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  1. Share This Blog or Your Account Will Be Deleted (Blog 3)

    November 27, 2016 by Emily Porter

    Have you ever logged into Facebook and seen your timeline flooded with identical, paragraph-length posts about some privacy hoax? Every few years these statuses resurface and those gullible enough believe that if they make their status identical to the one everyone is reposting, then their account will be protected. Typically the statuses claim that Facebook has changed their terms and conditions and now own everyone’s personal photos, videos, posts, etc. In order to protect their account, people are told to copy and paste the status as his/her statement in denying Facebook permission to own their information.

    It was quite entertaining to watch my friends, family, and peers fall for the hoax, but it was also concerning to see how easily fooled everyone was. Instead of doing fact-checks, researching the claim, or checking Facebook’s terms and conditions, people felt it was easier to share the status to protect their account. I haven’t seen privacy hoax statuses in years, but I am still exposed to false information on Facebook on a daily basis. Perhaps now more so than ever due to the recent election that created an undesirable increase in fake news stories.

    What is interesting is that this is not the first presidential election where Facebook has existed. Why, then, are so many fake articles going viral? Well, the reason it quite simple. Much like the privacy hoax statuses, people are unwilling to do their homework and they work with information given to them. In addition, if we read something that supports our beliefs or that we want to be true then we are more likely to believe it. As communications professor Melissa Zimdars puts it, “people tend to seek out information that already aligns with their worldview.” Meaning, if a Donald Trump supporter reads a fake news article that Trump is ahead in the Popular Vote, then he is more likely to share the article. This is because the Trump supporter is pleased with this information and since he is voting for Trump and Trump is ‘leading the Popular Vote’ he assumes his Facebook friends will appreciate the article too.

    People believe these stories on surface level because they are unwilling to put in the effort to fact-check the information they are provided. The clickbait headlines draw readers in and the articles are usually interesting, so the reader will want to be the first to share this (false) information with his/her Facebook friends. The past election had many Americans emotionally involved, so people were more willing to accept any information given to them on both candidates. Unfortunately, the trend in fake articles caused many Facebook users to be exposed to wrong information. These articles are deceptive because they might have contributed to the outcome of the election. It is true that there were fake articles that negatively reflected both candidates, but if the false stories did not exist then maybe the election would have resulted differently.

    Similar to the Facebook privacy hoax statuses, these fake news articles flooded our timelines with incorrect and deceptive information. It is true that people should be more willing to do their own homework instead of believing everything they read, but Facebook should also be more cautious of monitoring the types of sources trending on their website. As much as I hate to admit it, I can be very lazy. That makes me a perfect candidate to fall for a fake news article. So please Facebook, help me and you million other users out by training your programmers to catch these deceptive stories and restore the credibility of your website. Perhaps then I’ll never have to read another fake privacy status again.


  2. COMM 360- Blog 2: Chapter 4 Questions

    October 25, 2016 by Emily Porter

    1. Something discussed in this chapter that struck me was the discussion of “The War of the Worlds” and how Orson Welles’s was criticized when he broadcasted a fake alien invasion. Apparently, his phone line was ringing off the hook from panicked callers, but to Welles it was simply entertainment. The text referred to this as “deceptive entertainment”, which I find confusing. If deception isn’t as straightforward as lying and is considered “hiding/disguising” the truth, then how was the completely fake radio show only perceived as deception? I guess I’m still confused on the difference between lying and deception. Later in the chapter it discusses a list of ways information can be hidden/shown; disappear, disguise, and distract is hiding and mimic, counterfeit, and is misdirect showing. If “The War of the Worlds” is considered deception, then which of the six would it fall under?

     

    1. Towards the end of the chapter, Nyberg discusses how he believes deception is necessary even in the best world possible. I agreed with him in that people will be typically happier if deception still occurs, but there was one quote I did not understand. “Conversation is only partly based in truthful exchange of accurate information; the other basis is the support that each side knows is available when needed.” (80) What does he mean by this?

