Farewell

August 20, 2008

Farewell

 

Honestly, I did not think I would be able to learn as much as I did about communications in an online class. At first I was somewhat critical about how this online environment would affect my communication attempts towards my classmates and professor, but it was actually the online environment that enabled my learning.  (Like I have mentioned one million times before!) I am originally not from the US, and so have experienced communication barriers when trying to express myself in classrooms. I tend to hesitate and really think if I want to make a comment in class (because of the fear of “sounding dumb” or just have a sense about the lack of interest showed by the students in the class and don’t want to “waste my time”). The “open” format in which the discussions were held in the class made it possible for me to express my ideas in my own way without having to worry what others think (since I don’t have to see anyone face to face). Like some of my classmates have mentioned, one of my favorite parts of the course was David Bohm’s article “On Communication”. It has stayed in my mind especially because of the separation in generations (causing students to feel overwhelmed) that Bohms mentions exists in classroom environments today,  “flood of information which they (students) suspect is irrelevant to actual life” (Bohm 47). I have seen this myself in all my classes, professors “flooding” students with information and bored students taking notes, not the way I imagined college to be. Thank god this class was different.

 

One of the other theories that I would have like to study is “Impression Management”.  It is very interesting to know how to control or somehow influence others so that they can see you in the way you want to be seen.  This can be beneficial when meeting new people, looking for a job, speaking with family and friends, or getting out of trouble with the cops! It sounds like something I would benefit form and it seems to be fun as well. This would have been useful in the online environment since we can “come across” as being one person when in reality we are different in person (face to face).

 

URL:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impression_management

All Coming Together

August 20, 2008

All Coming Together

 

How are the main four themes apparent in my critics?

I have “recognized walls” when I read blogs that at first do not make sense to me. These “walls” act like communication barriers. Sometimes the expressions used or the way the writer describes himself/herself is different to what I am used to.  This also has to do with a difference in languages (Spanish being my first) which brings another theme into effect (“Bridging cultural differences”).  Because I am originally from another culture, I see the differences in language and the way people express themselves.  I have learned not to let these “barriers” control my communication attempts, and so have learned to “Manage my conflicts”. If I do not understand one blog, I read it again, and if that doesn’t work, then I will read a URL that this writer used so that I can see where his/her ideas came from. I learned to never give up! (well most of the time J ) Another way to manage my conflicts (in communication and understanding) is to simply ask questions. It will not hurt to ask, especially in an online environment. Now as for “Promoting Dialogue” I don’t see it much in my critic.  My critics present a point of view that I have gathered from my classmates and my own thoughts, but I do not present much opportunity for a “dialogue”.

 

URL:

https://gym411.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/final-self-evalutaion/

https://gym411.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/self-critic/

Its a NEW Me

August 20, 2008

Self-Critic

 

From the two discussion threads on Postman’s The Communication Panacea and Thich Nhat Hanh’s Interbeing I can see how my writing has been influenced ever since I started this class. I will start by discussing “Interbeing”.  Swabbies mentioned in his blog that themain point was that everything around us is “inter-be” and everything has a direct effect on something else making it “inter-be” with other things and events in the world.” Jimmigarcia also mentioned something similar by directly quoting Hanh, “a piece of paper is an “inter-being” with he clouds that provide the rain that helps the trees grow to make he paper. Without the clouds the piece of paper would not be able to exist therefore making the two “inter-beings”.” How does this relate to my writing? Well, my responses to other classmates or my own work are no longer written solely with my point of view. Instead, I now try to “listen” as much as I can so that I can understand the authors (classmates or authors from the books) and try to “interweave” what I learned from them with my own ideas.  This will help me “next” in a successful way where I can create something new and not “push” my ideas upon people. An example of this is how I present my idea in my last blog post. I take other students responses that share the idea that I am trying to present and use it to enhance and take my idea in a “deeper” thought.  

