Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coffey time

This past Friday, one of my best friends in the business stopped by to talk to my first and second period classes. Tim Coffey is a longtime videographer for WKYC channel 3 in Cleveland. I worked with Tim at the old WAKC TV 23 on Copley Road in Akron. I first met Tim when I interned at 23 and then I got to work with him again when I was hired at 23 to be a sports/news producer. Tim and I covered many stories and shared many good times.

Tim told the kids that it's unrealistic to go after a single job. People coming up in the field need to be diversified because the field is constantly changing. Tim is a rare bird in that he has been a videographer for about three decades. He has seen it all.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

How important is writing?

This is also from the USA TODAY...same edition.

The controversial new writing portion of the SAT is actually a better predictor of grades for freshmen college students than the older, more-established, critical reading and mathematics portions, according to preliminary results of two new studies.
The College Board, which administers the SAT, studied test scores from 150,000 freshmen entering 110 colleges in 2006 and then looked at their GPAs at the end of their freshmen year, says Wayne Camara, vice president of research.
"Our study suggests that the writing test is the best single predictor" of freshman grades, he says. The study won't be finalized until summer, he says.

For more information, please see the entire article at:

Teenagers' writing style

From the USA TODAY. Proof positive that the art of good writing is getting lost on this generation.

NEW YORK (AP) — It's nothing to LOL about: Despite best efforts to keep school writing assignments formal, two-thirds of teens admit in a survey that emoticons and other informal styles have crept in.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a study released Thursday, also found that teens who keep blogs or use social-networking sites like Facebook or News Corp.'s MySpace have a greater tendency to slip non-standard elements into assignments.

The results may give parents, teachers and others a big :( — a frown to the rest of us — though the study's authors see hope.

"It's a teachable moment," said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist at Pew. "If you find that in a child's or student's writing, that's an opportunity to address the differences between formal and informal writing. They learn to make the distinction ... just as they learn not to use slang terms in formal writing."

For the entire article, please go to

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Student rant.

This is from Biana from Mayfield High School.

So, this week it’s finally my turn to rant on something media related. It was so difficult for me to choose something specific, because there were so many things to choose from and almost everyone who knows me knows that I rant about something almost every day. Well, with all the choices to choose from, I decided to rant about how pointless Reality TV shows are, especially the ones where someone is looking for love. The one thing I will admit about Reality shows is that they are good entertainment, but nowadays, that’s all that they’re good for. I have noticed how every reality show has to have the same content in order for it to be interesting, like, girls getting into catfights, some one being racist, someone accusing someone else of BEING a racist, someone afraid to come out, and just drama, drama, and more drama.

At one point these shows were actually interesting to watch. You could actually learn something from them. For example, you had “Survivor”. I personally haven’t ever seen an episode at all, but from what I’ve heard from others, that show could actually teach you something. Shows like “Tila Tequila’s Shot at Love”, “Brett Michael’s Rock of Love”, and “That’s Amore” have gotten the highest ratings and the most viewers but are so pointless and are just there to earn their network some more money. The most annoying show of all time has to be “Flavor of Love”. (No offense to anyone who actually likes it) Oh my gosh, does anyone know what season it’s on? I hope Flav doesn’t come back with another season because I lost count of how many seasons that show has gone on till.

With so many celebrities having their own reality shows, I’m beginning to just think that many people are just bored with their lives. I don’t think anyone should really care about who this one movie star is sleeping with or just about their life in general. I know that almost all the celebrities who do these reality shows just want more popularity, which leads to more money, which leads to more stupid stuff they can do. There’s all these stupid Reality Shows on t.v. like, “Make Me a Supermodel”, “America’s Most Smartest Model”, “I Know my Kid’s a Star”, and “Celebrity Fit Club”. “America’s Next Top Model” is one of my favorite shows, even though it is getting a little annoying as to how many seasons there have been. Has anyone noticed how there are like a million seasons of every single reality show?

