BYU MISM Graduation

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BYU MISM Graduation 2011 Three years ago I wondered when April 2011 was going to come.  This weekend I put on my cap, gown, and hood and joined 6000+ others at BYU’s 2011 commencement ceremony.  I received my Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Master of Information Systems Management degrees at the same time.  Here’s a recap on my college career and why I chose this major.

How I Started

In 5th grade I did a report on computer programmers and knew this is what I wanted to do.  As I grew older I figured out how to make a web site for my Dad. He smiled wondering why anyone would ever use web sites.  When I had free time, I found myself making web sites and flash games which gave me the opportunity to learn how to program.  Ever since then I’ve had a passion for development and especially web development.

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Apple Internship

Apple Offer - The OfferApple decided to offer me an internship this summer. I’m headed to Cupertino (San Jose), California from May 24 – Aug 20. I will be doing software development for them, more specifically Java, J2EE development for their retail point of sale division. I was interviewed a total of 5 times, once on campus, two phone interviews, and two iChat video interviews. It was quite a process.

When the official offer came, it felt like I was opening my first iPod. The 3-fold pristine white offer with the Apple logo was exactly what you would expect from Apple.

Apple has an incredible company culture.  A fellow BYU MISM alumni stated “One year at Apple is like three years at any other company.” I’m interested to see first-hand what Apple’s internal processes are like.

Kellie will continue to work at KSL as a morning show producer and will be in California with me for 15 of the 90 days.  It will be tough not seeing her every day, but she will be coming out to visit almost every other weekend.

Working in Silicon Valley has always been on my to-do list, I can’t wait to see what it is like.

Adobe Student Rep for Rich Internet Applications

Adobe Student Rep for RIA

Adobe Student Rep for RIA

Yesterday I was welcomed as an Adobe Student Rep for Rich Internet Applications. I am excited to get the Flex community going at BYU and educating other students about what Adobe Flex is and what an RIA is. Since I do this for work, I find it is easy to share my passion and my love for it with others.

I created a user group for BYU students. If you are a BYU student, join the group and enjoy the perks of being a member. You do not need to be an active Flex developer to join, you just need to be interested in what Flex is. I will be hosting an event this semester to get things kicked off.

Invent Yourself

Textual Analysis of Inventing the Unversity by David Bartholomae

Your standard success seeking college student walks into class on the first day. He scans the environment of his new fellow classmates and realizes his competition. New scribbles of dry erase marker dance on the white board as he critiques every move that his new professor is making. In order for this student to pass this class, he has to play this professor’s game. He has to invent the university. Chemistry is a new concept to this college student, but he acts like he’s been doing it since second grade. Whenever an assignment is made, he takes on the characteristics of a scientist with a PhD. The writing style he chooses persuades his audience of fellow scientists that he is knowledgeable and credible.

A college student switches from a scientist to a fitness expert to an English professor all within a matter of a few hours. Professors expect it, and the student plays their game. According to David Bartholomae, “He must dare to speak it or to carry off the bluff, since speaking and writing will most certainly be required long before the skill is ‘learned.’â€? Bartholomae suggests that a student must invent himself into the subject that he is currently studying.

Professors love it when a student invents their specific university discipline, because they want their students to become what they are. The professor finds delight when his students act and sound like their profession. The students are rewarded for carrying out the bluff and continue their path to the ‘A’. Playing the professor’s game is what college students are best at.

A common problem is that the student often slips out of stance or character and becomes less than they claim. Bartholomae outlines specific occasions when basic writers, college students, slip out of character and are caught red handed. On one instance the setting is wrong and on another instance the writer fails to conclude what he introduces.

Let us imagine this college chemistry student beginning his first chemistry paper. His first step is to analyze his audience. According to Bartholomae, it is a catch 22 because it is impossible for him to accurately analyze his audience. How can he know exactly what the reader knows or their life experience? All they can do is guess and assume what his reader knows. He thinks to himself, “Am I more powerful than my audience, or equal to them?� Decisions like this need to be made while planning in order for this paper to be successful.

