Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gonzaga Residency | Communication Practica [2010]

Hi Colleagues,

I returned recently from an on-campus class at Gonzaga, a requirement to complete my Master's of Arts in Communication and Leadership studies program.  I learned two things:  I like working on teams, and I like the possibility of liking public speaking, especially when I have something important or beneficial to say!  

Speech class in the student lounge (above)
My speech topics:  "How to choose a thesis topic" and "Why you should employ the career interview method... and do it with style!"  I accomplished two goals:  speak with projection, eye contact, vocal variety (i.e., mirco-skills, 1), and speak as a conversation (i.e., empathy, 2).  Granted, I've much room to grow, but that's the beauty of it:  I can learn and so improve my public speaking with practice, practice, practice.  So there's hope after all for those out there including myself who have historically struggled with speaking anxiety (Thanks Dr. Hazel for your empathy, encouragement, and discernment! Thanks to my classmates for your grace!).

Multi-media module in the computer lab (above)
Dr. Kris Morehouse taught the writing module:  Tighten, tighten, tighten (and parallel structure helps)!

I found the Thesis info session helpful.  I also met up with the undergraduate editor for Reflections, Gonzaga's 40 year and counting art and literature journal.

Me, a student again on a gorgeous campus (above)
I enjoyed walking around campus in the gorgeous fall weather.  Sunlight through the trees turning green-to-orange-yellow, cool mornings, bright sun, warm afternoons, deep sleep.  My visit reminded me of why this program continues to appeal to me:  Fun, enthusiastic, and scholarship-minded faculty who care about authenticity, conscientiousness, and quality.  I care about those things, too.  

I love my classmates, my professors, and campus.  Most of my classmates travelled from the mid-west or east coast; I enjoyed meeting communication professionals from around the country.  I "Heart" Gonzaga!  

ComL 517 Fall 2010 (c) Kelli Kapp (I'm 3rd from front-left, above)
I continue to feel supported in my journey.

Dr. Caputo giving a prayer before the banquet (above)
"This journey is not without help," Dr. Caputo said at the banquet.  I can "Go Big or Go Home" because I have help.  I go big or go home by being mindful of the ways that I, as a communication professional, read "texts" around me to communicate in healing ways in a toxic world.  This communication ethic continues to guide my philosophy.  

Me in Duncan Garden, Manito Park (above)
We enjoyed a lengthy stroll through Manito Park (highly recommended--a good find!).

Production Team 4: Amanda, Debbie, Me, N Jorge (above)
A thank you to my colleagues, profs and students alike, for every word of encouragement.  I feel affirmed to "do great things," to love learning, to give generously to my peers, to appreciate this special moment in time (2 years isn't so long!), to move forward with passion, to be content, and to be peaceful.  

To realize peace, we must be peaceful.
Dr. Caputo

Smiling, gesticulating, and laughing while speaking helps.  Building from Bill Hart-Davidson's (Michigan State University, Rhetoric & Writing graduate program) spot-on advice this last summer, always ask compelling questions to discover compelling stories. 

Fr. Jacobson N a happy-squinty-eyed me (above)
Visit our Production Team 4 blog and watch our brief video here titled, Cardinal Bea House:  Learning about the home of retired Jesuits.  We profiled Father Jacobson of Cardinal Bea House, a home of retired Jesuit teachers situated in the heart of Gonzaga's campus.  Thanks Amanda, Debbie, and Jorge for your stellar work!

Thanks to those of my family and friends for your continued support and prayers for my journey.

Lastly, we enjoyed where we stayed (more on that soon).  Now, to finish my community profile and thesis chapter 2 (Lit Review)!

Thank you for reading,
Dena