  3. All Politicians Are Honest (COMM 360- Blog 1)

    September 14, 2016 by Emily Porter

    I lied. All politicians are not honest. In fact, are any of them honest, and I mean completely honest?

    When a politician gives a speech his or her ultimate goal is to effectively deliver his message in a way that the audience understands and trusts. Often, this will cause the politician to not only feel tempted to deceive, but consider it a necessary tool in his campaign. Giving misrepresentation in a message is almost expected among politicians, which is why “Lie or Lose” states “There is no such thing as an outright political lie” (Cuisk). We tell ourselves that politicians can’t be trusted and we are aware that they are doing everything in their power to gain our vote, so we might consider someone foolish who believed everything a politician said. As the article, “Lie or Lose” also puts it, “the public doesn’t like the truth, and those who flirt with telling it don’t stand a chance.” In this statement, lying is justified as protecting the public from the truth (since the public doesn’t like the truth) with deception. Deception is now not only a necessary tactic used in a campaign, but a way to appeal to the public by telling them what they want to hear.

    After realizing why deceiving is so prevalent in politics you might wonder if it truly is a necessary tool or simply an excuse to lie. I try and look at it this way, if there are two politicians standing before you and you ask them, “Do you plan to raise taxes if elected president?” you probably will not receive a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Instead will get a long drawn out answer about how the politician will not raise taxes or create new taxes, but will still protect and provide people with what they need and a bunch of other nonsense. Now, if a politician were to answer honestly by saying, “I do not plan to raise taxes, but sometimes to provide Americans with what they need taxes do need to be raised. However, I’m going to try not to raise them!”, then he or she would lose the election. Americans are gullible. We know politicians lie (or “deceive”), but we will still stand by a politician who makes us feel better. The Huffington Post article states, “From a moral point of view, what’s wrong with deception is that it is a betrayal of trust” (Radcliffe). This quote is simply stated, but made complicated when the “betrayal of trust” is necessary for a politician to win the election.


  4. Internship Portfolio

    July 28, 2016 by Emily Porter

    During my internship with Independence Golf Club, I faced challenges with the inconsistency of my work schedule. Last summer, I worked a 9am-5pm job Monday to Friday and I hated every minute of it. This summer with Independence, I had a far different experience. Some weeks I work almost every day, but then the next week I might be asked to only come in two or three days. Some days I would work events that took a couple of hours, other days I would work events that kept me on my feet for 12 hours straight. I loved the lack of routine in the beginning of summer because that was when I was typically working most of my hours. However, when July rolled around my hours where getting cut back more and more each week. I was warned that July is the event coordinating team’s slowest month, but I never expected to be only working a couple days each week. Luckily with May and June alone I was able to knockout my 150 hours of unpaid work, but once July came I was supposed to start working for a small pay. I was frustrated when I realized I was starting to work for money right when Independence would need me the least.

    This challenge had me thinking of my future career as an event coordinator. Would I really be willing to work most weekends and holidays while most of my friends/family members work the traditional Monday-Friday jobs? I have joked with Megan, my supervisor, several times that I feel like she never leaves her job. I can tell Megan loves working for Independence and respects the place, so it seems as if she doesn’t mind work those extensive hours. Perhaps I would feel similar to Megan if I were to work full-time for a place I cared about. Still, this challenge in the inconsistency of scheduling has had me reevaluating my idea of potentially being an event planner.

                Interning with Independence has been an incredible learning experience. I respect how every department (marketing, event coordinating, accounting, etc.) communicates with one another. Also Independence was awarded ‘friendliest golf club’ a couple years back and I believe the title is still fitting for the staff today.

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    Independence’s JMU, VA Tech, and Longwood interns enjoying the golf cart

                Whether a person loves or hates her job depends greatly on the morale of the working environment. There were times I was frustrated working all weekend for no pay, but because of my high respect for my coworkers and bosses I was able to set aside my frustration. By doing this, I realized in my future career search I am going to make sure I am satisfied with the management staff and overall communication of the company. In the past I have worked for some terrible bosses that made going to work something I dreaded miserably (even if I got paid decently). With Independence, I realized it is worth it to find a job where your work ethic is appreciated and respected. I believe the people who are happiest in their careers are not necessarily the ones who are making the most money, but the ones who are surrounded by a positive environment on a daily basis.

