Review: Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”

Review: Amy Tan’s “Mother Tongue”

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Amy Tan’s, “Mother Tongue,” is a sentimental short story which chronicles the relationship between mother and daughter while looking through the lens of language.  Tan, describes herself as speaking two “Englishs” that relate to Chinese immigration and second generation American born English scholarship.  The author centers the dialog on scholarship in general and her rebellion to become a writer while so many Chinese focus on STEM subjects.  In the end, Tan’s mother’s hard work and attention to financial details, advances the second generation and as if a privilege, Tan is able to take a unique path into writing.  The theme of Amy Tan’s, “Mother Tongue,” is English and culture because she focuses on immigration, second-generation issues and English scholarship.

The author’s goal may be to highlight English scholarship. However, her goals may have a cultural aim and strategy.  In the end, are more Chinese guided towards English scholarship and the documentation of unique Chinese histories?  Can Chinese absence from writing be described as a lack of historical documentation? It may become compulsory that a slice of the population treasure and document the immigrant experience and China’s history through China’s special lens. The first point illustrates and establishes the author as a scholar of English. The article commences with her sophisticated ideas around English, “the way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.” Amy Tan opens the essay, “Mother Tongue,” with a rhetorical question, “I am not a scholar of English or literature.”

Amy Tan goes on to describe the intricacies of English both within her family and within her academic life as all her “English’s”.  When describing the debut of her novel, “Joy Luck Club,” she said, “the intersection of memory and imagination.” Scholarship may be guided in this way via the door through which one walks and that may be a second generation door of immigration to America. Scholarship also presents itself as something cultivated and culturally refined where English as Second Language (ESL) English may highlight, “past perfect tenses or conditional phrases.” An immigrant may present fresh eyes on a subject or even on a language with more acute sensitivity to its variations or what she describes as thoughts about the “power of language and how it can evoke an emotion, a visual image or simple truth.” Part of Tan’s power may also be as a gifted historian and scholar, she may extract special selections that are autobiographical, memoir or cultural, which shine an intimate light on what this group’s experience may be.

The second point deals with what culture dictates in terms of language, relationships, customs, common practices, charm, and generational differences.  She recounts a story of her and her Mother in a memoir styled chronicling of their relationship, exploiting tender and comic moments.  Tan had to impersonate her mother as a child by telephone to stockbrokers.  She would say, “This is Mrs. Tan,” and her mother would say in a whisper next to her, ‘why he don’t send me check, already two weeks late. So mad he lie to me, losing me money.’ Then Tan in perfect English says, “Yes, I’m getting rather concerned.  You had agreed to send the check two weeks ago, but it hasn’t arrived.” Tan comically uses the above exchange to show off her two English’s. She details for the reader how language barriers play a role in immigrant life.  She shows how a loving daughter may come to assist her parent.  The author used the verb “wrought” in terms of vocabulary which may use language associated to irons and metals to describe older generations with difficulty assimilating.  What becomes paramount are the unique conditions that come to inform the trajectory of the author.  Cultural practice may lead to career choice when guided by shortages and necessities.

Tan may have been proving her worth to American readers, inspiring Chinese-Americans to alternative career choices and filling in gaps.  Her mother may have been financially savvy enabling her departure from the normal cultural standards.  Amy Tan’s mother was painted as financially savvy.  “She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily with her stockbroker, reads Shirley MacLaine’s books with ease-all kinds of things I can’t begin to understand.” Tan’s mother’s savvy was the magic elixir that produced a second generation scholar and rebel. The hard work of immigrant parents enables the future generations to choose, to differ, to experiment, to do what they really, really want to do- or start to get into new areas.  Tan’s choice to become an English scholar was culturally fresh. Many Chinese may be drawn to STEM fields or engineering in a manufacturing focused country. In the end, other sectors may have had shortages, inclusive of English. Language barriers may have also been an impediment.

Tan illustrated in “Mother Tongue,” how life threatening or moments of struggle have comic relief which she relates back to English and scholarship. The necessity for Tan’s family for her to improve on the families English may have transformed her into an English scholar. Necessity as the old saying goes can be the mother of invention.  The two ideas combined both finance and English may have joined forces to advance via her mother’s shrewd business practices and secondly out of necessity to satisfy a need her family and country of origin lacked.

