The Acquisition of Devotion

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Swami so and so has moved to California.  He has a dark coffee brown, shoulder length, wavy, fluffy hair, parted in the middle and warm, thoughtful, and caring brown eyes that sparkle, as if a tear were imminent. The Swami has set up a spiritual center in the middle of town, including yoga instruction and within a few years has acquired many disciples. 

The context for devotion is said to develop from three things:  1) when one gives good advice, 2) the quality of one’s teachings and or 3) one’s ideas, research, or writings. There may be other cases where one acquires Beatle-like mania, or Rockstar status or immense fame and acquires a great many fans, but this story speaks exclusively to the acquisition of devotion.

There are multicolored fast-paced changing traffic signals that run the tempo of New York City. With great desperation for peace, New York City could be the Yoga capital of the world.  There existed a popular small yoga center on the upper east side, where one teacher emerged as superior.  His ascension could be documented. Each student that arrived one of his yoga classes, ended as one of his disciples.  So much so, that when he moved to a new nearby yoga center, a few blocks north, his students as they heard of his departure and relocation, like a wave followed their teacher. 

What he had that was so special for students that made him so insanely popular in the city, he gave precise advice, his descriptions were precise and connected, he gives you exactly what you need in a moment.  You ask, he answers.  He had minimal work for maximum result. He had a style where the students held their poses for a specific amount of time to maximize the impact of the pose.  Even after some time, one realized that he had reshaped and sculpted their bodies, he had lifted their buttocks, he had aligned their spines.  In the new yoga center where the yoga teacher taught his students, they left drenched in sweat, feeling elated, limber and purified.  It became an ecstatic yoga feeling of elation, even one associated to him.  He came to have many followers of his teachings and their subsequent devotion.  Even other teachers fond of his style, became his disciples.   

He often wore a simple divine looking handkerchief or scarf tied to his balding head.  It came to spiritualize the way a turban or headwrap would.  Perhaps it placed emphasis on his head, and in some strange way on God, it may have comforted him or placed him within the spiritual context.  He looked like a gypsy or a pirate. Souls waited for his words. He was energetic and magnetic. 

Some students say, “the whole class had reached a plateau.”  He struggled to make sure everyone of his students graduated to an advanced level.  What could be deduced from this description is that devotion is not necessarily given to preachers or ministers casually, but is actually a thing of “teachers.”  Most often, one comes to “worship” when someone has touched their soul or imparted a great teaching, one may then be their master.  It is for masters, or for teachers-devotion.

Up to Snuff #127: Extracting Meaning, Creation of Knowledge, Consequent Value

Extracting Meaning, Creation of Knowledge, Consequent Value

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

I am Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu. A short version or nickname would be FaFa Bonsu.  A Ghanaian American who, resides in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA. I am a Creative Writing English and Poetry major (CWE.POE).  I have been reading about ideological writing and Marx and recently reading Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Dorothy Parker, Sophocles-however I would like to get into some new areas.  I have been collecting spiritual literature.  I recently assembled a list of what is included in my spiritual library.  I will for this opportunity select Confucius from a Harvard Classic Reader.  I am aiming to get into some new areas and perhaps look at sacred or religious or sage writings.

What do I know about literary theory?  I am intrigued by the word theory alone.  I wonder what the word theory can imply.  Does it require proof like “justified true belief” or JTB or is it the un-established? Is it to perpetually establish?  If one says art theory versus literary theory, I suppose I want to be more- clear about what is suggested by that terminology.  I would love to write theory but feel still naïve.  If I were to write art theory, what is its approach, or have I already?  Is theory a scaffolding of ideas upon which or with its guidance one may arrive or question or analyze or create? If one may arrive, is it then theory? Theory may be some kind of wise guide. Theory may answer a kind of question, perhaps even how or why? A theory may result in a kind of questioning.  Or does it mean that there are established theories and one’s work becomes the analysis in response to the theories or the work that is derivative of the theories?  So, I guess there are two products, theories, and something else? Both can be written, the theory and the theories subsequent writing.  I enjoy both of those.  Or the art theory and the arts subsequent product and the products criticism.  Then there are three products. Perhaps you have the piece of literature as product one, then the theory laid upon it, then the resulting criticism and even the analysis of the variety of criticism. So, theory may have a trajectory, art and or literary.

What is my understanding of literary theory at this time?  It has to do with value, with the creation and manufacture of meaning itself.  There is at once the literature, whose secondary function may be its interpretation or its context and ultimately its meaning.  The extension of writing is the thought around it-its secondary, and that secondaries building blocks.  But then theory leads you not to take a sip, but a full drink.  Theory then becomes the octopus, the world view, the connecting points that make a defined way of thinking, a kind of enlightenment.   Theory helps you to extract meaning, look at purpose and reasoning or variations. (Klages)  Theory helps a writer to achieve a close reading.  Theory may guide one to look first at emergence, then at context, then conclude with results or relationships (Klages 5).  It can be like a scaffolding that becomes a boilerplate.  What can be impressive is when you extract meaning that becomes world view as in the example of “language, gender, and consciousness” (Klages 5).  Meanings extracted from literature can define movements or be existential.  Literature has left a trail, as if it were archeology or anthropological.  Literary theory then provides one a tool.

Literary Theory is perhaps the most significant factor in giving literature or the field of writing its value.  Extraction of meaning transforms writing into knowledge.  It transforms the entire field into knowledge.

I think you are correct in your estimation about the value behind “how does it mean, what does it produce and what effect does it have on us and the world? ”  It is as if it is one’s duty or task to ascertain the quality, value, meaning, the giving of a piece of literature.  The reasoning is interesting and the desire to learn from it, to grow from it and arrive at a knowledge juncture.  Perhaps certain techniques get you there, then get you there every time.  I suppose it is the scholar that wants to get there at all.

I am intrigued by when you wrote literary theory is whether it is or is not literature. Is that a prize, or bar or distinction, or quality?  Are you protesting that this fine Dystopian novel may for you have equal value? I have writings that I wonder how they will be classified, who is the classifier and what are the terms? What makes up the literary theory that classifies it?

Works Cited:

Klages, Mary. “Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed” Edition 1.  Bloomsbury Publishing 2007-01-23, pp. 1-9

Comparing Shakespeare and Dorothy Parker: Teacher Poets and the Essence of Literary Devices

Comparing Shakespeare and Dorothy Parker

Teacher Poets and the Essence of Literary Devices

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

In response to the sixteenth century “sonnet craze,” I will compare two poems with satirical love and hate themes, one by William Shakespeare “Sonnet 130” and the other from 1926, a 12 line poem written in verse by Dorothy Parker “One Perfect Rose.” What was distinct about these two poems was their desire to subvert, mask, code, or symbolize.  Simple poems were made radical by use of literary device or word choice.  Very often, writers employed classical styles like the Petrarchan 14-line sonnet but used radical methods to convey distaste that often erupts into satire.  I selected this text to have a close reading of not only Shakespeare, as a “Teacher Poet,” whose writing embodies the very essence of many literary devices, but to also look at classic sonnets juxtaposed with modern poetry.

