Discussion Post: Week 16

Well, that’s pretty much it, isn’t it? Now that all of our COM 315 presentations are behind us, in what ways did you grow as a presenter over the course of the semester? What did you discover about presentations and about yourself as a result of the content we covered in class? Perhaps most importantly, how will you be applying what you’ve learned here to your work in the future?

Let’s tackle the more serious stories first. As you may already be aware, on Thursday Virginia Tech University suffered its second school shooting incident in four years (a 2007 rampage left 33 dead, including the culprit), as two people were killed in the wake of a gunman storming across the campus. Authorities say the nightmare began when the suspect held up his landlord at gunpoint on Wednesday and demanded the keys to his Mercedes-Benz. On Thursday, during what started as a routine traffic stop, the perpetrator approached a Virginia Tech police officer and shot him, then fled into a nearby parking garage, where a second victim was later found. The campus was locked down for several hours until authorities determined that the second victim, a 22-year-old part-time business student, was actually the gunman, and lifted the alert. Authorities believe he ultimately killed himself, but many questions remain about why this “typical college student” would commit such violent crimes without any apparent provocation.

On the political front, the case of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has finally reached its conclusion. You may recall that Blagojevich found himself in the center of a national scandal when, after President Barack Obama vacated his Senate seat to take his new role, details emerged that suggested Blagojevich had sold the seat to the highest bidder, a clear violation of federal law. (It is the governor’s right to appoint a senator’s replacement in such situations, but not to receive any personal gain in the process which could sway that decision.) He was convicted on 18 federal corruption charges in June and, after a final sentencing hearing on Wednesday, sentenced to 14 years in prison. Blagojevich’s attorneys had said Tuesday that, while their client was guilty of corruption, his behavior “does not call for a 15 to 20 year jail” term; one has to believe the 14-year sentence wasn’t quite what they had in mind. In any case, Blagojevich’s prison sentence will begin in 68 days, and it will be about 12 years before he can be considered for early release, by which time he will be 67 years old and two young daughters will have reached adulthood. In the meantime, the girls are making good on a promise their father made after his initial arrest three years ago, that if he ever went to prison “You can get another dog and call him, ‘Daddy.’” (The Maltese-poodle mix they adopted from a Chicago shelter on Friday is instead expected to be named “Twix.”)

Let’s shift our political gaze to those who haven’t been sentenced to jail time, shall we? With the Iowa caucuses less than a month away, Republican candidates continue to jockey for position among their rivals, particularly to gain ground on current leader Newt Gingrich, who appears to have benefited the most from Herman Cain’s departure from the race. Gingrich, for his part, has been espousing many of the same ideals he touted during his time as Speaker of the House in the late 1990’s, particularly those of limiting government power and focusing on personal responsibility, messages that seem to be especially effective among his voter base right now. That’s not to say he’s safe in this race, though. With Republican Party leaders concerned that attacking Obama personally is too dangerous due to the sympathy voters still hold for him, the only obvious target left for candidates hoping to make up ground in the primary race is the frontrunner Gingrich himself. As we approach the final set of debates before Iowa makes its decision to start the string of primaries, it will be interesting to see whether Gingrich can hold his lead, which most polls now show as a double-digit margin.

Let’s move now to the international headlines. Amidst an economic crisis, European Union (EU) leaders worked late last week to resolve budget issues, restructure the EU itself, and revive the shaky euro currency. A deal was ultimately brokered — with Great Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron notably rejecting an invitation to join the treaty — and stocks climbed amidst the economic development. Cameron was welcomed home with open arms after the summit, although some in his government publicly questioned the merits of his decision to veto the treaty, which would have given substantially more fiscal control to a central European authority. As for the EU itself, a great deal of work remains to quell the crisis, as astronomical bond yields that have devastated some European nations’ economies have not yet begun to fall despite the extreme measures taken.

Elsewhere, Russia’s recent parliamentary elections have been fraught with turmoil, from rallies against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to attacks on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The volatile scene only worsened after Putin’s United Russia party was declared the winner alongside widespread accusations of vote fraud. A subsequent protest in Moscow attracted over 25,000 demonstrators, while similar protests emerged throughout the country.

