Flying isn’t as fun as it once was. It’s much safer, so I guess that fits into the ever-widening category of what we call “fun,” but flying now more like a stinky commuter train and less like a snazzy cruise ship. Everyone is pressed: Customers into the smallest areas, employees by stressful jobs and average pay, and supervisors under the pressure of keeping the system running on time and budget. Yet more people are flying than ever before, a number which will double in the next 20 years at the same time that customer satisfaction continues to decline. And you can see why as airports dehumanize the experience and when customer comfort experience isn’t a priority. read more…
Posts Tagged ‘Communication’
If you’re working in youth ministry in the year 2012, you’re probably trying to do whatever you can to get your message out to students and families. The Internet was supposed to make this easier, but it didn’t and right now your communication strategy probably looks like this:
In our digital age, does a “hard copy” note or card mean more or is it an inconvenience? Do you appreciate a handwritten note more or less (or about the same?) than a text, Email, or Facebook message? Do you have a friend who seems to know how to craft just the right note or card at the right time?
Kel and I were out shopping late one night and, as we drove past a Hallmark store, she commented about how difficult it must be for them to stay in business. You can get cards anywhere these days, and fewer people send cards it seems. (Or not. They’re still doing great business) But I wonder if written notes mean more in our digital age. Despite social media advocates’ push for faster and more convenient communication, I think we still long for the personal touch and I wonder if that personal touch becomes even more distinctive?
I am always on the lookout for books that can help improve my writing, and that might be helpful to my college students as well. I’m more comfortable upfront, speaking to groups. The writing process has been less natural and a struggle to develop in my early days. I remember when Dr. Shulze handed my college paper back to me with a “C-” on it and the hefty recommendation that I visit the university’s writing center. I think it said, “Your writing is no good.” I’m not sure why I was stunned by his words, the consequence of turning in a hastily-written first draft were lost on me. Didn’t he know how well I had written in high school?
One of my first papers in graduate school had these words from my professor, “This is NOT a philosophical paper. Poorly constructed argument. Please revise.” Grammatically error-free, the paper lacked in content. I couldn’t just do the assignment. I had to say something in my writing. The truth is that writing well IS difficult. For some, it’s a gift. For others, it’s a craft. For the rest of us, it’s like pottery. The first throw is a lump – and the weeks, months, and years of molding make it more useful. Yet, most of us write as part of our work. At the very least we communicate via writing. I knew people who circled the typographical and grammatical errors (average was about five) in the church bulletin and put it in the comment box after each Sunday’s service.
I’ve been looking through a variety of communication pieces and reminded of a post that I made in Sept. 2009. I think it’s appropriate to repost a modified version of it today, my first repost of the new blog/website.
In my job, I get to teach and speak, grade papers, review and write articles, work on a book here and there, and read a lot of blogs. I encounter many different styles and quite frequently run across a piece that lacks significance -even stuff I’ve written. When I read it and look beyond the description, humor, or even good research, I cannot figure out what it’s saying, let alone that it’s saying anything fresh or that challenges/changes me. I don’t know what the big idea is. And when I do, I often don’t know why it matters.
“Wow, that was awesome!”
For those of us who work with teens week in and week out, the word awesome is arguably the most widely used expression for almost everything good. Sure, people have substituted sick, chillin, ballin, wicked, or sweet. For those of us who grew up in the 70s, we might sneak a tough or stellar, but clearly avoid groovy or neat.
I have been a part of the academic academy for about 13 years now, writing and speaking on a variety of topics. I’ve learned that my prose uses the same words repeatedly. I remember sitting in a session when a good friend and an amazing writer used the word “nuanced” in her talk. It was the first time I had heard it used as a verb and the effect was, well, awesome!
I have been in full swing lately with a variety of teaching, writing, and speaking engagements. Add in the fact that I’m working on a book project due in November and it’s been a “fun” four weeks. But, I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything, even though this blog suffers at times.
In my job, I get to teach and speak, grade papers, review and write articles, work on a book here and there, and read a lot of blogs. I encounter many different styles and quite frequently run across a piece that lacks significance (often it’s something I’ve written). When I read it and look beyond the description, humor, or even good research, I cannot figure out what it’s saying, let alone saying anything that is new, fresh, or challenges/changes me. I don’t know what the big idea is. And if I do, I don’t know why it matters.