                The skills I had hoped to obtain throughout my internship with Independence were the ability to communicate professionally and the ability to handle a crisis. From the two, I believe I gained excellent practice in my professional communication skills. It is difficult sometimes to prove to an adult that you are credible and resourceful enough to answer/provide the information that he/she may need. However, by dressing professionally every day (even on days I was just setting up for events) I was able to hold myself to a higher standard that resulted in me gaining more respect from the guests and other staff. In addition, I was able to show my supervisor that she could trust in me to communicate to the host and guests of events, so they did not have to go to her with every question or issue.

    The only skill I was never put in a situation to use was handling a crisis. In all actuality, this is a blessing because it means most events were executed smoothly. However, I know if I were to stay in event coordinating in the future, then eventually I will face an urgent issue that will require quick problem-solving. With small obstacles that needed to be resolved, I would watch how Megan would handle them. She did not panic, but simply figured out a way to fix the problem and did so quickly. More than likely one crisis is not going to be the same as the next, so it is difficult to fully prepare yourself. However, if I remember what Megan did by staying calm and acting quickly, then I will more than likely be able to handle most crisis situations.

    During my internship, I had three goals I had hoped to reach by the end of the summer. The first one was to obtain tangible writing pieces that I will keep in my portfolio when applying for jobs after school. I completed this goal and now have a news release, welcome letter, email proposal, radio script, and many pictures of the events I helped set up/execute. My second goal was to look into the weekly concert series at Tavern 19 (the restaurant within the club). I created an email proposal for the owner and the marketing department to take a look over. One of the biggest issues I have with Independence’s marketing team is that they do not communicate to their public enough about how they are not a private club. I am unsure if my proposal for the concert series will be used next summer, but I put in my best effort. Finally, I wanted to plan an event by myself. Unfortunately, this goal was not reached because Megan did not allow the interns to do much more than shadow and assist in executing the events. If I could back in time, I would have let Megan know sooner this was a goal of mine and perhaps she would have been more likely to let me at least assist in planning an event for the upcoming fall/winter.

    One of the benefits of my internship was having two supervisors; one was the event coordinator of right years (Megan) and the other who was the assistant coordinator of one year (Ryan). Sometimes my internship would feel more like a job than a learning experience, so on those days I would ask more questions, which would remind my bosses I was there to learn too. Other days, Megan and Ryan were extremely helpful in showing how to complete a banquet order and how they organize their schedule for upcoming events.

    Having two supervisors at different points in their experience was beneficial as well. When I wanted to vent to about the industry or about Independence specifically, I talk to Ryan. Ryan was their intern last summer and this past December she was hired as their new assistant event coordinator. She was a great mentor to me because she remembers from recent experiences how it was to be an intern. On the flip side, Megan showed me taught me a lot through her years of experience. She was able to lead, which is something I don’t believe Ryan could handle quite yet. Both mentored me in different ways, but both were beneficial in it’s own way.

    In the future, I would encourage Independence to hire fewer interns. I loved meeting and working with the other two interns and I would now consider them friends of mine. However, most days there was not enough work to do for the three of us. I feel it would be beneficial if there were one to two interns that were able to work closer with Megan. On the days Megan had her meetings, she would only let me attend if I was the only intern in for that day. This is because having an additional three people in the meeting would be rather excessive.

    The second suggestion I would give Independence is to take in consideration the hours the intern needs to complete his or her requirements. Luckily, I was able to finish my 150 hours by the end of June because once July hit our hours were cut back tremendously. The other two girls I intern with, however, have struggled because their school requires them to have 300 and 400-hour internships.

