Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Capstone Course

   This semester I am taking Media Programming. This is the final class in my major requirements and it combines all the skills I have learned in my past classes and requires multiple projects to implement everything I have learned. My teacher kept referring to it as a "capstone" course. "Since this is a capstone course..." and so on. I kept wondering what I had agreed to. It reminded me of "Princeton Review course" or some kind of extra effort honors course that I accidently got myself into. I felt ignorant that I didn't know what the word meant. I guess my not-so-hot verbal GRE score was an accurate reflection of my vocabulary. The last time she referred to the course as "capstone," I looked at Ashley Dunn next to me and whispered "what in the world is capstone?" She just smiled and shrugged. We were both clueless. Finally, I raised my hand and asked. Dr. Moody just laughed and said it only means that it's a class that combines all the classes you have already taken. I already knew that, just not the term. 
A capstone is actually the stone placed on top of the pyramid. Makes sense, right? This is taken from the dollar. The "eye of the capstone."

When I left the class I was walking to Social Dance (my next class- don't be jealous) and right outside the building there was this truck...
I am not sure what capstone means in their case, but it looks like the word will be with me for a while.

   One of my assignments in this class is to keep up this blog! Cool, right? I also have to "tweet" on my Twitter four times a week. I have to create a Twitter Party. I have to work on a Facebook crisis. I have to be social media savvy. Life is awesome. There's a catch. I have to blog and tweet about public relations trends. This will help me get familiar with what is going on in my career world. I am aware this is a personal blog, so I am going to mix my personal life with the public relations trends I discover. It will be real. It will be fun. It will be real fun. 
   In other news, I got a great internship at Hillcrest Baptist Hospital! I will be working in their marketing/communications department. The department covers everything from marketing to media to public relations. I will be able to get my hands on a little of everything. I have a meeting in the morning with the department to go over my semester assignments. I am very excited and will keep everyone updated on what I get to do! I know you are all dying to hear it.
   Back to business- In class we discussed terms that we might not know. For those of you who don't know what Twitter is, (shout out to Grammie) it is a social networking site where you basically post something that is 140 characters or less. You can say anything from "I am taking the dog on a walk" to "Today President Obama played basketball with each of his delegates and won by a huge margin. Go get em' Pres!" It's your thought. Say whatever you want. It's a "status update" for those who are on Facebook. I also learned Twitter lingo. A hash tag (#) is just a tool for tracking topics. My tweet could say "At the beach, soaking up the sun, watching surfers and drinking a lemonade #lovelife." The "#lovelife" will go to a separate site where other people have tagged one of their posts to "#lovelife."  (Grammie, are you confused yet? Letters are easier, I know.) I also learned about Twitter Parties. I create a Party and invite people then we all get online at the same time and talk to each other. Sounds like a party to me! I don't know how this is a great tool for the career world- but feel free to let me know if you think it is.
For those who aren't sure what public pelations is and only know that I am majoring in it (shout out to Mom)... Public Relations is the art of creating an understanding for , or goodwill on behalf of someone or something. Public relations basically creates an image. It places importance on people, cooperative problem-solving and building strong relationships. It leaves room for challenges, creativity and has a high level of importance in society. Most people don't realize public relations when they see it, but watch out, it's surrounding you!

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