Amy Tan’s, “Mother Tongue,” highlighted a need for Chinese immigrants to document and chronicle their lives.  Tan highlighted this comic and tender language barrier that may drive future generations into writing fields and English scholarship. The shrewdness of their parents in finance will open doors to fill in gaps that may later account for missing histories or the detailing of the immigrant experience. Tan leaves the reader with a feeling of general liberation, rebellion, distinction, trailblazer, and necessity.

Tan used the context of language and scholarship to illustrate the immigrant experience.  Tan’s use of comic relief shows how tragic experiences have a kind of duplicity, where in a moment two “Englishs” can be spoken.  Tan, a trailblazer, may usher in a new generation of Chinese writers.

Language and writing have a variety of doors and your background becomes the guiding force for your skills. Chinese immigrants to California may have prospered to the extent that their offspring are catapulted to stardom.

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

 

Invisible President: Leadership Notes and On Distinguishing Yourself as a Leader

Leadership Notes and On Distinguishing Yourself as a Leader

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

Achievement of Quality

Problem Solving

Ethics

Human Resources, Team Building/Builder,

Branding, Cultural Branding

Organizational Epistemology

Cleanliness/Hygiene Distinction

Claim to Fame

Technical and Business Writing

Project Management

Big Idea, Big Information

Humanitarianism

Direction/Vision

Health, culture, education

Building path to prosperity, Office of Rivus and Gloria (building distribution channels, franchises, business consulting, restaurant and store supplier, public relations and promotional activity, touring, performance network)

Social Companies (joint ownership with governance, exiting lopsided capitalistic models)

Living Business Models

New Era:  Equanimity, Social, Humanitarian, Merit & Notoriety, Mastership/end of predatory, hierarchal society, classism, capitalism

Planning

Lead back to love, speak and write in positive

Framing and reframing, scaffolding

Penmanship

Research Methodology

Survey Technology

Bias

Creativity

Idea Development

Writing

History, Historical Development

Tops and Bottoms President

Statistics

Well Read, Building a personal library

Setting the tone, Leading by Example, Bars, Creating an environment

Glazing

Notch and Notch

Architectural Planner

A social “net” below to catch those who may be falling

Social System

Promoting Fitness

Teaching Environment, whole people or whole staff eg penmanship

Beauty

Building Wealth

Technology

Training for mistakes, problems and emergencies

Exemplary Training

Research about work

Research about burden

Collecting sadness, pain and suffering for transformation

Creating opportunities

Merit and notoriety

Time Schedules

Benefit Systems

Logistics

Fulfillment

Linguistics and Languages

Questions

Quepine (Questions, Proverbs and News)

Media

Cultural Offerings

ADVANCED PROBLEM SOLVING, ETHICS AND THE ACHIEVEMENT OF QUALITY

Problem Solving Techniques as Applied to the Workplace:  Discussion of Proposal to Key Decision Makers

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

Case Study Analysis to Generate a List of Ethics Necessities and Strategies:  Looking at Examples of What is Ethics, Where and How is it needed?

Bias and Scholarship

Funnel System Streamlining, Using Frequent QC in Early Employment Trainings

Universal, National, Community, Organizational and Professional Standards Compilation

Achievement of Quality as an Educational, Workplace and National Goal, 3 Perspectives

National Goals Research and Development

Indicators, Catalysts, Synonyms, Aspects, Examples, Technical, Ideals, and Forms of Quality

Professionalism as Catalyst to Quality, Definition of a Professional

Ideals as Indicative of Quality, Humanitarianism as an Ideal

Ideals as Indicative of Quality, Social as an Ideal:  Sociology, Social Company, Social System, Social Work

SAFTEE Questionnaire,Benchmark of  Health

Blank Slating The Perfected Human

Eg. 3  General research into QA & QC

Eg.4 Historical look at Quality and examples

Eg.5  Specific trainings

Eg.6 The making of machinery as it relates to quality (make everything you need to make paper)

Eg.7 Uncertainty, Error and Confidence by Anthony Carpi

Eg.8  Perfected Humans

Eg.9  Precision of body hands and movement

Eg. 10 Spiritual Optimality (martial arts)

Eg. 11 Word processing, cutting, straight lines, eyes vision, writing & speech

Eg. 12 Strength and Endurance Training

Eg. 13 All workers need to be engineers

Eg. 14 All workers need to be healthy

Eg. 15 Know how things are made

Eg. 16 All your workers need to be fit

Eg. 17 whole nation needs to be able to “organism”

