Monday, December 3, 2007

"That Really Grinds My Gears!"

I was recently watching "Family Guy," and it was the episode where Peter becomes a news anchor in which he has a special every night "That Really Grinds My Gears!" In his special, he rants and raves about what is really bothering him, and his viewing audience, always ready to give the finger to their superiors and random annoyances, loves the special. That got me thinking about what really "grinds my gears." Right now, it is more than a random annoyance. It is something that no student should ever have to deal with when resulting from the plans of their superiors...DISORGANIZATION.

The architecture department, headed by our new fearless leader...our new chair (who sometimes makes me think he could not lead himself out of a paper bag)...has started a new series of critiques in which the entire school is doing their final reviews at the exact same time. The theory is that it will allow the entire school to collaborate with one another and really know what is going on. My problem is not with the theory. I think it could be very successful if executed well. However, that is not the case here.

The big problem is that the entire thing is incredibly disorganized. This resulted from the procrastination by the superiors to decide on the details and inform the students/professors, so that they knew what was going on. A final review deadline cannot be pushed up a week in the last two weeks of school. However, that is what has been done. Students have been bum rushing to the finish line and having to finish the race in half the time it would normally take. Can you imagine telling an Ethiopian the day he gets off the plane to run the Boston Marathon that he is going to have to run it twice as fast or else fail?! It would not be so bad if studio were not worth six hours of credit. This makes the difference between an A and a B and especially a C an incredible amount of weight!

Students have been put to the point where the pressure almost forces them to crack. You would not believe how many girls I have had to let cry on my shoulder this week because they cannot handle the stress. Guys have been throwing things and screaming at the top of their lungs out of frustration and rage at the whole ordeal. All I can say is that it is amazing what we students are forced to put up with in order to better make an attempt at approaching our career path. We are the ones paying for this, right?

Not only this, but I am forced to vent about this in my blog and not to someone who could do something about it because of my fear of the possible reprocussions. Whatever happened to safe outlets for discontent? All I know is THAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Interviews and dislikes

After reading the article I am actually jealous of the people who have been through interviews like that. I've always thought the traditional interview process was too rigid and formal. I've also always thought that I am successful in interviews because I can present myself well, rather than being successful because of my skills and abilities. So, a creative process such as the one about playground equipment makes sense. It takes a psychological perspective to interviewing in combination to the face to face perspective.

I, however, do not agree that in all jobs everyone should get along. In creative environments, I've found even in school, people tend to do better when they have someone to compete with. Most of the time a person is not threatened competitively by someone they like. Yes, liking some people is important, but it is human nature to dislike some people. In the situations where it really matters, the dislike is generated from an inner jealousy of their abilities over yours. Annoying people, I do not believe, are a great downfall in the professional world because everyone has had to deal with "that guy" that no one likes their entire lives. This can be overcome by ignoring the problem. Strong dislikes generate competition.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dual Coding Theory

When thinking about dual coding theory, the most prevalent examples I could come up with all included alcohol ads. One might think of Corona ads, where the beer is associated with the beach and therefore its refreshing taste. I've noticed that many organizations use sexual appeal to sell their product, whether it be targeted to men or women. Those generally targeted to men (Budweiser, Miller, Captain Morgan, etc.) tend to have a more illustrious look, while those to be marketed more toward women I feel have a more elegant look. The ad on the right is for Bailey's Irish Cream, and I think this is targeted to either sex but using the lust and attraction to associate the smooth elegance of the product. Using sex to sell is probably one of the most extreme ways to use dual coding theory, but seeing it that way makes it easier to understand the topic, I think.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


I have had a lot of experience with groupwork in my major, so I've learned a lot about how to work out problems. Miscommunications happen inevitably in every group. You just have to work around them and not be afraid to do a little extra to make up for others when they do the wrong thing. You also have to know it is not always their fault, and there was a miscommunication of ideas. The only way to prevent this is to have someone manage all work while it is being done. Unfortunately, in a college environment, schedules just do not line up in a way that everyone can work at the exact same time. So, some precautions for time can be made to make sure that, although miscommunications happen, they are able to be fixed.

My group is very good about being punctual with their work. It makes it easy to spot mistakes quickly, so that the individual that made them can fix them rather than the person who spots them. Plus, my group is good about not letting criticism about mistakes bother them. If that were a problem one person would end up having to do all of the work, and that just does not happen in our group.

Honestly, I am worried about Phase 2. I am skeptical about how this many people all working on the same project will work out. I am confident in my group's ability to try to get the work done. However, I am worried about their technical ability toward creating a Web site. I know I have some experience and can learn these type of things quickly, but I do not know how the others in the group will fair. I suppose we will see.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Interview Reflection

On Monday, I had my mock interview with Angie. I feel that personal interviews are one thing that I have always been good at, so I was confident going into the interview. I think that calmed my nerves and only allowed me to think better for better answers.

The interview went as normal as most job interviews I've had in the past went. I was pleased with the interview actually because it makes me more confident that I can do well in a real interview for my career in the future.

The biggest surprise of the interview was the depth of the questions asked by Angie. I have to say I was very impressed that she actually seemed to have done some research on the job. This was good because it made the mock interview more realistic and makes me feel even better about future real ones.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Last week I went to Chicago with architecture. It was kind of a combo trip in that it was half supposed to be for school and half supposed to be for fun.

It started off rocky, though, because they cancelled our flight that was supposed to take off at 7:30 AM. They didn't have any other flights to put us on until 2:30 PM. So, we were at the airport too many hours early and had no choice but to wait there all day. We convinced them to put us on standby on a 1:00 PM flight. Luckily, the last two seats on the plane were still available, so we got to leave a little early.

However, once we got there it was tons of fun. I ate LOTS of pizza. There was this one place that made pizza pot pie. It was one of the most delicious things I've ever had. Part of the trip was spent doing tours of the notable architecture around (Unity Temple, IIT, Frank Lloyd Wright's home/studio, etc.). The other part of the trip was like being a kid again. I went to Navy Pier and rode the ferris wheel, went to see Transformers in IMAX, and went to the zoo, the aquarium, and the natural history museum. One of the coolest things I did was get cocktails on the 96th floor of the John Hancock tower.

Overall, I had a great time. To be honest, though, I like New York a little better than Chicago. I didn't like that Chicago was such a cab city. Other than that though, it was awesome.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hip Hop

I wanted to write about Gerald's presentation on the development of hip-hop because it stuck in my mind a bit. I've always been interested in history of modern music styles including hip-hop, punk rock, grunge rock, and metal. His power-point was made well, and I liked looking at all of the images he put up to go with the information.

What I liked most about Gerald's presentation was the personal flavor he put on it. He gave us his opinion on the genre today and in the past. Also, letting us read his personal lyrics and hearing his own rhyme was real cool, especially since I know him to be a somewhat private person.