The desire to embed meaning using literary devices endures. Shakespeare’s use of alliteration in Sonnet 130, employs repetition of consonant sounds to encode messages perhaps for a lover.  Where Shakespeare writes  “my mistresses’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” a lover may desire a dark or dormant eye, or perhaps there was stress in the eyes  and emphasis on if one were to be discovered.  (Shakespeare 838).  Where Dorothy Parker may regard her single rose as a “flow’r” or something one gives when desirous of other maneuvers (Parker 845).  As opposed to alliteration she uses omissions and symbolism/personification to convey her target meaning.  Where Shakespeare may be entertaining clandestine meetings and lover’s descriptions disguised as wives, Parker may be forward, satirical, and express dissatisfaction.

Parker personifies her single rose as “flow’r,” as “messenger,” as a “long love,” and ultimately as a “limousine” (Parker 845).  Shakespeare writes “if snow be white, why then her breasts are dun.”  Both sonnets mask meaning with their expression of love.  Shakespeare makes what he calls a “false compare,” and Parker uses dark symbolism, personification, and simile to describe the single rose and subsequent lover’s intention.   Both poets use satire, but where Shakespeare will appeal to consonants, vowels, reversals with alliteration, assonance and anastrophe, Parker will employ, symbolism, personification, and simile.

Shakespeare utilized the literary device “assonance” where words have similar vowels; As would those of the same gender have similar sexes.  In the second line, it may have been in code “coral and far,” perhaps suggesting a clandestine meeting place in a barn or distant place (Shakespeare 838).  Shakespeare, a master of English, style and writing as if by design, inserted innuendo, and perhaps coded messages within a variety of literary devices.  Shakespeare was said to have “written sonnets 127-154 to this mysterious dark lady.” (Owlcation)

Shakespeare used negated similes to illustrate the reversal of ideals in the 16th-century society by employing anastrophe in his line structure. (Owlcation) Although a variety of rhyme schemes were employed from Petrarchan Sonnet methods to alliterative verse, to assonance, what gave Shakespeare’s poetry its depth and richness were perhaps the layers of form and function.  The inverted language embodied an inverted idea which had inverted lines.  Shakespearean poems when dissected had perhaps several instances where for example he writes in reverse “in some perfumes, is there more delight.”  He inserts, in this case, intrigue and question, and perhaps the suggestion of an alternative or question as to whether a greater pleasure.

Use of a literary device in writing to teach may be a goal or result.  Poets may desire production of literature that is in service of education which is one distinct trait of both poems and their attention to literary device.  Clear use of  a literary device may result in the title of “teacher poet.”

Shakespearean Sonnet 130 challenges beauty, ideals, and love via literary devices such as alliteration, assonance, and anastrophe.  Sonnet 130 is typical of an English love sonnet emanating from true Petrarchan style. Petrarchan sonnets during the 16th century followed a 14-line formula, an 8  line “octave” followed by a 6 line “sestet” and couplet. The rhyme scheme for these poems was abab cdcd efef gg structure. (Petrarch Slide Share) Dorothy Parker’s “One Perfect Rose,” is a 12-line poem written in ABAB in three stanzas.  On closer inspection, society may find Shakespeare referential, full of innuendo, coded, as if written to wife and lover simultaneously-for the blind and the seer.  Parker may also have written for the blind and the seer. The 16th-century culture may have reflected on this use of a literary device or on what became a sonnet craze, where one’s identity or even “intimacy” may be still further conveyed in myriad and dynamic rhymed and unrhymed schemes. As if one may insert into life something in every consonant, vowel, syllable, line-in every literary corner-one may find a place to insert meaning, impacting one’s identity and consequently one’s language and culture.  As if to use “all,” every consonant, every vowel, every literary ability, not efficiency or economy, but down some other road of utility, structure, architecture.  When one may have believed meter limited content, a fallacy indeed.  Shakespeare is perhaps made for the close reading, the examination and analysis,  the scrutiny, the more-and-more to find, the Easter egg hunt.  As if the document had pockets, or corners or roads, as if the writer were builder and words were bricks.  All methods or rather literary devices were carefully coded, perhaps to man and to language.  Man’s language and literary devices may reflect on the man himself.

Works Cited

Abcarian, Richard, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen, eds. Literature: The Human Experience: Reading and Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. Print.

https://www.grin.com/document/372431 An Analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130. The concept of love and beauty, Bergische Universität Wuppertal  (Anglistik und Amerikanistik) Introduction to Literary Studies,  2017

https://owlcation.com/humanities/Analysis-of-Sonnet-130-by-William-ShakespeareNorton Anthology, Norton, 2005

Parker, Dorothy. “One Perfect Rose,” Abcarian, Richard, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen, eds. Literature: The Human Experience: Reading and Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. Print. p.845

Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet 130,” Abcarian, Richard, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen, eds. Literature: The Human Experience: Reading and Writing. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016. Print. p.838

 

Creative Writing Produces Scholars Despite Debt to Income Ratios

Creative Writing Produces Scholars Despite Debt to Income Ratios

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Writing is described as a “North American growth industry” (Whetter 1).  In 1975, there may have been “75 programs in creative writing, today there are ~854.” Each program is said to be additionally a source of income and support for writers (Wilson 2).  Daryl Whetter describes creative writing programs as the “cash cow of the humanities”(Whetter 1).  Despite the problem of debt to income ratios when weighing out a creative writing degree, creative writing has value, because it realizes new thought, critical thinking and consequently, produces free thinkers and scholars.

My source one is from Human Brain Mapping:  Neural Correlates of Creative Writing, an MRI Study by Carolin Shah et al.  The source was first published in December of 2011.  The source attempts to look at creative writing from a scientific perspective where 28 research subjects attempt to write a creative story while having an MRI.  The researchers arrived at a “cognitive process theory of “writing involving planning, translating, and reviewing”(Shah 2).  The source looks at what could be considered latent creativity, what regions of the brain were impacted by what task and the principal investigation had to do with “creativity applying and story generation task” (Shah 3).  This source is arguing what are “creativity relevant neural functions” and perhaps what is creativity?  Then, further, what is creative writing from the perspective of a controlled qualitative study?  The findings indicate that creative writing activated motor associated areas, predominantly the right hand and “language processing and cognitive areas” (Shah 14).  In this study, creative writing was compared to copying.  Copying revealed areas “associated with memory retrieval, semantic integration, free association and spontaneous cognition. The study also analyzed various “creative thinking processes” (Shah 20).  The source presented a well done controlled qualitative study that appears to be a precise investigation.  I believe the source presented valuable research, methodically, with parallels and sound conclusions.  This is the first source in my paper-a first brick source- that will help me to build my argument beginning with a scientific or coded assessment of what is creativity before I can prove why it has value.

Creative writing is indicative of critical thinking.  This source is a recent newspaper article coming from The Guardian, “Write to Freedom,” by Caspar Walsh.  The source is dated April 22, 2009.  The source chronicles “Leeman,” a previously incarcerated youth who pursues “Write to Freedom” outside prison.  “Write to Freedom” they argue is essentially a rehabilitation program, likely involving critical thinking and to make a long-term investment against crime.  Ultimately, there is a parallel between writing and anti-crime. They seem to feel that writing will create the context for no crime. How will it create the context for no crime?  Aptitude, critical thinking, personal investment in the individual, introspection, viable diversion, seeking of alternative powers, knowing “what they can achieve and how they can change themselves” (Walsh 3). This source is likely an experiment by a non-profit supported by the British government.  The Guardian is a reputable source.  The purpose of this article may be to advance the nation, infusing a problem with alternatives, skills, and education.  The source is relevant to my argument in that it says something about the potency of a creative writing program and how it may have multilevel use and consequently alot of value to foster change within an individual and nation.  Write to Freedom is in its trial stages and writer Walsh wrote that with “all efforts, it’s not a quick fix to reduce crime, but rather a long-term investment to support rehabilitation” (Walsh, 2).

