Slim Pickings

Friday, July 23, 2010
I've been perusing the Autumn University schedule, trying to decide what I want to take this fall, and the choices are giving me a profound case of the meh. None of my required classes are being offered on-line this term, so here are my choices from the land of electives:
CA3100 - Cross-Cultural Communication. In an increasingly global society and a world or growing international interaction, communicating effectively with people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds becomes a challenge but also an opportunity. The ability to accept and transcend differences has personal and professional transformative powers. This course explores a range of communication concepts and theories such as cultural competency, identity theory salience, and the nature of prejudice and its impact on communication. Students will have the opportunity to develop and practice skills and abilities that enhance sincere, sensitive, and effective communication across differences.

GS3100 - Understanding International Trade. Basic concepts of international economics are reviewed to explore how economic factors, such as exchange rates, balance of payments, inflation, labor, tariffs, and the flow of capital, affect trade. Using existing data sources, students explore what countries and regions trade with each other, to what extent, and in what products and services. Students will be able to analyze the international trade interactions of a particular state, country, or region, as well as the historical and current factors that impact these patterns. Students will also explore legal constraints to engaging in international trade, such as requirements for export licenses and screening for individuals and countries where trade is illegal. 

LOS3050 - Financial Management. All organizations - business, government and not-for-profit - must deal with financial matters. This course provides opportunities to learn how to read and use financial data in order to develop systems for budget creation and control, profit forecasting, and long range development. Basic principles of accounting, cost analysis and control, revenue and expense forecasting, return on investment, and capital reinvestment will be studied and applied to examples. The leader's role in financial management will be examined, including technical, conceptual, and value considerations.

LOS3150 - Working in Groups and Teams. Teams carry out the majority of organizational activities across all sectors of society today. Principles of team behavior and effectiveness are explored in this course along with the roles of effective leaders of teams and team participants. Various types of teams will be discussed, such as cross-functional, tactical, problem solving, and virtual teams. Factors leading to high performance and dysfunction will be explored and applied to real life examples or teams in organizational settings. 

LOS3250 - Learning in Organizations. Accelerating change in society and in organizations challenges individuals and the organization as a whole to engage in a process of continuous learning. In this course, basic concepts of individual and organizational learning are explored both in terms of their intrinsic value to individuals and as the source of competitive advantage to the organization. How is learning conceived of and structured throughout organizations? How is the return on investment in learning evaluated? This course provides an overview of what organizations do for the training and development of employees, how they structure knowledge sharing, and how they institutionalize within the organization the knowledge of its members through effective knowledge management practices.

PPSS3250 - Policy Research and Analysis. Students will learn to make use of the basic conceptual tools typically employed to examine public policy issues. This course provides a brief presentation of these tools as well as practice in how to apply them to evaluate policy alternatives in areas of education, healthcare, income, transportation, and housing. Students learn how to find resources and relevant data, read research studies, and evaluate the credibility of sources. A major focus of this course is on learning to analyze costs and benefits, weight trade-offs, and predict the probably outcomes and unintended consequences of policy options. 
It seems a foregone conclusion that I'm not going to take any more classes from the "Leadership and Organizational Studies" catalog. Of the remaining choices, the only offerings I have even the slightest interest in is Understanding International Trade or Policy Research and Analysis - and I'm not really excited about either of those.

Right now I'm leaning toward the Global Studies class, but we'll see. I may decide to drop out of college, quit my job, and blow my 401K following Phish all over the country until the money runs out, instead.

14 comments:

vince said...

I may decide to drop out of college, quit my job, and blow my 401K following Phish all over the country until the money runs out, instead.

Rush is touring doping Moving Pictures in it's entirety. I'd recommend following Rush instead.

vince said...

Uh, that should be "doing" not "doping." although perhaps they're doing that, too.

Janiece said...

Vince, we have tickets for their stop in Denver next month. Because I always see Rush when they come to town.

Random Michelle K said...

I dunno, the Cross Cultural Communication sounds kinda interesting.

mants = pants, for men

WendyB_09 said...

I may decide to drop out of college, quit my job, and blow my 401K following Phish all over the country until the money runs out, instead.

Becoming one of the unwashed masses are you?? I mean there's a reason they use so much patchoolie...

Just sayin'.

(as a disclaimer, I spent ten summers working at an outdoor amphitheatre, and I know of what I speak! Whewwwieee!!)

Eric said...

