The Art of Spoken Word

When we think of “Spoken word performance”, we often think of dusty brew houses, beret-adorned hipsters reciting their supposedly “Avant-Garde” poetry. On the surface, it can seem like an art form long dead.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In fact, spoken word performance is thriving. Though it might be hard to recognize it as such: Spoken word lives on in perhaps one of the most popular genres to date: Rap music. Now, i’m not really a fan of Rap/Hip-Hop myself, but I have composed and studied various forms of poetry, rhyme, etc for years. Before I get too far ahead of myself, it’s a decent idea to ask: What is spoken word performance defined as, anyhow? It’s essentially any work of poetry that is specifically made to be recited aloud or performed as opposed to read. The line between typical “Musical style” performance and spoken word lies in the fact that traditional music vocals tend to center themselves around creating a melody, a sound pleasant to the ear. It is a performance that puts your needs first. Spoken Word, quite frankly, doesn’t give a damn.

Bonus points if you get the reference

Spoken word oftentimes had no accompanying music, and if it did, the music was centered around the words, not the other way around. And most Rap music tracks are written like that. In fact, “Freestyling” typically involves no accompanying music, possibly excepting a percussion beat to help keep the Emcee in rhythm.

I have, thus far spoken about Rap as a nebulous concept that relates to spoken word. It is worth noting that some things you might consider “Rap” wouldn’t fall under this category, as again, they’re centered around creating a melody pleasing to the ear, not on rhyme, wordplay, and meter. The vast majority of rap music, especially older stuff, is firmly in the spoken word category.

To understand the relationship between Rap and Spoken word, we would need to go back to the 1920’s. Specifically, back to Harlem. Around this time, the African-American community experienced a revival of Art, Music, Philosophy, and all manner of things that helped shape the creative identity of African American culture, the effects even rippling to this day. Spoken word poetry, of course, being a popular form of expression at the time. These Black Poets would rhyme about all manner of things, but frustration and struggle were recurring themes for many of them. Specifically, the struggles they faced as an oppressed racial minority mostly consigned to poverty. Around this sense of shared struggle, in fact, is where much of the cultural cohesion of the Harlem Renaissance took place. However, this was still “Conventional” oral poetry in practice. The beginnings of what we know as “Rap” wouldn’t emerge until the seventies. The rest, is history.

A video of the most famous Creative to come out of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, reading one of his most iconic poems.

Obviously, some rappers utilize spoken word more than others, but perhaps one of the most subtly poetic MCs is also one of the most vulgar.

Stefan Burnett, better known as MC Ride, is the lyrical front-man of the experimental Rap trio Death Grips, and perhaps one of the most influential spoken word artists of our generation. It could be argued some of his tracks are so post-modernist as to defy the medium of spoken word altogether, but I would disagree. His vocals are the obvious center of the performance, oftentimes being discordant with the actual music. I could talk at length about his style, and how it really is spoken form in almost pure form, but perhaps showing you would do better:

Keep in mind, the first minute or so is an audio clip taken from an interview with Charles Manson.

What’s the point of this blog post? To, hopefully, convince you that spoken word performance is far from an aging, irrelevant, “Hipster” medium, but is alive and well. Even if it’s far from those dusty brew houses and their accursed poetry slams.

Cover Letters and Thank You Letters and Interviews, OH MY!

Are you looking for the real reason to use cover letters and send thank you letters? Look no further!

What is the real reason we use cover letters and thank you letters? Well, let me tell you. It definitely has nothing to do with lions and tigers and bears! I have a few good reasons you will want to use a cover letter and follow-up with a thank you letter.

Why a Cover Letter?

  • To show the employer how AWESOME you are
  • And to make them FLIP THE PAGE to your resume
  • This gives you a better chance to get the interview

There are a couple of things to be aware of though. When you’re writing your cover letter be sure not to brag but tell the employer how you can benefit the company. If you’re applying to a few different places, then be sure to change some of your wording in your cover letter for each company. Employers DO NOT have time to read pages about how great you are. It’s important to keep it short and sweet and to the point.