    Here is a look at some writing samples and pictures from my internship with Independence Golf Club

    1. News release. Below is a news release highlighting the approval of a new wedding venue being built at Independence Golf Club. This news release was not sent out, however, because plans have not been approved. As part of our project, the owner Giff Breed wanted us to convince him on where he should spend this budget he had. Previous ideas have ranged from baseball fields to a zip line. I believe the company could benefit the most from having another wedding venue because the weddings they have every year bring in the majority of the club’s annual revenue. With only a couple weekends in ‘popular’ wedding months (typically the fall) it would be beneficial if two venues were provided, allowing two weddings to occur at once. This proposal was given to Giff as well as the partnership proposal with 96.5 The Planet.

    2. Email proposal. At the beginning of the summer all three interns met with Giff Breed, the president/owner of Independence. He encouraged us to find a project that best fit our degree and that the club could benefit from using. Since I’m leaning more toward public relations than event coordinating, I decided to focus my project on growing the size of audiences for the restaurant’s summer concert series. This past summer with the concert series was the first time Tavern 19 has brought a profit to Independence. In my email below, I give a proposal to 96.5 The Planet’s advertisement manager to form a partnership between the two companies. Once approved from Giff, I plan to send this email out in the next few days.

    3. Welcome letter. The welcome letter I wrote below is now used in both the overnight lodges offered at Independence. I laminated both copies as well as the menus from both Tavern 19 and Café Zata. This was the first writing task Megan had us do, which gave me practice in hospitality management.

     

    4. Radio script. As I mentioned earlier, for my project I would want to create a partnership with 96.5 The Planet, which is a classic rock station in the local Richmond area. With The Planet’s promotion, I believe the concert series could be made even bigger next summer than it was this past. Below is a 30 second script I wrote that Independence could give their DJ as a suggestion of some items they want highlighted for the evening of the concert.

    5.  Video

    My internship was often more hands on than anything else. On days like the one shot in this short video, I would come in around noon for a 6 o’clock wedding and would leave around midnight. I liked to call the time of the video I shot the “calm before the storm” because it was right when we had everything perfect, from the table settings, the DJ, the lights, the food stocked in the kitchen, the open bars stocked in several locations, the florist had already come by, and for a moment everything was still and perfect. During the time of this video the ceremony was taking place outside. Usually Ryan, the assistant coordinator, would stand outside at the ceremony and communicate with us through her headset when the it was over. The moment the reception begins every staff member is incredibly busy until leaving time, hence the ‘storm’. I loved working weddings. Sure, it was busy and exhausting, but you got to be apart of someone’s special day (whether or not they remember you). This wedding in particular was the most beautiful and I happy to assist in such a successful event.

     

    Pictures

    Wedding #1

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    Wedding #2

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  5. A Theoretical Perspective of The Intern Life

    July 25, 2016 by Emily Porter

    One theory I have used during my internship is the utilitarian theory that I learned about in Communication Ethics. This theory considers the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people. In this theory, one might consider the consequences to determine his or her actions. I do this during my internship when I make decisions because I typically want to consider how my choices will benefit the greatest number of people. For example, there was a large golf outing the other weekend around the same time a large storm was expected to affect our area. Megan struggled to make the decision to move what we had set up outside to the inside for the safety of our guests. It was uncertain the storm was going to hit Independence, but I encouraged Megan that we should move everything inside because I believed it was better to be safe than sorry in this situation. The host of the event was not happy with our decision because she had pictured having cocktail hour and dinner outside. However, by using the utilitarian theory Megan and I considered the greatest good for the greatest number of people and that helped us decide making it an indoor event would be best.

    The second theory I used comes from Communications Theory and that is the Expectancy Violations Theory. This theory explains reactions people have to unexpected behaviors. It answers what is the connection between our expectations of personal space and communications, and then explains how the two influence each other. When someone acts differently than a person predicts, the expectancy is violated. Although appropriate proximities vary from culture to culture, Burgoon (the theory creator) designed a model of zones that he feels Americans should abide by. Within my internship, I have worked with people from all different cultures while assisting in hosting a variety of events. For example, the wedding that hosted the Middle Eastern family had a different set of values that they considered socially ‘normal’ than what Americans consider ‘normal’. I noticed when passing out cocktails I am able to stand closer to a majority of non-American cultures (which is preferred because usually it is a tight space). However, when I talk to Americans I know to stand back further because they get uncomfortable if you stand too close (even if it is an overcrowded room). So whenever I have felt that an American is not happy with how close I am forced to stand, I reflect on this theory and the idea that there is no clear distinction of what is ‘normal’.