On the other hand, some college students do not fit into this category of ‘jumping through the hoops’ to get an ‘A’. They feel they do not need to be something they are not. They argue to ‘accept reality’ and ‘stop trying to be something they are not.’ What if the college student’s priority isn’t playing the teacher’s game? This college student doesn’t care what grade they get. Learning the content of the subject is what intrigues them and motivates them. This type of college student is definitely the easiest route to take. It doesn’t require you to fake who you are. By simply writing, you display who you are and what you know. Simple as this seems, the downfall that is created is the lack of challenge and improvement.

Bartholomae seems to land himself right in the middle of both these types of college students. He argues that, “There is, to be sure, an important distinction to be made between learning history, say, and learning to write as an historian.â€? The difference is expanding the student’s mind beyond himself and challenging himself to think like the historian. Bartholomae suggested, “I expect my students to be, themselves, invented as literary critics by approximating the language of a literary critic.â€?

Using a personal history while writing is important in certain areas. Using the term ‘I’ is what can make or break the paper. Authority is instantly criticized by the reader when an opinion is stated instead of assumed fact. Bartholomae suggests that if the author, themselves are already credible, the opinion’s force is very great. Whereas if the author has no authority, the opinion has the weight of a feather.

Personally, I have used this technique of inventing myself into a professional of subjects that I study. It is similar to the conceptual idea of “Act as if, and then you will become.� When I study public speaking, I am the best public speaker there is. When I study object oriented programming, I know exactly how to write code. At work I become a technical scope document expert.

Should a college student invent themselves into what their professor wants? Or should the college student just be themselves? Balance needs to be created between these two types of students. When that balance is mastered, the student does more than invent themselves and is more than who they are. The student becomes the professional of that discipline. Do more than invent yourself and become.

Online Credibility

Weblogs, blogs for short, are an oncoming fad in our society. The ability for anyone to post their thoughts and have it published to a worldwide audience has never been possible until this day and age. Credibility is the number one issue that comes with this phenomenon. What can we trust online as truth and what is just a farce?

A high school student down the street from you or a distinguished college professor could each have their own blog. How does one decipher what is credible and what is not? That is the predicament we are in. What are the standards that we must use to determine their credibility.

Whenever I need to research a topic, whether it be for class, work, or my own enjoyment, I open up google.com and perform a search. Results appear on the web site and nine times out of ten it is exactly what I want. College English classes won’t let us use many online resources as resources even though their accuracy could be better than the New York Times. The difference between a blog and a credited newspaper is the publishing process. Journalists must have a college education and a high level of skill in order to even write for a credible publishing.

The process to create a blog is very easy. Simply go to a popular blogging site such as Blogger.com and sign up. Within five minutes you have your own domain, bradysblog.blogger.com. You are now an author, a publisher, a writer within minutes. The whole world is your audience. Compare that to the rigorous task of an author attempting to write for a major magazine such as Newsweek. Intense college education, years of experience, and very good talent are a requirement to be a part of such a publication.

Can blogs be recognized as a credible source? Anyone can write truth. Not only distinguished journalists but also the college student. Each of us are professionals in our own area and should be able to write about it. Web developers or Botanists. Fast food workers or custodians. High school students or mothers. Each us of has a right to publish the truth and have it recognized.

Truth eventually weeds itself into the popular eye. A simple google search will return the best results on a few keywords. This search is all based on popularity. Popularity online becomes truth. Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that is open source, is a great case study to look at. Anyone can edit an article if they have more truth on the subject. Will this style of accumulated writing eventually circumscribe itself to near perfection?

Though anyone can post information online, a user can use standards to determine if the information is accurate. More often then not, the information will prove itself to be truth and worth your time. We need to determine what these standards are to develop online credibility.

Reference List:
MacKinnon, Rebecca (2005). “Blogging, Journalism, & Credibility. Battleground and Common Ground�. Source: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/wp-content/webcredfinalpdf_01.pdf
Jstor: Using weblogs in the classroom

Edward, Steven (2005, 26 Apr). “Evaluating Blog Credibility.� Source:http://blogcorevalues.blogspot.com/2005/04/evaluating-blog-credibility.html

Harvard Law School:
Site: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/
PDF: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/wp-content/webcredfinalpdf_01.pdf

Jstor: Using weblogs in the classroom

Online Credibility.
Weblogs
Forums
Expertexchange.com
Magazines online
Online newspapers