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood party, which has been leading its country’s parliamentary elections, withdrew from an advisory council being formed by military leaders and claimed that the military, which has been at the center of public discord in recent months, was trying to give the council significant power in writing Egypt’s new constitution. Israel and Palestine have seen increasing violence in their ongoing struggle: after the assassination of an al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade senior commander on Thursday, the Palestinian terrorist organization responded by firing seven rockets into Israeli territory, most of which exploded harmlessly in open areas, even though over one million Israelis currently live within rocket firing range. On Tuesday, Afghanistan saw some of its worst violence since the Taliban fell from dominance in the region, as 59 people were killed in suicide bombings disrupting the festival of Ashura. Perhaps the biggest international headline here in the U.S. came from our own downed forces, though. American controllers lost contact with a highly classified Lockheed Martin Corp. RQ-170 spy plane last Sunday, and a downed craft that appeared to be the RQ-170 subsequently appeared on Iranian television. It is expected that Iranian scientists are now working to reverse engineer the RQ-170, which was designed to be virtually invisible to radar. This incident has served, in large part, to expose the covert battle between the U.S. and Iran, which some have related to the Cold War with Russia a few decades ago, and has contributed to speculation that we may be moving ever closer to war between the two countries.

The United Nations (U.N.) has been tackling its own priorities, as participants in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change have struggled to develop a more comprehensive approach for reducing global carbon emissions. Deliberations have moved very slowly, so much so that the convention, which was supposed to end Friday, is still ongoing a day later, at the time of this writing. Still, some analysts are hopeful that a deal on the so-called “Green Fund” is close at hand, although critics worry that the agreement will be little more than a substance-less shell. That would spell bad news for walnut trees here in West Lafayette, which Purdue University professor Douglass Jacobs says would be unable to survive even a slight climate shift in the region.

In sports news, professional basketball seems to be well on its way to a Christmas Eve opening day, as NBA players formally approved the new collective bargaining agreement through this week’s vote. Owners still have to ratify the deal, but they are widely expected to do so without hesitation. The NBA Players Association, which had disbanded to allow players to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the league, has also been reinstated. Professional hockey has also seen some changes, as the league approved a new four-conference realignment with an updated playoff format to boot. Under the new system, which would be established in the 2012-13 season, the top four teams from each conference would earn playoff bids, and the first two rounds would decide the conference champions. The NHL Players Association still has to give final approval in order to make this deal official, but like the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, there’s little doubt in most analysts’ minds that it will happen.

The stories of celebrities being thrown off commercial planes continued last week, as actor Alec Baldwin was removed from an American Airlines flight to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday. His crime? Playing “Words with Friends” on his iPad. Apparently Baldwin refused to power down his iPad when flight attendants instructed passengers to turn off their electronic devices, and after a heated argument and a resulting one-hour flight delay, Baldwin was told to leave the plane. (He was eventually re-booked on a later American Airlines flight to New York.) Baldwin and the airline disagree on some of the details surrounding the incident — Baldwin insists that he was singled out while other passengers were still on their cell phones, while American Airlines released a statement saying that Baldwin swore at the flight attendants, stormed into the lavatory and locked himself inside to continue playing his game while the plane was preparing to depart. Following the chain of events, Baldwin’s Twitter account leapt to 600,000 followers, but the actor decided to shut down his account anyway, tweeting to followers, “Let’s play a game called Mass Unfollowing. I want to crash this acct and start again. But, tonight at 10 PM, NY time, unfollow me.”

In other social media news, Twitter has redesigned its site to make connecting with other users easier in its battle with Facebook and Google+, while Facebook had to scramble to fix a bug that revealed private photos to others through the inappropriate image-reporting mechanism. Google+ is winning points with privacy advocates over its opt-in facial recognition program that automatically tags images featuring your face — a direct contrast to Facebook’s own opt-out system — but the company is also squabbling with Verizon, which is trying to prevent Google Wallet’s e-commerce app from appearing on Verizon phones.

