Adventures in Teaching and Blogging

I wonder if blogging can be addictive?

September 25, 2008
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Can’t sleep so I decide to look at other blogs and found these “State of the Blogosphere 2008” posts to be compelling and interesting:

(Now if I only knew how to tag or link or connect my blog to that one because I know that helps a blog get “out there”…any answers, anyone?

Also, I hope I’ve added the links correctly.  If not, I suppose you could resort to cut-‘n’-paste-in-browser mode?)

http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/who-are-the-bloggers

http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/the-what-and-why-of-blogging/http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/the-how-of-blogging/

http://technorati.com/blogging/state-of-the-blogosphere/the-how-of-blogging/

(The charts of time bloggers spend blogging are what prompted me pose to the question of this post!!)

Any thoughts, comments, ideas, reflection on the links I’ve included?  How about any technical advice for this first-time blogger?

Oh, in case you can’t tell from this blog so far, I’ll say it now: I won’t tolerate any “snarkiness” here.  So far, so good.

So, good night.

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Cool stuff about Drake

September 24, 2008
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The students in my Public Relations Research class took on the project of finding out what they could about Aunt Ruth, journalism education in the 1940s, 1960s 1980s in relation to what’s happening now (i.e. learning to blog!) and they found some really cool stuff. 

Here is one group’s findings:

 

Allison Francis, Nicole Freise

Kailyn Heston, Emilee Richardson

Blog Research

Public Relations Research

 

Interviews with female Drake graduates

This is a link to several interviews that Drake did in 2006 with female students from the 1930s on up. There are several interviews with female students in the late 1930s and 1940s (from the same time period as Professor Lockwood’s aunt.)  Furthermore, there is one woman who was a Drake Beauty with Professor Lockwood’s aunt.  This link also includes pictures, so it is likely that Ruth Lockwood is in some of these pictures as well. 

http://www.lib.drake.edu/heritage/WomenRememberDrake/photoGallery.html

This link provides unique perspective on what it was like to be a female Drake student during the time period that Ruth Chapman was.  Several of these women discuss what college was like for young women during war-time; as most of the male students were drafted over seas these women got very close and creative with campus activities.  These women’s college experience was very unique from the college experience that we all have.  The Drake that these women discuss seems worlds away to a young female attending school in the 21st century.

History of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication

 Drake’s SJMC Web site offered a wealth of information about the history of the school itself.  In 1962, the journalism program became the School of Journalism.  The first television courses were offered two years earlier in 1960.  By the mid-sixties, the newly constructed Meredith Hall became the home of the school and a radio-television department was added.  In 1980, the news-editorial and advertising sequences were accredited again and the public relations sequence was accredited for the first time.  In 1981, the school officially changed its name to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication to reflect its diversity of offerings.

Research from the 1940s and 1960s yearbooks

The research of the 1940s led to finding some different aspects of “feminism” at Drake. In 1941, there was only one female dean, Mrs. Carrie Taylor Cubbage. She was the dean of women. Also, there were only five females on the Board of Trustees out of 40.

Another interesting point from 1941 was that there was an aviation school at Drake, or as the Quax called it a “student pilot training plan.” Men only had to pay $25 for insurance, medical examinations and fees. However, they had to sign a contract that said they would enter the military if asked.

Professor E.L. Callihan was the new dean of the journalism school. He rearranged the structure of the Times-Delphic, changing it to a bi-weekly publication. They published 1,000 copies on each press run.

Ruth Chapman was a liberal arts major and was in the Chi Omega sorority. The Quax said of her: “beautiful Ruth Chapman, new stooge on the stoogent council.”

·      In 1942, the Quax said: “Chi Omega has glamorous Ruth Chapman to boot.”

·      And in 1943, when she graduated, it listed her as a journalism major, rush chairman for Chi Omega and a member of Panhellenic Council, YWCA, the Quax staff and the Times-Delphic staff. She was the desk editor for the society section for the Times-Delphic. And the Quax said of her this year: “Ruth Chapman is still one of the most attractive girls on campus.”

There were professional journalism fraternities and sororities, Sigma Delta Chi and Theta Sigma Phi, respectively. The journalism fraternity meetings were called to order by saying: “If it is bull you want, we’ll sling it… if it is truth, forget it.” That goes to show something about how journalism majors were thought of at the time.

Also, in 1943, Stalnaker became the head of the liberal arts school and decided that camera journalism should be a focus because during the war, people wanted to see what was happening. That year, they started offering camera journalism courses, but don’t continue today. Not sure when photography courses stopped being offered.

In 1986, Michael Ferrari was the new president of the university. He stated that Drake should be a computer intensive university, and Apple Macintosh won the bid to be the computer of choice. PRSSA was now at Drake. They sponsored speakers and went on field trips to public relations firms. There were seven members. Herbert Strentz was also the new dean of the journalism school.