Source three is from Globe and Mail, published in Toronto, Canada, on March 17, 2018, titled “Turning the Page,” by Marsha Lederman.  This appears to be a newspaper article that includes career highlights and biographical information for Alix Ohlin, a newly appointed Chair for the University of British Columbia. Marsha Lederman goes even further to detail a creative writing career with her description of Alix Ohlin as detailed in a list format:

“educated internationally, respected and well-reviewed, a CV includes publication in the New Yorker and Best American Short Stories, has short stories, collections and novels, the bonus is a woman in a field or school dominated by 74% females, Magna Cum Laude Harvard, MFA from Michener Center for the Writers at the University of Texas, shortlisted Scotia Bank Award, Giller Prize and Rogers Writers Trust, Fiction Prize, Mordecai Writer in Residence, started as an associate professor, candidate for “chair,” wishes to fortify schools prestige (possibly with own image), celebrated novelist”(Lederman, 1).

She talks about the shortlist of writing or competitors for a chair position as coming from “Brown University or Purdue University” (Lederman 1). The school hopes she will be a popular thesis advisor (Lederman 1).   It seems this source is arguing about fitness for the role of Chair in a creative writing department.  The school uses Ohlin’s background to set the tone for the school and build on the school’s prestige.  The source is using evidence like publications, associate professorship, awards, or shortlisted, international education, even writing pedigree etc.  It’s clear that the school may be sending a public message with Ohlin’s appointment to Chair, which in some convoluted way also proves my thesis, what is the value of a creative writing degree.  When they hire her, publicize her, all that she is, is all that they are too.  Ohlin, in the end, raises “the bar” for their future staff.  I feel that the source does a wonderful job of showing off a successful career trajectory.  I think this source is very helpful in supporting my argument’s point 3, where the point showcases free thinkers and scholars.  In point three, I develop the paper to include the pieces of evidence that are all current, one from 2009, another from 2018.  This article supports my thesis in that it offers yet another way to think about creative writing in terms of value by showing range or career trajectory you can illustrate a point.  The source appears current, relevant, an authority, accurate and unbiased but with their own unique vision.

Creative writers ultimately become free thinkers and scholars.  One headline reads “Tracy K. Smith, director of the creative writing program at Princeton University was named a U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry 2017-2018 by the Library of Congress” (Tracy K. Smith 1).  A creative writing or scholar’s career is exemplified by the example of  Jane Smiley.  Smiley’s career highlights can be listed as:  English faculty at Iowa State University, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, writer of an academic farce, professional creative writer, that will join or work with a California Poet Laureate (Vendituoli, 1).  This article supports my thesis in that it offers yet another way to think about creative writing in terms of value by showing range or career trajectory you can illustrate a point.

In “Nailing the importance of writing programs” published by the Chronicle of Higher education, Jennifer Howard is quoted about her article the “Professionalism of Poetry.” Of paramount importance to creative writers is their affiliation and station at one of the nations if not world’s most prestigious universities.  Howard cites “game changers” and lastly (an independent poet’s) “inability to understand (issues she was addressing) for lack of affiliation to a university.” Howard also lists movements and long-lasting literary groups such as:  “Romantics, Imagists, Modernists, Beats, Confessionals, or Language Poets.” This information comes from the Chronicle of Higher education, one the “nation’s largest newsrooms dedicated to colleges and universities.” (Nailing the Importance 2)  This article supports point three, in that it looks at career trajectory and relevancy, thus subsequently proving value.

Another article that supports the career trajectory of a scholar details how in “MFA-Land a prospective writer will first experience pressure to publish short stories in literary quarterlies, followed by a race to publish their thesis and finally the necessity to publish more stories all the while teaching a fresh crop of literary hopefuls” (Wilson 3).  The above details the trajectory of creative writing and how ultimately writers become free thinkers and scholars and very often teachers with posts at universities.

Debt to income ratios dominate choices made about university education and consequently, creative writing.  Governments generally, “reward technical and occupational skills,” with “highest paid salaries in the health professions and related programs” (Schneider 3).  For liberal arts, it is said, that “value emerges in the long run” and it takes “longer to launch careers” (Schneider, 4). In an article about “Does Education Pay?” by Mark Schneider, who debates what he describes as the “most important investment,” using research conducted by College Measures and funded by the Lumina Foundation (Schneider 1). The study looks at the labor market returns and debt to income ratios across five states where liberal arts scored in the high 30’s as one of the lowest incomes (Schneider 1).  An antidote to the predicament of debt to income ratios is detailed in Peter Monaghan’s article about a writing professor’s contribution to solicit a benefactor for the writing program at the University of Michigan (Monaghan 1).  The school admits 22 students a year as a result, into what is now a fully-funded program (Monaghan 1).  In response to high debt to income ratios, Nicholas Delbanco has provided a solution and model which many universities in the future may follow.  Where incomes are low, schools may solicit benefactors, and eliminate student debt.  Where students could exhaust $100, 000 in debt earning an MFA which may have a projected $38,000 salary in Creative Writing according to the College Measures study (Schneider 2).  The University of Michigan is pioneering solutions for fully funded degrees (Monaghan 1).  Students can look forward to the possibility of reducing and even eliminating debt with a little ingenuity.  Professor Delbanco calculated what would be the cost of debt elimination originally aiming for $5 million from the Zell Family Foundation for the English Department at the University of Michigan (Monaghan 1). Now the MFA at University of Michigan receives more than $60 million per year in contributions from the Zell Family Foundation (Monaghan 1).    Debt elimination can be calculated and is not insurmountable.

Where source one is  arguing what are “creativity relevant neural functions” and perhaps what is creativity?  Then, further, what is creative writing from the perspective of a controlled qualitative study?  Source two argued critical thinking as to what they seem to feel that writing will create: the context for no crime. Then ultimately, how will it create the context for no crime?  Aptitude, critical thinking, personal investment in the individual, introspection, viable diversion, seeking of alternative powers, knowing “what they can achieve and how they can change themselves” (Walsh 3). Point three contrasted scientific, and critical thinking points with examples of relevant career trajectories and looked at the their “range” which ultimately was suggestive of scholarship.  Despite high debt to income ratios, creative writing has value because it involves new thought, critical thinking and results in free thinkers and scholars.

Works Cited

“A Tale of Two Literary Cultures.” The Wilson Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 2, 2011, p. 79+. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A255086168/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=1665d87e. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

“Author! Author!” Herizons, vol. 22, no. 3, Winter 2009, p. 13. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A192588982/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=ef2b824b. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

Monaghan, Peter. “A Writing Professor’s Contribution: So Many Words, So Little Debt.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 61, no. 17, 9 Jan. 2015. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A400006929/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=02c1e99b. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

“Nailing the Importance of Writing Programs.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 55, no. 42, 24 July 2009. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A204147532/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=ddcc39e9. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

Schneider, Mark. “Does education pay? Yes and no. It depends on what, where, and how long one studies–but the outcomes do not align with conventional wisdom.” Issues in Science and Technology, vol. 30, no. 1, 2013, p. 33+. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A350786748/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=3f60f144. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

Shah, Carolin, et al. “Neural Correlates of Creative Writing: An FMRI Study.” Human

Brain Mapping, vol. 34, no. 5, May 2013, pp. 1088–1101. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1002/hbm.21493.