 

 

Now lets move on to Postman’s The Communication Panacea. One of Postman’s main ideas (according to BridgeofIdeas) is that complete honesty is very difficult to achieve “…since our motives and feelings are never all that clear….most of us are dishonest.” (Postman). The lack of honesty can not be pointed out in my writing, but I can definitely agree that I am not as honest as I could be. In my blog I wrote about other students projects, and presented them as being very good ones. Well (they were good), but (honestly) I thought many were just throwing in information and quotes without having any “smooth” transitions.  Of course I didn’t say this in my response because (as ShinyGinger mentioned in her response) is a “way to both be respectful, and to protect ourselves.”

Final Self Evalutaion

August 19, 2008

Final Self Evaluation

 

The competing theory that best explains the interpersonal communication that I see in the comments to my presentation is “Relevance of Good Research”.  Stephanie’s lecture presents many ways in which students describe a “good research paper”. Students mentioned that a lot of research is needed in order to have a good paper, because it’s important “to know the facts”. The comments to my presentation used many examples from other classmates in order to support their main idea/argument.  For example, Spiceynoodlesoup used quotes in order to prove that being “open” would lead to effective “nexting”. Spiceynoodlesoup quoted a student saying that “While reading what she(Summer22) wrote I was seeing openness being used as a tool to express her own reflections” and “as a way to raise her IPC.” Then Spiceynoodlesoup when on to rephrase the quote but with his own words, “…(Summer22) interactions with other classmates illustrated how openness can encourage nexting.” This shows how good research can lead to selective quotes that will support the writer’s main idea/argument.

 

Another example comes from Saboy82’s blog response. In his response Saboy82 wrote about the common trait that some students share in this class (the trait of being multicultural).  He mentioned how Gym411 and Cake have experienced some of these cultural barriers that he has seen himself living in the US.  Saboy82 mentions how students can overcome these cultural differences by doing the following “To build a meaningful relationship you have to disclose yourself to the other person”. At the end of his response Saboy82 mentions the importance of being “open” and listening to others by quoting what another classmate said about the subject (Grant2u), that Grant2u “… was no longer the one with all the answers, but the one who had to listen, let go, and allow someone else to lead the way.” Again, we can see how both students used quotes and paraphrased other students in order to strengthen the level of their claim.

 

Hopefully we have learned how to do our research before we write our papers. I know I don’t want to get “…squashed like a bug and look like a fool” (Steph’s Lecture).

 

URL:

http://saboy82.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/presentation-follow-up-pt-2/

http://spiceynoodlesoup.wordpress.com/

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc26190.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct

 

 

 

 

Team Follow Up

August 19, 2008

Team Follow Up

The teams that were chosen for the first part of this assignment were teams #2 and #4.  Team #2 was chosen because it spoke about an important topic that without it none of the other communication topics could occur (in our opinion). Team #2 speaks about being “open to the openness of others”. Team #4 was chosen because it speaks about many of the topics discussed in class; it was a good project that “summarized” a large part of the course.

 

The theorist that was used for the assignment was Bohm. Bohm speaks about the “problems in communication” that arise from people not listening to each other and rather choosing to defend their own thoughts which can lead to more confusion and aggression. According to this theorist, creating something new together is the result of good communication, since both parties listen and consider the other person’s point of view. The key is not trying to influence each other, but to listen so that something new can be created. 

 

 

The four main theme/topics can be seen in many occasions in the students writing (maybe because we have been practicing them all this time!). Let’s start with “Recognizing Communication Walls”. One of the students, Cake, mentioned in her blog that she had language barriers that could affect her communications attempts with the class and other students. Cake decided to share this on her first class blog in order to “break” this wall and not let this be a communication barrier. Cake was following Johnson’s theory because in order “To build a meaningful relationship you have to disclose yourself to the other person and take the risk that the other person may reject rather than like you.”(p.232, 8th edition). She recognized the possible communication wall and instead made this part of her identity in order to build strong relationships with her classmates. Another topic is “Managing Conflict”. An example of this topic can be seen through the blogs of Grant2u. Grant2u expressed his interest in wanting to learn how to better communicate. He recognized that in the past he has “held on” to his identity and not given other points of view the consideration needed in order to successfully communicate.  Grant2u managed this conflict by recognizing that he “… was no longer the one with all the answers, but the one who had to listen, let go, and allow someone else to lead the way.”