Eg. 18 All good programmers

Eg. 19 Figure out the ideal method for all tasks

Eg. 20 to prototype, to match, to have a bar, samples

Eg. 21 Measurements

Eg. 22 Use of Technology

Eg. 23 Trials, testing

Eg. 24 Training methods & Management Training

Eg. 25 Quality of Condition

Eg. 26 Quality of life of Workers

Eg. 27 Teaching environment

Eg. 28 Cleaning

Eg. 29 McDonald’s

Eg. 30 Streamlining

Eg. 31 Franchises

Security, Protection, Defense, Military & Plan to Eliminate Crime

Natural Resources

Electricity

Transportation

Media System

Teaching

Educational System

Raising children

Meetings Design

Design and build a happy life for all citizens

Design a thriving nation

Implement good behavior

Make your people aesthetically pleasing

Literary Network (inclusive of libraries, book stores, online, reading cities)

Credential System

Design & build

Manufacturing

Legal Scaffolding, theory of divine order of being

Creativity

Architectural guidance (fitness, creativity, claim to fame, education)

Basic Human Account & Birthright Package

Equivalent Wage

Development of Creative Sector and Industrial Strengths

Beautification

Leadership pedagogy

Fear Training

Housing issues,mortgage and architectural financial issues

A network of professional organizations and non profit or  social organizations that support the social system

 

good for people with disabilities, good for the elderly, good for children, good for diversity, good for internationalism,

good for businesses to thrive, good for nature, good housing prices, low cost foods, low cost of living, low rents for students,

good schools, good roads, no pollution and great culinary

 

Developing natural areas like sledding hills, forests, pilgrimages, areas for walking, cycling lanes, places for animals to live, diverse tree population, ice skating places, winter wonderlandish, life with water ways for boating and swimming, places for exercise, tracks for running and walking buddies, interesting rocks and geological, helicopter docks for getting up to remote places and back, clean and fresh air, cedar chips and fragrant places, eucalyptus gardens, natural springs, beaches, State Parks, Buffalo Parks, Bird Watching, flowers, perennials and annuals, topiary shrubs, bonsai gardens, painting gardens, Falun Gong in the Park every non raining AM and PM, Amphibians, public or community fire pits, boat launches and public restrooms, everyday environmental scientists with magnifying glasses, outdoor sporting areas, stores and plans eg Home Depot plans for outdoor houses like teepees and huts and the great outdoors supplies in general, outdoor places for prayers and spirituality, vistas, panoramas and panorama services

 

“Curesdatabase” & “Office of Humiliation” Healthcare Center, Research connected directly to healthcare where illnesses without cures go directly to research, register illnesses and require cures, fight epidemics and humiliating STDS, end disability with advanced technological cures

Office of Opportunities

Office of Pain & Suffering ( handle auto accidents instead of insurance)

Office of Burdens and Suffering

Food Supply, Grocery Store Circuit

Diplomacy

Diplomat Magazine (Leadership Photos and reportage by Government)

Labs, practicums,” Intellicade,” Book of Schools of Knowledge, hubs and dynamic databases

Future Thinkers

Longevity and long term living or eternal life, adjusting life expectancy

Office of Fee Inquiry that adjust all prices, rents and balances economy

Steering Committee

Population studies, Office of layers (age groups and addressing their distinct needs), Office of Needs and Necessities

Office of Rights and Responsibilities (right to a land and right to housing)

Government required work units, working on behalf of the whole

Work conditions, employment, work research, doings and undoings, work hub

Serwagi Sani-mental health sanitariums (Sani as achievement of mental health)

Subsidization of wages and offset

Cultural Development

“MYW”-Make Your World as a University, “MOAU”-Making of a Universe as University

Library credentialed degrees/university

Mushroom School with grants and dissemination oriented education

Song Books

Mastership and advanced studies

Financial System

Internationalism, globalization, International Affairs, partnerships, diplomacy

 

Outline/extract from forthcoming book on Leadership Training and Platform by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

 

 

 

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

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, www.visionlearning.com

Up to Snuff #44: Letters and Memos

Up to Snuff #44:  Letters and Memos

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

According to Kennedy’s, “Technical and Professional Writing,” a memo records “an opinion, an action, a plan or a train of events.” (Kennedy, pg. 361) Memos are said to be for insiders and include in their basic initiation To, From, Date and Subject stacked up, skip two lines a purpose statement, then background information, then summary or answer, reference to another memo or correspondence, then develop pertinent details, conclusion, typists initials, enclosures.  (Kennedy, Pg. 365)

