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Just a steady beating heart, a wish, and a prayer!

11 Jan

… Yup, it’s thesis time again.

I’m back at it after what seemed like a roller coaster of 2 years of ineffective writing, organization, and unrealistic goals. My emotions were too deeply involved in this paper after my grandfather passed away in 2012, who always would tell me “Get all the education you can, no one can ever take that away from you, Chyna!” Now, this paper shouldn’t take more than 2 months to complete (theoretically anyway) since I’ve written one that had been deemed ‘graduate level work’ in undergrad. But here I am. Thesis not complete – STILL!

Instead of beating myself up like I have been in the past, I’m taking a more active approach, looking for inspirations, and just getting this thing done!! I am finished dealing with the emotional roller coaster I let thesis become from 2012 – 2013. No more deep insights followed by moments of ecstasy, which initiated moments of despair that led to apathy. Pretty crazy stuff it was. Once I was able to look at this from an outsiders perspective I realized this toxic cycle was enough for me. December 2013 brought this on, not sure why, I just thank God! Now, I have a clear plan, a realistic timeline, and a great support system of family, friends, advisors, and a great motivational music compilation to keep me going – and plans to prevent this cycle from repeating again. Lil Wayne’s Tie My Hands was inspiration while I wrote my UG thesis – and so again, I revert to it to keep me going! Blog posts will follow more regularly again regarding the usual – thesis, football, life, kittens, insightful lists of random things, you know, a few of my favorite things!

I end this quote-post with the promise, and hope of good things to come beginning this month! Also, for the record, I’m betting on the Saints (underdogs come through when it’s down to the wire like this!), the Luck-y Colts, the 9ers, and the Broncos for this weekend’s Playoff wins. Some of these are more hopeful than realistic, but I’ve been 2/3 so far – and I think my odds are due to improve!

What has this month/new year made anyone else realize or inspire to accomplish?!

 

“Yes I know, the process is so much stress, but it’s the progress that feels the best!” -Lil Wayne, Tie My Hands from Tha Carder III

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Screw you thesis!

11 Dec

Screw you thesis!.

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Inspiration Wednesday #ThesisRevivalMission

3 Apr

Excited for August!

Since my #thesisrevivalmission has been delayed (not to my surprise…) I have a new REALISTIC goal…

Complete my thesis by the 95th 2013 PGA Championship at the Oak Hill Country Club… or I can’t attend 😦

After having been offered an interview with the PGA, and having turned it down because another job came up first that I committed to, I figured attending the Championship game in Rochacha (Rochester, NY) can be my reward for “getting thesis done, defended and submitted to 2 conferences (NCA? and ICA)“.

In the meantime, I might even take golf lessons so I can do more than volunteer as the “shot girl” at the J.P. Tracy Golf Tourney this summer 😉 Oh, I should write about that too!

So much to write about, so little time!

My 2013 Spectrum Experience with STC Rochester

26 Mar

What a weekend I had at STC Rochester’s 2013 Summit! Not only was I, as always, greatly inspired by my phenomenal mentor, Ben Woelk, but also, I was inspired by other great professionals in Tech Comm who opened up my mind to new ways of thinking about all things writing. The conference was so inspiring, I can’t keep all of the inspiration and life-direction advice to myself… so I’m sharing it here. Enjoy!

…Inspiration comes from insightful, and passion-driven experiences…
 
  1. Working in the non-profit world is perfect for some individuals but there are definitely high burn-out rates (see Justin Ewer’s article in the US News). I love it, but do experience burn-out easily, so I have taken steps into looking into jobs in different directions, including going back to the world of Higher Ed. after some great advice from the conference attendee’s who know first hand what I was experiencing!

    What I learned from the conference is to be conscientious and careful of the possibly downward spiral associated with high-stress positions trying to “help people”. They are great in theory, but if you don’t have the right fit you most likely will damage your strong-will and desire to change the status quo and could potentially experience the feeling of dissatisfaction after realizing you have not solved any societal problems… so pick your organization wisely!

    How? Simple primary research! Go on informational interviews, connect with people who used to work there, and find out if the office environment is one in which you can make a difference. Nonprofit it still where I see myself working long-term but I am taking this advice to heart based on the experience’s of successful professionals who have been there! Thanks, especially to Ben, Anna, and Bernard!