On the gaming side of things, the 2011 Video Game Awards were on Spike last night (albeit too late to include much analysis of the winners in this post). The industry is coming off what appears to be a banner November, as sales of disc-based titles were 15% higher than November 2010. This was, in fact, a record November for game sales. However, some analysts say that figure is misleading: when you combine software, hardware, and accessory sales, the increase from last November is a meager 0.4%. In any case, it’s possible that the next big title you buy won’t be played on a console, but on Google Chrome instead. On Thursday, Google representatives hosted a demo of the popular XBox Live Arcade game Bastion working directly in Chrome, a development three years in the making. Video game streaming service OnLive is trying to beat Chrome to the market by allowing users to play console games on tablets and smartphones, expanding its current service that only works with TV set or computer attachments. Even Microsoft is getting into the act, as an Xbox Live update last week transformed the system into a virtual media center with direct access to streaming movies, music, and other services (through voice commands, if you also own the Kinect accessory). It will be interesting to see how these competing PC-TV-gaming integration strategies pan out.

There you have it. What are your thoughts about our last news stories of the semester?

Other articles of interest:
Scientists find monster black holes, biggest yet
NASA: Moon may lose tons of soil during massive solar storm
Calif. teen takes $100K national science prize
When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids
College essay questions get weird
The Health Risks of Being Left-Handed
Generous couples have happier marriages
Fossils show shrimp-like superpredator’s eyes had 32,000 lenses
Endangered crocodile finds new life at nuclear power plant
Angelina Jolie sued, accused of plagiarizing movie
HP: WebOS Is Now an Open Source Project
To Remedy the Squeeze in Coach, New ‘Cuddle Class’ Seats
Babbitt resigns as FAA head days after arrest on drunken driving charge
Additional remains sent to landfill, Air Force acknowledges
Tennessee family home burns while firefighters watch
Alarm-pulling squirrel mentioned by board
Touchdown celebration penalty costs Mass. team a state title
Video: Kick return gaffe eliminates Wofford from playoffs
Albert Pujols, Angels agree to deal

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31 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 16”

  1. burnscp says :

    I think throughout the semester I grew as a presenter mostly in terms of my delivery. I feel more comfortable being in front of people and have become more aware of what it takes to make a presentation. I think this class will help in the future whenever I have to give a presentation to superiors about a project or work thats going on within the company.

  2. bmonroe16 says :

    I definitely became more comfortable talking in front of people by the end of the year. After taking a couple years off of COM classes, you start to lose that ability to feel comfortable in front of a lot of people. It was nice to get that back. Towards the end of the semester, I also became more able to consider my surroundings and adapt during the presentation, instead of just focusing purely on the speech. This helped make my speeches more engaging and gave them a more personal feel. Hopefully, this will help me continue to apply these presentation skills, since they will be invaluable for the extent of my career.

  3. jykim315 says :

    Through out Com315 course, I found my weaknesses and strengths. I think one of my biggest weakness is the transition. I tried several times to bring transition to my presentation, but I forgot to do transition. I think I am always occupied with what I want to say without thinking of flow of presentation.

    Well for VGA award, I think it is ridiculous that Modern Warfare 3 got the best shooter award. I really think that MW2 and 3 are different from each other, and game play experience is just same. However, Battiefield 3 implemented new technologies for better experience. Well.. just ignore me saying this… I am just PC gamer love both Battlefield and Call Of Duty franchise.

    Game streaming article is very interesting to me. I am a PC hardcore gamer. I built my PC with latest I7 CPU, and overclocked the CPU for faster processing power. I am very happy with my PC’s frame rate with Battlefield3. However, looking at the current trend of PC, I may not need high power PC in the future. Just mentioned in the article, you can play console games on web-browser without any installation. I believe later in the future, you can play every game released on any PC,Mac,tablets without any of high end hardware. As internet connection speed increases, you will be able to stream games HD. However, I do not think video game streaming would stop high end PC gamer who loves to build their powerful computers.

  4. Merry Hetzer says :

    Over all I learned a lot this semester about myself when giving speeches. I learned what I need to work on more and some of the things that I am good at. There a few things throughout my presentations that I couldn’t overcome, like using “ums” and other fillers. But there were a few things that I improved on each time, like posture and eye contact. I think overall I did pretty well with my presentations. I also think that I became more comfortable with the audience each time so I was able to take my time and focus on the presentation instead of being so nervous.

