Career Path Quiz: Take 1

Today I joined the AMTA as a student, because membership is $20 and affords many of the same opportunities as professional membership, including insurance. Killer deal!

Poking around the site, I saw a Massage Therapist Career Path Quiz and decided to take it. Supposedly it’s designed to tell me my ideal workplace environment–be that home office, clinic, or cruise ship. It took about five minutes, and here are my results (which will surprise probably no one):

Your setting: Sole Practitioner/Self-Employed
Managing Your Own Massage Practice Might Fit You Best

According to your responses, you are flexible and have an interest or background in business. You have or are willing to develop strong marketing, financial and/or management skills for your massage therapy practice.

  • You enjoy your independence.
  • You may enjoy having to travel to work to see clients.
  • You would not mind having a flexible schedule: You may set your hours and be willing to take last minute clients.
  • You have great time management skills.
  • You can work without supervision or support.
  • You are a self-starter and highly organized.
  • You might be flexible with the types of clients you work with.
  • You can distinguish what your clients need from their massage session. For example, you might realize when a client requires a deep tissue massage, and you can also identify when relaxation is needed.
  • You are comfortable networking in order to stay involved within your community and build your client-base.
  • You work within the present, focus on the future and envision where you can take yourself and your practice.

I’d be interested in taking the quiz again in nine months, right around graduation, to see whether my answers have changed or my ideal work environment.

If you’d like to take the quiz, you can find it here:

Career Path Quiz: Take 1

Essay #3: Project Idea/Proposal

Essay Prompt: Present a project design of your own to explore a question you have about naturally occurring conversation. The response to this question will have two sections, Introduction and Methodology. You may build on research you have done for your final project, any previous projects, or you may choose a new project. Write a one-paragraph introduction which draws upon our work in this program to explain why your project is important. End this section with a research question or hypothesis. Then explain your methodology. How will you gather data? How will you choose your participants in the study? If you will ask your participants questions, list them. If you ask participants to discuss something, provide the prompt. Will you record data at the moment or later? Will you audio tape or videotape? Be very specific. Include in your explanation of methodology the crucial explanation of why, in your view, the methodology you have chosen will provide the answer to your research question.


3:            Introduction:

Project Description: You will be recording a meeting, transcribing a section of that recording, and analyzing the transcription. Videotape a student group meeting for at least 20 minutes. This student group should have at least five members present at the meeting (there should be men and women) and they should have a prepared agenda for their meeting with at least two topics to discuss or on which to make decisions. After the meeting, analyze your video recording carefully, and select for your transcription a discussion about one of the topics on the agenda, in which at least two members spoke. For your analysis, use both your transcription and the video recording, and answer the following question: What discourse methods, styles, and behaviors does each speaker exhibit in order to address the agenda topic and finalize the issue?

Importance to the program: I think this would be a very interesting topic, particularly because of my involvement with a student group myself. I was very careful to make this assignment different from the one we did analyzing the seminar discussion. The idea of addressing a certain topic and the pressure to come to a definitive conclusion about it is fascinating and very distinct—I don’t believe it is something that happens in a seminar. It’s one thing to sit in a seminar and be able to talk at length about a certain topic, but students don’t need to make decisions or even come to final conclusions… or at least not on behalf of anyone but themselves. So I think that to analyze students getting business done in the student group setting would be very compelling. I would also be interested in what (if any) type of government this group would use, because this will affect how each person is involved in the discussion and decision-making process. Do they have a leader who will make the ultimate decision, but not without some input of other members first? Do they need to reach a consensus? Do they take a vote?

Methodology: Though I’d love to analyze a Cooper Point Journal meeting from a linguistic standpoint, I would record the Geoduck Union for this project. I would be especially interested in stance and face-saving acts, but I would also focus on backchannelling, politeness, and hedging. These would show up in how people expressed their opinions, how they made motions about the topics at hand, and how they changed subjects. Then I would examine how effective all this was by seeing what decisions they reached, how they reached them, and the timeliness of their decision (based on their agenda).

I wouldn’t do any extra research on the Geoduck Union before going in or doing the transcription and analysis, because I would like to do the project with few preconceptions. However, maybe in the last step of my analysis, I would look up whether any members had any special roles in the Union or in that meeting to determine how they used those roles.

Essay #3: Project Idea/Proposal

The past can be the future. Why go back?