     


  6. From In the Classroom To Out

    July 15, 2016 by Emily Porter

    To try and pinpoint three classes specifically that prepared me for my internship is more difficult than I expected. Perhaps that’s because it is bits of every class, combined with work experience, mixed general life experiences that have prepped me for my internship. Still, if I had to pick three classes that helped me the most, I would chose Communications 420—Intercultural Communication, Communications 354—Public Relations Writing, and Communications 400—Communication Ethics.

    I took Intercultural Communication last summer and I didn’t expect to get as much out of it as I did. It taught me how every culture has different beliefs, values, and traditions and because of this every culture has a different interpretation of how to act appropriately. I remembered this class during my internship when I worked a wedding that was a combination of an American-culture family and a Middle Eastern-culture family. The wedding that evening started at six o’clock sharp, meaning that when it was exactly six the bridal party would begin to walk down the aisle. I was standing in my position to make sure the bridal party followed the right path, when suddenly a family of four Middle Eastern started to come down the aisle with music. I was too shocked to say anything, so I let them pass. After a moment I remembered how in some cultures being punctual is not as necessary as it is in the American culture. Sure enough, a few more Middle Eastern families showed up around 6:04pm (the bridal party had already come down the aisle). I directed the family to go around and find a seat in the back and was able to handle the situation more preparedly because of my knowledge from this class.

    Second, Public Relations Writing has helped me tremendously because I am able to refer back to some solid writing samples I kept from that class. For example, I am working on a news letter that will be posted on Independence’s website and to make sure the letter looks as professional, I refer back to the previous news letter I wrote during that class. I also kept the textbook from that class, which has an array of examples and shows the reader exactly how everything should be written. This class was extremely helpful in giving me tangible resources that I will use in my professional career.

    Lastly, the hardest communication class that has helped me with my internship was Communication Ethics. I struggled with this class because it was made up of different virtues, philosophers, and ethical dilemmas that required me to study often in order to fully understand each concept. I use this class during my internship because I noticed Megan, my supervisor, does all actions with the greatest of intentions. Even something as small as having left over food after an event, Megan will see if the host of the event wants to take the food before offering it to her staff. She is not a stickler for rules, but does believe in doing what is right. My previous job was not as ethical. I worked for an apartment reality company and often my boss would encourage me to tell ‘white lies’ to tenants or guarantors to keep them happy. It always made me feel uncomfortable and coincidentally my old boss was never well respected, whereas many adore Megan. This class taught me the significance in considering different options in an ethical dilemma and to choose wisely. With this class combined with the Communications 420 and 354, I have felt prepared in most tasks and obstacles presented to me at Independence.


  7. Time Isn’t Always Money

    July 1, 2016 by Emily Porter

    It has been about two weeks since my last blog entry and in these past two weeks I have faced a small bump in the road. Fortunately, the ‘bump’ can be considered a learning experience and it has shown me further insight into the event coordinating industry.

    As I have mentioned before, I work under the event coordinator, Megan, and her assistant, Ryan. I look up to the two of them in different ways. Megan has been at Independence as the director of events for eight years, so she’s the expert and can handle pretty much anything. Ryan, on the other hand, has only been at Independence for about a year, but surprisingly I look up to her just as much as I look up to Megan. This is because Ryan is exactly where I was a year ago. She was the first intern at Independence, so she knows what I’m going through and the challenges I am facing. She was such a help for Megan that when she graduated last December she was hired in January as Megan’s assistant. The ‘bump’ in the road I faced involved a talk I had with Ryan. As it turns out, the job is not as glamorous as it may seem. Ryan is exhausted, she works insane hours, weekends, and holidays and at a young age of 23 I can already tell it is wearing on her. She said sometimes she factors out how much she gets paid annually to the amount of hours she works on a daily basis and the math adds up to her only making a couple bucks an hour. I was saddened to hear that sometimes she is unhappy with the job, but it was a good wakeup call for me.

