Can You Sell Yourself?

This year I am taking two more classes (online) to satisfy my degree requirements.

Promotional Writing and Print Tech Advertising.

My first assignments for both these classes is to sell myself – no not my physical body! I am still getting the pervs reading my posts aren’t I?!

Anyway, I have to promote myself in a positive way – I would assume! I mean why would I want to describe myself as anything dull and boring – was that repetitive! Both classes expect me to be creative. I guess I need some work, because using dull and boring in the same sentence just won’t do! So I have my work cut out for me!

Well there you have it. I don’t have to blog for class this time around, but I will be doing my fair share of writing! As for advertising, I have to write a 30 second commercial about myself. Now that is going to be tricky! That is not the only tricky part of this class – seems he (as in the professor) wants us to get together as a group to form an ad “agency” for our final project.  This is tricky since I am from NYC area of NY and the college is in Buffalo – I don’t think I can do any road trips – not when I have kids to take care of. So I have to contact him to see if there is anyone from around here – slim chance – there is only 25 in the class.  So I am not sure what can be done. We shall see!


Two More Classes!

I started this blog last year. January of 2006 to be exact.

The reason why I began this blog was because it was mandatory for the class that I was taking. I enjoyed it. I got an “A” in the class. I continued to blog!

It was an online class – I will not get into the specifics of the class –  you could read my archives to the right during the months of January – April/early May and you will get a feel for the class content!

Ok – I took the summer off and even this Fall. Not purposely. I wanted to take another class but life got in the way! But this time I didn’t let it pass me by. I registered for two more classes for a total of 6 credits. Being a stay at home mother of two children who happen to keep me quite busy, I am hoping I can handle the load!

I will be taking a Promotional Writing class (mandatory for my degree in Communications) and an Advertising class as well. Both are online classes which is great since I do not live near Buffalo – where I will be getting my degree from!

After these two classes, I will only need 4 more credits to earn my degree! Woo- Hoo! And then it is graduate school for me to earn my Masters in Education! I have been teaching Sunday school (on Wednesdays!) for the past 8 years. I have a lot of experience in the classroom.  I just need this degree to get a job that will pay me!

I think I will take the extra 4 credits at Empire State College. I think I will enroll in the Nutrition class! It will not help me with my profession, but I think it will come in handy in life! Cause I’m not exactly eating the best I could! You know what I mean!

Another interesting class is History of Math. People look at me like I am crazy when I say that, but hey – I like Math, and the history of it seems intriguing to me – so why not. I contemplated taking some family dynamics classes, figuring it will come in handy dealing with the children and their parents! So sociology classes and psychology classes seem fitting. But all I need is an additional 4 more credits! So I will decide in a few months what to do with those! If I had the time, and the money – I would be a professional student! I love learning, I love the classroom – that is why I want to be a teacher! Ironic that I am taking online classes though!

Porn wrappings to welcome me home!

So I am done with my class – YEAH. 

I did not take my final – I opted out and I should get an A in my course!

I thought I was done with porn for awhile.  W R O N G!

My family just came home from a mini-trip to sunny Florida for my niece’s First Holy Communion.  We had a wonderful time, despite my fear that I left the iron plugged in! – I came back home to find that it was off and unplugged, but the fear was overwhelming. I wasn’t even able to take comfort in the fact that it has automatic shut off! I thought I may find my house burned to the ground.  (Lesson learned – leave a key with a trusted person!)

Well, we unpacked and did our ‘back home ritual’, checking windows, making sure things are in order, going through the mail, etc.  My husband comes into the house with a ripped up box and explains what he finds in our trash.

He puts the pieces together like a puzzle, which I find him studying very intently!  It is a box to a video – a porn video.  It shows pictures of very young girls.  Disturbing – yes.  I am thinking “did my son throw that out before we left?”  My husband assures me it is not from anyone in our family since the garbage went out the night before we left, and it was completely empty.  So, we are assuming it was our young neighbor who received a delivery and hid any evidence in our garbage pails. 

Earth shattering – NO.  But I thought I was done with pornography for now, but this only shows that porn is not going away, not now and probably not ever.  It will always be in my face – one way or another.  I just keep hoping it stays away from my son and daughter.

Oh and I won’t be giving that neighbor my key – they will not be my trusted person in case I think I left my iron on again!

I know short and sweet is the key….

BUT I am just very long winded!  It’s hard to say all I have in my mind in just a mere few words.

However, I am grateful for those that did take the time to read my posts – I know it gets intimidating when you see a whole stretch of paragraphs.

I enjoyed the class and blogging! So much so that I will keep up with developments, especially with Congress, and posting about things that come to mind (regarding anything – not just porn).

I am very happy that I met some interesting bloggers out there thanks to our assignment to find another post! I am looking forward to our continued interaction! They actually debate and have over 20 comments on each post! Something I was disappointed to find that didn’t really occur with this class. I do understand that most people had other classes to study for and other responsibilities to attend to.  I never thought of this class as work though, that is how much I enjoyed it.

