Archive for November, 2008

Thanksgiving

November 12, 2008

For the first time all year I’m actually looking forward to going home. 

Thanksgiving is really the first time where almost everybody from your graduating class is back home.  You get to see all your friends again and see how college has been for them.  Not only that, but I’m going to be able to brag about how awesome MSU is!

I always remember seeing the freshman in college over Thanksgiving break while I was still in high school and thinking to myself how lucky they were.  Well now I’m one of those kids that my high school friends will be jealous of.  Granted, the parties at home are going to seem like tea parties compared to the ones here but it’s still going to be nice hanging out with my old friends.

Another reason I’m excited to go home is to see my family.  I haven’t really missed them at all but I’m just anxious to see them again and tell them about everything here.  I know that as soon as I walk in the door my dog will be jumping all over me, and I can’t wait.  I’ll have to spend at least an hour playing with him and taking him on a long walk.

Then there is always the part of taking useless stuff back home and bringing new stuff back.  I’m sure almost everyone has something at home (or that they’re going to buy when they go home) that they wish they had at school right now. 

All in all, the break should be great.  To me, it’s been needed for about a week now.  I have no problem waiting a couple more though because as soon as I get home and unpack my bags, I’m going to miss MSU and won’t be able to wait to come back.

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Presidential Code Names

November 11, 2008

I’m writing this post related to a short article I read on yahoo about Obama and his family receiving nicknames from the secret service.

The first thing I was thinking when I read this article is why does the president’s family need secret code names?  How many people are involved enough with the president and secret service that they want to keep these names secret?  I’m guessing the secret service (who actually choose the code names) and the government have their own reasons.  Probably some paranoid defense against national security or something along those lines.

The second thing is why have these code names if everyone already knows them?  The article is about the nicknames given to Obama’s family as well as Biden and his wife.  The Obama family’s names all begin with the letter R and Biden and his wife  begin with C.  Barack will be known as Renegade (I guess that’s not bad for a president), his wife will be Renaissance (who knows why…), and his daughters are Radiance and Rosebud.  VP Joe Biden is Celtic (seems almost like a shot at Maverick) and his wife is Capri (pants?).

My main thought is what are the point of these names?  Does someone take this seriously enough to change the names now that the public are aware of them?  I just don’t see why they do this, why it would be made public, and why anybody really cares what the secret service are going to be calling their boss and his family. 

Anybody got any ideas?

Burst Communication

November 11, 2008

Our class on Thursday is a perfect example of how technology is drastically changing the way we communicate in all types of settings.

It used to be that telephone and email were two of the quickest ways to communicate.  That has all changed in the last 5-7 years.  Texting has taken over the country and now is probably just as popular as actually talking on the phone.  It’s almost a combination of email and talking on the phone.  It’s like email in the sense that you’re using asynchronous communication where you don’t get an instant response when you’re communicating.  The nice thing about texting is that you get responses a lot quicker than email.  Also, you always have your phone on you but it’s a lot harder to find somewhere to check your email or drag around your laptop.

This new burst communication is changing the way work gets done because instead of sending an email you can quickly text and get an almost instant response.  The reason texting is just as useful as talking on the phone is because you can’t hear tone of voice or anything for that matter.  Say two companies are trying to make a deal on something but can’t agree on the price.  With texting, there would be constant communication going back and forth and it is unlikely that either side would get to angry because they would be texting instead of yelling at each other on the phone.

Another tool that is starting to be used a lot in the business world is the webcam that allows you to talk to almost anyone in the world face to face.  This is how giant corporations are doing their communication.  This probably closest related to talking on the phone since it is synchronous communication but with the webcam, you also see facial expressions and body language.  In the future years I think this kind of communication will be the most popular form so I have to be prepared for that.  I can’t rely on my texting abilities to get me through my career.  I have to have good communication skills no matter what the circumstances are.