Cover Letter Info

Interview

Now, if everything goes right you’ll get the interview!

Why Send a Thank You Letter?

  • This is for after the interview.
  • It shows you have good manners, of course!
  • This is your last chance to leave a positive impression AND your last chance to get your name in front of them.
  • Did you forget to mention something in your interview? Thank you letters are the perfect chance to say it!

Thank You Letter Info

IMPORTANT

If where you’re applying to specifically asks that you don’t add a cover letter, then don’t. Not following instructions can cause you not to get the interview. So, make sure you know what the employer wants!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

I hope this helps anyone wondering why it’s important to use cover letters and thank you letters. Please let me know what you think! Best of luck to your future endeavors.

Emily Brugh – Business Major @ IUPUC

 

6 Steps to an A on Your Presentation

  1. First Impressions Matter

Watch those baby steps! The first thing people notice is your theme. The wrong theme and your PowerPoint already failed. Play to your audience and ask yourself if this is something you would want to sit through. A clever title is a dead giveaway of your work and lets the viewer know what’s in store for them. Don’t drag down your points because your title was “Cow Farts” in a presentation about methane.

  1. Organization, Organization, Organization

Keeping pace with the presentation is what makes you a successful speaker, so don’t forget to organize your points. Make sure to introduce your main ideas before speaking them. Give the audience a simple sentence to prepare for the next section. Something as easy as, that was Organization next is Consistency.

  1. Consistency is Key

No one wants to see a bunch of random nonsense cluttering up your PowerPoint. Watch where you place your pictures and keep them even in every slide. Just keep it simple and stick to set transitions that can still grab attention but don’t distract from the importance. So, it still looks like the same presentation but with all the pizzazz you intended.

  1. Word Count Those Slides!!

Watch the words on your slides no one really wants to sit through a presentation anyway so don’t add an essay on top of it. Stick to main ideas, unless you’re quoting something directly the PowerPoint is to aid your audience, not your script.

  1. Summarize and Conclude

Make it a spectacular finish and summarize your points for your audience. This can help them catch up on details they missed or allow them to review your points for questions at the end. If you want your audience to remember your points repetition is a surefire method of success. It lets your viewers relax and enjoy your presentation instead of working to learn it even after you are done.

  1. Spell Check

Never forget to review your presentation for clear errors when its done. It is always best to have someone else check your work but since we all know you did this an hour before it was due at least spell check your work. There is a big difference between “your” work, and “you’re” work.

There are a few tips to give yourself a shot at an A even if you aren’t a strong presenter. A good presentation doesn’t make quality materials, but it sure does disguise crap.

How Baseball Players and Coaches Communicate

 

catcher

Baseball is one of America’s oldest games. It was invented by a soldier named Abner Graves during the Civil War in 1839. The game was first played in Cooperstown, NY where the baseball hall of fame is now located. Baseball is a very strategic game that teams will do anything to gain an advantage. One advantage a team can have against each other is secretly communicating by using hand signals.

If you have ever watched a baseball game, you have probably seen the nonverbal communication between players and coaches. The most obvious being the catchers hand signals to the pitcher to signal what pitch to throw and where to throw it. Another form of nonverbal communication used in baseball is the hand signals used by the coaches. These signals tell the player if they should bunt, swing, take a pitch, etc. Baseball teams use these signals so that opposing teams do not know what to expect when they are playing.

The main example of hand signals in baseball is from the catcher. If you have ever watched a baseball game on TV you have seen a catcher use these signals. These signals allow the pitcher and catcher to know what pitch and what location to expect whenever the ball is thrown. For example, typically a catcher pointing his index finger means a fastball. If the catcher shows two fingers it generally means a type of off-speed pitch, either a curveball or a slider. If a catcher would put up three or four fingers, this would be a pitcher’s choice of his specialty pitches, such as a two-seam fastball, sinker, or changeup. Catchers also use these signs to signal the location the pitch needs to be located. A catcher could put two fingers and move them to the left side of his leg it means throw a curveball to the right side of the plate.