  5. James He (@He42) says :

    I hope I did well this semester. I now know what I am comfortable and what I am not comfortable in doing. The last exam gave me a pretty good score so I know my new choices were the right thing to do. I will definitely continue what I was doing right .
    Also finally the Illinois governor was put down after so many years of trail. I hope Illinois becomes less corrupt in the future but I highly doubt it.

  6. fiddlestix22 says :

    I was reading about the “Cuddle Class” seats on New Zealand airlines. My husband and I would totally go for that if we had a long overnight flight. We both have trouble sleeping in upright chairs, even if they are laying back. The couch idea would be perfect. I’m sure it’s not the most comfortable “couch”, but it’s better than constantly trying to find a comfortable position in a chair. I like that last quote from the article too: “If two strangers end up seated in one of the sky couches, they are free to flip up the panel and snuggle, too.” Haha.

  7. brad5627 says :

    As for the presentations, I’ve definitely improved over the course of the semester. The most beneficial thing is having the ability to watch our presentations and see exactly what everyone else is seeing, which means we get to noticed those flaws that everyone else sees. Then, having seen the faults, we remember them while we’re presenting and try not do do the same things again. For instance, i’m more aware of what my hands are doing while I’m presenting because in the first video i fold my notecards over and over and over and over, which is distracting. But I know that I do it because of the video.
    On a sidenote, it is so nice to be done with school. And not have to worry about homework ever againnn!

  8. vsabatel says :

    I’d like to take this discussion topic to reflect on the semester we just finished for COM 315. Overall, I was very pleased with the way this class presented itself (pun). I didn’t have much expectation when I signed up for this class but it actually turned out to be an enjoyable class with a comfortable atmosphere. I was happy with the way the format of this class was laid out. Throughout the course of the semester, my presentation skills greatly improved. From the first presentation, where I was shaky and nervous, all the way to my last presentation where I felt confident and comfortable. Not only did this class help improve my presentation skills, but it helped grow my awareness of current events through the course blog. Every week, I would look forward to not necessarily writing my own blog response, but reading the blog topics that were posted so I could learn a little bit about what is going on in the world. In conclusion, as I stated earlier, I am very happy with the way that this class turned out and I really learned a lot throughout the course of the semester. Thank you.

  9. Colin Patterson says :

    I was really surprised to learn about the second shooting at Virginia Tech. That school just doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break. It’s kind of surprising that the second “victim” found in the parking garage was concluded to be the shooter. Why has no solid resolution been made yet? This episode is a terrible thing for the school to go through again. It will create a bad image on the school and possibly hurt future attendance rates. I hope they recover from this second incident soon and don’t have any other disasters.

  10. robpingry says :

    Ahh finals week. It is such a strange time of the year. There are so many feelings. I am nervous for my exams and I want to do study hard for them, but I also can see the end of the semester and Christmas break. So I want to be home with my family. I want to see all of my friends before I leave and spend time with my girlfriend. All these distractions take away from actually studying for my exams. This week will pass like any other though and my grades will lie where they lay. This is my last blog for this blog. I have to say it was a nice way to start the, as soon as, I got into the routine of posting every week. Now I’m sad to say that this will be the last so long Brain! Happy Trails!

  11. davidjames1187 says :

    I am honestly glad we are done with presentations. But besides that, I have grown atleast in my opinion in a variety of ways. I definitely felt less nervous and more prepared throughout each presentation. Hopefully I can continue to have that presence in the future.

    About the shootings.. I know this might be taken the wrong way, but why are they making this particular scenario such a huge deal? I think the first time it happened was horrific, and this time is definitely not a good thing in anyway either. I think it’s only such a big deal because it’s the second big thing that’s happened there, although it was bad, this time was minor in comparison. I do think this subject should have some light shed on it, but it’s unfortunate that it happened at that location again and at all really. I could be wrong but I’m sure there have been plenty other small scale shootings near campuses worldwide and they chose to make VT look bad again. Just my opinions I guess.

