Friday, November 21, 2008

Food on the left, Drink on the right

So, there is a Coker Winter Formal tonight. And, as I was going through papers on my much too papered desk, there was a handout on “Most admired and respected behaviors.” I have used this often in the Organizational Communication Class but it is also some information that many times we just forget. So, from way back in 2001 – Table Manners:
The Fork goes on the LEFT

The Spoon and knife go on the RIGHT
FOOD items go on the left (Your bread plate is to your left)
Drink items go on the right (Your glasses and coffee cup are on your right)
When to start eating? The answer here is when two people to your left and right have been served you may start eating. What if others have been served and they are waiting for you? Then, encourage them to begin eating.
I am always forgetting the above so I figured as the holiday season approaches it is a good timing reminder. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kat Friedmann Subject of NCAA Soccer Story

This is going to be a long post because I am including a copy of a story in an NCAA publication about one of Coker's soccer players, who happens to be a top communication and English majors and who also happens to have diabetes. I think you will enjoy this story. It was reprinted from an email to fans of Coker athletics:

Diabetes doesn't stop Coker soccer student-athlete
Courtesy of Greg Johnson, NCAA New
When the calendar flips to July, Kathryn Friedmann knows there no place she'd rather be than in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.

The town, located 20 minutes from Chattanooga in the Smoky Mountains, is the site of the Tennessee Camp for Diabetic Children. This is where Friedmann, who just completed her senior season on the Coker soccer team, learned that she wasn't alone in dealing with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.

"My friends there are my role models," said Friedmann, who learned she had the disease about a month before her 11th birthday. "Some of my best friends go to this camp every year. I've grown up with them. It is a huge part how I've grown with this disease."

Her first year at the camp left her pondering, "Where did all these kids come from?" Seeing people her age handling their condition is always refreshing for Friedmann, who grew up 15 minutes from Nashville in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

"In my normal element, I have to take extra steps and think about taking my blood sugar and my insulin," she said. "But at camp, I look around and one of my friends is doing the same thing. It's a surreal world."

For as much inspiration she's gained from her camp buddies, Friedmann is impressive herself. During her collegiate career, she became Coker's fifth all-time leading goal scorer (29) and ranks sixth all-time in total points (66).

She produced at a high level despite having to leave the field at times during matches to check her blood-sugar level. During those times, the Cobras would play a player down until she was able to return.

"I pretty much managed it myself," said Friedmann, who will graduate in May with a double major in communications and English. "I just tried to keep a good tune on how my body felt and how I was playing. Some of the symptoms have changed over the years."

She knows the type of aggressiveness she normally plays with, and when she felt her body wasn't responding to what her mind was telling it to do, it was time to check her blood-sugar level.

Off the field, Friedmann wears an insulin pump, but the device wouldn't survive a soccer match.

"It doesn't feel too good when that thing gets ripped out of you," Friedmann said.

Since November is the national diabetes awareness month, Friedmann is an example of the type of life a person can lead while managing the disease.

"There are worse things you can have," she said. "I'm fully functional. I can do anything I want and succeed. My motivation is to steer away from stereotypes or assumptions."

Friedmann, who is applying to graduate schools to further her education in communications, is active on the Coker campus. Besides serving as one of the captains on her soccer team, she is president of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honors Society and president of the Coker women's golf club.

"I have the natural tendency to step up when I feel there is a need," said Friedmann, who also works part time as a writing tutor and in the Coker admissions office. "At some point during my career, whether it is academically or athletically, I've had to step up."

Since she began playing soccer at the age of 4, she knows it will take time to adjust to the fact that the sport will become more of a recreational endeavor now.

"It's a little bittersweet," said Friedmann, who led Coker with seven goals and 17 points this season. "I was working out the other day on a treadmill and started thinking, 'I wish I could run out and get a few touches on the ball.' That was a few days after we finished our season."

Running half marathons is one way she hopes to quench her competitive thirst.

Of course, she'll always look forward to July for those two weeks in Soddy-Daisy to meet with her friends and help other kids learn how to live an active lifestyle with diabetes.

**Story reprinted with permission of NCAA News**

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Exciting opening to Round-ball season

Both the Women's and Men's opened their home basketball seasons with wins on Tuesday night as they topped the Hornets of Morris College (Sumter). The Coker gym was packed and it was an exciting basketball evening.

One of the innovations this season is web broadcasting of the games, Adam Johnson and Joel were doing the web-broadcast play by play.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coker College experience from student's perspective

Every once and awhile I am going to ask a Coker student to go on camera and say a little bit about what the Coker experience means to them. These will be short video clips and in their words. If you have suggestions for this approach, please include them in a comment to the post. Since Stacie Fields also works with me as an intern at the Byerly Foundation, I have asked her to be the first to join the experiment.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Enjoyed Friday nights Musical Theater Showcase

It is a dreary Friday night in Hartsville. That is, unless you opted for Friday night's Musical Theater Showcase at the Hannah Lide Coker Music Recital Hall. The students performing put joy, laughter and music into the air. Graham Wood started these showcases as an extra performing opportunity a few years ago and they have become a regular event on the campus, showcasing the talent and the work ethic of the students who are chosen to perform.

Tonight's Showcase cast consisted of second year vocal performance major Avery Bateman, first year musical theater major Lindsay Furrow, Tara Haynes, second year musical theater major, Dustin Moree, first year musical theater. Paige ManWaring, third year musical theater and Cody Smith, the lone senior in the show and a theater performance major. Kim Roberts accompanied the singers and Graham provided the musical direction as well as the production.

I just really enjoyed the performances. There was a wide range of music from the opening Ensemble performance of Comedy Tonight from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Stephen Sondheim to bit more serious rendition of "Make Them Hear You" from Ragtime that was performed by Cody. The material represented a wide range of musicals and did a nice job helping the students demonstrate their versatility. And, I also enjoyed the acting side of the performances.