Whenever there is a runner on base however things get a little more complicated. On second base a runner can directly see what signs the catcher is using. If the catcher used his regular signals the baserunner could tell his teammate what pitch is coming next. To prevent this from happening, when there is a baserunner catcher add more signals to for one pitch. The most common form of this would be the first sign being the pitch and the last type the location. The first sign is determined just by the number, and the location is determined on if the last number is odd or ever, odd numbers meaning outside of the plate and even numbers being inside of the plate. For example, if a runner is on second base, the catcher could put down a sequence of: 1, 2, 2, 1, and 4. This would mean the catcher wants and inside fastball. During the game catchers and pitchers may change their signal in order to ensure the opposing players do not crack the code.

Infielders also need to know the signs to determine who will cover second base. If a left-handed batter is at the plate the shortstop will look at the catcher to see what the pitch is coming. After looking a what the pitch will be he will then figure out whether he or the second baseman will cover the bag. He relays this message by covering half of his face with his glove and using his mouth to say me or you. An open mouth means “you” and a closed mouth means “me”.

The last example of non-verbal communication in baseball is the coaches hand signals towards the players. Signs differ from each team and most likely change in each game. These signs are given by the coaches to determine whether or not to steal, bunt, hit and run, hit right or left side of the field and many more. Some of these signs are very hard to understand for spectators, but players know exactly what their coaches are saying. Examples of what these signs are touching both shoulders for a steal, touching your hat for a bunt, or running your hand down your arm for a hit and run. Normally when looking at these signs the last sign the coach gives is the play you need to make. An example of this would be the coach touching his hat first, grabbing one of his ears, running a hand down an arm, and then touching both shoulders. This would be the coach telling a baserunner to steal second base. It is important for players and coaches to have backup signs just in case the opposing team figure out what the sign means.

Baseball is a very strategic game. Players and coaches use hand signals to relay messages secretly. Next time you go to a baseball game or watch a baseball game, try and see what the players and coaches are doing to see if you can guess what is going to happen next.

By Spencer Silence, Business Major

 

Who Needs a Kickstart?

What do all good commercials have in common?

Image result for Kickstart

All good commercials have a Kickstart!

Well other than being in the Super Bowl, all good commercials grab the audience’s attention just long enough to get their ideas out. Finding common ground to reach everyone is hard so I will discuss briefly why humorous commercials don’t always work. Throughout this blog, I hope to give you an idea of what it takes to create a good commercial by using one commercial as a guide. Please take a few seconds to watch the following commercial. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n_K6wuC5cw

This may seem like another boring commercial at the start, but then it takes a weird twist to create an instant classic. By taking a simple idea and throwing in something such as a puppy monkey and baby all fused together, this commercial had everyone talking for months after Super Bowl 50. I still think about this commercial sometimes because it had a hold on me that stuck for the past couple of years. Speaking of the Super Bowl and all the commercials we have grown to love, why is this the one I picked from the long list.

This Puppy Monkey Baby Mountain Dew commercial showed up and took everyone by surprise literally. So what makes it so great? Well, that’s just it, this commercial was surprising to the whole audience. It didn’t wait for the audience to pay attention, it made us. I personally don’t like to watch long commercials about a drink or a car dealership, so a quick out of no-where commercial such as the one above is perfect.

A good commercial needs to be effective and informational. Some say it’s all about being humorous as well. This I disbelieve, as too many people have different opinions on what is funny and what is not. Making a humorous commercial might split your audience in half just by the way some people perceive a joke. Quickly grabbing someone’s attention with a loud noise like yelling “wow that’s a low price” or having a puppy/monkey/baby appear is what catches an audience. Some might think it’s funny to see such a weird creature and others might not, yet it still catches the attention of the audience and gets them to wonder “what in the..”.

Right after they hook the audience with the Narnia like creature, they begin showcasing their new product, even though it was just a small part of the commercial. The new Dew Kickstart wasn’t even the center of attention, but was involved in just enough close-ups so the audience gathered why this was a commercial.