I completely agree with Michelle: CA3100 sounds kind of interesting and sort of like the kind of thing I would have willingly signed up for (especially my freshman year, when I was in an Interdisciplinary Studies program).

I'm going to go ahead and out myself as one of those heretics who hates Rush. Fabulously-talented guys, to be sure, but they don't do anything for me musically and their lyrics tend to irritate me, especially when they start going all Objectivist and so on. Actually, I'd have to say almost the exact same thing about Phish, except they don't have the Ayn Rand fetish going on, so there's that.

Whenever I mention not liking Phish, I always feel obligated to add that Oysterhead, the one-off supergroup Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio formed with Les Claypool and The Stewart Copeland (because I have to call SC "The Stewart Copeland) was made of pure and utter ultradense awesome spinning at an awesome speed and creating radiating fields of awesome that spread out across the universe irradiating everything with awesome.

But back on topic: take the communications class.


-----

piner: the member of a car-detailing crew who hangs the air freshener from the rearview mirror.

Janiece said...

Eric, no need to apologize re: Rush. I feel the same way about U2, which I realize is grounds for burning at the stake in some circles. I recognize their gifts, but really - just meh.

As for my comment re: Phish, I have to admit I'm really not a fan. I just heard that their fans tend to be fanatical, and since Jerry Garcia died, they're the only band I could think of who have fans following them all over the country.

But I'm not taking the CA class. Just doesn't hold any interest for me. I was hoping they'd offer "Quantitative Reasoning" this quarter...

Vagabond said...

I think you should take the "Working in groups and teams" class for those of us who follow your blog. I would eagerly await (salivating even) your daily musings on that one! Given your proclivity for alone time and individual work, plus your intolerance for the fools that are just GUARANTEED to take that class, the fireworks would be spectacular indeed. I think the over/under on dropping multiple f-bombs for you in that class would be about mid-way through the second meeting. C'mon Ja-Neese! Please, please, pretty-please? Take one for the team?

Eric said...

Sadly, these days I feel the same way about U2, a band that was possibly my second-favorite band in the world from around 1985 to the beginning of the 21st Century. I even liked Pop. War remains an all-time favorite album. But these days I really kind of wish U2 would go away.

Actually, it's even sadder than that: I wish they'd keep going and dump Bono. It kind of hurts me to type that.

If the CA class holds no interest, I'd just sit out the rest of this semester, then, if that's an option. The rest of it looks dull or useless or both. I can see where the CA class looks like a risk: a lot of the course description is very touchy-feelie. On the other hand, if the course actually has some grounded treatment of things like identity theory, those are useful concepts (useful even if you disagree with them, since (a) they're part of modern intellectual discourse, and being in the conversation requires some sense of the vocabulary, and (b) they're useful points to bounce off of, if nothing else).

The Mechanicky Gal said...

OK.
I read Rush and thought "Limbaugh"
I wondered if I had dropped in on some other website.
Now that is cleared up. No zany electives to occupy your time? No basket-weaving (one I personally look forward to) or surfing (oh, maybe not in CO) or what-have-you?

The Mechanicky Gal said...

And had it been Limbaugh, the "doping" fit right in.

Janiece said...

Vagabond, I already took one for the team.

MG, the choices are as given, unfortunately...

John the Scientist said...

I agree on the CA class, Janiece, in theory the title sounds interesting, but the examples they give make it sound like it will do very little for someone who's been around the world even a little bit. It would probably irritate the snot out of you.

I lit up on the 2 choices you outlined. My own bent would be towards international trade, and I had a really good class on that when I was in Japan, it can be fun. But don't dismiss the other one out of hand. If the policy class has a good prof (do you know someone you can ask?) it might surprise you. Took one of those in business school for the same reason as you're considering here - to fill an otherwise unfillable elective slot - and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

I mean, I already knew that if you see something fucked up, there's government behind it, if it's really fucked up there's money in it for someone, and if it's totally FUBARed, there's both money and government in it. But that class showed me just how those situations come about, and in some small ways, how to prevent that. It moved me from leaning towards big "L" libertarianism to small "l" libertarianism.

With a mediocre prof though, either class won't just be meh, they'll suck.

Janiece said...

The decision's been made, y'all - I checked the balance on the education fund, and I'll be skipping this quarter, since I'm out of Tuition Assistance benefits for the year and I'd have to pay for this class out of pocket. I'll go back in January.