 

 

The third topic “Bridging cultural differences” is presented in Saboy82’s blogs. In one of Saboy82’s early blogs he mentioned how the cultural differences between his “home country” South Africa and the United States had presented difficulties, “Everything was so different and big, the food, classrooms, and buildings all big and different. When I had my first day of school I had no idea that you had to dress and act certain way and be popular.”  Gym411 also shared some of these cultural differences/difficulties. Saboy82 and Gym411 learned that it was not ok to exclude themselves from the rest of the society because of these differences, and that the best way to overcome this barrier was to learn how to “be open” to those who have different cultures. By “opening up” they can learn from the other culture and let others learn about them.

 

 

The fourth topic “Promoting Dialogue” is also presented in different examples.  Summer22 expressed how she was a passionate person and enjoyed being the leader in a conversation, but in order to promote a dialogue she noticed that she needed “… to be cautious of not being too overpowering, my (Summer22) goal has always been to express my views but make sure that everyone else feels comfortable expressing their own views.”. By recognizing her tendency to be “overpowering”, Summer22 is able to promote a better dialogue with her future encounters. Another way to promote a dialogue is by having an open discussion as the one that took place in class with John Robinson. Students were able to give their point of view on the book “Look me in the Eye” and at the same time share their own communication difficulties they have encountered in the past (as John responded to the students).

 

 

 

 

 

Students URL Used:

http://grant2u.wordpress.com/  (Grant2u)

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc26190.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct (Cake)

http://jimigarcia27.wordpress.com/ (Jimigarcia27)

http://saboy82.wordpress.com/  (Saboy82)

 

Critic on 2 Projects:

https://gym411.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/presentation-follow-up/  (by Gym411)

http://saboy82.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/presentation-follow-up/  (by Saboy

2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Follow Up (NOT FINAL)

August 18, 2008

((This is not the Final Version))

 

The teams that were chosen for the first part of this assignment were teams #2 and #4.  Team #2 was chosen because it spoke about an important topic that without it none of the other communication topics could occur (in our opinion). Team #2 speaks about being “open to the openness of others”. Team #4 was chosen because it speaks about many of the topics discussed in class; it was a good project that “summarized” a large part of the course.

 

The theorist that was used for the assignment was Bohm. Bohm speaks about the “problems in communication” that arise from people not listening to each other and rather choosing to defend their own thoughts which can lead to more confusion and aggression. According to this theorist, creating something new together is the result of good communication, since both parties listen and consider the other person’s point of view. The key is not trying to influence each other, but to listen so that something new can be created. 

 

 

The four main theme/topics can be seen in many occasions in the students writing (maybe because we have been practicing them all this time!). Let’s start with “Recognizing Communication Walls”. One of the students, Cake, mentioned in her blog that she had language barriers that could affect her communications attempts with the class and other students. Cake decided to share this on her first class blog in order to “break” this wall and not let this be a communication barrier. Cake was following Johnson’s theory because in order “To build a meaningful relationship you have to disclose yourself to the other person and take the risk that the other person may reject rather than like you.”(p.232, 8th edition). She recognized the possible communication wall and instead made this part of her identity in order to build strong relationships with her classmates. Another topic is “Managing Conflict”. An example of this topic can be seen through the blogs of Grant2u. Grant2u expressed his interest in wanting to learn how to better communicate. He recognized that in the past he has “held on” to his identity and not given other points of view the consideration needed in order to successfully communicate.  Grant2u managed this conflict by recognizing that he “… was no longer the one with all the answers, but the one who had to listen, let go, and allow someone else to lead the way.”