    As I mentioned in my last post, I am concerned with the amount of hours that is required of an event coordinator. I have never been the type of person to want to put my job before my family and friends. This experience has continued to help me seek a future career because I know I will not settle for a job that requires so much of me for such little pay. I am a hard worker and will happily give a job my all if I feel that I am being compensated for my time and efforts. Still, I am not completely ruling off becoming an event coordinator because it has been so much fun this summer. But it’s great to learn about the flaws of the industry now before I find myself a year invested into my career much like Ryan.

    I am looking forward to seeing what challenges next week brings me!


  8. Obstacles on the Golf Course

    June 17, 2016 by Emily Porter

    Now that I’ve been at my internship for a little over a month, I have been faced with quite a few challenges. For one, I learned that if I want to be an event coordinator, I have to be incredible flexible with the amount of time I am willing to work. An event coordinator does not work a 9am to 5pm job. Some days I won’t come in until 10am, but I might be there until 9pm that night. On the other hand, I might come in some days and if there is no event scheduled that day, then I might be able to leave after a couple hours. In addition, event coordinators must be OK with never knowing when they will be off work. Since it is summer, I have tried to make plans a couple times for when I get off of work. However, when my friends ask me what time I’ll be off work my response usually is something like this, “I think I should be off around 8pm, but if the event takes longer than expected maybe 9pm. Actually no, I probably won’t be off until 11pm because I need to help setup for the event tomorrow morning before I leave. I’ll just text you when I know…” Trust me, I’m not complaining. I have so much fun at work. Working events are stressful and the days are long, but when my boss (Megan) tells me how much she appreciates everything I do, it makes the long hours worth it!

    As I have mentioned before, organization is an essential skill needed to be an event coordinator. And Megan is extremely organized… most of the time. She tends to keep her events and all the small details extremely organized. However, she can only do so much, so she will sometimes be less organized with scheduling her employees and her office space is usually a wreck. In my opinion, Independence is constantly growing, however the staff is not. Megan should have more than one assistant. She should have someone in charge of scheduling, which can go as far as scheduling her staff and scheduling events. That could leave her in charge of the execution of events and making sure all banquet orders have been submitted on time. Sometimes it will be Saturday night and I’ll be driving home from work unsure if I need to come in the next day because the schedule has not been sent out yet. This is the biggest complication I have faced so far and it reassures that organization is extremely important for every part of event coordinating.

    To be honest, I have never fully considered becoming an event coordinator before this summer. However, I have had so much fun at Independence that it has become a career option of mine. The experience at Independence has taught me that sometimes it is OK to ask for help. Megan often tries to do everything herself. She rarely even gives too much responsibility to her assistant because I believe Megan would rather accomplish things herself. If I were to become an event coordinator, I would be organized in how I assign job titles. For example, if I had an assistant, maybe I would assign my assistant to covering banquet orders for events and scheduling the event-setup and serving staff. That would allow me to work closely with the clients and the execution of the event, which is the best part. By appropriately dividing up the work, I would not be trying to make my job easier, but I would allow myself to focus on certain thing to make sure they are perfect rather than spreading myself too thin.


  9. Finally Gaining Independence

    June 17, 2016 by Emily Porter

    It is now June, which means I have been doing my internship with Independence Golf Club for about a month now. I, along with two other interns, work closely with the event coordinating team. Surprisingly, this “team” only consists of two people. Megan is the director of event coordinating and her assistant, Ryan, was her intern last summer. Alone, these two women run what I believe is the most important aspect of the golf club and it is pretty incredible. As an intern, I will be assisting with planning and executing the events that happen almost every day at Independence. This is a wide range of small events (like book clubs) to larger events (like weddings). Majority of the events I have seen fall in the middle, as far as size goes. These middle-sized events are the business functions and events they have with their partners Lexus and Devils Backbone Brewery. I have already noticed that although Megan is at the top of the event coordinating crew, she does not mind to do any job that needs to be done. What I mean by that is she will help arrange and move tables (although she has an event-setup staff for that) and she will help hand out hors d’oeuvres (although she has a serving staff for that). Basically, Megan never feels too entitled to help with any job because her main goal is the event come to an end successfully.