Thanks again!

Like a Virgin – no more!

I am really sad to say that the semester is over. I can’t recall enjoying a course this much.  I would wait by the computer on a Monday or Tuesday to get my assignment and I couldn’t wait to get started on that week’s lectures. I would watch the 2 or 3 lectures, read the articles assigned and post my thoughts.

Dr. Halavais presented the coursework in a professional manner – no easy task since the subject was pornography.  I learned more this semester than I expected.  Not that I had much expectations – I had no idea what I was in store for!  I was pleasantly surprised.

I am not a prude and I happen to be very outspoken. I say what is on my mind.  I enjoy writing as well, so the assignments were not torturous and the subject matter did not bother or offend me. I enjoyed it.

I did not expect to learn so much about the history or laws regarding pornography. I cannot pick a specific subject matter that I preferred. Nothing stands out.  The overall experience and knowledge I obtained speaks volumes, yet is hard to put down in one post.  You would have to read my entire blog to see what I got out of the class.

To zone in on a few topics that fascinated me were the obsurity of defining such terms as pornography and obscenity, how different people view such material in terms of what they consider to be offensive and the courts struggle to draw the line for legality sake.

I learned that pornography dates back to pre-historic times and cave pictures, that pornography shaped technology, and that it was the Adult websites that were the first ones to test out online payments.  They were the ones in essence that tested the waters with everything.

What blew me away was the fact that big companies, such as AT&T, Marriot and General Motors all have their hand in pornography!  No one knows, it is not publicized but they promote it by either supporting or carrying certain pornographic content or owning companies that do. They are capitalizing on the industry which generates billions of dollars annually.  A number that made my jaw drop.  Pornography is not going away, not when it generates that type of money.

I found out that not all porn stars were forced into their career.  Not that I gave it much thought.  The whole idea of choice was brought up and debated.  It is argued that some chose this career out of desperation, there was nothing else for them to do.  I heard for the first time “gay for pay” a term used for straight male actors performing in gay movies for the higher salary.  I found out not all woman in the industry are treated like low-life sluts.  There are some that actually garner respect from their directors and co-actors.  They call the shots and say what they will or will not do. This, I must say, impressed me.

We learned about the zoning rules and what the counties can and cannot limit in regards to adult businesses.  With the explosion of the internet brings more problems in terms of what is considered under community standards – whose community are we referring to? Who can control it? Should it be controlled?

It was not all fun and games, nor adults only.  We covered such topics as sex trafficking and child pornography – two disturbing elements in the adult business.  How do we prevent this, how do we protect them? How much should be covered by the First Amendment?  Child porn is obscene – it is not legal, yet child porn is also considered to be when a child stumbles upon indecent material.  So how do we prevent that from happening?  There are many who argue both sides of the issue.

I found more websites than I care to admit.  My husband wishes I found more!  I wanted to understand my husbands obsession and was upset over his appreciation of the industry! I was jealous and wanted to be all he ever needed.  In the end, this class made me realize he is not alone nor am I.  I realize now that by him viewing the material does not mean that he does not love me or that I am not enough.  He was exposed to porn as a young man and once that happens you are sucked into it – almost like an addiction. I cannot fault him for it.  I like to read erotica – I enjoyed reading Penthouse forum in college.  I laughed at it and sometimes was aroused by it.  I grew out of it though, he hasn’t – but that has nothing to do with me!

I want to thank Dr. Halavais for such an interesting class.  I don’t think I was ever sad to see something end like I am with this course. I think the layout of the class was wonderful.  I just wish I had time to read and respond to everyone’s post – a difficult feat considering there were 400 students that took the class. I enjoyed getting feedback from others.  I think the way Dr. H. framed the outline and managed the topics were magnificent. I think this class should be offered in every college.  As a parent, I did not know the extent of the problem pornography posed on the internet.  I knew to protect my children from online predators, but had no idea about the extent of other damaging aspects.  I thank Dr. Halavais for pointing out all these dangers and becoming more pro-active in spreading the word. 


It’s all coming to an end…

The semester is nearing an end. 

I have the option so therefore, I think I will pass on my final, although still take it (and not hand it in!).  I can’t resist a challenge.  Although… I didn’t submit my answers for the music leads.  I know one was Duran Duran! I just didn’t have time to research the others! Being a teen in the 80’s I probably could have figured most of them out.  But I opted instead to focus on my upcoming trip on May 5th. That is why I am not doing the final – I need to concentrate on packing and getting the house in order. (That and the fact that I don’t need to raise my grade – just hoping my third grade is on par with the other 2! – a chance I am willing to take.)