Introducing the first thing I have posted on my wall (REAL wall, that is–NOT Facebook) since I have moved into my apartment:

The very first issue of the Cooper Point Journal (CPJ), the paper for which I am the print managing editor (there is a web managing editor for, obviously, the web edition). The CPJ is a weekly publication put out by the CPJ student group, but more broadly, it is a paper by and for the students, which is most important. The CPJ accepts any type of content from anyone enrolled as a student at the Evergreen State College, which is very cool. We have two advisors, but they don’t have any say over what goes in the paper (nor does any other faculty member). The student group is comprised entirely of students who put out the web and print publication, as well as students to manage and maintain the business side of things. We only receive a certain amount of funding from the Student Activities department of the school, and the student activities funds come directly from students through tuition, so the paper is quite literally BY the students, in all senses. Students in positions of responsibility receive a learning allotment most weeks of the quarter, which enables them to spend the time that they do at the CPJ.

The CPJ is not a “job,” and we do not get “paid.” We don’t even “work.” We have responsibilities, and are held accountable for those responsibilities by the mere fact that we are members of the organization. We don’t need to know a certain amount before coming into a position at the CPJ (seriously, I am a managing editor after only 3 years of being involved in journalism of any sort; that tells you something), but we are encouraged to learn while we’re at the CPJ–hence the designation of the CPJ being a “learning laboratory.”

Anyway, as my position indicates, I am responsible for the print edition of the paper, which is weekly. The first paper came off the presses today, and I got to watch it happen. I was given a copy right then and there, with that picture on the cover that I took and the cover design that I did. I was (and am) so proud of that thing.

So… why do I feel guilty? The thing about the CPJ is that, since we don’t “work,” we don’t have hours, so technically we are at liberty to leave whenever we want. But since we are responsible and accountable for certain tasks, they should be priority. Plus, there is always the chance that more may come up, or tasks may be delegated, and there is the real looming responsibility of the actual publication. So “leadership” (the business manager, associate business manager, editor in chief, associate editor, web managing editor, and print managing editor) are usually under the impression that other members will be (or should be) as dedicated to producing the overall result as we are. Well, frankly, sometimes they just aren’t.

That should be fine with us. I mean, technically their position has certain responsibilities assigned to it, and if they take care of those they are free to lead a life. The problem is that we get so caught up in what has to be done, and usually we are so short-staffed, that we feel the need to delegate tasks to these people that somehow have gotten done with their section early.

…Ok, I’m tired of explaining this, so the short version is that there is A TON of guilt-tripping in the CPJ. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

I felt the guilt pressure almost all of last year in my various positions, as well as this past summer when I was at home having a normal life when everyone else was at the office having responsibilities in which I was expected to take part or share.

So though I never told anyone when I came back this year, my ultimate goal is to never guilt trip someone. If someone is done and says something like “…so…I think I’ll head out now,” I can respond with no more than, “all right. If you find you have more time, let us know if you’re free and we can give you something to do.” That’s it. Because I am so fed up with these people being presented with that situation of someone wanting to leave and saying, “well… ok… it would be great if you could stay a while longer, because there’s a lot left to do…”

What BS. Suck it up and do some work yourself. Last night was production night, and I felt like I did a ton because we were short-staffed and people left. And I was fine with it. I am at the CPJ because I have an extreme passion for journalism. And I want that passion to show through my drive and motivation to put out a quality paper without too much perfectionism. Actually, I can’t imagine what it would be like if we had a full staff. What would I do?!

Our advisor once said, when we were anticipating the switch to our primarily online medium, that “Jo can put out a print paper by herself. So what you guys need to focus on is the website.” And, though that probably wouldn’t be something I’d prefer in the heat of the moment, it sounds a little daringly awesome.

It won’t happen. The CPJ is a students’ paper, not a student’s paper. [If you don’t understand that line, please leave this blog. Now.]

And I don’t want it to happen. I am so caught up in the awesomeness of the ‘voice of the students thing’ that I never want to give that up. Why would a publication function any differently?

It seems like every time I find something new about Evergreen, I react to it like I did when I got my Mac: Why would ever go back to how it/I was before? In fact, that happens with many facets of my life.

Why would I ever go back to a school that gave grades and pushed a competitive learning environment?

Why would I ever go back to a life without barbershop music?

Why would I ever go back to being involved in a newspaper that wasn’t by and for the people?

It’s so important. I realized this when the EIC was working on launching the website today. Before, I had been rather caught up in how the site would look, and how it would function, blah blah blah, just so that people would want to look at it and come back to it and become a member of the site, etc. But now, I want it to look very rustic and work-in-progress-like, so that people will instead come up to us and say something like, “btw, that website of yours… uh… sucks.” Then, I will be able to tell them [quite honestly, mind you], “I’m so glad you think so! We would love to have your expertise, or at least some input about it!”

Does that sound dorky? Because I think it sounds really exciting.

Orientation week issue

The past can be the future. Why go back?