    During my internship, I will be doing everything Megan does. I will meet the hosts of events days before to make sure all details are finalized. I will assist the event-setup team to ensure everything looks perfect and ready to begin. Lastly, I will stay during all events to make sure the execution is done perfectly. To do so, I will need to use the following skills: professional communication, and proper organization. I say professional communication instead of “good communication” because I will be dealing with clients and representing Independence and I want to do that in a high that creates a sense of respect. Organization is also key because Megan is dealing with so many events and no two events are the same. She must remember every request from every host and be able to make sure she schedules the proper staff for each event. Megan also keeps track of the time during the event for things like wine bars and when to send our hors d’oeuvres and when to send out the main entrees.

    The skills I do not yet have is the ability to handle a crisis by quick thinking for a solution. For example, the other day I was lighting a candle that would go on perfectly set table for a wedding. The guests were coming in just a couple minutes, so we were in a bit of a rush. I accidentally knocked over a water that spilt on the double-linen table, the freshly polished plates and silverware, and got all over the flowers hand placed by a florist. I began to panic, but Megan knew exactly what to do. She immediately took off the top table cloth and placed cloth napkins under it and recovered it with a new linen. It was as good as new in a couple minutes. The ability to handle small hiccups, such as a spilt water, comes with experience and the skill to be able to handle a crisis, which I hope to gain throughout my time at Independence. Overall, I am looking forward to this summer and I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned in the classroom and apply them to my internship. In other words, I can’t wait to experience this new independence.


  10. Why is Being a Feminist a Bad Thing?

    April 13, 2016 by Emily Porter

    Hello, my name is Emily and I am a feminist. I encourage you to take a moment to form an opinion of me based solely off the first sentence. Did ‘angry lesbian’ come to mind? Do you assume that I hate all men and stay-at-home moms? I hope the answer is no, that you did not make those judgments because I told you I was a feminist. Yet, if one (or all) of those thoughts crossed your mind, then I can’t blame you. For whatever reason our society has created such a negative association with feminism that it is actually an insult to be called one. With time and practice I believe we can redirect the opinions of many and support those who want nothing more than equality for women and men.

    Taking a Scroll Through Facebook

    The other day I was mindlessly passing the time by checking my News Feed on Facebook. There were pictures of puppies, videos on how to make delicious desserts, and another post from my uncle ranting about the elections. I was about to close the browser when I noticed an article that several of my Facebook friends had been sharing. The article was called, “I Am Not a Feminist, And That is Okay”. Curious, I clicked the article and began to read a weak argument by a clueless girl named Amanda Sankey.

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    “Traditional” image of 3 generations of women doing the cooking

    No I was not angry, heated, or outraged at the author, Amanda (having a quick-temper is a feminist stereotype). Instead I was disappointed at the amount of Facebook friends that shared and praised the article. In reality, none of these people actually knew what feminism was. Here are some pieces of the article that prove this.

    “Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for equal pay. I think if a woman is doing the same job as a man (and just as good of a job), she should be paid the same.”

    You’re right! Men and women should be paid equally for doing the same job. In this statement, Amanda agrees with one of the arguments feminists having been making for years. Yet, in her eyes she is not a feminist.

    “And it is completely okay to choose to stay home and be a mother because that is the hardest job in the world. It is okay to like cooking. It is okay to take care of your husband and children.”