(end of that group’s research, back to Lisa Lockwood blogging again):

I’m learning that blogs need constant care and feeding so I’m SUPER pleased that I had my students do their research…this way I can “feed” the blog with their findings and ease my way into this whole adventure.

That’s all for now….look for more soon.  THANKS for reading, commenting and sharing!


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Well, here we go…

September 18, 2008
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My name is Lisa Lockwood and I am a first-time blogger.

Initially, I wanted to call my blog, “Here’s to shoes and bags, Aunt Ruth,” but one of my colleagues wisely pointed out that title wouldn’t really reflect my blog objectives. But there is a good back story as to why I thought of that title.

My Aunt Ruth went to Drake University in the 1940s and graduated with a degree in journalism. She went on to have a cool career starting out writing obits at a newspaper in Fargo, North Dakota. From there she became a reporter at the newspaper in Clear Lake, Iowa. I’m not sure what, if any, positions she held in between but she ended her career in public relations at North Shore Hospital on Long Island, NY.

She was always a beautiful woman, modeling part-time for Younkers Department Store in Des Moines while she was a j-student here at Drake. She was named a “Drake Beauty” and went on a date or two with Steve Allen, one of Drake’s famous broadcast alumni.

Bottom line: I always admired, respected, loved and looked up to my Aunt Ruth. Sometimes I even wondered if I was born to the wrong sister, she and I were so alike – noses buried in books or magazines and a zealous penchant (some might say fetish) for shoes and bags. Plus she had such sophistication of being a New Yorker, it gave me shivers. Even when her dark hair grayed, it did so with a dramatic streak right in front, adding to her allure and charm.

Oh, and we shared the same middle name: Lockwood. Mine is in the process of becoming my surname now but I was born Lisa Lockwood Inhofe, and she Ruth Lockwood Chapman.

When my cousin brought Aunt Ruth’s ashes back to Iowa a couple of years ago, we did some research at the State Historical Society to determine where exactly my grandfather worked as the state coal mine inspector in Albia, Iowa. We found the GPS coordinates to the mine, and knew Aunt Ruth and my mom were born and lived near the mine. So on a broiling hot, sticky, humid, Iowa August day, my cousin and his wife, my brother and his wife, my parents and I took Aunt Ruth’s ashes to the middle of a cornfield in Monroe County and strew them.

Each of us took a handful of ashes and made our last remarks to Aunt Ruth. My cousin, Thom, started by saying, “You can go home again, mom.” My mother, who has Alzheimer’s and was sporting a giant purple golf umbrella to shield her from the sun, said, appropriately enough, “To mom and daddy.” Someone else said something about Ruth dancing in heaven. (She loved to dance, one major difference between the two of us.) When it was my turn to toss ashes I said, “Here’s to shoes and bags, Aunt Ruth.”

My career path has been similar to Aunt Ruth’s. I have my master’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Drake University. I started out as a newspaper reporter and have been in public relations in a variety of positions from news director in the p.r. office at Simpson College, to communication director for Iowa Governor Terry Branstad in his third term as governor, to executive director of a statewide non-profit called Friends of Iowa CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), to community relations coordinator for another statewide non-profit called Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, with some freelance stints sprinkled in here and there. My Drake education has served me very well in my career.

When I was hired to teach public relations at Drake this year, I was thrilled. I taught adjunct at Simpson for several years but it’s been a few years since I’d done so. Being back on a college campus feels like exactly where I need and want to be now. Being back at Drake feels like “home.”

But I also realized how much journalism education has changed since my time at Drake. Blogging, for instance. Unheard of in the 1980s.

So, I needed to learn about blogging as a public relations tool in order for my students to learn as well. I want to provide them with the great educational experience I had here as a student. (If it’s not obvious at this point: Yes, one of my stated objectives for this blog is to be a p.r. tool, in and of itself, for the University and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.)

But blogging to blog and toot Drake’s SJMC horn wasn’t enough. So I put my p.r. research students to work researching Drake’s journalism curriculum in Aunt Ruth’s time here in the 1940s, my time here in the 1980s, some students figured we might as well look at the 60s as well, and then compare those times to what’s going on in journalism education today. To say times have changed is an understatement!

I would love to hear from other journalism educators out there in the blogosphere, public relations professionals in the field, Drake alumni, and/or anyone else who loves shoes and bags!

Chime in!


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About author

I'm a first year visiting assistant professor of journalism at Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I'm teaching public relations classes and see blogging as an important p.r. tool. I know very little about blogging and feel I need to learn along with my students. Thus, "Adventures in Teaching and Blogging" is born.

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