I thoroughly enjoyed taking this class for so many reasons:

  1. Dr. Halavais presented the material in a clear and professional way.
  2. Brenda (TA) was an extremely helpful “friend” that was there when I was feeling a bit confused and frustrated.  She was always responsive and informative.
  3. Blogging – my first time ever.  I love communication and the entire realm of how individuals interact with one another.  Blogging was another way of communicating that I have always wanted to try but was too timid to start – until this semester, when it was required.
  4. Every day I would turn the computer on and check my site, my stats and the aggregator and see what everyone was up to.  I loved reading everyone’s post, even the ones I did not agree with but especially the ones I felt a connection to or those post that were witty and just sucked you right in.
  5. After 14 years of taking care of my family and doing things for others, it was very nice to do something for myself and reap the benefits!
  6. I can now tell my friends and family that I took and passed a course on Pornography and watch their expression on their faces change (most of them already know I am taking it anyway…but I still love the reaction I get from those that do not!)
  7. I loved being able to watch the lectures at midnight and post my assignments at any given hour – although I now found out what days were the best days to post! (midweek :-))
  8. I appreciated reading other people’s views on the subject.  Relieved to see that I was not alone in my thoughts yet interested in reading the opposing views and how they justified it.
  9. Through my connection to this class and one of my post, I was interviewed by a Buffalo News reporter and I appear in one of her articles.  That was very exciting – although I actually used the word “nerd”! Hey the interview was early in the morning, I wasn’t thinking straight! But it is always exciting to see your name in print!

There are many other reasons why I loved this class but I have hit a road block! That and the fact that I have to take my daughter to her softball game right now is why I will leave it at that!

So what have I learned from this class? That will be another post, my friends! I still have to organize my thoughts on that one! 

My thoughts on the Child Pornography and Obscenity Prevention Amendments of 2006

Web site operators posting sexually explicit information must place official government warning labels on their pages or risk being imprisoned for up to five years, the Bush administration proposed Thursday.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at an event in Alexandria, Va. stated the above as a law he proposes to help protect innocent people from accidentally stumbling upon pornography on the web.

Many thoughts came to mind while reading this article. One being “enough with the ACLU”.  I do not see how they can interpret this as being against the First Amendment.

To make things clearer,

  • the law looks to have the websites rate their material, as we see with television shows (TV14LV),
  • not put obscene or indecent postings on their opening page, thereby protecting innocent users from seeing anything objectionable when/if they click on the link by accident,
  • prevents websites from using deceptive words or images to lure people to their site (such as Barbie or Teletubbies) within their search codes.

I do not think this infringes on anyone’s First Amendment rights as some opponents claim.

A critic of the proposal said that its requirements amount to an unreasonable imposition on Americans’ rights to free expression.

They can express what they want, how they want it, they just have to alert the masses about the content.  They are being told to abstain from posting any illicit items on its home page, so that if the visitor sees anything offendable, it is due to their continued curiosity by navigating further into the site. I don’t think this is seen as such an imposition.  Why must there be people out there making things difficult just because they “feel it is their right to do so”. They are arguing for the sake of arguing and I have no patience or sympathy for their cause. Their focus should be protecting the innocent, especially children.

The one thing I see as being a little controversial is the mandatory records for Internet providers to keep track of their user’s history.  However, we see that phone records are  accessible with a search warrant when mandated, therefore why should the Internet be any different? I think legislators should tread carefully on this topic so as not to infringe on anyone’s rights, but I believe it is an important tool to help capture child predators.  I don’t believe we should be looking at everyone’s use and history, just the ones that are red-flagged as abusers.  The FBI and other law enforcements can use this to prove their case.  Again, records are kept with phone conversations, therefore I do not see this as being an infringement on people’s rights.

Now, I would like to see this become law because as I stated above I don’t see any infringements to anyone’s rights.  But the news agencies have a legitimate gripe.  What happens when they are reporting about a rape, murder, etc?  Do they have to label themselves with a higher rating?  This is an interesting debate. One that caused a similar bill to dissipate in the 1990s. 

I believe all websites should be rated, no matter the content. Use the same codes we use for TV and add additional ones for adult content. News groups can have their own rating with a disclaimer that states that some articles may be offensive to the readers.  I think they should abide by the rules of not having anything objectionable on the first page. In this way, everyone can still access the news and they won’t be filtered out. 

Websites selling bathing suits and underwear may have to adhere to a stricter rating as well due to US v. Knox stating that any picture depicting close-ups of clothed pubic areas to be considered lascivious.  There is an exception whereby if the content is less than a certain percentage of the website, it does not have to be rated. Victoria Secrets will have a problem!

In conclusion, I wish to state that I am an advocate for this proposal. I hope to see this turned into law.  I think this is the first step to protecting innocent people on the website, while not infringing on anyone’s rights for free speech.  Labeling is done on records, movies, and TV shows, why shouldn’t we have a guideline for websites as well. We as consumers should demand it.