Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dear Future English 304 Students:

In just one fast semester I have learned many things in Business Writing that will carry over for a very long time. In the beginning of the semester when you have a different chapter (or sometimes a few) to read before your next class, tough it out because the reading doesn't last long and the rest of the semester is spent doing the client-based project which is really enjoyable. I would definitely recommend reading the chapters because there may be a pop quiz the following lecture on the reading. But regardless of the pop quiz, the book is very informative and gives plenty of examples for when it comes time do to the resume, memo, follow-up, and other writing, as well as preparation for interviews, or how to write a proposal. As far as the writing goes, I would recommend doing it well. Not only will you get a good grade, but this is your opportunity to write a resume and have it looked over by a professor that is more than willing to help you make it look as good as possible!

On to the more interesting aspect of the class, the client project. This is where you get to put all of the reading to use (so yes, the reading is there for a purpose). Choose your group wisely, it will make the world of a difference, especially because of the amount of time you work with your group throughout the semester in order to complete the project. Also, make sure to document all that is done, whether individually or as a whole because you never know if/when you may need to refer back to it. Stay on top of things: if you complete assignments according to the schedule that has already been planned in the syllabus, everything should run really smoothly.

Just like in any class, keep your work and try to keep it organized as best as possible. Several times throughout the semester you will need to refer back to notes or completed assignments as you work on the project or create one of your three portfolios. Take advantage of the blogging and the portfolios, as well, because they are good things to keep in mind when creating your e-portfolio for graduating!

Good luck and have a great semester!

Meredith Razzolini

Monday, November 10, 2008

Client Project

The progression of the client project has been running smoothly within my group and we have been doing well with what we've been given. There have been the halts/delays in certain aspects at different times, but it was usually because of things out of the group members' control. For the most part I have no complaints about the group. The members who are always present have done a great job at dividing up the work evenly, doing their part, and even helping out others.

Our biggest challenge is having to wait for responses from the members of the team before moving forward with different ideas for the project. So in between a lot of busy work, there is a little bit of down time where nothing can really happen until we hear back from them.

The key to these sorts of projects is to make sure to stay on top of things. Plan everything out ahead of time. Give each person a job. While doing so, record all that is being done to avoid any later discrepancies. There is always one member of the group that you can't rely on, so be prepared for that when dealing with assignments and with things that may need to be turned in or looked over. It is important to go into group projects with an open mind, patience, and being prepared to work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dual Coding and Advertisements

Upon looking at the advertisement, I first noticed the statement, "WE BELIEVE." From there, I looked up and read "PRACTICE LIKE CHAMPIONS." The reason it occurred in this order was because I first looked at the center of the picture. Then, while reading the "WE BELIEVE," I noticed the red font above it, which is why I read "PRACTICE LIKE CHAMPIONS" second. After reading, I was looking at the picture and trying to figure out what it was.

In my opinion, this message primarily processes language. The short phrases in all caps really attracted my attention. Despite the strong messages the two phrases get across, the visual displays are also beneficial to the add. The flaw is that it takes a minute to figure out what the picture is. After determining the doorway with the "PRACTICE LIKE CHAMPIONS" above it and then the separate wall outside of the door with the "WE BELIEVE," it is a very cool advertisement because it makes me think of a team that uses an old locker room and goes out on the field and is successful. The players may not have the best facility or equipment, or whatever, but they have passion and desire to win and it is shown on the walls of the locker room.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Part of my job as a coxswain is to be very good at communication. I have to be able to communicate with my rowers so that each individual knows and understands what is needed to be done and when. It's also important to have effective communication to allow them to be motivated by what I am saying. No matter how hard you practice or how much experience you have, there will always be times when your communication skills are ineffective or confusing. While the four other coxswains and I are continually practicing our communication, our coach is a different story. Although he thinks he is being clear. A lot of times, we would have to be in his head to understand what it is he actually wants.

One example occurred recently. Each coxswain was in a four and we were doing what's called seat racing. This is when the boats race each other for a specific distance to see which boat is the fastest. Often times when seat racing occurs, coxswains are only allowed to steer and not talk to create the fairest racing possible. Prior to racing the coxswains asked our coach if we were able to talk. He responded with he didn't care, so long as we were all doing the same thing and that we didn't call moves. So therefore, the coxswains came together and decided that we would say the stroke rating the girls were at and the distance they had completed in the race. Then we told the rowers that it was up to them to take moves at certain times, since we couldn't call them. After seat racing was over, Coach was mad at all of the coxswains because we allowed the boats to take moves during the seat race, causing it to be unfair and therefore not allowing him to make any decisions on who won.