  12. ndirenzo19 says :

    At the beginning of the semester when it came time do to the first presentation I was a nervous wreck. My first presentation was by far my worst, not because I wasn’t prepared, but because I didn’t have much experience speaking in front of groups of people. By the time the second presentation came around I was a little more composed, but still not at the top of my game. Finally by the third and fourth presentation I felt confident that I knew all of the material and an effect method to deliver it to my audience. All in all this class has helped me a lot on feeling more confortable in front of my peers and knowing how to cater the information to my audience.

  13. kaileenkraemer says :

    I think the most significant way this class will help me in the future is while I am pitching ideas and giving technical demos. I can see myself having to do this on a weekly, if not daily, basis in the future given what I see many Purdue alumni in my major do for their jobs. I am thankful for having this experience because just taking COM 114 was definitely not enough- I learned so much more about giving presentations from taking this class.

    I think it’s safe to say that what Alec Baldwin did on the plane comes of as extremely immature. And to make the situation worse, he joked about it on SNL. Then again, I was never a fan of his anyway.

    As for the VGAs, I think it’s really cool that The Legend of Zelda series is the first to be inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame- and on its 25th anniversary year, too. Otherwise since Neil Patrick Harris was not hosting the VGAs, I did not watch them this year.

    As for a couple of the micellaneous articles at the bottom…that is ridiculous that the homeowners in Tennesee had to watch their house burn down for not paying such an insignificant fee. And I wish that I had college application essay prompts such as “describe your last Tuesday” instead of what I had to write while applying to schools! It really does seem like it’d be more effective- you would get to know the applicant’s true personality and analyze their writing style at the same time.

  14. Teju Shyamsundar says :

    COM 315 is definitely the best communications class I’ve taken at Purdue. I’m not a fan of public speaking, and I absolutely hated the COM classes that I’ve had to take at Purdue before. I found COM 315 to be more interesting than the other classes because we are given a speech topic, but do not have to follow strict guidelines when it comes to presenting. Also, I like how the textbook was incorporated into the course – we highlighted key sections that would help us with our work in the course. The web portfolio was a great way of documenting our favorite speeches in the course, as well as a great way of presenting our professional/academic experiences thus far. Throughout the semester, I have become more comfortable with public speaking, and I will use the skills from this class both in future academic work and professionally. Since my professional work upon graduating requires communication with people on a daily basis, I will definitely need to know how to present myself and pitch ideas, which this course has taught me how to do.

    I found the article about the VGAs interesting – just when you thought technology was at its peak, someone comes out with something new. I think the Google Chrome app store is a great idea because it can be integrated with your daily work. If you want to take a quick break from something you’re doing, you have the ability to install and app and open it within seconds. This is a great marketing idea from Google. As for the Microsoft media center, I actually own a Kinect and have been using the voice commands all the time. It is a really cool/useful feature for when you are lazy or can’t find your controller/remote. I am just waiting to see what new technologies companies such as Google and Microsoft come up with in the future.

  15. Shawn Farrington says :

    First and foremost, Blago is an idiot. How can you knowingly commit a crime and not think you’re going to get punished by the fullest extent of the law? Just because you’re the former governor, doesn’t mean you get off the hook. The law states you cannot appoint seats in office for personal gain, so why would you do it? I think he got exactly what he deserved after what he did, I like to think his sentence is that long because of what he did to Illinois.

  16. usernamesuck says :

    I really benefitted from the website project. In retrospect I should have highlighted that process in itself as one of my com projects. It was probably one of my best pieces of course work.
    As for Blagaovich or however his name is spelt, it serves him right. He can profess his innocence all he wants. Some people that are found guilty are innocent of what they are accused of, but far too often they are guilty of something else. There is an ounce of truth to every story and his reeked of it.

  17. moormanja says :

    I really enjoyed being in com315. It was similar to most com classes, but the speeches went in a completely different direction than what I was used to and I liked it. The speeches were more on a personal level while in my com114 class we were always talking about something else that we had to do a bunch of research for. The first three speeches all had to deal with something about us. The first one about a group WE were in, the second a technology WE knew a lot about and the third WE talked about ourselves like we were at a job interview. This take on giving speeches is a lot better because we can be a lot more passionate about what we are talking about instead of just being bored giving another com speech.

  18. shelbyfoster says :

    Wow, I can’t believe the head of the FAA was busted for a DUI. Being in the Aviation industry, we see how strict the FAA can be on everything, and a DUI is extremely bad in their opinion, I find it amazing that Babbitt was charged with one.