Society: SocietyGuardian.co.uk: Free thinking.” Guardian [London, England], 22 Apr. 2009, p. 2. Gale OneFile: News, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A198281616/STND?u=nhc_main&sid=STND&xid=37b777e4. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

“Tracy K. Smith, director of the creative-writing program at Princeton University, was named U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2017-18.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 64, no. 14, 1 Dec. 2017, p. A51. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A518741205/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=30330e93. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

“TURNING THE PAGE; As controversy and questions continue to hang over UBC’s revered creative-writing program, the challenge the faculty now faces is how to move forward and fortify the school’s prestige. The solution starts with a new chair: celebrated novelist Alix Ohlin.” Globe & Mail [Toronto, Canada], 17 Mar. 2018, p. R5. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A531286964/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=572ac5c9. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

Vendituoli, Monica. “Jane Smiley, Author of the Academic Novel ‘Moo,’ Returns to Teaching.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 60, no. 39, 20 June 2014. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A372960186/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=4cd87183. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

Walsh, Caspar.  “ Write to freedom-young-offenders.” The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/society/joepublic/2009/apr/21/write-to-freedom-young-offendersTop of Form

Whetter, Darryl. “Class conflict: creative writing programs are cash cows, but some can actually be valuable.” This Magazine, vol. 43, no. 1, July-Aug. 2009, p. 41. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/apps/doc/A203658807/OVIC?u=nhc_main&sid=OVIC&xid=dbb2ab0c. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020.

Choosing online versus brick & mortar and hoping to gain a quality education

Issue 1:  Choosing online versus brick & mortar and hoping to gain a quality education 

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Coronavirus may give more students a greater desire for online education as there have been school closures and a global pandemic.  Online schools also present, “at your fingertips” mode of study that includes one’s home library, which could benefit different fields like writing education. However, online schools lack peer groups, peer-related critiques and peer influences may be less present.  Online schools may be better for certain fields that require less lab or studio or in-person engagement.  Online education sometimes lacks books with greater reliance on the online learning environment; therefore, less reference material for later study after the course is completed.  When planning to teach, perhaps a teacher encounters the same choices a student does, whether to train for the online environment or the brick and mortar.  Students, in the chosen field of writing, may have enjoyed a brick and mortar’s small roundtable teaching methods that included regular direct peer review. Both students and teachers will inevitably make a similar choice whether or not to engage in online or brick and mortar teaching or study. Training may be so vastly different, that a student who desires to be a teacher needs to make training choices early in their career.

Issue 2:  What impacts the changing education dynamics in an online school versus brick & mortar?

Online students may advance quicker in their careers, due to degrees they were able to finish quicker with differing “term structure.”  Online schools level the playing field for marginalized people and include vast numbers of workers, single parents, military, mature and disabled students. Working at one’s own pace and on one’s own time with needed support may present students with an “ideal” in an online environment that is not as present in a brick and mortar. Conversely, brick and mortar may present more opportunities for career development and how to excel in one’s education and field with student group meetings, dean’s list, honor rolls, awards, study abroad, conferences, and networking. Brick and mortar are presented with local and regional issues sometimes with international student bodies, where online may be national with disconnected or having less local attention.  What that means to a student body is a city or state or country may also have opportunities to offer a student.  Online students may lack work experience and have few opportunities in their local community coming directly from their university.  Teachers may feel more disconnected from online students and students eventually need references from teachers. As technology has progressed, so have work environments and education environments.  Many companies offer complete virtual platforms using VPN’s and virtual call centers, databases and also new opportunities for teachers of training modules for virtual companies. Virtual companies are pulling teachers from a variety of teaching backgrounds to enter high paid roles as trainers in online or virtual environments. The training methods that virtual companies are using are so well developed that this overlap may present a juncture that online schools may utilize to develop along similar lines.

Works cited:

“Online Education,” Jan. 2, 2019, Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, a Cengage Company

Marxism influenced the labor movement and gave rise to labor unions

Marxism influenced the labor movement and gave rise to labor unions

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Karl Marx, German Philosopher (5 May 1818-14 March 1883) offered in “Das Kapital 1,2,3” and “The Communist Manifesto,” an economic worldview via the use of political, social and economic “critique.” “Critique” by Marx became a means of observation and questioning, in this case, social questions.  The main crux of Marx’s argument had to do with how class struggles elicit social change and inevitably overthrows capitalism and subsequently the ruling class or “bourgeoisie.”  Marx’s “ideological writings” such as “Das Kapital 1,2, & 3” and “The Communist Manifesto” propagandize, lead to movements, frame  and provide ideas from which a movement can evolve “ideologically.”  Key Marx concepts like the use of the “left” or Communism or Socialist or capitalism or labor or class struggle or bourgeoisie or Proletariat were incendiary and gave rise to militancy.  The disciples were those who adopted Communism or Socialism and became the key drivers of labor movements that formed unions in the twentieth century.    Around the turn of the twentieth century, Marxist ideas influenced the goals of the labor movement and gave rise to its subsequent labor unions by way of its militant minority.

The bourgeoisie according to Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto” are “untenable and destined to fall.”  The companion and enabler of the bourgeoisie  was the “Proletariat,” whose nomenclature suggests an obedience word “pro-let,” or a professional renter or personage for hire “pro-let,” where ..tariat could suggest torn apparel or tare suggestive of weight or worth weight in gold or a professional renter, who is without property.  Needless to say, the word is infused with working-class description and suggestive of this personage or group who lives so far as his self- sale permits it.  “The Communist Manifesto,” details it, “Development of a class of laborers who live only so long as they find work and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital.” The last lines in “The Communist Manifesto” claim that “The Proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.  Working men of all countries unite!”  Marx’s audience, therefore, became the working class and his mission in their regards was to overthrow diverse established regimes of ruling class in favor of a Socialist model which was meant to replace capitalism. Who became this ignited group of organizers was thought to emanate from The Communist Party in search of working-class revolutions or Socialists who were also meant to replace capitalists.

According to Micah Uetricht, in her seminal article which details the rise of the unions, “U.S. Union Revitalization and the Missing “Militant Minority,”” in the “Labor Studies Journal,” “Militant minorities were radical leftists with a commitment to militant unionism and were the hardest fighters, dedicated organizers, and built union cultures of solidarity.” Within the context of the Great Depression, New Deal Era, World War II, the Bolsheviks, the Civil Rights Movement and post emancipation-activism during this period of the 20th century was strong, forceful, successful and enduring.  According to Uetricht, unions during this period were building “worker power,” and during the “60’s and 70’s public sector workers walked off jobs in mass illegal strikes.”  Unions were beginning to map a movement.  They used campaign strategies and paid for candidates to represent workers.  Uetricht states that unions “made political fixes using politicians for minimum wage hikes.”  It was a period where employment relations were stirred and workers connected to management.  According to Anam Ullah, there were “worldwide labor problems” and “those arguing from a radical perspective draw principally from the work of Karl Marx.” (Ullah, pg. 36) Archer shared this point and cited in his paper on “The State and its Unions,” “(His) approach can be seen as an early example of the new institutionalism then emerging as a response or development of neo-Marxian class theories.” (Archer, 201)

Socialists were thought to look at abolition in “The Communist Manifesto,” and improve conditions for all, even the most favored. (Marx, 52) Brewer goes on to describe how “’collective action’ achieves a genuine socialist society.” (Brewer, 93) Brewer describes the evolution of socialism “Slavery was just in a slave society and unjust in a capitalist society.  Exploitation is just in a capitalist society, but unjust in a socialist society.” (Brewer, 92) People began to utilize “’Social Science’ according to Brewer as a process by which to see inequality as exploitive.”(Brewer, 91)  Social science was used for small experiments and to write social laws and was thought to be miraculous.  Unions were dreaming of experimental realization of social utopias as was suggested by Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto.”