The video is the last song, SEASONS OF LOVE by Jonathan Larson from Rent.

There are a couple of other Coker musical productions that are on the calender for this semester and you can see the Coker chamber Singers at the Music Auditorium on Sunday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m. and the larger group, the Coker Singers on December 2 at the First Presbyterian Church in Hartsville at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Students are the Center of this College Experience

The Resident Assistants are asked by their Residence Life supervisors to hold some academic-oriented programs for the residents on their halls. Marshall Thomas gave me the opportunity to lead a discussion with some of his residents about what it takes to achieve academic success at Coker. This was quite a crew and there was not much I could tell there but there was a good deal for me to learn and have affirmed.
1 -- These students, two of whom were in the 3.8 to 3.9+ range understand that while grades are important things like relationships, campus involvement and getting to know people are also crucial to the success equation. That came from them, not me.
2 -- A couple of the first-year students around the discussion did admit that "College is not not like high school. There is no one who is making you do it," was a pretty close direct quote. Turns out, he was from a high school that has demonstrated some success meeting SC AYP type of goals and his teachers stayed on their students pretty close at that high school. College is not the easiest of transitions and that was reinforced a couple of times by juniors and seniors who are in the process of discovering who they are. And, they are enjoying this process.
3 -- I used a variation of a technique that I learned during a recent Ragan Communication Conference that I attended of getting several ideas out in just a few minutes (Ragan calls it '30 in 30'. We did ten in in five. The juniors and seniors shared tips with the first-year students on how to make the most of the Coker experience. It was good to hear "Go to Class!" right near the top of that list.

I appreciate Marshall asking me to be part of this discussion. As usual I learned a great deal more than I shared. Working with college students is one of the greatest learning experiences I have had -- it is the best part of this "Professorial" position.

Need to add this -- Katelyn was there in her USMC sweatshirt still celebrating the November 10, 2008 233rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. She has some close connections to a Marine.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Watched the Volleyball game on Friday night

And the girls did not fare that well against Anderson. The Coker Volleyball team has struggled this past season. The thing most noticeable last evening was that even though they were down (Anderson had two really strong spikers) they did not qive up and they never quit. It is a fairly young team this season that will be returning some strong competitors in 2009.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Important ambassadors on campus today...

Got to meet a large number of a group called the Coker College Board of Visitors this morning at Coker. These are a group of College friends who play a crucial ambassadorial role for the college in Hartsville and in communities around the State. Their involvement in the college, while often low key, is one of those important details that is important to the growth and success of this small, liberal arts college. I got to talk about how the Selling Hartsville project on which we have been working in the city connects to the growth of the college. One of the real fun things about today's presentation was that Stacie Fields, who works as an intern with me at The Byerly Foundation, talked with the Board of Visitors about some of the many activities in which she has been involved with the Selling Hartsville effort. I am thinking the B of V got a pretty strong picture of how community building in Hartsville and the activities of Coker are closely tied together. It was an honor being asked to speak on the Selling Hartsville project and a real pleasure to watch Stacie do such a good job on her side of the presentation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Social Media Marketing and Communications

Paul Gillin, author of THE NEW INFLUENCERS, has a new book called SECRETS OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING that is is just out. This semester I am in the middle of a class on Organizational Communication here at Coker. One of my goals is to ensure that the students understand the why of communication within organizations and another is for them to appreciate that there are tools and channels out there for communication that will help them be more effective when they join an organization.

As I finished up Gillin's book this evening I was struck that he closed with some thoughts there were very similar to ones I shared this morning with a Mass Communication class. Let me quote Gillin: "Online communities will fundamentally change the way in which organizations interact with their constituents." Gillin is coming at this from the Marketing perspective in this line on page 270 but I have been discussing it with students from the internal communication point of view. Gillin's ideas, along with some others I have been reading and listening too like Shel Holtz, are the thought leaders for this technology tsunami overtaking the organizational world. I hope I am conveying to my students that the books,articles and talks by thought leaders like these are not alarms of change but signposts, signals, and semaphores for how to connect the dots, or the wires or the waves between whatever medium you are using and the crucial message you are sharing. McLuhan would have been right at home in today's global village.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



This is an interesting blog that is being written by Elsie Mufuka as she explores what it means to be Elsie while studying and working with a dance company in South Africa. There is not question she is having quite an interesting experience. I think it might have been Confucius who signaled the curse or blessing -- "May you live in interesting times." I think, looking back, Elsie is probably going to say these were some of the best times that she could never have imagined.
Posted by rapsc at 12:44 PM 0

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sordid Lives cast & crew provide great experience

Coker College staged "Sordid Lives" by Del Shores October 30 through November 2 at the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center in the Watson Theater. I found it a great theater experience.

Ken Stuart was doing his first directing at Coker and he engineered a masterful production helping students develop talent that I am not sure they knew they have. This was a very quick two-hour production and there were acting achievements at every turn as all of the student actors developed portrayals that helped the audience move right into the story. In many ways this seems to be an actor's play because while there are sort of starring roles, the support characters are so critical to the story that when the parts are carried off as they need to be, all the actors have to feel like stars. (Friday night those roles made all the characters stars.)

Over the past several weeks I have watched the students (both cast and crew) put in some long hours to achieve the production they performed this weekend. Their hard work pays off in a very successful translation of Del Shores "Sordid Lives."

A couple of times the "crew" has been mentioned and one reason the show works so well on the Watson stage is an excellent set that with minor modifications becomes four different locations, sound effects that provide credibility to the scenes and lighting that sets the focus.

It all came together for an great night of theater from my seat.