In the five years that I have been here at Auburn there has been one constant. I have made friends, lost friends and even found some friends for life. However the one thing that has not changed is that whenever someone asks what I plan on doing with my degree when I graduate, no matter how much I explain, they always circle back to the assumption “Oh, so you’re going to teach right?” I have found this infuriating at times but I always try to remember, when I feel that the situation is hopeless, that for a long time I too had no idea what I could do with my degree. When I graduate with my English degree in Technical and Professional Communication my main goal is to be hired in an editing position. I would like to work for any type of magazine, fiction book publishing, or in a technical editing or writing position. That word technical that I keep throwing around is, what I believe, throws most of people off when I talk to them about my degree. After first hearing the word English, their minds automatically go to teaching, which is another talk for another post.
So what is a technical/professional communicator? Well it is actually as simple, and complex, as it sounds. The experience that I have obtained in the process of earning this degree has prepared me to write technical documents. Technical documents include anything from the manuals that come in your Ikea desks telling you how to assemble your new furniture, to government documents. The role of a technical communicator is one that comes with with many responsibilities. For instance technical communicators often find themselves working for companies that require them to write and edit documents about things like science and engineering. This means that we need to become familiar with the different fields but most importantly we have to know the user, and understand how they will process different pieces of information. I once had a professor that worked for a company where her job was to edit manuals that engineers would use on the job. She, like I, graduated with an English degree in Technical Communication so to successfully complete her job she had to find out how engineers process information and shape the documents in a way that would best communicate that information. The point is we have to understand that people’s minds work differently and shape documents to successfully communicate information to multiple different people at one time.
Because technical communicators are in the business of understanding and sometimes working to guide people’s thoughts in certain ways, it is very important that we understand and can recognize when something is unethical. I have taken persuasion and Anthropology classes, these are two different fields but I have found that they overlap somewhat with technical communication. In my persuasion course we talk a lot about coercion and propaganda and how to spot and steer clear of them which is very important when creating technical documents. In the Anthropology course we learned how to comprehend the differences of people across cultures, which of course is extremely important in creating technical documents. All of this being said, when I graduate I will have obtained a lot of the experience and knowledge necessary to communicate with all kinds of people from all over the world, and honestly I’m pretty excited to get started!
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Tagged anthropology, auburn, Communications, degree, employee, english, ethics, persuasion, professional communication, Student, teaching, technical communication, Writing and Editing
I am in a Non-fiction class this semester and the only assignment that exists for this class is to write a thirty page portfolio. That’s it, any type of non-fiction, any subject. I chose to write about the death of my mother when I was nine years old and my attempts to save her, and at the risk of sounding like a cliche, I must say that maybe it chose me. Writing this portfolio has been crippling , nearly impossible and all over enlightening. I have written about a subject that I cannot verbally talk about. My professor, who has more confidence in my writing than I do, has led a couple of conferences with me, each of them more difficult than the last. Today was exceptionally hard. I found myself in a bad mood later that I cannot explain. Part of me regrets writing the pieces in the first place and the other part of me is just happy to have it out there. In the end I’m just so grateful for the power of words. I am able to write what I can’t say.
I would have used a better quote had this one not been so fitting! I promised myself when I started this blog that I would never bring football into it because here in the south especially, football is it’s form of religion. However after the recent turn of events i.e. the Marshall Miracle that took place in last night’s game against Georgia, I can’t help it. With the usual 7 a.m. start I was excited to get back out to tailgate after having missed the last home game because I was out of town.
Everything was going according to usual, we were eating and drinking and everything was great. The game against Georgia was set to begin at 2:30 but the topic of discussion was instead all about the Iron Bowl. “If we can just fight through this, we can focus on Bama.” people would say. I confess even I was a bit skeptical about our chances against Georgia especially with some of their players that had been hurt coming back.
But I had faith, I had faith that we would battle and whether we won or lost our team would give em hell.
Once 2:30 rolled around the town was still, the stadium was full and those who weren’t at the game were glued to a television. I sat at our tailgate with a group of friends cheering and shouting during the first half. And then the second half rolled around. If you watched our game you know that for Auburn, shit got crazy. Suddenly the win that I was so sure we had clenched had slipped right out of our fingers. To say I was nervous would be a massive understatement. Our Georgia friends of course were elated but every Auburn fan stood hands on head terrified that we were going to lose this thing.
And then there was a miracle.
Nick Marshall with the help of Ricardo Louis pulled off a catch that will go down in football history as one of Auburn’s greatest football moments. The moment Louis crossed into the end zone everyone went wild. I am an Auburn Tiger I have loved and supported my team when they were winning and losing, and in a year from now I will be able to call myself an Auburn Alumni. I think most people know what it feels like to be an underdog and when you have a season like the one we had last year, having a season like the one we are in now makes it all that much sweeter.
I am proud of our tigers, I am proud to be an Auburn tiger and I am ready for Bama, win or lose! War Damn Eagle!
Welcome, beware, and lighten up, because I can not promise that you will agree with everything that I say but I’m going to say it anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a pessimist or an ill natured person. I am a college student and if that doesn’t explain it I don’t know what else will. I love college! Ok let me rephrase that I love being a student. Not quite, I love Auburn! Yeah that sounds better. I am a student at Auburn University and I have loved every second of being here. That being said, I’m sure those of you reading this who are currently students, or have not so long ago graduated, can attest to one simple fact. College sucks! And while that statement might sound harsh it, in my opinion, it is true. Now before you all become outraged let me explain. I came to Auburn in 2010 which just happened to be the year we won the national championship. I will never forget that year, the spirit around campus was electric. Weekends seemed to be a never ending extravaganza from the moment Friday began. Everyone was happy and school pride reached a whole new level. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have been accepted to a school where people cared about strangers just as much as they did their blood relatives. I was definitely feeling the love. And then life hit, sophomore year came and I remembered that I was in school and needed to maintain the GPA I had secured the year before. And as they should the courses got harder and harder. This I expected, but what I didn’t expect was that what was even harder than my classes was life. I had been under some naive assumption that the people I met freshman year would be the people I would retell drunk stories with when my grandchildren asked about their grandmother. But oh was I wrong. That’s life I have learned and college merely filters the toxins. So here I am watching my friends prepare for graduation and setting my eye on similar plans for next spring and all I can think is how much it all sucks. Most people in this day and age believe that to be successful and to have a career that is worthy of your mothers raving to her friends at church and lunch dates, requires a college degree. Most that is, but alas that is another story for another post. But really I have come to this wonderful institution, learned amazing things, picked up numerous skills, and yet as an English major in the field of Professional and Technical communication I fear that I will still never obtain that dream career. That is no fault of the university for which I owe my eternal gratitude, but life, life instead is the culprit to my squashed dreams. So that brings us full circle college taught me so much and made me the intellectual that I am today but I fear that once it’s over I will be left with empty memories and a job bagging groceries. I came I saw and I would like to think that I will conquer life but my future is unknown. When they drop you of at college they tell you how great it will be but they don’t tell you that it sucks. It sucks to make a life to get into a good rhythm and learn who you are, and just as you have erase it all because college is over and the world awaits.