Archive for November, 2010

Online Black Friday

November 23, 2010

Hello IMC Friends!

Happy early Thanksgiving! I know that our classes keep going despite the upcoming holiday season, but nevertheless I hope all of you are able to take some time away from your studies and enjoy some food, family, and friends (I know I plan on it!).  🙂

Along with Thanksgiving comes the day that all retailers are gearing up for—the day that some shoppers are already giddy about. Yes, I’m talking about Black Friday. Now, I’ve been thinking about it, and I’ve concluded that there are three kinds of holiday shoppers. There are the shopaholics – the ones that will get up at 3 a.m. and camp out in front of a store in the early morning hours of Black Friday to get a good deal (some of these people actually started shopping holiday in July). They usually give the best gifts and take great pride in finding the perfect gift for every person.

Next, we have the standard holiday shoppers. These people MIGHT venture out on Black Friday—if they can get motivated to get off the couch. However, they will never get up in time to take advantage of the early Black Friday deals. And some might just bypass Black Friday altogether to eat leftovers and watch football instead. They get most of their shopping done a few weeks before Christmas, but oftentimes you’ll see them scurrying around the stores on Christmas Eve Day.

Lastly, there are the anti-shoppers. Anti-shoppers are experts at pawning off their holiday shopping on others (usually a spouse, a sibling, or a parent). You won’t see them in stores. If you get a gift from an anti-shopper, odds are it didn’t actually come from him or her.

Anti-shoppers are notorious at providing any and every excuse to get out of holiday shopping (I know this firsthand because my husband is an anti-shopper). The most popular excuses are, “I just don’t like the crowds during the holiday season” or “It’s so frustrating having to stand in those long lines.” But for all of you anti-shoppers out there, there’s something I want to introduce to you—this thing called the Internet.

The Internet has certainly transformed the way holiday shopping is done—at least it has for me. With the help of the Internet, I got all of my Christmas shopping done for Hailey in the span of about an hour last weekend without getting off my couch. It was awesome. Honestly, now that I have a daughter I have a new respect for my Mom, who without the help of the Internet had to search high and low for that one impossible-to-find toy each year (she still tells me every year about the Cabbage Patch Kid shopping nightmare).

Since I’m currently enrolled in IMC 619 Emerging Media and the Market, I’ll be paying special attention this year as to how brands are promoting their holiday and Black Friday deals on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.  Have you come across any good holiday deals on Twitter or Facebook yet?

Happy shopping!

A Harry Pottering I Will Go…

November 15, 2010

There are different types of people in this world. There are those who don’t know about Harry Potter (also called hermits). There are others who know who Harry Potter is but don’t care. There are some who are simply fans of Harry Potter. I count myself among this group. Like me, these people enjoy the Harry Potter movies. They may or may not have read the books, but they generally know what’s going on at Hogwarts.

Then there are the Harry Potter freaks. These are the people who have completely lost touch with reality—the ones who truly believe that Hogwarts exists. They have their prized Harry Potter collections in a special (often secret) place in their homes and refuse to share them. They have pets—and in some cases children—named after Harry Potter characters. And, they play quidditch.

Chances are you know a few Harry Potter freaks. I know several. One of my friends has told me on several occasions that she sits at work and daydreams about what’s going on at Hogwarts. Three of my favorite Harry Potter freaks are making a special trip to Universal Studios in Orlando next month to spend New Year’s at the new Harry Potter theme park. And, my personal favorite, one of my friends recently told me that all of her wireless devices reference Harry Potter and that her wireless network is named Hogwarts. No joke.

I’m a little torn when it comes to Harry Potter. I really do want to read the books, but now that I have an iPad and have switched over to e-books, I don’t want to go back to reading tree books. And since J.K. Rowling has yet to permit the sale of Harry Potter books in e-format, I’m stuck. Borrowing the books has proven difficult because, as I said before, my friends are freaks who don’t lend their Harry Potter collections to just anyone—even after I promised that I wouldn’t bend the spines, let Hailey color in them, eat Cheetos while reading, etc. I figure I would have to take a blood oath just to get the books in my possession.