To review what makes this commercial great, it captivates the audience. It gave us something new and out of the ordinary to grab our attention. It was quick to get the product out before a loss of interest and created a connection to the product from the weirdness the commercial created. Shortly after this commercial was released people were looking all over to get some of this new Kickstart because of a puppy, monkey, and baby. That is why this commercial is so great… Dilly Dilly!

By: Stuart Bryan, Business Major

A Podcast to Reach Your Dreams

By: Ashleigh Meister

Do you have dreams? Do you dream about getting a degree and finally graduating? Do you dream of what it would feel like to pay off all of your debt and be able to spend your earned money how you want? Do you dream of buying your dream house? What about owning your own business? All of your dreams are possible if you do the work to make them happen.

Rachel Hollis is a mother, a wife, and a self-made business woman who has dreams just like you and she is working towards her goals every day. She has figured out how to reach many of her goals by researching and not taking no for an answer. She created this podcast to share the tools that she used for her own success. Her podcast is called “Rise Podcast”.

In this podcast series, she interviews several successful business people, narrates chapters from her own book, and easily motivates you to actually make steps towards your dreams and goals. Rachel’s audience is mostly made up of females in the “Rise Podcast”. She speaks primarily to women because she was in the same place as her audience at one point in time.

There is a lot of marketing in this podcast. Like mentioned before, Rachel narrates chapters from her book. This is a form of marketing for her book. She also asks you to screen shot the podcast episode you are listening to and post on social media by tagging her in your Instagram stories or post via @msrachelhollis. I think this is very smart and a great way to market herself without saying, “Hey, go follow me!”. She knows how to drive traffic to her other outlets.

Rachel’s podcast may be focused on women but that does not mean that men cannot take notes. She has several interviews with very successful men. While this podcast’s main focus is women; Rachel and her husband have an additional podcast for married couples. This is something that she also markets in her “Rise Podcast”.

“Nobody, not a voice of authority, not your Mama, not the foremost expert in your arena; gets to tell you how big your dreams can be. They can talk all they want, but you get to decide if you’re willing to listen.” -Rachel Hollis

Listening is Key

Listening Blog

Listening is a huge part of life. Listening is a crucial part when it comes to communication. Having the ability to listen effectively can change not only your life but also the lives of others around you. A quote that really stuck out to me was, “No one is as deaf as a man who will not listen.” (Jewish Proverb) This quote makes a lot of sense to me. Even people who cannot physically listen, because they are deaf, can still listen in other ways. For example, someone’s body language can tell you a lot about the kind of mood they are in. People who don’t listen cannot effectively communicate because it turns in to one-way communication. This kind of person generally only cares about what they have to say. They will say what they want to say and then just tune out what others are saying. I believe that listening is about hearing, I think it is about understanding and getting the meaning out of what is being said.

When communicating with others if you listen well you can get out lot out of what they are saying. If the speaker knows that you are listening it generally makes them feel better and more comfortable to speak to you. While having a conversation you can listen and figure out what kind of mood the person is in by paying attention to the tone of their voice, how they are talking, and body language. If you know this information you could attempt to make the person feel better. Sometimes all it takes to make someone feel better is to have someone their to hear what they have to say. I know that when I’m feeling down about something it is great to have someone there who will listen to what I have to say and how I feel. Listening to someone could make a difference in their life because many people don’t have someone, they can talk to that will listen to what they have to say.
Listening Blog2
If think that you are struggling with listening there are ways to make yourself better. A good thing to start off doing is maintain eye contact. Maintaining eye contact makes yourself focus on what the speaker is saying and also shows them that you are paying attention. Keep anything distracting away such as cellphones. Ask questions. Asking questions causes you to be engaged in the conversation. These are just a few useful tips to become a better listener.

In conclusion, listening is very important in our lives and in others. Without the ability to listen effectively, life can be pretty difficult. If you can listen effectively it can help you understand more and make others around you feel better and want to speak to you more.