A letter, in contrast to a memo, generally “solves problems with or for outsiders.” (Kennedy, 361) When letters arrive to insider’s examples may include things like “congratulatory letters, recommendation letters, letters of promotion, disciplinary letters, and letters of resignation or dismissal.” (Kennedy, 361)

What should be included in a business letter are at top senders name and address centered with name bold, skip 3 lines, date, skip 3 lines, recipients name title & address, skip one line, salutation recipient and colon, skip one line, pertinent information ~3 paragraphs or more, complimentary close, skip 4 lines to printed name with senders signature above.  (Kennedy, Pg. 363, Figure 10.1)  The basic structure of letters and memo’s is absolute and includes an introduction, a body and a conclusion.  (Kennedy, Pg. 364)

I have held jobs were letter writing was a constant and regular event.  The most common things in this particular job with an art center that I worked on were emails or thank you letters to donors.  The letters usually contained about 3 paragraphs in which to cite the gift and give thanks while acknowledging how the gift would be applied.  Then in the second paragraph to warm the donor with a personal connection and in the final closing paragraph to invite the donor to enjoy the many offerings by highlighting current and upcoming events at the arts center. Then close the letter and sometimes add an ink or personal note to further warm the donor.  It was imperative to use things like templates connected to the database, csv files and mail merge plus professionally sealing letters with a plastic water and sponge gadget and thinking about the reader’s first glance. Even the choice of seasonal stamp mattered and often beautified or even revolutionized the letters.

The recipients of a memo may be internal “insiders” within a company or organization and the recipients of a letter tend to be external or “outsiders.”  An inside memo may have a more casual format than a letter which may be contractual or even of  legal quality, more formal and considerably more restrained.

Kennedy, George E. & Tracy T. Montgomery, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, Upper Saddle River, NJ Prentice Hall

 

 

 

Up to Snuff #35: Comparing Letter of Transmittal, Abstract and Introduction within a Proposal

Up to Snuff #35:  Comparing Letter of Transmittal, Abstract and Introduction within a Proposal
By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Letter of Transmittal-According to The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Scientific Writing Section 2.5.3 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology website (http://web.mit.edu/course/21/21.guide/l-trans.htm), the Letter of Transmittal should be brief and is synonymous with a “Cover Letter.”  The first paragraph describes “what is being sent and the purpose for sending it.”  Common conventions used in a Letter of Transmittal are the terminology “herewith” in the first paragraph and in the second paragraph “passive voice” very often in reference to estimates in grant proposals.  For example one may write I submit____herewith a proposal entitled____ to be performed under my direction in_________.  In the second paragraph one may write something like “I am requesting in the amount of ______total estimated for the period of_____through_____.”  Use of passive voice in the second paragraph statement with the verb “to be” in front of request is considered appropriate.

“A longer transmittal letter may summarize the key elements of the proposal in one or two sentences and provide the recipient with other useful information. A Transmittal Letter or cover letter accompanies a larger item usually a document.  A Transmittal Letter provides the recipient with a specific context in which to place the larger document and simultaneously giving the sender a permanent record of having sent the material.  End Transmittal Letters with one sentence paragraph that establishes “goodwill” by thanking or complimenting the recipient. (“The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and & Scientific Writing,” Section 2.5.3, http://web.mit.edu/course/21/21.guide/l-trans.htm)

End with for any questions relating to technical aspects etc. contact and phone number.  The goodwill statement can be something like “your consideration of my proposal is greatly appreciated.”  Also end with enclosures:  Proposal and cc:

An Abstract- According to the Purdue Owl, “an Abstract is a brief summary of the paper allowing readers to quickly review the main points and purpose of the paper.  An Abstract should be between 150-250 words, abbreviations and acronyms used in the paper should be defined in the abstract.  The word abstract should be centered and typed in 12 point Times New Roman.  Do not indent the first line of the Abstract paragraph.  All other paragraphs in the paper should be indented.”   (Purdue Owl, APA Sample Paper, https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/18/)

The examples Purdue Owl uses, “this paper explores 4 published articles that report on results from research conducted on online and offline relationships and their relationship to computer mediated communication.  Some questions proposed by Purdue owl in an abstract are:  How they vary?  What they suggest in articles?  Definitions?  Whose research was examined?  How they influence subject of proposal? Keywords?

