Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sometimes things just take time...

This week at school was pretty normal. After alot of thought, on Monday, I presented my speech on Spina Bifida and it was received really well by both my professor and peers! It wasn't graded just critiqued, and I'm glad about that because I know I would have been insulted if I got a bad grade on something so dear to my heart. Tonight in Government Relations and Lobbying we had our normal lecture and discussion, and at the end of class we were assigned groups for our final project where we have to pick a stance and lobby an issue. I personally don't like group work, but my team members are really nice so we will see how it goes.
I have been commuting to school by train and despite living in Philadelphia my entire life I very seldom used public transportation. At first I was a bit anxious thinking I may miss my stop or I was on the wrong train but now I have it almost down to a science. This is rewarding for me since I don't drive and the train is an excellent way for me to travel independently. I have also settled into a somewhat organized routine with my school work and time managment skills. I don't have an overwhelming load this semester and I am able to do a little bit each day and have everything done efficiently a good length of time prior to class. And last but not least, I got huge news this week that I will be going on a job interview one week from today ( Tuesday), for a paid internship position. I will update you all on how I think it went in next week's entry

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Preparations and Definitions

Happy Tuesday everyone!
This was my first "full week" of classes, meaning I had both courses one day after another. Yesterday was my first speech writing class, and despite the fact that public speaking is out of my comfort zone , I think I will really like it. The professor is very laid back and realizes that most people have a natural fear of speaking in front of people. The first class was pretty standard, we did an introductory survey, went over the syllabus, and broke into teams where we had to interview another classmate and stand up in front of the class and introduce them. Today was my second government relations and lobbying class. We went over articles we found over the week that related to the class, had a lecture on ethics of lobbying and did a group activity based on an article we had to read. All in all it was a great week!
Getting to the title of this post, this week, I learned that I need to be more prepared in adjusting to my new schedule. As part of my government relations and lobbying class we had to subscribe to a daily newsletter from Governing.com. I did this a few days ago and received two newsletters, but this morning I had  brain fart and logged onto my email with the intention to access the newsletter and I totally forgot why I checked it. I realized this about an hour before class so luckily I had time to skim an article and make it to the train on time. From now on I will read the newsletters daily as I get them so I don't have to cram before class. Another lesson in preparation I learned today was that I should always assume technology may fail. My train gets me to the area where my school is 30 minutes prior to class, so I figured I had enough time to stop at Starbucks about 2 blocks away from my school building before heading in to print out handouts for class. I got to Starbucks in about 5 minutes after getting off the train and got my drink very quickly so I ended up getting to the building 15 minutes early and figured I would be able to print my handouts and still be punctual with time to spare However, the printing system was very slow and I ended up getting to my classroom 2 or 3 minutes late without my handouts which kind of embarassed me because I am typically extremely punctual and always have my work. Fortunately my professor had enough copies of everything because she realizes that not everyone has access to a printer. Just in case this isn't always the case and I don't have access to a printer at home I am going to have my dad print things for me at his job and give them to me prior to class since his office is close to my campus. In terms of definitions I am referring to how I define myself. My first assignment for speech writing is to create an 8-10 minute presentation about something personal to me. Of course the first thing that came to mind was to talk about my experience living with Spina Bifida and how it has effected me in a positive way. I mentioned this idea to a few family members and they opposed it because they think that by doing this as my first speech I am letting Spina Bifida define who I am. I disagree with this because the assignment is to speak about something personal and my experience with Spina Bifida is very personal and unique to me. I would appreciate feedback from you all on this dilemma and if you think I should choose a different topic let me know why. I will talk to you all next Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The start of a new beginning

Tonight was my first class of my graduate school career. This semesterI will be taking 2 classes, government relations and lobbying,and speech writing. Tonight I had government relations and lobbying and I really enjoyed it. There are only 11 people in the class which is much smaller than I'm used to but I actually prefer small classes over large lecture halls. Class started off with us going around and introducing ourselves and the professor went over the syllabus and answered any questions we had about class format and procedures. After that we had a short lecture introducing what lobbying is, what lobbyists specifically do, how lobbying uses public relations tactics and the history of lobbying. We also took a brief survey asking what we prevously knew about the field of lobbying before taking the course . I am very excited to see where this class goes in terms of content, and hopefully, I will get the opportunity to promote the importance of raising awareness and lobbying forSpina bifida and other disabilities.
I normally have class on Monday and Tuesday so I will most likely update this blog on tuesday evenings unless I get information regarding my job search or discover articles related to my research interests. So,unless anything interesting happens before then I will talk to you all in one week =)

Monday, January 16, 2012


Hey everyone!
Welcome to Sam's Post Grad Ramblings. In this blog I will chronicle my experience as a graduate student as well as the progress of my job search. I will also post my opinon on articles related to my coursework and research interests.
If you don'r know me let me first start out by introducing myself. My name is Samantha, or Sam,hence the title of my blog. I am 22 years old and I live in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I graduated in May 2011 from West Chester University with a B.A. in English with a journalism minor and tomorrow I begin my Masters in Communication Managment at Temple University. My ultimate goal is to start a career in public relations or advocacy for people with disabilities. I want to work for a non-profit organization. This passion likely came from being born with the disability Spina Bifida, a condition where the spinal cord is exposed at birth, causing paralysis and other deficincies within the central nervous system. My greatest achievements in a career would be to enhance the confidence of just one person with a disability and assure them that they are just as important to society as anyone else. Also I want to change how people without disabilities view us in the public sphere. I know these seem like near impossible goals but I intend to try my hardest to achieve them.
When I'm not studying or writing I enjoy watching movies, shopping, listening to music, reading chick lit, travelling, volunteering, and trying new food and cocktails.
Check Back tomorrow for an update on how my first class went :)