    It’s been a great semester, good luck to everyone on their finals, and Merry Christmas!

  19. Jake Gebuhr says :

    I agree with some of the above comments that COM 315 is the best of the two COM classes I have taken at Purdue, mainly because of the somewhat more personal nature and openness of topic selection.

    On other stories, that Virginia Tech shooter was clearly another psychotic person. He obviously had some sort of hatred both for police and himself, something which I as a former deputy used to see quite often. Not to blame society, but when you look at things like the Occupy movement and listen to a lot of popular music, there seems to be great ill-will towards law enforcement.
    Blago got what he deserved, and what many in power probably deserve, we just do not know about what they really do behind the curtains. That brings me to the Republican candidates. I have been watching the debates and only one of them speaks their mind and quite intelligently – Ron Paul. Of course he is not well liked because he sounds too complex for the average person who just wants to hear “We need to save our babies from being murdered and keep the gays out of the military”. Politicians just continue to become more and more like celebrities, trying to make people love them by saying ridiculous things. Ron Paul has the view that our federal government is totally unconstitutional, because it is far more powerful than intended to be when the Constitution was written. Why should people in Washington be controlling our everyday lives, taking 30% or more of our income and spending it on their buddies’ businesses (ie. Solyndra, Halliburton)? I have never been a drug user, but I agree with Ron Paul on that. Why should alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine be legal with all other drugs federally illegal? Of course one should never operate a vehicle, carry a gun, or anything else like that while under the influence, but if they want to do it in their house and infringe on no one else’s rights then I have no problem with that.

    The FAA head being caught for a DUI is quite amazing to me, after I was just informed that I have to wait 5 YEARS before I can fly again because of a head injury. I understand that if someone is messed up they shouldn’t fly, but I have honestly suffered no lasting effects. At least the head of that organization is gone now.

  20. stlbirds says :

    I will talk about the deal that Albert Pujols signed with the Angels. As you can tell from my username and previous posts, I am a huge Saint Louis Cardinals fan. All season long us cardinal fans were wondering what would happen with Albert’s contract at the end of our exciting season. After we won the world series I thought that we had a good chance to keep him for more years. He wanted a long term contract including 10 years. I see that it would be rough to sign a veteran player for that long. He is definitely one of baseball’s all time greats. I was bummed out when I heard news of him signing, but I am not going to hold that against him. He did great things and had a great career while playing for the Cardinals. With him moving to the American League it gives him a chance to play as a designated hitter in the later years of his career. The move was shocking, but now I can kind of see where he is coming from. But, why the Angels?!

  21. dparkerr says :

    I think that throughout the semester I have grown as a presenter in many ways. I now feel comfortable when presenting to a large group of people and don’t freeze up when I make a mistake; I just go with the flow. I also learned how to get the audience’s attention by fluctuating my vocal tones and trying to add some humor. As of all the ways I have grown I still need to learn how to stop saying “um” and using those vocal fillers. All in all, I thought this class was a positive learning experience and I think the thing that help me improve the most were the impromptu speeches.

  22. macupp says :

    I feel confident about my skills as a presenter after this class. I feel like I have grown a good amount and learned a lot this semester. I learned not to use visual aids when it isn’t necessary. I also learned when using a visual aid put a minimal amount of information on the slides, only the information that’s necessary. I had a great semester and thought I did well in this class.

  23. mporter7 says :

    I think in general I became more comfortable as a presenter over the course of the semester. I think I was able to improve things such as eye contact, use of verbal fillers, and visual aids. I also found that I tend to perform a lot better when I am sharing the stage with other people. Overall I think this class has helped be improve as a presenter and I expect that the skills that helped develop will be vital to any presentations that I give in the work place.

  24. jkambic says :

    Being from Illinois, I’d like to comment on Blago.
    I’m actually relatively glad that they threw the book at him. He isn’t the first corrupt politician to come out of Chicago, or even the tenth, but his flagrant disrespect of the people he supposedly served as well as pilfering the coffers was outrageous–senate seat aside. And the fact that he thought he was going to just get away with it was confounding–this man after doing what he did became a mini-celebrity, his family did actually–appearing on television game shows and as well as national news coverage. So yes, 14 years is just fine.
    Yes, it is sad that his daughters have to go through that, and my sympathy goes out to them, but that does not excuse his behavior–they are just more casualties of their father’s misdeeds.

