Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Whew, good thing I'm not young...

In a recent NYT article that I could not read (because of its select content), John Tierney supposedly suggested that conservatives don't either go into or come out of J-Schools because of the liberal bias from professors. Greg Mitchell reports that "In TierneyWorld, Liberals Block Young, Right-thinking Journos." Whew, good thing I am not young, or else I might not be able to think for myself. This almost implies that because students are young that they are swayed by what their professors think and are not able to think for themselves. From the very bright students I have met in my J-School, they are definitely not swayed by what our professors say about politics. They absolutely respect what they teach in the classroom, but my student colleagues (who, yes, are much younger than I am) already have their minds made up about their politics before they arrive on campus. I already have my mind made up, too.

It is not to say that I am not open-minded, however. Despite being a life-long conservative, I am open and willing to listen and discuss other perspectives. As an objective newcomer to this field, this is really one of the issues that I see journalism struggling with. There is this long-standing tradition of being objective in reporting, co-mingled with intense personal beliefs. These two are constantly struggling with each other so that when we read someone's piece we are left wondering which side won. In Mr. Tierney's case, he is paid to be biased, but our young students are taught not to write that way for the jobs that they will take when they graduate. He has a luxury that they will not have, at least in the near future. If he would like to see more conservative voices, then reporting will have to change, or journalists will have to be more accepting of bloggers who feel free to express themselves in their own voices.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Even GM needs to learn new tricks...

I was so sad to hear on NPR on the way to school this morning about GM's latest woes, cutting 30,000 jobs. There is also a story on the NY Times site from my hometown, Lansing, Michigan, where I worked at Oldsmobile at one of GM's first non-engineering co-op education students. All through undergraduate school at Albion College, my friend, Sue, and I spent every other semester, winter breaks, spring breaks, summer breaks and any time we could working at Oldsmobile rotating through finance, accounting, purchasing, hourly employment and salaried employment. I actually quit my job at GM to go back to B-School, worried that I would become too complacent in a high paying cushy job. Instead, after B-School, I took a lower paying challenging job that ultimately led me here to academia. Hmmmm.....

With my marketing perspective, I think it is too bad that GM has decided to cut its way out of its problems rather than innovate its way back to greatness.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Here you go, ma'am...

Was he just being polite in a southern way, or did he say that because I look so much older than he is? When you do you become a ma'am, anyway? One of my graduate assistant jobs is to help with exams and as the students were turning them in, one young man handed me his and said, "here you go, ma'am." I thought of this again today as the CMO of Motorola died today--he was only in his 50s, but told people he always felt like he was 17. I guess age is all perspective. In my blogging class, it is mostly undergrads, one masters student, and me. We were talking about middle age the other day, and I asked, "What is middle age, anyway?" One of the undergrads replied, "I think it is 30." She said "30" like it was ancient! I guess I'm past middle age--better brace for the worst or at least the other side of the hill!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Response to Frozen at Four...

At Dotmoms, Amy writes that she wants to freeze her child at four.

Amy, Have no fear! Children grow up and they still say they love you and hug you, no matter what their peers think or say. I am happy to report that my 8 year-old son still wants to give me what he calls "a great big smooch" and tells me that I am "the greatest mom ever". He even hugs me in front of his friends at school. My 11-year old daughter, despite being on the edge of her teenage years, has returned to the days of constant hugging, and is actually miffed with me, if I don't stop and return her hugs with equal enthusiasm. She will even select random moments in the car to blurt out "I love you guys!" which still causes my husband to stumble for a moment, wondering if his hearing is indeed working. So I just want to reassure you that while four is indeed wonderful--I do miss those days, that I have found that each year has something special to offer, as well.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

EQ vs. IQ...

The old EQ vs. IQ debate continues...what does it take to get a PhD? I know that brains are important, but I'm beginning to believe that you do need a dose of EQ along with that. How else can you finish papers and classes on deadline, juggle four classes per semester along with an assistantship, and some kind of assemblance of family life? We are one of the lucky schools that takes the time to interview us for our program. In thinking back to that intimidating interview weekend, I am trying to think about the questions they asked and the settings they put us in to think about what types of EQ things they might have been getting at over that weekend. I hadn't really thought about it until now. In some ways, as long as you pass the IQ hurdle for admissions, I believe it is the EQ items that will get you through in the long run. Even though I am one of the older students, I have come to realize that age has nothing to do with either IQ or EQ. Now I'm curious to find out what other companies or universities do to research EQ on a prospective candidate. I know this will be something that will be useful for me to understand in the future. I did a google search and found one inventory of items at that examines four items: 1) Reading people, 2) Using emotions, 3) understanding emotions, and 4) Managing emotions. It gives me a place to start thinking about how we can ask the right questions to get at this thing called EQ.

Isn't this what fun looks like?!

My daughter asked me this morning if I was actually having any fun getting a PhD. Of course I'm having fun, I thought, can't you tell?! I realized that I am so busy juggling course work, papers, conference deadlines, graduate assistantship work, and this other thing called parent-hood, that it must seem to her like I'm having no fun at all. She is looking ahead at her life and she has already decided that when she grows up, she will get a PhD before she has kids so she doesn't ruin their lives! I did admit to her that she probably will have more fun if she gets her degree that way because she won't feel so guilty about not devoting enough time to everything. I am having fun--really. I wouldn't have subjected myself (and them) to this complicated life otherwise.