By: Gabriel Wilson, Business Major, IUPUC

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is the constitution of the internet in America. The Obama administration passed legislation in 2015. Sadly, Net neutrality died a horrible and sudden death at the hands of Ajit Pai at the end of 2017. This appeal was one of the biggest controversies of 2017 amongst the American people.

bear
Without net neutrality, internet service providers can control content and service across the board. These providers can slow down internet service, charge extra fees, and even block content for other internet services. The bottom line for this appeal is monetary gain for a platform that was once free and accessible to anyone. Without open internet, information cannot be shared as easily among the North American population, which can cause people to be ignorant of political and social policies. Without net neutrality, how would we, the people, keep up with Donald Trump’s twitter account? We would have to pay extra or not see it at all if the providers decided to restrict access to Twitter.
Twenty-two state attorney’s general are asking to reinstate net neutrality rules. AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast are for the death of net neutrality, but other companies oppose the appeal. These other companies are Facebook, Amazon, and even Pornhub. When your porn preference involves themselves in politics, the stakes are obviously high.

So far, internet providers have not made the major changes that most Americans fear. These companies still have that power in their hands without regulations. Right now, it is a huge waiting game. Once another Democratic candidate is elected for the Oval office, net neutrality will more than likely be instated, once more. Until then, the American population can thrive on hopes and prayers that internet service providers keep the internet playground fair to all.

By
Kaylee Gaddie
IUPUC Psychology Major

 

Mind Your Tongue

Mind Your Tongue

 

The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

You may be thinking, great… another Bible reader, stuffing scripture down my throat.

Before you think that, I have a challenge for you… really look at what that is saying. Whether you believe in the Bible or not, give what these words are saying a little credit. Look at your own life and read those words carefully… “The tongue (our words) have the power of life and death.”

Maybe you think that’s dramatic but it’s not. Think about the last time you were angry at someone. Did you say things you regret, things you can NEVER take back? How did those words affect the recipient? Do you think he or she has forgotten what you’ve said or do you think those words pop back in their head throughout the day? Makes you wonder, huh? I hope I can help you think before you speak whether it be in a positive light or a negative darkness.

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me. This is a lie. What we say matters. The unkind things we communicate can soil the best of relationships; even with the deepest of regrets… What lingers is a stain of hurt that may fade but will never truly go away. The wounding words we say are like feathers released in a harsh wind, once said; we will never get them back”

Jason Versey, A Walk with Prudence

When was the last time someone said something that hurt you? How did you feel? Words are something we can never take back. When something hurtful is said, the others’ reaction is to fight back, change the way they see you or even change the way they see themselves. It is SO important to realize the damage just a few simple words said out of anger can do. The impact our words have on people’s behaviors towards us and life in general needs to be taken into consideration. Words can bring people to depression, loneliness, anger, fear… you name it. They have a lasting impression on the people around you.

Magic Words

“Silly words cause trills because they’re ludicrous and funny

Happy words paint endless smiles and swallow troubles whole

Thoughtful words are thus because they make the day feel sunny

But hurtful words are such that pierce the heart and weight the soul”

Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyways

Since the last paragraph was somewhat depressing, let’s talk about the positive impact words can have. Look at the second part of that poem, “Happy words paint endless smiles and swallow troubles whole.” We build relationships by creating happy and interesting conversations with our words. People are attracted to optimistic and happy individuals because they make life fun. Without kind, loving, respectful, happy words, relationships would be hard to create. Think of the last time you told someone “I love you.” Ahh yes, all smiles over here. To know you are loved makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. What about a parent telling his or her child “I am proud of you.” Woah. Those words are empowering. The confidence builds and he or she is ready to conquer the world.

We can build people up or tear them down with our choice of words. My advice? Be on the lookout for people who are down on themselves. Give them a compliment and build them up. It can be something as simple as: “You are so smart!” “I love your heart.” “I really like the way you did your hair!” or even, “You are SO good at your job!” Those compliments can really brighten people’s day and change their view of themselves in a heartbeat.