  2. Experience is a MUST! This one may seem obvious, but the type of experience you get makes a world of difference. Take for instance, volunteer work – it can be so beneficial to an organization and your brand… if the work you produce is tangible, quantitative, and effective. If you are just filling in for others who are not doing their job, the organization is the only entity benefiting. Great for them, especially if they are a nonprofit, but not good for the one putting in endless hours of extra work that take away from producing tangible, useful portfolio work.

    In order to make your volunteer, or non-paid, work beneficial to you and the organization, some steps to take include a simple one – mapping out where you start when you begin the position, and showing where you plan to end. In this way, you can track your progress in fulfilling the organization’s mission and improving on some aspect of their outreach, communication, technical progress, etc.

    Also, be sure to track everything you do. Before you do anything, ask yourself, how will this be of benefit to the organization and how can I best utilize all that I know to make a quantifiable lasting impression? (or something of that nature to give your work all you can, and to measure your success for future positions… and for the organization).

  3. This one comes straight from the fantastic presentation by Lori MeyerThe Change Agent in You! Without giving away all the great tips from this presentation, I will focus on a major point she made that really hit home with me. Lori suggested that we always be sure to “take inventory of skills you possess” which can serve  as a beneficial tool during interviews and also as a “roadmap” to match yourself up with the job you want to get.

    I took that personally as great advice to validate my present position in my working life, and also my direction in life. While I was volunteering for many great causes and working on my masters thesis, it hit me that I was not utilizing my skills to their fullest extent in either of these areas as I was stretching my time too thin. After reflection on Lori’s presentation, I realized that to reach the point in my life/work life that I hoped to in 5 years, I currently had to withdraw some of my time out of volunteer positions and focus them better. After just a week and a half, I have noticed I am more successful in my everyday endeavors and go to sleep at night feeling more successful!

    Try it – take an inventory of your current and future desired skills… then thank Lori for the great tips!

  4. The dynamic duo at the conference, STC Director (and my mentor) Ben Woelk and Marilyn Woelk , Rochester STC President 2012, were the source of much inspiration in their speeches, from interpersonal advice, and their mere presence at the conference and in my life!

    Ben, in his lightning talk, offered some fantastic tips on information security. While dodging the “distraction balls”, he pointed out the threat of posting on Facebook, and other Social Networking sites, that you are out-of-town to a broad audience of people. Knowing you are gone, and for how long, any burgular could easily break into your house, knowing the time-frame they could have before your return. Scary! But true… be careful!

    I used to be an avid user of Foursquare, which considering I am his mentee, seems counterintuitive… But, I am proud to say that I have now limited my use of Foursquare to only posting to my limited “friends” on Foursquare, and not to my private Facebook, and public Twitter accounts. Progress! 🙂

    Marilyn gave a fantastic talk about Getting, Keeping, and Excelling at a Job. Not only is this very relevant for me, a soon-to-be recent graduate, but in today’s economy, her speech is beneficial to everyone! She touched on topics of personal branding – ensure you establish your personal brand as an individual that is not easily replaced – interviewing tips – from the initial hand-shake to the follow-up email – and so much more! Catch her during her next presentation… I don’t want to give all her insightful tips away on here… then you miss out on her fantastic speaking presence! Thanks Marilyn!

    Although I missed Ben and Hannah Morgan‘s raved-about presentation, I look forward to Summit 2013 in Atlanta where I will attend Empowering the Introvert Within: Becoming an Outstanding Leader! Other’s who attended their previous presentations wrote about it, like New Balancing Act, Jamie. You could always check out the Bulletproofing your career online’s website, too for ideas about their fantastic presentation style that I know can only come through better, if that’s even possible, in this presentation! 

    (Hey, Ben, did I plug your links enough? Brownie points, yes! *kidding*)

  5. TOOLS! Boy did I get tips on some fancy tech-tools that I had not yet utilized… and think you should definitely try them!

    David Caruso  suggested a fantastic metrics tool from the government, go.usa.gov. If you are into metrics, especially on Twitter, check this one out. It’s a great way to track the traffic you are creating for an organization, or yourself!