Introduction to a Proposal-“Title should be centered on page and 12 point Times New Roman font not bolded, underlined or italicized.  The introduction presents the problem that the paper addresses.”  Numerous studies have been conducted (their focus), however what results indicated, due to what circumstances, who suggests what, to understand problem what should be studied, what paper examines.  If article has 3 to 5 authors write out all of the author’s names first time they appear, then first author’s last name followed by “et. Al””

(Purdue Owl, APA Sample Paper, https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/18/)

How similar? One is often summarizing in a specific way key elements.  Sometimes they are presenting the proposal, sometimes presenting the problem, sometimes summarizing the paper.

Why not redundant in purpose? Each topic has its task to achieve.

References

Kennedy, Goerge E & Tracy T. Montgomery, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, Upper Saddle River, NJ Prentice Hall

Purdue Owl, APA Sample Paper, https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/18/

Perelman, Leslie & Paradis, James &, Barret, Edward, Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing, McGraw-Hill Companies, The, 1/17/1997, Transmittal Letter, Section 2.5.3, http://web.mit.edu/course/21/21.guide/l-trans.htm

What is significant about the 2005 Kansas Board of Education hearings regarding evolution and Intelligent Design?

By, Afua Osei-Bonsu

Question 1)

Why is Intelligent Design (ID) untestable?  ID has to do with how do new things originate?  According to the “Nature of Science,” By Christine V. McClelland,[1]“Creationism, Creation Science and Intelligent Design (ID) are spiritual concepts” that involve events of phenomena.” Science has long had conflict with spiritual concepts that are not necessarily grounded in the scientific method, are not testable and are based on the belief in supernatural events.[2]

 Question 2)

“What was the big deal about the 2005 Kansas State Board of Education rewording of science?”

The Kansas State Board of Education held hearings about how to define science and how to teach science with conflicting evidence including that of evolution, Darwinism and Intelligent Design. [3]

Teachers were in turmoil while religious and political groups promoted ideas about Creationism and Intelligent Design that aligned with their group’s ideas including those supporting supernatural events within their framing of origin that competed with popular biological and scientific ideas based on fact and perhaps things such as DNA Helix.[4]  What was to be taught in high schools and posted on websites like the popular website detailing “what is science?” to children:  (http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/babysfirstresearch)

The 2005 Kansas State Board of Education could actually unveil a long term “shroud of ignorance” that published and promoted to students mythical and supernatural ideas that misinformed and mislead students to base their education on something that was not testable or rooted in facts.

The Board of Education settled on teaching a “controversy method,” and “critical analysis of evolution.”  One goal of the outcome was to help students make “informed decisions.”[5]

Perhaps the case presented a juncture in which students may begin to question deeply existentialism, dogma and life origins.  It is unclear if schools will ever present real, tangible, evidence and fact based education.

[1] McClelland, Christine V, The Nature of Science and the Scientific Method

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_evolution_hearings

[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_evolution_hearings­­­

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_evolution_hearings­­­

[5]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_evolution_hearings­­­

 

Up to Snuff #15: Definition of a Professional

A Definition of a Professional 

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

A professional could be the equivalent of that directional decision or epiphany one has when they desire “expertise” in a subject or field.  The other day in a technology role one woman thought perhaps she will become an “apps expert” or an apprentice in skilled trades or research the history of Santeria.  Many blocks of knowledge present opportunity to win expertise and become a “professional.”

A professional could be someone like the example in this week’s readings about Edward Rolf Tufte, who may have become so “professional” that he offers a one day course, writes books and works as a Yale professor and sculptor.[1]  Tufte’s example illustrates mastership in several fields such as “data” or “elegant design” which is exhibited by quality products, services, and dissemination-when the quality of ones tasks, results and ability achieves a degree of professionalism.  An indicator of a “professional” may be also the alignment with teaching something they know, or having achieved professorship or become a trainer.

Professionalism elicits respect.  Professionalism may be characteristic of a “singular effort,” “practiced discipline and skill”[2].  Many professionals find that their positions require them to “write in response to a problem,”[3] ask questions, write on diverse subjects and in diverse professional styles.  Professionals are also said to require professional meetings and often write for and read professional journals.