Unions were trying to address capitalism wrote Brewer, where capitalism, “gets something for nothing or much for little, at the expense of others.” (Brewer, 92)  Brewer wrote about “forced domination or unequal power as the precondition of and consequence of exploitation which was a feature of advanced capitalism.” (Brewer, 91) Pamphlets were distributed by Marx and others and were highlighted in “The Communist Manifesto” as “the enlightenment of the working class.” (Marx, 53) Brewer stated that “collective action eliminates exploitation.” (Brewer, 92)  “Early institutional relations evolved and conditioned union identity, which was in the end the blue print for advancing interests through the unions.”(Gall, 146) Actions like worker representation, resistance to management and collective bargaining preserved jobs and enabled change.  Marx described a torn aristocracy in “The Communist Manifesto,” and “how aristocracy was meant to lose sight of its own interests and adopt the interests of the working class.”

A consequence of the labor unions that Marx may have inspired, were according to (Jun Chen, et al., 775) that “we found that labor unionization is negatively associated with stock price crash risk. However, Chen went on to prove in her paper that “labor unions are able to lower the probability of stock price crash risk by reducing managerial risk-taking behaviors.” (Jun  Chen, et al., 775).  Additionally, many labor unions were said to “use political power to improve profits and reduce competition through regulating capture of government agencies and by lobbying for favorable legislation and government contracts and decisions.” (Jared Stanfield, 1101)  Jake Rosenfeld illustrated how “Rod Blagovich signed an executive order granting collective bargaining rights to nearly 50,000 childcare workers after a multiyear lobbying campaign by the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) backed Blagovich’s 2002 Gubernational bid with manpower and financial resources for congressional Democratic  efforts.” (Jake Rosenfeld, 31)  Apparently, to get things passed, unions ascertained how to get leaders on their side.  Legal enactments became imperative when “wages weren’t in keeping with inflation or when the government felt that wages were rising faster than the rate of inflation.” (Williams P. James, 166).  James highlighted how collective bargaining “allowed unions to distort Democracy and public employees had more influence over elected officials than other citizens.”

Marxian theories influenced the direction of the labor movement which led to union organizing in America in the 20th century.  Ideas around class struggle interpreted by Marxist critique as Bourgeoisie and Proletariat illustrated a problematic capitalism destine for social change.  Marxian ideas were said to inspire social change and led a generation to Communism and Socialism.  The particular generation led to Communism and Socialism was thought to form a militant minority who went on to organize unions within the 20th century labor movement.

Bibliography

Archer, Robin. The state and its unions:  Reassessing the antecedents, development and consequences of new deal labor law. Labor History. May 2013, Vol. 54 Issue 2, p201-207. 7p

Brewer, John. Exploitation is the new Marxism of collective action. The Sociological Review, Vol 35(1), Feb, 1987 pp. 84-96, Routledge & Kegan Paul

Chen, Jun; Tong, Jamie Y.; Wang, Wenming; Zang, Feida. The economic consequences of labor unionization:  Evidence from stock price crash risk. Journal of Business Ethics. Jul2019, Vol. 157 Issue 3, p775-796, 22p

Gall, Gregor. Richard Hyman:  An assessment of his industrial relations: A Marxist introduction. Capital & Class. Mar2012, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p135-149. 15p

Marx, Karl. Capital Vol. 1,2 &3 (Das Kapital Vol. 1,2 & 3), Lexington, Kentucky. Stief Books, July 2019

Marx, Karl; Engels, Freidrich. The Communist Manifesto.  Lexington, Kentucky. Brandywine Studio Press. 1888.

Rosenfeld, Jake. What unions no longer do. Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Harvard University Press, 2014. Ebook

Stanfield, Jared; Tumarkin, Robert. Does the political power of nonfinancial stakeholders affect frim values?  Evidence from labor unions. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, June 2018, v.53 iss.3, pp. 1101-33

Uetricht, Micah; Eidlin, Barry. U.S. union revitalization and the missing “militant minority”. Labor Studies Journal. March2019, Vol.44 Issue 1, p36-59. 24p.

Ullah, Anam.  Is Marxism still valid in industrial relations?. Middle East Journal of Business. Jan 2016, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p31-36. 6p

 

Up to Snuff #45: Crime Fiction or the Detective Novel and Theory of Probability, How Mathematics May have been a Catalyst

Up to Snuff #45:  Crime Fiction or the Detective Novel and Theory of Probability, How Mathematics May Have Been a Catalyst

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Perhaps it was the inclusion of local events that made detective novels popular to the masses.  In “Crime Fiction’s” Chapter 3 it says, “Juxtaposing fragmented selections of events from the contemporary world (became) a form of amusement for the mass public.”  (Priestman, Crime Fiction, page 41)  It may have also been the inclusion of social phenomenon outside the norm like “Experiences of a Lady Detective” in fields where women were just beginning to enter after World War I which may have been radical and was cited as written anonymously.  It was also likely very exciting the inclusion of contemporary science and technology in Arthur B. Reeves or in L.T. Meade’s “Stories from the Diary of a Doctor,” or perhaps naturalist works which were found in Arnold Bennett, HG Wells and Arthur Morrison’s “A Child of the Jago.”   What often occurred in detective novels was a pulling of events from newspapers which could create a stir when literary parallels current events.  The use of the detective short story in magazines likely also contributed to its mass popularity.

Feeding on the media and current events can be interesting.  How current events or items in the news get reinvented. In the art world especially, African Art, alot gets pulled from the media to work on when researching the human condition.  When you pull from the news in art you can get historical works.  The chronology at the front of, “The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction,” was really great in tying in world events with literary events that sprouted soon after.  The bibliographies, bios, and chronology are really fantastic to peruse and spend a great deal of time on them-it was nice to see “these elements” and utilize them to better one’s own writing and research.

In “Murder of the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe, early imagery about games leads one to think about the “eliminations” as in chess and within investigations or what was described later as the “Theory of Probabilities.” Poe wrote that, “Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling blocks in the way of the class of thinkers, who have been educated to know nothing of the Theory of Probabilities-that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.” (Poe, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, page 25) Theory of Probabilities may have been the actual foundation for detective, mystery and crime based fiction as well as many “games” (Chess etc.) that were emerging, that may have been based on the pioneering “Murders of the Rue Morgue” publication in 1841, one of the first, or vice a versa. Writers may have become enchanted with deduction as a means of exaltation. There may have been subtle clues like the use of what appeared to be a vintage spelling of clue, “clew,” that was claw-like.  There was also the name “Moreau” that suggested, “more water” which could have led one to a sailor or having a water relation.  Perhaps the sailor was an “assailant” and clearly evident was an adjacent assailant with a claw. The actual use of the word assailant, later on, may have paid homage to Poe, as a pioneer or perhaps the initiator of this genre.  The use of mockery by an ourang-outang of the sailor with a razor was interesting and perhaps Darwinian.  The choice of the passive killer was interesting as well as the birth imagery via the “thrusting up a chimney head downward.” The language around the “united vigor of several persons” was beautiful. (Poe, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Pg. 25)   In Poe’s Murder of the Rue Morgue, there were undertones that could impact foreign affairs; there was almost a theory of man, his birth, his war and his evolution.

