Tag Archive: SOJC


The University of Oregon’s student run newspaper, The Daily Emerald, reported that one registered Republican serves on the university’s Law School faculty, and another in its Political Science Department.

To these two poor souls Almost DailyBrett promises to keep your political affiliation, secret. Seriously.

For those of you scoring at home, these two departments sport 44 registered Democrats and two Republicans. Since 2015, more than 98 percent or more than $235,000 in donations from university faculty has been directed to liberal causes.

Only 98 percent?

Working on my 2012 master’s degree at UO, your author could imagine Adam Smith and his “Wealth of Nations” being embraced at the Lillis School of Business. According to the Emerald, only 50 percent of the business school faculty are registered Democrats.

About 100-yards to the east, the School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) offers a totally different atmosphere.

Close your eyes. You can envision a lecture by Che Guevara being packed to the rafters. Don’t have to imagine the championing and teaching of Karl Marx, even though his philosophy continues to fail today (e.g., Maduro’s Venezuela).

Is the real philosophical gulf between the overwhelming number of faculty Democrats vs. the un pequito Republicans or more between those who embrace Social Justice and those who defend Capitalism?

For What It’s Worth

“The cultish professor who self-evidently reinforces a set of political beliefs is not something that just about anybody openly and consciously says is okay.” – Professor Craig Parsons, UO Department of Political Science chair

Amen.

The regular readers of Almost DailyBrett long ago determined your author is a registered Reaganite Republican and a staunch supporter of Buy Low, Sell High.

For my M.A. at the University of Oregon, your author created a college course in corporate communications and investor relations and taught it for more than five years.

Remember telling my students each quarter that whether they individually support or oppose capitalism, the main purpose of the class is to provide a realistic explanation of how global markets work. We also assessed the vital role public relations professionals play in presenting to investors an accurate picture of company financials and how a corporation makes money.

As Professor Parsons correctly states, it’s not appropriate for professors to indoctrinate their students. Instead, they should instill their profession-based knowledge – in this case, Wall Street and SEC disclosure rules – about how the real world works.

Is the goal of a university to develop activists or to prepare professionals to succeed in our free-market-driven, digital economy?

Does Political Stridency Enter The Classroom?

Alas, way too many times strident political discourse is being posted on the Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media pages by professors. They will piously claim they are exercising their cherished First Amendment right of free speech and therefore commenting as a private citizen.

But what happens when their online rhetoric becomes the subject matter for a course syllabus, and thus is transformed into the classroom for discussion, follow-up quizzes, midterms and/or finals?

Will the student toe the philosophical line in order to secure a good grade?

One overly eager activist associate professor was requiring her students to watch the anti-Vietnam War documentary, “Hearts and Minds.” What about the individual hearts and minds of her students?

Another dean prompted her college to sponsor a series of lectures on mass incarceration, which is all well and good … except there were no speakers from the correctional/law enforcement community.

When asked about the absence of balance in the lecture series, she retorted: “There are no other views.”

Okay?

Disgraced commentator Bill O’Reilly was once lamenting to the late great Charles Krauthammer about the preponderance of liberal faculty on America’s college campuses. Krauthammer told him to accept a reality, which will never change.

The real issue is whether a professor’s political philosophy permeates into the classroom. Almost DailyBrett for the most part was impressed with Millennial students. They are the most-educated generation in the planet’s history and the most moved by experiential learning.

Let’s provide them with the facts about how the real world works and life-long skills (e.g., how to read an income statement and a balance sheet), and then give them the opportunity to excel and grow.

Dominating a classroom to forcefully instill your chosen political philosophy to develop activists is wrong and inappropriate.

Starting later this month, this practice will undoubtedly raise its ugly head once again.

https://www.dailyemerald.com/2018/08/20/does-it-matter-if-your-professor-is-a-democrat/

“For some ten years I have kept a journal more or less regularly as a vehicle for adjusting my own perspective. I’ve found it a convenient way of stepping back occasionally to see what forms and shades my sometimes hectic activities were leaving on the canvas of my life.” – Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo (1932-2015)cuomo

Seems so simple, and for more than just a few … terrifying.

Just write every day for 15 minutes a day, every day.