    Bernard Aschwanden, Adobe representative exhibited the Adobe Technical Communications Suite 4.0 on how to “improve the User Experience through Hybrid Docs” during his live demo.

    Doc to help is a neat tool that my dear friend Nivi won in a raffle. I plan to soon ask to try it out myself on her computer! It is a tool that helps making sharing, or publishing, information on a variety of outlets (desktops, web, mobile, & print) so easy!

In essence, I got so much out of Spectrum 13 that I could continue on for hours, but will leave it to this simple 5-point post for now. I cannot wait until next year, and hope to be even more involved in the conference – and urge you, if you are in the area, or not, to check it out in 2014!

Thank you to the mentioned inspirers including Lori Meyer, Ben WoelkMarilyn WoelkHannah MorganDavid Caruso, Bernard Aschwanden.

A special thank you, as well, to the not specifically mentioned, but those that inspired some of the great thoughts and insights I’ve either written about or utilized since then… Thank you Anna Parker-Richards, Wendy Ross, Alan Houser (Keynote), and all of the lovely STC Rochester 2013 Spectrum presenters, attendees, sponsors, friends, and volunteer’s for all of your help, inspiration, and guidance!

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“Every great dream…

21 Mar

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

… Getting me through #ThesisRevivalMission #Day4

ThesisRevivalMission Day 3

20 Mar

Well, day 2 was quite unsuccessful. I see a pattern here and it’s making me nervous!

Today, my Library reminder tells me my Rq’s and H’s need to be finalized… working on it! Will post when complete.

Besides this I plan to print out my business cards for a conference beginning tomorrow night, apply for  few jobs my lovely mentee told me about today from the career fair, and write a post about mentorship – a topic that keeps coming up in my life this week.

I plan to have all of this done by 10pm… and gym too if I’m feeling better! 🙂

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Me and my super successful mentee! Love her! 🙂

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Thesis Revival Mission – Day 1

18 Mar

#ThesisRevivalMission Day 1…. @ChynaTeresa

I’ve been all about thesis rewrite this past few days… thinking more than doing, unfortunately – but that’s all about to change! Thankfully, today after my chiro appointment, I was enlightened… the espresso and hot oatmeal breakfast probably helped!

I am so excited about the topic, the content, the experiment and everything surrounding my thesis, but I keep putting other things as higher priority… why, you ask? Well, thing is, after I finish the thesis my life becomes an adult life, which I previously thought meant I could no longer learn and would just fall into the monotony of waking up, drinking coffee, going to work, eating dinner, watching mindless TV, and passing out to wake up to the same thing tomorrow.

But then it hit me!!! I have so many great opportunities ahead of me that don’t necessarily involve such monotony! For example, Wednesday there is a career fair at my university and an ideal employer is going to be there. This business inspires me so much – I must work for them (and also, update my website, keep more active on this blog, organize my killer tangible work-related successes and present to them… by Wednesday). I won’t let this take priority over my thesis this week though, although these things will get probably just as much time, if not more today and tomorrow.

I digress. Overall, I was inspired to stop dragging my feet on thesis and to do so I’ve decided that in order to do so, I must incorporate my greatest distractions into the action plan of pure thesis-work this month and next.

How will I do this, you ask? I’m going to use social networking – Twitter specifically! Crazy? No! (Well, maybe yes, but I consider this idea to be brilliant!) What I’m going to do is utilize my main distractions (Twitter, Instagram, Reading blogs) as motivational tools by using a hash tag to mark my progress for myself, my advisor and the world! I consider it a side experiment, in which I can eventually make a student-inspiration theoretical model and sell the idea to Harvard. Maybe this is the espresso speaking. I really do think utilizing social networking as a motivation for my thesis to progress might solve the problem of wanting to get on there when I hit writers block to see what everyone else is doing.

In summation, I will use Twitter as a tool to successful tweet, read blogs, track thesis progress and do a little bit of writers block slacking from my thesis.

I welcome anyone to cheer me on… or to catch me slacking! 🙂 Promise, I won’t get mad!

 

Dennis Cardiff

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