Perhaps it was, in fact, the unity in scholarship that paralleled mathematics to mystery when using the deductive processes like for example an algebraic equation and “solve for x.” Many early writers were in fact scholars and mathematics was in its prime.  Areas in mathematics that could relate to the advent of detective novels were finite math, probability and statistics, and algebra.  Detective novels were likely also made popular by the male macho, that enjoys exaltation and may find pleasure in the suspense or the chase.

Priestman, Martin, The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction, Cambridge University Press, 2004

Poe, Edgar Allan, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” Classic Crime Stories, Edited by James Daley, Dover Publications, 2007, Pg. 1-34

“The Funnel System Method” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Running head     THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD:  USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, SURVEY SERVICES LAB

  • Diffuse, Supersede and Unlearn Biases in the Workplace using Neutrality Training
  • Advanced Behavior Modification
  • Managing Workplace Relationships
  • Solving Problems in the Workplace, Handling Crisis and Mistakes Successfully
  • Case Studies Highlighting 10 Ways to Improve Quality of Performance, Products, Services and Workplace Climate

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Norwich University

Author Notes

Afua Osei-Bonsu, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Leadership, Norwich University

Afua Osei-Bonsu is now a student of Communication 301, Technical and Professional Writing

(Adjunct Professor, Dr. Melanie Schultz)

This research is supported by Kreitzberg Library, Research data and observation from the Institute for Social Research & Osei-Bonsu Family Trust

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Afua Osei-Bonsu at 422 Pearl Street #1B Ypsilanti, Michigan, 48197

Contact:  afua.oseibonsu@gmail.com

THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD:  USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, SURVEY SERVICES LAB

Abstract

The achievement of quality can be like a funnel system where one is perfecting and then stream lines.  One idea is to perform frequent QC early on to perfect and change employee performance, before things become habits or patterns.  One must learn how to obtain methods that instill constant and regular improvement.

The overall comparison will be done with Chinese Manufacturers and to a local Research Insti­­tute at the University of Michigan, the Institute for Social Research (ISR) as a workplace example.  This proposals conclusion looks at several case studies to compile a list of ~10 ways to improve the quality of performance, products, services and workplace climate.

The proposal will highlight problem solving in the workplace, the building in or inclusion of ethics in design by collecting examples of ethics from multiple case studies. Third, this proposal will examine a list of key research points around the achievement of quality both within an organization, its organizational leadership plan and by juxtaposition of a national plan for the achievement quality.

Some goals of this research may be for refinement, perfection, and precision to achieve a high quality.  The idea is to create something that can be standardized in the form of a sample, bar, or boundary, a work ethic or style manual.  The goal is to minimize and eradicate human and machine error.  The end result may be inclusive of a variety of technological products, trainings, literature, and possibly an acronym to support the achievement of quality as an educational, workplace and national goal.

Another idea proposed for this research is to use the development of professionalism as catalyst of quality and generate advanced research around professionalism.  Proposal also looks at ways of achieving “ideals” as within the scope of high quality.

One method currently used at the ISR where workers leave stuffed envelopes for research mailings and boxes unsealed that a “QC” checks for accuracy at the second stage and seals envelopes and boxes to achieve an error free product, therefore establishing quality.

What is inspiring about QA/QC in general is the idea that whole nations have perfected themselves, all of their methods, management systems, their bodies, schools and education.

One could take for example a written survey questionnaire that is called the “SAFTEE” which is composed of a list of human physical areas with corresponding questions used to ascertain the status of the body and gauge the impact of healing or medications on overall physical quality.  One may attempt to blank slate or free the body of flaws, scars, or illness.  One may alternatively attempt to advance the abilities of his or her being or achieve a greater degree of quality of life, beauty, work skills and resulting high quality by products. Things such as strength training or laser surgery may be utilized to achieve quality.  This example of how to achieve a “quality being” by modifying some prior use research techniques is just one example of what a nation may engage in to improve on the overall quality of its people.

Key Words:

“QA has to do with plans that a researcher has for minimizing and measuring error in his or her research.  QC is the actual procedures implemented in the research.”[1]

Quality Assurance-A Program for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects, of a project, service, of a facility to ensure the standards of quality are being met.

Literature Review

Author will address a “convergent model” as compared to a funnel system, at first broad then streamlining.  “The Funnel System Method” will use actual empirical case studies of a  research lab, the Survey Services Lab at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan juxtaposed with texts that highlight managing quality in terms of projects, critical quality themes, utilization of professional standards, practical approaches to quality control and alternative quality methods such as the “Lean Six Sigma,” by Carreira that involves powerful actions to improve quality, increase speed and reduce waste.  Special attention will be paid to how to improve overall techniques and theories regarding quality to enhance performance in organizations.

Other aspects included in the convergent model “The Funnel System Method,” include research in texts about ethics in the workplace in texts such as “Professionalism, boundaries and the workplace,” by Malin.  The third key element in the in the Funnel System Method will be the use of practical problem solving skills.

The research from key references along with case studies will form the basis of a new method to be utilized in presentations, trainings and later teaching.  A comprehensive list of quality, ethics and problems solving texts will be compiled from the Kreitzberg Library for use in later PHD studies.

The idea has to do with the start of employment and how key training will advance a novice worker from the general population into a professional employee with expertise. Primary research will come from case studies and actual analysis of the workplace.

The long term goal of research in such texts is to disseminate training materials and  work products that facilitate specific key goals including the achievement of quality, ethics and problem solving skills in the workplace.

THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD:  USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, SURVEY SERVICES LAB

Illustration 1 Funnel System Method

THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD:  USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, SURVEY SERVICES LAB

Table of Contents

Letter of Transmittal                                                                                                            1

Title page                                                                                                                                2

Abstract                                                                                                                                  3-4

Literature Review                                                       —————————————–         4-5

Funnel System Illustration                                                                                                     6

Table of Contents                                                                                                                   7

List of Illustrations                                                                                                                 8

Statement of the Problem                                                                                                       9

Background                                                                                                                            9-10     Proposed Solutions                                                                                                     10

Diffuse, supersede and unlearn biases                                                                                   10

Advanced Behavior Modification                                                                                          10

Managing Workplace Relationships                                                                                      10

Solving Problems in the Workplace                                                                                       11

Quality from Professional Standard to Alternative Quality Methods                                               11

Implementation Steps for Key Decision Maker                                                                     11-12

Conclusion                                                                                                                              12

Appendix A:——————————————————————————————–n/a

Appendix B:                                                                                                                           n/a

References                                                                                                                                       13

THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD:  USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, SURVEY SERVICES LAB

A List of Illustrations

Illustration 1:   Funnel System Method                                                                                       6

THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD:  USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, SURVEY SERVICES LAB

Statement of Problem

What is wrong?  Staff  are continuously affected by uncovered or underdeveloped areas in training that may impact staff retention and workplace climate.  What is needed are advanced training modules that are inclusive of key skill sets and impact employee relationships, biases, workplace climate and the achievement of quality.  Who will be impacted by the problem are all faculty & staff of ISR, including contingent staff and ISR as a model Research Institute that may impact similar organizations.