 

 

The third topic “Bridging cultural differences” is presented in Saboy82’s blogs. In one of Saboy82’s early blogs he mentioned how the cultural differences between his “home country” South Africa and the United States had presented difficulties, “Everything was so different and big, the food, classrooms, and buildings all big and different. When I had my first day of school I had no idea that you had to dress and act certain way and be popular.”  Gym411 also shared some of these cultural differences/difficulties. Saboy82 and Gym411 learned that it was not ok to exclude themselves from the rest of the society because of these differences, and that the best way to overcome this barrier was to learn how to “be open” to those who have different cultures. By “opening up” they can learn from the other culture and let others learn about them.

 

 

The fourth topic “Promoting Dialogue” is also presented in different examples.  Summer22 expressed how she was a passionate person and enjoyed being the leader in a conversation, but in order to promote a dialogue she noticed that she needed “… to be cautious of not being too overpowering, my (Summer22) goal has always been to express my views but make sure that everyone else feels comfortable expressing their own views.”. By recognizing her tendency to be “overpowering”, Summer22 is able to promote a better dialogue with her future encounters. Another way to promote a dialogue is by having an open discussion as the one that took place in class with John Robinson. Students were able to give their point of view on the book “Look me in the Eye” and at the same time share their own communication difficulties they have encountered in the past (as John responded to the students).

 

 

 

 

 

Students URL Used:

http://grant2u.wordpress.com/  (Grant2u)

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc26190.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct (Cake)

http://jimigarcia27.wordpress.com/ (Jimigarcia27)

http://saboy82.wordpress.com/  (Saboy82)

 

Critic on 2 Projects:

https://gym411.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/presentation-follow-up/  (by Gym411)

http://saboy82.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/presentation-follow-up/  (by Saboy

2)

 

 

 

Presentation Follow-up

August 17, 2008

It is interesting to see that all the different features of communication that we have studied in class relate to each other in one way or another. Being open to the openness of others deals with a person’s ability to “open up” themselves as well as being able to being open to opposing ways of thinking. For example, Jimmigarcia presents instances where Summer22 has shown a good level of openness with the class.  Summer22 was open about her “feelings” of being a leader. She expressed that her culture strives her to be a good leader and this is why she has strong feelings towards the subject. She also expressed how she is a passionate person, “I’m a pretty passionate person, so I know that I need to be cautious of not being too overpowering, my goal has always been to express my views but make sure that everyone else feels comfortable expressing their own views.” Summer22 willingness of sharing her way of being is an example of being open and practicing openness within the class. She was willing to express her personal character so that others can understand her.

 

 

The other side of being open to the openness of others can be seen in the class discussion with John Elder Robinson. In this discussion, students were being open to the struggles that John had in his life with Aspergers. Once the students were able to put themselves in Johns place, many contributed to the discussion by creating something new and discussing their own personal communication struggles that they have encountered. For example, “Getouttakingshous is open with his problem of mumbling during a speech therefore taking the “pep” out of his communication to others and how they in turn will receive the information” and Sunshine775 also shared how she has had difficulties comunicationg while being infront of a class due to “rambling” or saying anything that comes out of her mouth. The “sharing” of the communication difficulties was enabled by the openness of the discussion.  These are also good examples of the topic of “Communication” by Bohm. In my writing (Gym411) on Bohm, I mentioned that “…if we are to live in complete peace, we must live in an environment where no one permanently holds to or otherwise defends his or her own ideas, rather we must be open to the positions of others.” This open environment took place in John’s discussion (according to Swabbies response to Openness).

 

 

But let’s not get the importance of being open to the openness of others to overshadow being assertive. Being assertive and open to others are both equally important. In Grant2u’s response he mentioned how Jaggerbunny would “fake” her emotion in her blogs to express a sense of enthusiasm, “Regarding my blog response, I have noticed that I have a tendency to want to please people by agreeing with them and complimenting. I use a lot of exclamation points, possibly an attempt to appear more enthusiastic then I really am. I also tend to focus on what I have in common with another person.” From this we can see how Jaggerbunny might have been trying to being open to others (by focusing on what she has in common with others, and her tendency to try to always seem enthusiastic), but she was missing the practice of an assertive behavior. Meaning that is ok to not seem to be happy all the time. One has to be confidant of the “real” emotion that one conveys. If Jaggerbunny carefully “listens” to what her classmates are saying and “nexts” accordingly then she does not have to worry about sounding enthusiastic, since she will be communicating successsfully (according to Bohm).

