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  • Writer's picturejalexanderapr

School starts soon; taking up a new hobby and preparing for PRSA Midwest District Conference

Another week closer to the start of the Fall 2019 academic school year. I continue to work on content development for my class and I was intrigued by this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education about the first day of class. James Lang addresses the fact that students form their first impression of the professor on the first day of class. Think about it, how boring is a course syllabus? Isn't this the topic of the day on the first day of class. It is important to set expectations and inform students of class policies.

I find that the first day of class is especially important when I am teaching, Introduction to Public Speaking. Just about every student in class is nervous and dreading this course. My goal is to create a comfortable, safe learning environment from the very first moment that students enter the room. I begin the class with a writing prompt - why are you here and what are you afraid of? Believe it or not, I do not require anyone to share the response. Mostly because I already know the answer - the course is a requirement for the major and the most frequently cited fear is standing in front of a group to speak. When they all nod in unison they quickly learn that they are all afraid of the same thing.

I look forward to meeting another group of students. I learn as much from them as I think they do from me.

This is the "Let It Snow" Quilt I am making. I cannot wait to finish it! it

As the summer is wrapping up, I have spent a good deal of time on a new hobby - quilting. This began when I made a t-shirt quilt for my daughter with the t-shirts she collected in her growing up years. I loved it! And so, I had to make something else. One day, I walked into Jackman's Fabrics in St. Louis and discovered a wonderful class - Block of the Month featuring the "Let It Snow" quilt.

The thing I find so funny about this project is I really do not like winter, or snow. Yet, I found this project so pretty. Something warm to cozy up with when the snow is falling and I dread going outside. This project, taught by Lisa Grossheider, showed me that hand-cut appliqué is easier than I thought with the right scissors. Karen Kay Buckley makes the perfect scissors for cutting intricate appliqué work. They are sharp at the point making it easy to cut small, tiny places. The right sewing machine really does make a difference, also. I switched from a Singer to a Baby Lock made for quilting. The difference is remarkable. I continue to learn more and more about Baby Lock Soprano every time I sit down at the machine. So, if you do not hear from me, I am sewing.

While I was not sewing or getting ready for school to start this week, I have been preparing for the PRSA Midwest District Conference in Columbia in September. I am helping organize a hands-on contest featuring Stukent's Mimic Social. Conference attendees will learn and test different promotional strategies to create compelling social media ads across various social media network platforms, as well as gain experience in writing ad copy that increases engagement and conversions. Conference attendees will also learn the difference between earned, owned, and paid social media marketing promotion strategies. They will analyze various forms of media and different targeting strategies to achieve the greatest reach.

If you have not registered yet, I recommend that you do. I hope to see you there.

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