Background

The Institute for Social Research houses the SRO or Survey Research Operations inclusive of the Survey Services Lab and the Survey of Consumer Attitudes Team in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the campus of University of Michigan.  ISR uses “nationally representative samples of households in the contiguous United States that are designed to measure changes in consumer attitudes and expectations.” (SCA Interviewer Project Manual, Pg. 1)

ISR is the largest Social Research Institute in the United States that looks at what “consumers think about economic events under various circumstances and the reasons for their opinions.” (SCA Interview Project Manual, Pg. 1)  The basic idea is that “changes in consumer attitudes will come before changes in behaviors, therefore expectations can act as leading indicators of the  aggregate economy.” (SCA Interview Project Manual, Pg.1)

The Survey Services Lab houses the Survey of Consumer Attitudes team on the ground floor of the Perry Building at ISR.  The typical mode of work is in front of a computer, with a telephone and headset in a cubicle where a variety of SSL team members will complete tasks including QC, RDD or Random Digit Dialing to complete sample group interviews with respondents, taking incoming calls from sample groups, completing training modules, using GIT or General Interviewing Techniques or overseeing the lab in various management capacity. The secondary work is completing large research mailings or assembly of research binders. The third mode of work is the use of conference rooms to complete focus groups. The perhaps fourth mode of the research institute is to administer the masters and doctorate programs in survey research methodology.

“The SCA was started in 1946 by George Katona and is now run by Principal Investigator Richard Curtin since 1976.” (SCA Interview Project Manual, Pg. 1)

THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD:  USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, SURVEY SERVICES LAB

Each month about 600 numbers are included in a new sample group, 400 new and 200 “recon” or reconnect from 6 months earlier. The SCA Team sets out to contact out of a representative pool respondents to interview and collect data.  Production interviews are recorded in the CXM System and calls are generated using Genesys RDD.  “QC from each shift randomly selects and reviews the recordings of each interviewer and for adherence to General Interviewing Technique and recording data properly.” (SCA Interview Project Manual, Pg. 4)

Problems that arise in research labs are sometimes consistent with all workplace environments combating varieties of biases without training. Locations with RDD or Random Digit Dialing and frequent QC may also be host to “negative treatment” and little or few appreciative techniques and appreciation in the end impacts their bottom line. There is sometimes little or no training for how to handle mistakes, solve problems, manage people positively, and how to eradicate workplace gossip that impacts employee’s careers. The problem continues how to improve the quality of research, the quality of research teams and their respective products.

Proposed Solutions to Problems in the Workplace

Diffuse, Supersede and Unlearn Biases in the Workplace using Neutrality Training

Problems in the work place, such as biases can be diffused, superseded or unlearned with use of “neutrality” training.  The basic idea is that employees choose a “neutral status” and utilize techniques for maintaining that neutrality within their work place relationships and effectively moving away from biases that promote negative ideas to employee.

Advanced Behavior Modification

Advanced behavior modification training is needed to funnel employee from general population into trained interviewer or other.  Often in QC patterns are uncovered that need advanced behavior modification training to impact the perfection and precision of GIT or General Interview Technique Protocols.

Managing Workplace Relationships

Managing work place relationships has to do with appreciation techniques that ultimately impact an employee’s bottom line and companies’ bottom line. An employee can be given positive feedback to begin to illicit good behaviors.  An employee’s positive feedback is what is discussed in employee reviews and what will decide an employee’s status and raises. Employee’s need help with the creation of professional boundaries, and how to establish a positive employee perspective to maintain the work place climate.  Workers need policy to reflect boundaries that protect workers privacy and direct casual talk about worker that impacts their career.

 

Solving Problems in the Workplace, Handling Crisis and Mistakes Successfully

This paper supports creating training modules for solving problems in the work place, handling crisis and mistakes, via specific case studies that look at typical problems with which workers are confronted.  This paper aims to create an ethics based research and design an ethics training around specific work place problem areas.  This researcher found that the handling of problems may be impacted one by bias, and two by a lack of skill for handling the specific problem and the person or employees who may have made a mistake or be in crisis.

Case Studies Highlighting 10 Ways to Improve Quality of Performance, Products, Services and Workplace Climate

Quality at ISR may be impacted by use of professional standards.  One good example is in basic workplace daily use design and cleanliness. If each employee is taught a basic standard practice to follow, such as how to clean and prepare their work station before and after shifts.  Professional Standards are also impacted when employees are trained to package mailings or assemble binders. Employees may need to be provided a “work sample,” to match, and a work progress demonstration to follow to achieve a high quality finished product.  Specific issues arise in simple or basic assembly line functions including how and where in the assembly line one performs tasks, the direction and flow of work, eg. an employee may try to go backwards down the assembly line.  For example when assembling binders employees may pull all consecutive pages from a list for insertion “in a station” (not on the assembly line) to quickly assemble binders.

Quality is impacted by the first impression, the last impression and the constant impression.  Quality is also impacted by frequent QC at the start of employment to funnel employee into a professional with expertise via training and experience.  There are practical approaches to quality control and alternative quality methods to be explored to improve quality, increase speed and reduce waste.  Setting goals and basic expectations, utilizing policy, manuals and style manuals improve quality.

Implementation steps required for decision maker

1 Serve on diversity and inclusion sub committee

2 research

3 Design training materials

4 Software engineer/training software

5 publish books

6 Set up training conference at UM

THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD:  USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS AT THE INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH, SURVEY SERVICES LAB

7 Augment policies, manuals, procedure to reflect changes

8 Create style manual

9 Implement necessary work place changes

10 Inform employees, media, public, disseminate

 

Conclusion

The research from key references along with case studies will form the basis of a new method to be utilized in power point presentations and later teaching.  A comprehensive list of quality, ethics and problem solving texts will be compiled from the Kreitzberg Library for use in later PHD studies.

The idea has to do with the start of employment and how key training will advance a novice worker from the general population into a professional employee with expertise. Primary research will come from case studies and actual analysis of the workplace.

The long term goal of research in such texts is to disseminate training materials and work products that facilitate specific key goals including the achievement of quality, ethics and problem solving skills in the workplace.

The above research is also valuable for advanced training of CEO’s who may plan for a particular skill set that will impact their distinct contribution as well as the work place.

 

THE FUNNEL SYSTEM METHOD: USING QUALITY CONTROL, PROBLEM SOLVING AND ETHICS TO TRAIN RESEARCH LAB WORKERS

References

Basu, R. (2012). Managing quality in projects (Advances in project management). Burlington, Vt.: Gower.

Beckford, J. (1998). Quality : A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge.

Bone, D. (1989). Quality at work : A personal guide to professional standards (Fifty-Minute series) . Los Altos, Calif.: Crisp.

Caplen, R. (1970). A practical approach to quality control. Princeton N.J: Brandon/Systems Press.

Carreira, B. (2006). Lean six sigma that works : A powerful action plan for dramatically improving quality, increasing speed, and reducing waste. New York: American Management Association.