 

Poor listening can affect a communication encounter, (No matter how “open” one is). One can be open with others but will always respond to the encounter from an outsider point of view since we never successfully listen. Being open might make us understand a situation, but since we are not listening we are unable to successfully “next”. All the factors of communication (nexting, self-disclosure, listening, balancing tensions/frustrations, being open to others…) have to in someway work together in order to have a full successful communication encounter. But of course, in “real life”, many of us are not even aware of these factors, so if we can at least practice a couple at a time then we should be in our way of having a more peacful society.

Team Project #2 URL:

http://sports08.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/openness-opens-the-doors-to-ipc/

Team Project #4 URL:

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc26190.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct

 

“Consenquentiality of Emotions”

August 17, 2008

 

 

A time in class that has shown us the “Consenquentiality of Emotions” was when the students responded to the reading “Look me in the Eye” by John Elder.  The first couple of students that responded were Saboy82 and Beaver32. These students responded with their definite answers to the life situation that John went through in the book. Without any of the students knowing it, John came into the “blog” and responded to Saboy82 and Beaver32. John’s responses always seemed to prove wrong what the students wrote. For example, Beaver32 said in his blog that “Basically John believes there really isn’t any right way to respond to someone’s thoughts our ideas.”, and John responded with the following “Indeed, there ARE right and wrong ways…I don’t believe there’s “no right way.” Rather, I believe there is often no way to deliver a truthful response without eliciting an undesirable reaction.”.

 

 

John also corrected Saboy82.  Saboy82 wrote “So it is a possibility that Robison’s misinterpretation of the conversation is due to poor “inhaling” skills, and thus producing poor “exhaling”, and John immediately “corrected” Saboy by saying “Wheat if that’s not quite right? What if the other person WAS making a mistake, and I started off on the wrong foot by pointing it out?” From John’s additions to the class blog, the “emotion” of the blog changed.  Stephanie found John’s comments to be humurous as she was “laughing with delight”, and in some way it was, but it changed the emotion of the blog.    Gym411 shared how his blog entry changed because of Johns comments. Gym411 was going to write something similar to what Saboy82 and Beaver32 wrote on their entries, but decided to write in a more “passive” way that would agree to what John was saying in his previous responses in order to not “get corrected” by John.  In Gym411’s case, the “emotion” of the blog changed from being an open discussion of the book to a closed discussion were there was a correct answer being expected (by John). 

 

 

URL:

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc26190.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct

Managing Conflict

August 14, 2008

 

The chapter that I chose is Chapter 10, “Managing Conflict by Turning Walls into Bridges”. All the chapters are interesting, and discuss topics in which we can all relate to in our everyday lives. What caught my attention from Chapter 10 is that it presents ways in how to “do conflict better”.  Everyone has to deal with conflicts one way or another. It can be at the job, at home with the family, in a personal relationship, or even when trying to get a burger at the nearest fast food restaurant. Many of us are either in college, or just graduating, and I believe its very important to know how to deal with conflicts that we will with face in the “real” world.

 

The result of a conflict can be affected by the “self-fulfilling prophecy” (the way we think about conflicts) that we have before entering a conflict. Meaning that “…the more you believe it’s awful, the worse it will get” (450).  The authors in this chapter offer one way to overcome this problems, “…to be open to the positive values of conflict …”(450).  Sounds like a simple thing to do, think positive and positive things will occur, but most of us have never even thought about this.  I would like to study the “positive values of a conflict” along with other solutions that can help us “do” conflict better.

 

Work Cited (Book):

Stewart, John, ed. Bridges Not Walls (Chapter 10). New York: Phillp A Butcher, 2002.