That was the advice to post-graduate students by University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Professor Carol Stabile.

Good advice from my former across the cul-de-sac neighbor.stabile

Sorry to say, we are not talking about cumulative texting every day for four hours or more … With all due respect from the author of Almost DailyBrett that is not writing. LOL, SOL, BTW, BRB, JK, FOMO and the timeless WTF do not and will never constitute written expression or even coming close to contributing to the canvas of life.

Instead, we are discussing the practice of actually sitting down each and every day and writing for 15 minutes or longer.

Why would we want to do that? How about to improve our writing and thinking abilities?

Here’s the key question: What should you write about?

If you are asking that particular question, it may point to another issue: You may not be reading enough.

Yes in order to write; you need to read and read and read …

Canvas of Life

“An astrologist sent me a horoscope that said I was going to die on election day. I don’t know if she meant literally or figuratively. Just in case she means it literally, I think I’ll vote early.” – Cuomo diary on 1982 general election eve

Cuomo’s diaries of his difficult 1982 Democratic primary against NYC mayor Edward Koch and general election campaign for the governorship of New York were a hit in the mid-1980s.

Considering that my boss (e.g., Governor George Deukmejian) went through a similar process in the same year, just from the other side of the aisle, and across the country in California drew me to Cuomo’s diaries.

Cuomo wrote in the pre-dawn hours before heading out for a full-and-frantic day of politicking. Guess there are some not requiring the standard eight-hours of sleep that mumsy recommended.

The former New York governor used the old-fashioned pen and journal for his diaries, reflecting the historical fact the IBM PC had just been invented. Today, we will most likely opt for a lap top or tablet to write … even though pen and paper still works in this digital age. Heck Moses used his own tablets thousands of years ago.

There is so much happening in the world to write about, more good than bad. Yep, your author has been accused of being a Pollyanna.unicorn

The Economist just this week wrote about “Unicorns.” Yep, those highly capitalized and inventive, privately held companies with valuations exceeding $1 billion that are in no hurry to take their shares public … Uber, Airbnb, SpaceX, Pinterest, Dropbox, Snapchat …

Some lament the gyrations of Wall Street; sometimes the market is overbought and sometimes it is oversold … the choppy trend line is upward to the right.

Almost DailyBrett wrote about the Silly Season of politics, essentially recommending not getting one’s knickers in a twist about the bloviations of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Believe it or not, the political process has a way of moderating itself.

Summer is upon us (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) and it is a magical time of Urlaub that wundervolle Zeit for vacationing, exploring and sampling yummy wines and refreshing microbrews. Ahh … Gemütlichkeit … Le Dolce Vida.

Soon the days will grow shorter, the air will become cooler and the leaves will start to change colors, it will be that magical time: college football season. There is something about the pageantry of the fall spectacle that serves as a rebirth and pleasant thoughts of another New Year’s Day In Pasadena.

Please excuse my bout of positive vibrations. Yes Almost DailyBrett recognizes there is and will always be the cup half-empty portion of the world. This blog is indeed pragmatic and recognizes it is much more difficult to be always positive, than the latter.

Go away Gloomy Gus and Negative Nancy.

The point is this: The Canvas of Life has so much to read about and more importantly to write about.

Sit down for your 15 minutes and write to your heart’s content. And if you are brave enough, publish your journal. The digital ones-and-zeroes of binary code will enable your self-publishing.

It only takes 15 minutes each day, every day.

http://wgs.uoregon.edu/profile/cstabile/

https://cstabile.wordpress.com/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/01/us/mario-cuomo-dies-new-york-governor/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/02/nyregion/mario-cuomo-new-york-governor-and-liberal-beacon-dies-at-82.html?_r=0

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21659745-silicon-valley-should-be-celebrated-its-insularity-risks-backlash-empire-geeks

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/the-silly-season/

 

 

 

 

He dropped out of school not once, but twice.

He worked in a lumber mill until there was no more lumber mill.

He was employed by an aluminum fabricator until his plant went overseas.

He jumped out of a perfectly good airplane 30 times in one given day, set an Oregon record, and lived to talk about it.

DCIM100GOPRO

He drove 140 miles round-trip virtually every day of the week from Roseburg to Eugene in all kinds of crummy weather to pursue his goal.