The few examples I covered can’t even begin to scratch the surface of how impactful our words are in both negative and positive ways. I urge you to think before you speak, no matter what situation you’re in. Mind your tongue and think about other people and consider their feelings. Take a look at what that Proverbs verse has to say. It holds a lot of wisdom when it comes to how we carry ourselves and speak within this life.

By: Leigha Faivor, Business/Accounting Major, IUPUC

Navigating the medical maze

Tips on how to reduce your chances of being a victim of medical malpractice

Robin Price
W231- Professional writing

Going to the doctor can be scary. Most people have a fear of doctors. We’ve all heard the stories about patients having the wrong leg amputated, incorrect medication doses being given to patients and numerous other horror stories that resulted in harm to patients or even death of a patient. These examples and many others are results of miscommunication with in the medical field and ultimately A

According to an article on statnews.com written by Melissa Bailey in February 2016. Hospitals and physicians’ offices could have avoided nearly 2000 patient deaths and $1.7 billion in medical malpractice cost if only communication had been better. Here are some tips on how to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of medical malpractice.

  1. Check your Doctors credentials

As a patient or potential patient, you have a right to check your doctor out. When possible before you see your doctor or select a new doctor you can verify their licensing, board certifications, medical school attended, where they did their residency, actions against them like medical malpractice and other disciplinary actions. Federation of state medical boards website you can look up doctors by entering their first and last name and location of practice at docinfo.org.

 

  1. Prepare list of questions to ask your doctor

When we go to the doctor we usually don’t feel well. Sometimes we feel nervous, feel rushed or receive so much information we often forget what we wanted to ask the doctor. By preparing a list of questions before the appointment and bring it along we can review the questions and address your concerns.

 

  1. Bring your medications to your doctor’s appointment

If you are on several medications this is very helpful. Often medications change, dosages change, and frequency taken changes. If can become very hard to remember all the changes, but if you bring the medication, in its original bottle, you will have all this information with you. Enabling you to correctly communicate this important information.

 

  1. Know why you are taking a medication

Many medications can be used to treat several medical issues. It is important to know why you are taking a specific medication. If you see more than a family doctor the other doctor will need to know why you take a medication before they can prescribe additional medications. Some medications will counteract each other.

 

  1. Follow up on medical test completed

Often our doctor visit includes orders for tests such as blood test, x-rays, MRI’s ect. Physicians will usually have these results within a few days. Keep track of what test you completed and when you completed them. If you have not received results from your doctor’s office in about 3-5 days call your doctors office and ask for results. DO NOT ASSUME NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS.

 

  1. Make a list and put it in your wallet or billfold

We can’t always remember everything, or we may not be able to answer the questions. Be prepared! Make a list of any medications you’re on including the name, dosage and frequency taken. Make a list of any drug allergies you have, be sure to include any egg and nut allergies.  Make a list of all surgeries you have had including the year of surgery. This list will usually fit on a 3” X5” index card. Place this card in your wallet or billfold with your driver’s license or ID card. In the event of an accident, responders will usually check for your drivers license or ID card and will see the list.

 

  1. Know what you are signing

Doctors offices and hospitals usually give you a stack of forms to be filled out and signed before you even see the doctor. Read them, know what they are before you sign them. If you do not understand them ask for an explanation. You have patient rights and they include knowing what you are signing at any time when you are a patient.

 

  1. Ask!! Ask!! Ask!! Ask!!

Take control of your healthcare. Ask questions. Ask what the diagnosis is, what medication is for, what are they treatment options and any other questions you can think of.  Ask the doctor or nursing staff to write down or print out information. Then go home and research, look up the diagnosis and treatment options and make notes. If you have more questions call the doctors office and ask. Asking questions increases communication.

There are many things we, as patients, can do to reduce our chances of becoming victims of medical malpractice. One of the most important things we can do is communicate with your doctor. By asking questions and taking an active role in our personal healthcare we are reinforcing strong communication and improving the quality of care we receive. Use these tips to help you start improving communication with your doctor and aid in reducing your chances of becoming a victim of medical malpractice.

 

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