Communication & Class Analysis

August 13, 2008

Communication & Class Analysis

The topic that I chose to write about is “Communication” by Bohm. From the other students that wrote about “Communication” I learned that most shared a common trait, the false notion that they were all good communicators before reading Bohm. One student said that “she tended to be “overly argumentative” when she responded to other students blogs. She jumped to disagree and offer her own point of view without considering the other persons rationale.   She learned that by practicing the skill of listening a peaceful environment can be created because people would concentrate less of their own perspective and concentrate on creating a new one along with the other communicator: ““…if we are to live in complete peace, we must live in an environment where no one permanently holds to or otherwise defends his or her own ideas, rather we must be open to the positions of others.”  Another student also mentioned how false her actions were because of her use of exclamation points in her writing “I use a lot of exclamation points, possibly in an attempt to appear more enthusiastic”. These students were not practicing the correct way to communicate because they missed the essential part, listening.

 

In Catherine Forgone’s writing on “Hispanics”, by Rodriguez, she demonstrates unsuccessful communication (with the article) by “poor listening”. From her writing, it seemed that Catherine did not fully understand the message that Rodriguez was trying to convey in his article. Catherine presented the article from an outsider’s point of view, alienating herself, which could have been the cause of her confusion. For example, Rodriguez defined “Hispanic” with things that can be considered derogatory, trying to convey the suffering in which some “Hispanics” go through in the USA, but Catherine seemed to be confused by this, “…It continues on using (definition of Hispanic) what I consider to be derogatory comments that someone could associate with the term “Hispanic”. Apparently these are some definitions that he created from “Hispanic” from Brown…”(Forgone). But her reaction is understandable.  I react like this myself when I’m reading about something that doesn’t have anything to do with me personally. (this is how Bohm is shaping us to be better communicators).

 

But take Sasha Bohan’s writing on the same article. She presents the issue at hand, stereotypes of “Hispanics”, and was somewhat confused because she was not sure how this reading contributed to the class exercise (team project). She did not let this get “in the way” of her “communication” with the article and made an excellent conclusion that pertains with the concept of communication : “If we are to work together successfully with people whom we have never met, or spoken to in any other way than through a computer, it is imperative that we make sure not to presume anything about one another.” (Bohan). (This is very similar to what was said in the responses to Bohm articles on Communication).

 

Luke Danehy response to “Maintaining Self in Communication” also reflects the challenges brought about in the responses to Bohm. Luke mentions that people become too defensive about their point of view and do not consider others: “Being defensive is a necessary tool; it’s when we become overly defensive that we encounter problems.” (Danehy). Luke is able to show good communication through his writing. He expresses the ideas of the author, a personal example, and his own point of view about the subject: “I agree with this because people show a blatant disregard for others everywhere I go. For instance, on the bus people won’t get up for elderly people as much as they used to…”(Danehy). Luke was able to understand the authors message and create something new for the reader (in this case myself) by presenting an example.

 

A lack of communication can be seen through the overuse of exclamation points (false impressions), overly defensive behavior, or the “self” alienation of a person because of the unfamiliarity of the subject of a conversation. These can all be prevented if people develop their listen skills in a manner where they are trying to make something new out of the encounter, without being influenced by stereotypes.

 

Student’s URL responses Used in this analysis:

Responses to Bohm

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc823961418111.tp1158815714051/compiledMessageThreadView.dowebct?compileaction=displayCompleteThread&messageid=1354988165181&topicid=1354988161181&areaid=1354877630181

 

Responses to “Hispanic” by Rodriguez:

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc823961418111.tp1158815714051/newMessageThread.dowebct?discussionaction=viewMessage&messageid=1358872174131&topicid=1358872122131&refreshPage=false&sourcePage=

 

Response to “Maintaining the Self” By Barret:

https://learning.umassonline.net/webct/urw/lc823961418111.tp1158815714051/newMessageThread.dowebct?discussionaction=viewMessage&messageid=1358813458131&topicid=1354877981181&refreshPage=false&sourcePage=