As a graduate student in the online Master of Science in Communication degree program, each class has provided a new scope of knowledge about strategic messaging. I have enjoyed so many rewarding experiences, but for me, my favorite experience may not be what you expect … it is writing a final class paper. You may or may not understand my excitement about this, but I can explain it to you in a rather unorthodox way.
As I have practiced yoga, I’ve learned that a seemingly simple bend of the body can make even grown men cry. But I also yearn for that feeling of endorphins firing on all cylinders after a yoga workout. While writing a final paper is certainly not exercise in the physical sense, it is a workout for my intellect. Check this out.
Sun Salutation (The Beginning)
This pose is perfectly representative of what I feel like at the beginning of a project. Through some “deep dives and bends,” I collect my project guidelines and reading material and then leap forward with my arms outstretched ready for the challenge. Okay, that’s a little over dramatic perhaps … but not by much.
Downward Facing Dog – (The Research)
Though rather unflattering in its presentation, the goal of this pose is to get blood to the brain – hence the head on the floor and the other end facing heavenward. Having a thorough supply of life-giving blood available to your gray matter is certainly necessary for research analysis. However, I will freely admit that sometimes this less-than-glamorous pose amply expresses my feelings during this portion of my final project … but I digress.
Tortoise (The Writing)
This pose represents withdrawal into the safety of my “shell” and connection to my inner world to help me focus. I don’t necessarily think that a body folded in half with arms going one way and feet another would allow me to connect to the internal “me,” but this awkward folding is a perfect description of the amount of effort it takes to write an understandable, informative and cohesive paper.
Corpse (The Finish!)
Pretending to be dead is the perfect way to end this process. A little morbid, perhaps, but I don’t mean it in that way. I feel a sense of rest, completion and a job well done that relaxes me and gives me that good feeling of accomplishment when I finish a major project. A little touch of the ethereal world is most welcomed at this time.
My favorite Purdue experience may not be a dazzling report of amazing feats and may not be what exhilarates you as an online student at Purdue, but, one thing I know: when I have finished a project and have flexed, extended, twisted, pronated, contorted, and maybe even experienced some pain, I have confidence that I have become a better person and have made myself more marketable as a communication professional. Thank you Purdue for challenging me and stretching my abilities. Boiler up!
Sandra Roddenbury is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.
About the Author
I have bachelor’s degrees in English and in nursing and am enrolled in the Master of Science in Communication program at Purdue University.
I am a registered nurse, but I’ve also taught English in public school and online. I now work as the Patient Communication Consultant at Lakeland Regional Health in Lakeland, Florida. My career passion is to find a way to enhance patient communication so that it results in better outcomes for patients and improves the healthcare organization of which I’m a part.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.