He earned his high school degree at 25, and then his associate’s degree and just this past week his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism with an emphasis on Public Relations.

Meet Ronn Crow, 45, former drop out, then “non-trad” student and now graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC).

“I never thought I would get a bachelor’s degree,” Ronn said. “This is a huge weight off my shoulders.”

Patty Jenness, 48, never did and never will jump out of an airplane, let alone doing it 30 times before the sun goes down.

She did give birth to four daughters; adopted two more, eventually adding three sons-in-law and three grandchildren (and counting) to her household.

For most people, raising six daughters (whatever happened to her husband, Andy’s, Y-chromosome supply?) would be a job well done.

After accomplishing this goal, she sat down with Andy (one of my M.A. student colleagues) and talked about next steps. Patty made the decision to go back to school.

patty

Applying and signing up for classes was a snap. She loves information and follows current events, so SOJC was a natural for her. As it turned out, there was the mental struggle and doubts that would turn out to be the biggest hurdles.

“Did my brain still work right?” Patty recalls asking herself. “And what is this old lady doing in the classroom?”

Patty articulated the doubts of many non-traditional students or “non-trads.” How would they be accepted by the perky millennial crowd in their late-teens and early-20s, the ones who can barely remember the 20th Century?

As it turns out, she didn’t need to worry. Patty graduated this past week from SOJC with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations

Stephanie Martin turned 46 this week. She has been pursuing her bachelor’s degree for six years, first as a community college student and now at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. She can envision, walking up on the platform in her cap and gown to receive her diploma.

“I can see myself balling on stage, just like a three year-old girl who stubbed her toe,” Stephanie said. “It has been a long-slow road to hell. It has been hard, real hard.”

stephaniemartin

Stephanie was divorced with her young son, Zachary, and was stuck in a dead-end position. She was approaching 40 and there just had to be more in life.

She reflected how she hated her Indiana high school, and she recollected her thoughts about her short stints at Ball State and Indiana University as “a waste of time and a waste of money.”

As Zachary turned five, Stephanie started applying for student loans and grants. She took her first steps at Lane Community College and then transferred to the University of Oregon. The latter was the hard part.

She believes that community colleges are naturally more adept at addressing the needs of “non-trad” students than major universities that are more inclined to focus on the needs of Millennials and foreign students.

“I asked myself, ‘What am I doing’?” said Stephanie. “I came back each night in tears. Nobody seemed to care about the older students.”

And now, she can see the finish line. She can envision herself making presentations and demonstrations for corporations. This soon will be possible because of her upcoming degree.

The author of Almost DailyBrett was a non-trad student as well, going back to pursue his M.A. degree at 54 years-young. The average grad student is 29. Think of it this way, it is not uncommon for professionals to take a sabbatical from work – particularly in this economy – to attain an advanced degree.

The same cannot be said for those who have the courage to return or enter college in middle-age to sit in classrooms with late teens and early 20s students for the purpose of attaining an undergraduate degree. Three celebrated examples are Shaquille O’Neal (LSU), Joe Namath (Alabama) and Isiah Thomas (Indiana).

There are a wide variety of reasons that propel these mature students to get back on the academic track.

For Ronn Crow, federal Trade Adjustment Assistance as a result of the Alcan Cable offshoring provided the needed capital and another opportunity.

DSC00356

For Patty Jenness, her husband, Andy, was pursuing his master’s degree and the nest was emptying (her daughters range from 20-27 years of age).

For Stephanie Martin, it was a realization that she was going nowhere fast in her dead-end job. She just has too much talent, not to do better.

It should be noted that I had the honor of teaching upper-division public relations to Ronn (two classes), Patty (two classes) and Stephanie (one class). Each of them was always there, attentive and ready to learn. In fact, Stephanie insisted on going first when it came to making a presentation. She does not suffer from Glossophobia.

The three of them are all different, but in many ways they are all the same.

They are non-trads.

They are courageous.

They are overachievers.

Almost DailyBrett wishes them the absolute best in their exciting careers and lives.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_Adjustment_Assistance

http://www.jcomm.uoregon.edu/

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