    Want to know what else is OK? Having the option of choosing these things. Not all feminists believe women should feel pressured to work. If a woman choses to stay at home and care for her children and family, then that is perfectly acceptable. The argument of a feminist is that if a woman choses to work and put her career before raising a family, then she should be allowed to without facing  judgment of society. What Amanda is missing is an understanding that feminists fight for all kinds of women’s rights. That means having the right to choose how we want to live our lives, whether it’s staying at home with our children, devoting our life to work, or falling somewhere in-between, the decision is ours.

    You Don’t Hate Feminism, You Just Don’t Understand It

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    Trending Tumblr movement #WomenAgainstFeminism

    Noticing the misinterpretation of feminism, Emily Shire wrote an article on The Daily Beast that challenges Tumblr’s #WomenAgainstFeminism trend. Women from all over posted pictures with captions such as, “I don’t need feminism because I love masculine men like Christian Grey”. Another image was captioned with this slam,“I don’t need ‘feminism’ because I believe that men and women are EQUAL, not that women should belittle men”. These people are representing a misguided and uneducated assumption of what feminism actually is.

    Emily Shire reacts to the images and the trending topic in her article, “You Don’t Hate Feminism, You Just Don’t Understand It.

    “Feminism gets a bad rap, and people perceive the movement as meaning something very narrow and specific—and negative.”

    What’s even more fascinating is that in her article Emily mentions a poll that found only 16% of men and 23% of women in America identify as feminist. However, the same poll found that 82% of Americans agree that, “men and women should be social, political, and economic equals.” Ironically, that statement is the definition of feminism. The poll proves that people would support feminism if they understood what it meant and disregarded the stereotypes associated with it.

    Women in the Workplace

    With a clearer understanding for the purpose of feminism, it’s time to consider why this movement is still necessary today. According to Julia T. Wood’s Gendered Lives  there are four stereotypes of women in the workplace, “sex object, mother, child, or iron maiden”. A woman might be considered a sex object in workplace because so much judgment is placed on her appearance and actions. She might be the mother in the workplace because she is expected to do the “emotional labor” (smile, listen to others, prepare coffee). A woman is the child in the workplace because she is cute, should not be taken seriously, and is need of protection. If a woman does not fall under one of these three stereotypes, then she is likely an iron maiden.

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    Movie cover of The Devil Wears Prada

    The iron maiden takes an independent and direct woman and assumes she is cold, unlikeable, and unfeminine. Have you ever seen The Devil Wears Prada? An example of an iron maiden is the boss in this film. She is a successful manager-in-cheif of a high-fashion magazine who has devoted her life to running her business under strict guidelines. Yet instead of praising her for running a successful magazine, she is insulted as rude, heartless, and demanding. I’d bet if the movie had replaced the manager-in-chief with a male role, then it would not be nearly as successful as it is today.

    With female stereotypes in the workplace such as the ones mentioned above, it is hard to understand why other women wouldn’t want to come together to combat the views of society. Stereotypes are difficult to break and perhaps this is why people are so hesitant to try and understand what being a feminist actually means. For some, it’s easier to allow stereotypes to continue and to allow feminist to be labeled as men-haters and women in the workplace to be labeled as iron maidens.

    But stereotypes such as these are the reason why there still is a lack of equality for men and women. This is surprising when you consider the poll above that tells us equality is what 82% of Americans want.

    Reforming the Perception of Feminism

    Remember the creator of “I Am Not a Feminist, And That is Okay”? Remember how she was so angry at the thought of people putting down her traditional beliefs? Her reaction was to shame all feminists for believing that stay-at-home mothers are bad. Yet, we know that just because you’re a feminist doesn’t mean you think mothers who choose to stay home with their families are wrong. With her feminist accusations similar to this one, the writer of the article stereotyped all feminists to being anti-traditionalists. It is quite ironic because by doing so, she was the one doing the judging and stereotyping, not the feminist.

    The author of “I Am Not a Feminist, And That is Okay” and the women on Tumblr supporting the #WomenAgainstFeminism trend are not the only ones who are wrongly informed of what a feminist is. With some awareness on the subject and motivation to fight stereotypes, we can reform the idea that being a feminist is something to be proud of.