So, this Thursday night I will be taking a break from my IMC studies to accompany my Harry Potter freak friends to the midnight premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1.” I admit that I do feel somewhat unprepared, but I will have one thing going for me that probably everyone else in the theater won’t—a surprise ending!

Wish me luck!

What about you guys? Are you Harry Potteraholics? 🙂

First assignment jitters

November 8, 2010

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m usually not this jovial on a Monday morning, but today is a Steeler Day, and I’m already celebrating (let’s hope I continue to celebrate after the game tonight!).

Last night, I was chatting with a classmate of mine on Facebook as we were both working on our homework assignments due for today. Even though we are taking different classes for Late Fall, this is the first assignment due for both of us. I told her that I had “first assignment jitters” and she agreed. It’s not that either of us expects to do poorly on our assignments, it’s just that with every new semester comes a new professor. And while the grading for all IMC courses is pretty standard, each professor has their own preferences and their own grading styles that we must relearn every nine weeks. For example, I’ve had professors who’ve said that a paper’s length doesn’t matter—that a good paper should be as long as it takes to say what I need to say, nothing more. On the other hand, other professors have required papers to be precisely between X and Y number of pages.

At the beginning of one class that I had a few semesters ago, I had a question about the first assignment that I was afraid to ask. It’s not that the professor for that class was inaccessible. On the contrary, she continually urged students to contact her with any questions they had. I just didn’t want to come across as a “needy student” or a “pest.” However, I ultimately ended up e-mailing the professor and got the answer I needed to do my assignment. And since that time, I’ve found that in all my classes thus far every professor has been more than helpful in answering the questions I have regarding assignments and course material.

I don’t think those “first assignment jitters” will every go away completely, but if there’s one piece of advice I could give to incoming IMC students, it’s this: If you have a question regarding an assignment or anything in the course, don’t hesitate or be afraid to ask your professor. If something is confusing you, there’s a good chance you aren’t the only one, and no question is a stupid question!

IMC, Baby!

November 3, 2010

Hello IMC Land! I know I’ve already discussed the flexibility and convenience of the IMC program in other posts, but after learning more about my new classmates through their introductions last week, I want to revisit the subject.

Welcoming my daughter three years ago was one the biggest, most life-changing experiences of my life thus far—something that you can never be fully prepared for, no matter how hard you try. However, the flexibility of the IMC program is making it possible for several of my classmates to continue their coursework despite life-altering circumstances.

Last week, I was surprised and happy to learn that we have something of an IMC Baby Boom going on. One of my classmates, Katie, welcomed her baby girl last May while still enrolled in class.

My classmate, Katie, with her daughter (taken on her Mac photo booth)

Along with Katie, I also learned last week that two more of my classmates will be welcoming new additions to their families soon. My classmate Christian and her husband, Chris, will be welcoming the “first human addition” to their family in March. My classmate Barry and his wife, Lauren (a WVU School of Journalism grad), will also be welcoming a baby in March.

Again, just to give you an idea of the flexibility that the IMC program provides, Katie was able to take a semester off from classes this summer to spend time with her daughter and jump right back into her coursework this fall. And both Barry and Christian have scheduled classes for next Spring.

New babies aren’t the only thing that can throw your entire life off-balance. Anyone who has ever had to move can attest to that. I was happy to see a familiar name, Ashley, in my 619 class last week. The last class I had with Ashley was last Spring. During that class, Ashley was living in West Virginia and waiting to find out where her husband, John (a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army), would be stationed. Fast-forward to today. Ashley is currently living in San Antonio, TX, and will be moving shortly to her husband’s first permanent station in Ft. Drum, NY. Despite having to move across the country, Ashley has been able to keep up with her online IMC coursework with ease.

My classmate Ashley with her husband, John

Do any of you have a story you’d like to share about how the flexibility of the IMC program has helped you? Are there any other new additions to the IMC family? We’d love to hear your stories!