People get bored of the same thing over again, like “American Idol”, I stopped watching “American Idol” after the second season. I don’t know if “The Bachelor” is still on, but that had a million different seasons too. Did you know “Tila Tequila” is coming back? Isn’t it so sad that some people actually enjoyed watching that the first time it came out? What is America coming to? Yeah, it definitely crossed some borderlines of reality TV show guidelines. No other show has had both sexes competing for the attention and love of one woman. But that show didn’t cross the line all the way, because if Tila had chosen Dani, can you imagine what would have happened? I know that nobody really cares, but there is always someone out there who will make a big deal out of everything that happens in life.

I believe “The Real World” dominates over all the other reality shows with being controversial and having a million seasons. That show has been on since before I was born. What I’m trying to say is that American television has changed so much over the years. I know people like watching other kinds of shows and not just only reality shows, but the majority of America is watching pointless reality shows where people make fools of themselves. It’s really sad how America finds this entertaining, but apparently stupid stuff sells. People should do something better with their time.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Something to ponder

I am taking a Doctorate class called Seminar in Persuasion and last week, the following question brought about a lot of discussion. The question: Is it possible to be absolutely neutral and not have feeling toward an object or a thing? If so, how? And what is the object or thing?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Student rant

This is from Jayme from Mayfield.

This week it's my turn to do the rant. I could choose from thousands of topics to discuss but then we'd be here all day wasting time idly talking about matters that most likely won't change. However, I think I might have thought of one issue that I'd like to get off of my chest. I've decided to refer to my faith as inspiration for my rant. This week's topic? Exaggerated stereotypes, particularly Christians in the media. Sure, we all love to crack a joke here and there about stereotypes. The blonde makes a mistake in math class and she's instantly another "dumb blonde." A particular Republican supports the war, then suddenly all others are deemed "war mongering." You have those claiming to be "religious" and then use their faith to defend their wrongdoings. (Fred Phelps ring a bell, anyone?)

And who's to say we are so wrong for just assuming that the majority is like the examples that make the news? As a Christian, it not only saddens me to see people claiming their faith in sucha a hypocritical way, but it makes me sick as well. But of course, those who actually follow through with their beliefs aren't "interesting" enough to news. No, you need the scandals about the priests coming out of the closet, or money being stolen from a church's account for it to be considered exciting.

Today, news thrives on cynicism and negativity. Our whole country is about to rip apart based on political ideals and our constant need to be right. This is why when someone witnesses and injustice, like one of my previous examples, they feel compelled to publish it and cause even more controversy. I cannot tell you how many people have given me a hard time for what I believe in. But America's view of Christianity has been so twisted by the media. Here's a faith that preaches love, not hate. Yet all you see and hear about is the hate.

And I'm not saying everyone has to believe the same thing. To each his own. But we need to start standing up and say enough is enough. People need to think for themselves, instead of what the media says is true of things. I know people are smarter than that. Sadly, we've become afraid to use our voices for what's positive, and more importantly, what's really true. Even outside of topics such as religion, this injustice happens. Politically, I consider myself to be a Libertarian. And yes, sometimes I get sickened by the extremes on both the left and the right. Does this mean I assume everyone under those political affiliations is like that? No! And if I notice someone wrongly accusing another of falling under that minority, I say something about it!

The media needs a make-over and pronto. Regardless of the topic, stereotypes are not helping our society. All they do is push us farther and farther apart. And is that what we really want? I sure don't.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Job interview lessons

I recently got done with a mock job interview lesson with my kids. I go over how to write cover letters, resumes, and the actual interview. A big part of the interview process is non-verbal communication. You know, non-verbals are all of the things you say without vocally saying anything. The biggest mistake that kids make in this mock job interview assignment is not doing their homework. What I mean by that is that they don't do any research on the place they are applying to.

Readers of this blog: what are some lessons you have learned from job interviews?