The fact that as long as it is saved it is recorded and can be referenced to at a later date, paired with the fact: that you can send a message to more then one person at the same time anround round the globe and back with in 20 seconds (Lannon, 2008, ps. 318-322) just adds to it’s attractiveness. I have heard many say that e-mail is the reason that the US postal service is loosing business and it is why they are considering a shorter workweek. It saddens me a little to say this, but I haven’t check my snail mail box in weeks and when I did check it today there was nothing, just junk because all of my important documents come to me via e-mail. Although, it is also sad because have taken for granted the beauty of the written word, written letters, even the beauty in penmanship. I remember in second grade I had to practice my penmanship in order to write legibly. Now-a-days this isn't even included in the curriculum! Technology has become so predominant that everything is expected to be typed, it would be ludicrous to hand write something.

Cell Phones/ Smart Phones-
Cell phones sure have evolved as time has gone by. I remember when my first cell phone was the size of a VCR! The smaller they got the more you could do with them. Another media tool whose audience is so vast it is like there are no boundaries. It went from just having phone call capabilities to being able to send, create and edit documents, e-mail, instant message, video conference (iphone), read books (iphone), and scan coupons (iphone) and the list goes on. Cell phone allow contact with any one at any time in any form. Which is helping to blur the lines between work and play, unfortunately, “An employer may think, ‘I pay for cell phones for my staff so I expect to be able to reach them all immediately. ... Wireless phones are among the most important tools we have, as their portability enables us to work from anywhere.” (Roebuck, 2006, p. 2-3)

Video Conferencing-
Is a more business orientated media technology as many large corporations utilize this form to set up meetings with colleagues around the world when necessary. Why not just a phone conference, well because, “Face-to-face meetings allow communication on all levels: verbal, vocal, and visual. This “human moment” is the best way to build trust and consensus...”(Roebuck, 2006, p.11) therefore “Videoconferencing simulates live, face-to-face interaction, although people attending the “meeting” may be thousands of miles apart.” (Roebuck, 2006, p. 11). Although, now the new iphone has opened the doors to video conference to a whole new audience, so far I have witnessed many fall in love with it; it must be the face-to-face simulation.

Social Networks-
Lastly social networks have exploded! Facebook’s rise to fame has been a long one and although it is the most recognizable at this time, especially thanks to the recent film “The Social Network”, it is not the only one out there. There is Twitter, myspace, xanga, linked in and so many more. This media technology also has a more defined audience then e-mails & cell phones. The gen Y ers are obsessed with technology and their social networks to keep up with and entertained by the friends and family members from their past, present and future. It comes equipped with instant chat, messages, searching for friends and even playing games with friends. The members keep it to keep in touch even from a distance and to always see what is new. Now many companies have recognized the social network craze, popularity along with the positive benefits and have decided to join the party by joining the sites and promoting their companies, products and/or services.

Two media technologies that are very important and related to my blog are as follows:

My Blog-
It serves as a form of communicating my messages to my readers. In turn allowing my readers to communicate right back to me, in a way it is a kind of slow instant messenger.

It not only serves me with my subject material. It also provides me with Internet access and communicates to me BN's daily specials and contents. It allows me to get connected with other nook owners so that we can "Lend" each other books. I am able to download all kinds of books, magazines, newspapers, and text books enabling me to carry essentially my entire library with me, at all times! In addition, I am able to keep mp3 files on it, I can listen to classical music while reading the New York Times or checking my e-mail from my trusty web feature. I am also able to barrow e-books and reference documents from my library when I am connected to the library network. Many think owning an e-book reader is pointless, however I feel it's genius. To the true book lover it's like having an ipod for your books with a side of Internet and media. Where as many would go to the gym with their ipod I go with my ipod for soothing sounds that block out the world while I read from my nook and my dreaded exercise session goes that much faster, ahh enjoyable exercise. There are times that I don't want to get off the elliptical because I don't want to stop reading. How's that for media technology.

I <3 you nook!


Lannon, J.M. (2008). Technical Communication.

New York: Pearson.

Roebuck, D.B. (2006). Improving Business Communication Skills.

Upper Saddle River: Pearson.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grand Announcement!

As some of you may have noticed, I have recently had a hard time making decisions about my blog. I have made some design changes but have not touched the posts. It's because I had no clue what to base a professional blog on... Especially because I wanted to blog about something that I enjoy in order to enjoy blogging.

After much contemplation and changing my mind about a gazillion times I've decided to blog about... que drum roll ..3.. 2.. 1... trumpets please... I've decided to blog about books!

Books that I have read and/or am currently reading, have attempted to read or that I am interested in reading, my nook and basically anything having to do with reading and books. In addition to communications for our class.

I know... I know.. The climax to the announcement of the subject is way more exciting than the subject itself. Although, this is something that I spend much of my time doing and is something that I really enjoy. So books it is, who knows maybe beyond our lil class I will continue talking and reviewing books on my blog and become some well known book critique, so famous and world known that authors everywhere will break a sweat when they think about what I will say when I review their books! :D LOL!! HAHA! Just kidding, Hopefully they will look forward to my review. HAHA!

Well, hopefully for those book lovers out there I will be of some assistance once you have finished your current read and are looking for a new ones.

Until next time Happy Reading everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

PRESENTING... MICAELLA... No, no it's Meekaelaa.. Oh just call me Mickey

My name is Micaella
For two years I've been married to a really nice fella

I am attending Ashford University and in about one years time I will be done with my B. A
Where is Ashford you say?
It is in Clinton, Iowa. I swear I will visit some day.

Right now I am in my last major class
and I really hope I pass.
After that on to my minor where
I will do nothing but watch the timer

I love Hello Kitty, finding a great bargain and going to the market.
Where I could read and eat chocolate.

This blogs first post is only a tester.
I wanted to make sure I could work it.
I wonder and really hope I will be able to erase it?
But until then I hope you enjoyed it.