The aftermath of this problem was that we had to do another day's worth of seat racing, in which nothing at all was said by a coxswain or a rower. This is an example that occurs quite frequently between Coach and coxswains in which he thinks he is being clear, but instead is being vague. It is partially due to miscommunication, but it could potentially also qualify as misinterpreted as well, which stems from poor communication.

The miscommunication could have been prevented by further inquiring about the rules of racing. The coxswains knew what we were and weren't supposed to do/say, but we didn't know what the rowers were supposed to do/say.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mock Interview Reflection

My interview was originally scheduled for Monday morning, so over the weekend I looked over my resume and typed up a cover letter to go along with my resume. I also looked over the daily grade assignment we did in class that were common questions asked during interviews. Therefore, I felt pretty prepared for my interview.

I wasn't too nervous. More than anything, I just don't like the feeling of being unprepared. But for an interview, there really is only so much you can prepare for, since you don't know what to expect during the interview. The fact that I had prepared to the best of my ability beforehand helped to calm my nerves, as well as knowing it was just for practice and to get experience.

The question that threw me the most during the interview was when I was asked if I had any questions. I wasn't sure if it was good to ask questions or not, and if so, what were the right types of questions to ask. Therefore, I responded by saying I didn't have any at the moment, but that I was looking forward to see what all I could learn from the "internship" I was interviewing for.

If I could do the interview again, I would bring my resume, cover letter, and some questions in a folder to look more professional. The questions would help me in case I found myself in a similar situation, so that I could ask intelligent questions about the job opportunity, etc.

I learned to remain calm and act confident because that goes a long way and even if you are nervous, often times the interviewer won't catch it. Overall I think it was a very good experience and a good thing to practice. The more times you practice, the more comfortable you will be doing it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


This week during class, everyone gave a presentation on a topic of their choice. There were a lot of interesting topics done, but the three I really enjoyed were the Gatorade presentation, the preparing for a speech presentation, and the wild horse racing presentation.

The Gatorade presentation was interesting because it is such an everyday product that has a lot meaning behind it. It was interesting to find out about the history of Gatorade, such as when, how, and why it was made, as well as learning about all of the things that go on behind the scenes of the actual drink, such as the GSSI.

The presentation on preparing for a speech presentation was one I would have never thought of doing, yet it is a great speech idea, especially if used for a class, such as comm. It gave a good outline on things to remember to do and it was broken down for each part of the speech. I actually realized I didn't have a closing for my speech when I was listening to this one. The information was really well presented.

The wild horse racing and the dairy cow speeches were both very interesting to me in the sense that neither of these two breed the animals for showing. Instead the animals are taken from the wild and are used. The wild horse racing stood out a little more than the cow one because the horses are literally taken from being wild and put into a ring without there seeming to be any sort of transition phase. Although I do feel bad for the horses, probably scared out of their minds, I think it would be very entertaining to watch and the rodeo itself seems to be a lot of fun.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Canada, Eh.

As I sit down at the computer for the first time since Thursday, which is a long time for me, I realize that our blog is a free topic, which is somewhat nice seeing as I'm on my last hour before the blog is due. The assignment said to write about any current event that we choose, but I don't really know what to write about. I have been in Canada since Thursday morning for a rowing regatta (a race/competition, if you will) and have hardly had any time to turn on a tv, let alone get on the computer. Therefore, I am currently a little behind on what's going on in the world. I have heard a few things here and there about topics such as the debate on Friday , trying economic times, and the plane crash involving DJ A.M. and Travis Barker... but that's about the extent to which I know what is going on.

Therefore, my current event will instead be about the reason I don't know what's currently going on. As mentioned, Thursday morning 10 rowers and 2 coaches from my team left Clemson for Canada. We drove to Atlanta, flew to Buffalo, NY, and then drove to Welland, Canada for a Rowing Regatta. Welland isn't exactly the most beautiful or affluent of places, but the canal that we rowed on was beautiful and the people there are as nice as can be. We had a warm welcome from local teams and the venue we rowed at was great. Thursday and Friday were spent practicing and preparing for our races on Saturday. On Saturday we raced two fours against a few other colleges and Clemson came in both first and second. (My boat was the first place boat). Then, later in the afternoon, the two fours merged into one eight and raced again, resulting in another gold. It was our first race of the season and a great way to start it off. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are all proud of where we are for now and we have an idea of how hard we need to work before our next big race, which is in the end of October in Boston.

After a long day of racing on Saturday, Sunday was our day for a little fun before traveling home. After a delicious breakfast at a local restaurant, we turned into huge tourists and visited Niagara Falls, which was fun to do. I have family from Buffalo, so I've been to the falls a few times before, but it was still fun to go with the team and check it out.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Unfortunately, it's back to reality and there is a long week of work ahead of me.