Professionals when they start to break down problems that become prominent in their roles need skills for problem solving.  Problems can be broken down into two elements called “technical” or “fundamental workings of the professional discipline” or two “rhetorical” “the “communication of workings about what has been done and will be done about them to the people interested.”[4]

A professional may also likely avoid disputes, arguing, fighting or undesirable comments about performance.  Traditional professionals study in many schools of knowledge and achieve degrees from associate to Ph.D.  [5]

When looking in Latin for roots to professional or professor or “proficio,” “things like public declaration  of one’s name, property or occupation, authority, expert, authoritative, of persons who make progress, advance, gain ground-maybe even literally, to be of use, to assist, to help, to declare oneself anything.”[6]

A professional may also be someone who keeps society “running well, effectively, efficiently, humanely.” [7] Professional has also been described as a “social notion.” [8] Professional is also described as “high standards of performance, accuracy, thoroughness, honesty and integrity.”[9]

A professional may utilize sophisticated tools, software or hardware, or specific trade resources and in the example of “Latin prose composition as suggested by Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, regarded as an integral part of classical scholarship the student should refer back to the Latin-English for further illumination.”[10]

[1]Smith, Fran, Stanford Magazine, “Intelligent Designs: When Information needs to be communicated Edward Tufte Demands both Truth and Beauty” Page 1

https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=32152#.WA8ACFzYS5c.email

[2] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[3] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[4] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[5]Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work,  2002, pages 3-5.

[6] Simpson, D.P., Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, 1968, page 477.

[7] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[8] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[9] Kennedy, George, Technical and Professional Writing:  Solving Problems at Work, 2002, pages 3-5.

[10]Simpson, D.P., Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, Latin-English, Wiley Publishing, 1968, Preface, p. vii

Mathematics and Natural Language

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

There was once a technical writing class that gave the assignment to take a specific piece of conversation and write next to every line either “warrant” or “claim.”[1] It was as if all conversation were shaped by this basic “volley” and formula.

Life is perhaps rooted in this method where one offers supports, proofs and eventually warrants a claim, to build a basic conversation. Daily conversation is similar to the process of “justified true belief” in the epistemic pursuit of knowledge-people go about making claims and offering proof within regular conversation.

In the book “Mathematics of Language,” language descriptions are made in regards to the use of “known algorithms that parse ‘context free language’ (CFL’s) in cubic time or less.”[2] Apparently, there are “math models that are especially suited to the natural languages.”[3]

Logic from mathematics may be the foundation of natural language. Logic may be what lies right below our conversation.

“The natural languages are the familiar class of the formal languages that were also described as the input evidence available to children and learnable.”[4]

When looking at the foundations of mathematics there were parallels made about mathematics and Platonism, Formalism, Logicism, Constructivism and Geometrical perspectives.  [5]

The book Mathematics and the Natural Sciences highlighted “analyses of human cognition,” philosophy of knowledge and mathematics impact or service to highly “mathematized” physics and biology.[6]

The following describes mathematics: “Mathematics has “rational coherence,” deals with “matter” and “of life,” “living” and “inert,” is reducible, has phenomenalities, simultaneous measurement, position and momentum, physical time and space via living phenomena.”

Mathematics has cognitive foundations such as those in logic.

Footnotes

[1] Eastern Michigan University, Professor Benninghoff, Technical Writing

[2] Mathematics of Language: Proceedings of a conference held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 1984, Contributor, Manaster-Ramer, Alexis, John Benjamins Publishing Company, January 1987, pg. 3

[3] Mathematics of Language: Proceedings of a conference held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 1984, Contributor, Manaster-Ramer, Alexis, John Benjamins Publishing Company, January 1987, pg. 1

[4] Mathematics of Language: Proceedings of a conference held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 1984, Contributor, Manaster-Ramer, Alexis, John Benjamins Publishing Company, January 1987, pg. 1

[5] Longo, Giuseppe. ADVANCES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING: TEXTS : MATHEMATICS AND THE NATURAL SCIENCES : The Physical Singularity of Life. River Edge, US: Imperial College Press, 2011. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 February 2017. Pg. v

[6] Longo, Giuseppe. ADVANCES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING: TEXTS : MATHEMATICS AND THE NATURAL SCIENCES : The Physical Singularity of Life. River Edge, US: Imperial College Press, 2011, pg. vii

[7] Longo, Giuseppe. ADVANCES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING: TEXTS : MATHEMATICS AND THE NATURAL SCIENCES : The Physical Singularity of Life. River Edge, US: Imperial College Press, 2011, pg. viii