Friday, May 28, 2010
I kept my hair gray as a marketing tool. When you're going to get into an argument with a Southern gramma, you are just NOT going to win.
To demonstrate the advantages of podcasting, I'm going to type out my speech below. I invite you to read it as you imagine I would be saying it ..... and then compare it to the podcast, where you get to hear it live and in person. See if you can tell where I put on my "sweet southern gramma smile" ..... as I drive my point home with them! (heh heh heh hehhhhhh!)
I must point out that long ago I realized I had the personality that enabled me to "get by" with saying some things that a lot of people just couldnt' say ... and I definitely use that to my business advantage. My speech, that could get some people slapped, actually got a bride to smile and I had more than one mother actually applaud me.
I have been wanting to share this speech for so long in the advice forums that I frequent and on my blog, but I knew the written word wouldn't have the same impact. I believe podcasting would be a great tool that will really demonstrate the technique of bringing a bridezilla-to-be back to reality.
Looking forward to your feedback!
"You may think this day is all about you but it's not (notice how I drag out the word "not"?). When you are standing at the front of the church, exchanging your vows, it IS about you. But once you walk down those steps, you are now hosting a very large event with guests to take care. And darlin', we ARE going to take care of them. Now .... what entree to do you think your GUESTS will enjoy?"
Once I recorded the podcast, I actually had trouble finding it and thought I'd never figure out how to post it on here. (Not sure that mine will publish here in the blog with the cool little icon like some of your's did.) Advice on how to do this more easily is greatly welcomed!
Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use. ~Emily Post
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
In the article, “Teachers and Technology: English with an Edge”, I was struck by the use of humor and satire as a teaching tool more than I was the technology part of how the end product was achieved.
Ms. Brown’s statement of “They must focus specifically on at least one aspect of modern American society and comment in such a way that it causes their audience to think deeply about the subject and make them laugh or at least chuckle.” really caught my attention because in this one sentence, she is asking her class to dive deeper than the surface on issues, to look beyond the obvious, to find the unique and the quirky.
Being married to a stand-up comedian (and since we’ve been married over 20 years, I tell people that qualifies me as his head writer!), I am always very interested when humor is used to teach and to drive home a point.
Comedians, and particularly stand-up comedians, tend to look at life a bit different. Comedians see believable connections between things that most people never connect, and the key is “believable”. Comedy sees the obvious, as depicted by George Carlin’s line about “there’s nothing to do in an elevator but NOT look at everybody!” The observation itself is funny, even though it’s commonly known. My husband noticed the comedy of a drugstore that sells pregnancy tests right next to the condoms, a placement issue that may look normal or even go unnoticed …. except to a comedian.
A person may look at a large stone and see a stone. A sculptor looks at a large stone and sees the art that is inside. It is said that a sculptor merely chips away the stone that is covering the art. A comedian looks at life situations and sees the comedy inside the situation. He merely chips away everything except the humor.
All comedy comes from something being wrong or a problem. For example, being pulled over by the police is a problem. However, Jeff Foxworthy made this a classic comedic moment when he said, “If your mother doesn’t take the Marlboro out of her mouth before she tells the state trooper to kiss her ass, then you might be a redneck!”
By incorporating humor and satire into the class assignments, Ms. Brown is asking her students to not only know the subject and identify the problem, but they also need to look beyond the stone and see the humor that is hiding under the rock that needs chipped away.
Ron Deiter cites a number of benefits for using humor in the classroom. “Some of these psychological benefits include muscle relaxation, stimulated circulation, improved respiration, and exercise of the lungs and chest muscles, increased production of the body’s natural pain killers called endorphins, as well as lowered pulse rate and blood pressure.”
Other benefits include:
· It creates “a more positive learning environment by breaking down barriers to communication…”
· It helps students retain the material.
· It can give students a reason to actually want to come to class. Deiter says “Students I have surveyed say they are more likely to attend classes in which humor is used and more likely to skip boring classes.”
· Increased comprehension and retention
Ms. Brown’s students may not even realize how much more they are learning by using this process. Writing comedy is very challenging (which I can attest to from my own personal experience). Hours will be spent writing a bit that only last two or three minutes. Getting the flow and the timing just right is the do-or-die aspect of comedy writing. The verbal and physical timing of comedy is paramount to the meaning of the joke and the difference of a split second can kill hours worth of work.
The doubt that kept plaguing me while reading this was her references to viewing the films with a locked door and worrying about an administrator not understanding what they were viewing. This seemed to send a message that what was being produced was not appropriate to those in charge and seemed to be in conflict with her hope of “When the students see their small movie projects screened and really get to feel the response of the audience, they seem to deeply understand the place satire has in a free society.”
I have used humor frequently when conducting my workshops and seminars across the country. More than one group good-naturedly voted me “Best Presenter” and I was frequently asked “Can you show our other suppliers how to make learning fun like this?” So I have seen first-hand the effect incorporating humor can have in a teaching and learning environment.
Deiter, Ron (Nov/Dec 1998), Why Use Humor in the Classroom? Iowa State University Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching Journal, v11(n2), downloaded 5-25-10
"I think the best thing to solving a problem is finding humor in it." .....Frank A. Clark.
"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done." ....... Dwight D. Eisenhower
Monday, May 24, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Here is my Business Blog: http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/
After 30 years in the wedding cake and catering business, I retired at the age of 51 and enrolled at IUPUI to obtain a history teaching degree. It's been 20-25 years since I've been a student in a classroom, although I've been on the teaching side of it a number of times in my Corporate America positions throughout the years.
I've been involved in the school systems through mentor programs, Junior Achievement and speaking to various classes on Indiana History. As a volunteer with my hometown tourism bureau, I learned quite a bit about local history; the kind of stories and drama that are just not found in textbooks
My "15 Minutes of Fame" was in 1991 when at the age of 32, I won a "Mrs" Beauty Pageant. It's ok to laugh at the "big hair" look, but it worked for me back then!
I'm also a professional writer. I write a monthly column for a cake decorating magazine that is distributed worldwide, along with onesy-twosy articles for various other publications here and there. My business blog articles have been reprinted in other wedding vendors blogs across the country.
I've been married 22 years to my soul mate, who does stand-up comedy on the side. We have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. Two of my children are former military. Eldest daughter served in the Army in Korea in a medical position. My only son served two tours of Iraq as a Marine Sergeant and was awarded the Purple Heart and a second medal for bravery when his vehicle ran over a land mine, and he "disregarded his own wounds to take care of his severely wounded commander" and protected his platoon until reinforcements could arrive to evacuate them. Yes, I'm a very proud mom!
History is my passion and I have a problem understanding how people find history boring. My theory is they were taught wrong. Yes, history can be boring if all you are taught are dates and events. History is full of passion and drama and adventure and stories that have formed our society, our lives and our culture. History illustrates the baby steps we took to get where we are today. It is exciting and entertaining! I hope to bring some of that passion into my teaching style to help students understand the facts AND the fascination!
"To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours" ........ Mark Twain