  25. Mike Tuccori says :

    The presentation I learned the most from and had the best experience with was the presentation/ demonstration on a piece of software. I had never done that before, and as technology is only getting more technical, having the ability to effectively teach how it works will be beneficial experience to have in an upcoming job. I read more on the Google and Verizon dispute, and the article says that Verizon and other major carriers are involved in a technology called Isis which is very similar to Google Wallet. However, Google Wallet has additional functionalities than Verizon’s Isis and is more-well known. It seems like Verizon is trying to slow Google from taking over this market for mobile wallets. In the meantime, Verizon may be trying to get their mobile wallet, Isis, up to speed with Google’s, and then just attach it to their already customer’s phones. This means less submission to Google and more money for them-Verizon.

  26. begardner says :

    Now that I have officially finished the semester (except for this post), I can start to relax for a few weeks. I know my skills as a presenter have increased over the course of the semester, right along with everyone else’s. With my intended career field, I may not be giving too many presentations, however if I end up needing to, I will be well prepared.

    I was disappointed to see Alec Baldwin’s behavior on AA. I have recently began watching 30 Rock on Netflix and I think he is absolutely great. However he really played into the stigma that surrounds the rich by throwing this tantrum. Is the electronics rule pointless and antiquated? Yes. Does he get preferential treatment because he is in first class? For the most part, yes, but not on this. Hopefully next time he will only be in the news for his acting and not for childish behavior.

  27. Chris Reed says :

    Overall, i enjoyed com315. I was able to use my speaking still of no note cards. I did have trouble remembering some things, I always had something go on the day of my speech, ie sick, broken face, etc that would deter away from the speech, but overall i think the semester went really well. thanks for the great semester.

  28. jkinnamo says :

    I would like to comment about the starting of the NBA season and the ending of the lockout. I am a big NBA fan and a fan of the current champions, the Dallas Mavericks. The lockout this year has caused many changes in the season which I believe will make for a more exciting season with so many back to back games for teams. All of these back to back games will require teams to have more depth in their roster in order to last through the entire season. Also this lockout has caused for a rushed NBA free agency which has created one of the craziest off seasons ever. The season will begin on Christmas day with three great games. All of these big changes and trades in which have taking place this off season should make for a great season.

  29. lwinters26 says :

    I read the article about the health risks of being left handed. I am always interested in things regarding research with handedness because I am a lefty(the majority of the time). I even did a science project when I was in middle school on trying to predict dominant hands based on observing small everyday tasks like opening doors and raising hands. When I saw this article about possible health risks, I was really interested. After I read it awhile, I wasnt sure what I thought. According to the article, left handed people are at higher risk of having developmental problems, ADHD, and other disorders such as schizophrenia. I do have a friend who is left handed and does have ADHD, but it runs in the family, therefore I feel like that is where it came from more than what hand she writes with. All of the other left handed people I know, including myself all are fine and have graduated college with decent grades, therefore I am still skeptical on how significant these findings are. It also said that mixed handed people are at even higher risk of these issues. I consider myself to be mixed handed and although I struggle more at schoolwork than my sisters do, I dont think that has anything to do with the fact that I am mixed handed. I have a difficult major, and I had some other health issues I had to deal with in high school that affected my concentration, and I know I am still feeling the effects of it today. I would however like to see more research on this topic.

  30. jlauu says :

    As the semester went on I definetly got more comfortable with speaking. Obviously everyone gets better as the class goes on, and gets more confident in their abilities. I also think that we got a lot more comfotable with our audience and classmates. I feel that our class as a whole was a bunch of cool people, that were very open to listening to new topics they weren’t familiar with. I think overall everything got better as the course went on.

  31. vmgray says :

    I learned a lot in Com 315. The most useful tool for me was the speech for a company. I know that the feedback will help me grow in the future. I really enjoyed my group for this class, and getting to know a little bit more about each of my classmates.

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