laura's blog

When I grow up.

scribbled by laura on June 19, 2012

Like many people, I didn’t grow up knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Sure, I went through different phases. One such phase involved me being consumed with wanting to be a zoologist. I recall specifically a portfolio I made in elementary school honoring the “big cats” which consisted of post card photos of each cat and every factoid I could gather from encyclopedias neatly written on pages of my mother’s yellow legal pads. Other than that, I never really had a true zest for any profession in particular. As I got older, I went through the “cool bartender” phase, the FBI Agent phase, and toyed with the musician phase, but in the end, nothing really stuck. They all sounded cooler than they were in reality. I needed something practical.

I started college and thought I would major in Music Education to teach since music was a part of my life. Somehow, I passed the audition process with no vocal training and no sight reading ability. Two days into classes, I was in way over my head and wanted to quit the University all together. Luckily, my dad talked me out of it and I switched to my “fallback” major — Communication Studies.

What the hell was Communication Studies? I really hadn’t the faintest idea. But I was signed up for classes with the generous help of the department chair and I was going to do my best. One of my first courses was called Interpersonal Communication. Okay. Sounds weird, but whatever. Little did I know, that course — that single course — would change the entire direction of my life.

The class was held in a lecture hall (which is funny since the focus of interpersonal communication is really communication between two people). I was intimidated. I was 17, I had just failed after only two days in the original major I chose, and I felt overwhelmed with it all. But I kept showing up and trying my best in that class and all the others. Then one day, the professor, Dr. Jack Orr, came over to my seat before class. I was reviewing some notes and noticed him towering over me. I thought I was in trouble! He asked me my name and then proceeded to thank me for being so attentive in class. In a lecture hall of 100 kids, he noticed me. He thanked me for making eye contact and for my nods and expressions during class. He said something along the lines of, “When I think I’m getting off track or losing everyone, I look to you.”

To this day, I tear up when I think about that moment. At that moment in time, it meant the world to me. If THIS was Communication Studies, I was in.

Four years later, the department offered me an assistantship, so I stayed on to earn a Master’s degree in the field, and at age 23, I got a job teaching at a community college. I taught Interpersonal Communication. I’ve been teaching the course for 6 years now, and every time I get in front of the class, I think of Dr. Orr and I hope I can give students the experience he gave me.

Now at age 29, I’m 6 weeks away from completing my Master’s degree in Communicative Disorders. One day, I up and decided to go back to school for Speech-Language Pathology. I’m not entirely sure what the impetus was to be honest, but I find myself in my last externship, exhausted and challenged everyday. I feel like I’ve come full circle in the world of Communication. More to come on the world of Communicative Disorders…

Looking back, it’s funny that I’ve spent the last decade of my life myself immersed in what was simply “Plan B.” Little did I know, I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

4 Responses to “When I grow up.”

  • The most influential of these discoveries has been the latter; the linear phase model. The idea that all groups performing a given type of task go through the same series of stages in the same order was replicated through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s; with most finding four phases of discussion. For example, communication researcher B. Aubrey Fisher showed groups going sequentially through an orientation stage, a conflict stage, a stage in which a decision emerges and a stage in which that decision is reinforced.

    by

    Stacey Walsh

    on

    Thursday, June 6, 2013
  • This senior-level seminar explores leading theories of rhetoric and social influence at an advanced level. Students will be expected to read, synthesize, and apply original communication research related to theories in these particular areas of emphasis in the communication studies field. PREREQ: COM 219, 224; SPK 208; and any two of the following courses: COM 309, 340, 403, 404, 405, or 481.

    by

    Donovan Daniel

    on

    Saturday, June 29, 2013
  • Rogers proposes that adopters of any new innovation or idea can be categorized as innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%), based on the mathematically based Bell curve . These categories, based on standard deviations from the mean of the normal curve, provide a common language for innovation researchers. Each adopter’s willingness and ability to adopt an innovation depends on their awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. People can fall into different categories for different innovations—a farmer might be an early adopter of mechanical innovations, but a late majority adopter of biological innovations or VCRs .

    by

    Danielle Whitehead

    on

    Friday, July 5, 2013
  • Rogers proposes that adopters of any new innovation or idea can be categorized as innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%), based on the mathematically based Bell curve . These categories, based on standard deviations from the mean of the normal curve, provide a common language for innovation researchers. Each adopter’s willingness and ability to adopt an innovation depends on their awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. People can fall into different categories for different innovations—a farmer might be an early adopter of mechanical innovations, but a late majority adopter of biological innovations or VCRs .

    by

    Silver Price

    on

    Sunday, July 7, 2013
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