Cole, R. (1997). Improving theory and research on quality enhancement in organizations : Report of a workshop (The compass series). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Hinds, P. (2002). Distributed work. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Kennedy, George E. & Montgomery, Tracy T., Technical and Professional Problem Solving, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall, 2002

Malin, N. (2000). Professionalism, boundaries and the workplace. London: Routledge.

Schoeman, C. (2014). Ethics can : Managing ethics in the workplace. Randburg: Knowres Publishing.

SRC Survey Research Center, Interviewer Project Manual:  Surveys of Consumers (SCA), University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research

Taylor, J. (1994). Practical problem-solving skills in the workplace (Self-paced learning for a fast-paced world). Place of publication not identified: American Management Association.

Wheeler, S. (2007). Ethics in the workplace. Law and Critique, 18(1), 1-28. doi:10.1007/s10978-006-9008-9

Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu, A00864242

[1] Carpi, Anthony & Egger, Anne E.,  “Uncertainty, Error and Confidence,” Visionlearning, http://www.visionlearning.com

How are the Human Brain and Computers Alike?

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

The human brain and the computer may derive their information and knowledge in different ways –today-but both share cognitive function and are mostly “thinking beings.” According to the Turing Test, which made a distinction between the “imitation of thinking” and true thinking in computers.[1]  Many technological issues, even rights issues, in the future, may involve basic ideas around being “thinking beings.”

A computers knowledge may be derived from artificial intelligence where as a humans, atleast recently, derived  some of their knowledge from learning and somewhat from genetic make-up.

There are many cases where humans have desired a smarter computer, followed by a smarter self, more computer synthesized, which was evident in the millennial popularity of becoming a cyborg and chipping oneself here and there.

Computers may also begin to share more and more human capacity such as with cars developed with super computers and artificial intelligence that may serve as future drivers. One such autonomous vehicle  or computer was able to drive from Erie to Pittsburg without accidents, 200 miles.[2]  In the future things that computers may do that make them more human like may be drive, go to school and learn/study/teach/write/publish, or possess a more defined psychological computation, as was a prior goal of scientists researching artificial intelligence.[3]

Computers and beings have distinct storage, manipulation and sharing-however one scholar said “the likenesses equal the differences.”[4]  If one were to draw a line down the center of a piece of paper and compare humans and computers, in many slots there may not exist an exact counterpart, but a counterpart.  A human brain may have “ a compact tissue of nerve cells, fibers and signals, mobilized neurons with a fundamental relationship with anatomy and function”;[5]a computer may have a central processing unit, motherboard, memory, chip set, cache, ROM, RAM, virtual memory, monitor, keyboard and mouse.[6]  Other things humans are said to have according to  the book “Mind, Brain and Behavior” are “organs, areas, cognitive modules, functional maps, which jointly constitute a workspace.”[7]  Humans may differ from computers in terms of sensory perception, feelings and emotion, but not entirely, many computers also share those attributes.[8]

Many humans felt too status quo within their being and preferred a cyber orientation and perhaps wanted to leave “human” behind and become a machine.  Conversely, it has been desired for computers-full human intelligence. [9]

Some humans have desired a greater human-machine interface and to become “an object for designing.” In Cohen’s film, “Man and The Machine,” it was as if humans were phasing out.

[1] CROCKETT, L. The Turing Test and the Frame Problem : AI’s Mistaken Understanding of Intelligence. Norwood, N.J. : Intellect Books, 1994. (Ablex Series in Artificial Intelligence). ISBN: 9781567500301, Pg. 2

[2][2] Film:  Technoscience, Blurring the Lines Between Man and The Machine, by Lewis Cohen

[3] CROCKETT, L. The Turing Test and the Frame Problem : AI’s Mistaken Understanding of Intelligence. Norwood, N.J. : Intellect Books, 1994. (Ablex Series in Artificial Intelligence). ISBN: 9781567500301, Pg 1.

[4] Quote taken from Sasha Suvorkov said in conversation, unsure of originator.

[5] Changeux, Jean-Pierre. Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative Ser. : L’ Homme de Vérité : Neuroscience and Human Knowledge. Cambridge, US: Harvard University Press, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 29 January 2017.

[6] McKeogh, Cathy, Understanding The Personal Computer, Darnley Publishing Group, 2016, pg, iv-v

[7] Changeux, Jean-Pierre. Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative Ser. : L’ Homme de Vérité : Neuroscience and Human Knowledge. Cambridge, US: Harvard University Press, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 29 January 2017. Pg. 13

[8] Changeux, Jean-Pierre. Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative Ser. : L’ Homme de Vérité : Neuroscience and Human Knowledge. Cambridge, US: Harvard University Press, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 29 January 2017. Pg.13

[9] CROCKETT, L. The Turing Test and the Frame Problem : AI’s Mistaken Understanding of Intelligence. Norwood, N.J. : Intellect Books, 1994. (Ablex Series in Artificial Intelligence). ISBN: 9781567500301, Pg 1.

 

 

What is the Turing Test as it relates to Artificial Intelligence?

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

“The Turing Test” was developed in 1954 by a Scientist named Alan Mathison Turing to understand via a conversational test whether or not a computer is thinking. [1] The challenge according Larry Crocket’s book “The Turing Test and The Frame Problem” may exist in the development of artificial intelligence and when differentiating between whether a computer has “genuine thinking or machine imitation thinking.”

Artificial Intelligence has been described loosely as “manufactured intelligence,” and further defined as “a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.”  Artificial intelligence is also defined as “The capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.”[2]

Goals of the Turing Test may have been “The Turing Machine.”  The “Turing Machine is a hypothetical computing machine that has an unlimited amount of information storage, was developed by A.M. Turing an English Mathematician in 1954.[3]

Other goals for artificial intelligence that were suggested by Crocket were, “further cognitive abilities and computational psychology.”[4]

Significant publications about the Turing Test are A.M. Turing’s 1954 original article, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” which is also included in A.R. Anderson’s 1964 Anthology “Mind’s and Machines.” [5]  Later the A.M Turing’s article was also included in the “Oxford Companion to the Mind.”

More recent publications that shed light on the subject of the Turing Test as it relates to artificial intelligence include books on the Ablex Series in Artificial Intelligence by Yorick Wilks such as  “Chess and Machine Intuition,” by George W. Atkinson, “A Connectionist Language Generator,” by Nigel Ward, “Computer Language and Vision Across the Pacific,” by Yorick Wilks, “Declarative Semantics of Logic Programming,” by Michael Gelfond and Vladimir Lifschitz.

[1] MLA (Modern Language Assoc.)
Crockett, Larry. The Turing Test and The Frame Problem : AI’s Mistaken Understanding Of Intelligence. Norwood, N.J.: Intellect Books, 1994. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Jan. 2017., Pg. 1

[2] Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012, pg. 70

[3] Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012, pg. 1358

[4] CROCKETT, L. The Turing Test and the Frame Problem : AI’s Mistaken Understanding of Intelligence. Norwood, N.J. : Intellect Books, 1994. (Ablex Series in Artificial Intelligence). ISBN: 9781567500301, Pg. 2.

[5] CROCKETT, L. The Turing Test and the Frame Problem : AI’s Mistaken Understanding of Intelligence. Norwood, N.J. : Intellect Books, 1994. (Ablex Series in Artificial Intelligence). ISBN: 9781567500301, Pg 1.