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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Marketing Plan Coffee Stand

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I. Executive Summary � Mountain Mudd is an exclusive purveyor of coffee in South Dakota. With a franchise location located at Ellsworth Air Force Base in the Base Exchange parking lot. We serve a wide variety of coffee and frozen coffee beverages. Mountain Mudd has been in operation since December 001. Its average sales are $00-$400 per day. This marketing plan covers how to increase and maintain a constant sales rate of $400 per day. Mountain Mudd currently operates Monday-Saturday 6am-5pm. Plans include, increasing hours of operation to serve customers that visit the Education Center until 11pm Monday-Thursday. Mountain Mudd does not entertain any comparable competition within 10 miles. We plan to have all equipment in good standing operation and employ a part-time handyman to service any malfunctioning equipment to serve all of our customers needs. We do not plan on increasing prices, as current prices are in-line with the market. We currently have three employees and plan to hire one more to cover evening shifts. All supplies will be stocked on a weekly basis, as compared to the bi-weekly basis currently. We plan to utilize the services of UPS to replenish low stock on a weekly basis as compared to the monthly stock we receive now. We will not turn any customer away because we are out of a certain supply. The only major modifications being made to our current marketing plan is how stock and supplies are replenished. Minor modifications are being made to operating hours and training procedures.


II. Environmental Analysis


a. The marketing environment


1. Competitive Forces-Our major competitor is AAFES Shoppette. They offer more services at one site than Mountain Mudd. They do not offer quality coffee at their site, rather convenience coffee from a drip pot. Their strengths include; longer operating hours, lower prices, and more products offered in one stop. Their weaknesses include; a low quality coffee product, little choice as to various flavors of coffee, and they do not offer Granita. We expect AAFES to do nothing to measure to our standards since they are not purveyors of coffee. The industry is structured in a unique way that the more competition the better. This is so due to being a convenience impulse item. If a customer has to wait in line a drive-thru they will be more inclined to stop at the next coffee stand on the way to their destination. As Ellsworth AFB will not allow anymore drive-thru coffee stands, we do not foresee any new competitive forces.


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. Economic Forces-The local economy is generally stable and steadily growing. Our customers are spending more, as recent trends show, due to high number of deployed service members. More customers are relying on convenience and comfort food and beverages. In general, our customers are optimistic about the economy. Consumers in the local area are spending more as families of deployed service members are generating more revenue. Recent trends show consumers buying more of our product since we serve as a comfort product with habitual buying behavior developing in the local area.


. Political Forces-No current elections have changed the political landscape. Mountain Mudd has not been faced with any new controls or gatekeepers. More consumers are purchasing our product. War activities have been beneficial to profits and sales. The only bureaucracy we face is that of maintaining our hut on AAFES property. We currently are under a five-year contact that states all utilities will be paid and we will pay rent in the sum of five percent of gross sales.


4. Legal and Regulatory Forces-No new regulations have affected our business.


5. Technological Forces-As Mountain Mudd is seen as a service business as well as a product business; we are not influenced by any new technology at this time. The machines we have in operation are still top of the line and will continue to serve our purpose for years to come. At which time our equipment becomes obsolete we will replace it.


6. Sociocultural Forces-It is en vogue to drink espresso-type coffee drinks. As our area and customers are concerned with status we will continue to thrive capitalizing on the psychological aspect of our trendy products. One challenge we face is developing a strong pricing strategy. Consumers might feel they are paying more for less since our product is costly. To stay in line with demand we will continue to monitor our pricing and value-added services.


b. Target Markets


1. Identification-Our average customer is between the ages of 18-5. The average wage is $0,000-$4,000 per year. Our customers range in educational levels from high school graduate through postgraduate. The current Mountain Mudd location is less than ideal for maximum profit but suitable. It is located on a major road with a daily car count of 1,700. Ideal car count is 10,000 or more. South Dakota climate is ideal for our business. With the majority of months during the year producing cold weather, consumers demand rarely falls at any given time. In respect to our usage rate, the majority, approximately 80 percent, are heavy users. During the hours of six a.m. and nine a.m., we serve the majority of our customers. The benefits sought from our products are taste, value, and status.


. Needs Analysis-Our customer’s needs are being met by producing a quality product and offering superior service. Our local competition has put to use an espresso machine, which has not returned any profit, as it is not the quality product consumer’s desire. The Ellsworth location will continue to support a population of approximately 10,000 people. Forecasting does not expect any major increases or decreases due to population change.


c. Current Marketing Objectives


1. Review of current marketing objectives-We inform our target market of new products and flavors we carry. The hut window informs customers about special price promotions. We persuade our current customers by building brand preference since we carry a high quality product. Finally, we remind our customers of our operating hours to encourage returning at other convenient times. Our current marketing needs to change to increase flow of traffic. A new Education Center has been built in our parking lot and we need more of those consumers to know our hours and our products.


. Performance Analysis-We currently serve an average of 00 customers a day. A single cup of coffee costs us .5 cents to produce. The average customer is paying $.00 per cup of coffee. Our current performance is much lower than those in the industry. This is a result of serving such an isolated population. Maintaining three percent of the traffic flow is the current goal to remain profitable. The industry as a whole is thriving due to status, trends, and convenience. To increase profits and sales, we need to direct some financial effort to advertising to our target market. Currently we do not do any advertising.


III. Strengths and Weaknesses


a. Strengths


1. We have no competition within 10 miles. Being a convenience and impulse buy item, we rely heavily upon not having any direct competition in the same geographic area.


. We serve a top quality product, which is not offered at the AAFES Shoppette. Customer’s seeking quality coffee have one choice.


b. Weaknesses


1. Mountain Mudd defines one weakness as the consumer awareness. The general population in our geographic area does not know what products we serve. We need to organize a small advertising effort of increase consumer awareness that we can meet their coffee needs.


. One of our frozen drink mixers is broken and has been for over a year. We need to invest the money to fix our Granita machine as one-third of our customers from May-October request frozen drinks and we have to turn them away.


IV. Opportunities and Threats


a. Opportunities


1. The opening of the new Education Center on Ellsworth last September has increased flow in our parking lot by 40% during the hours of 4pm-11pm. We need to extend our hours to serve this increased traffic.


. Ellsworth has a local publication (The Black Hills Bandit) that charges a minimal cost ($0 for weeks) for advertising rates. This publication is free to readers and is placed in all shopping establishments surrounding our location.


b. Threats


1. Mountain Mudd is threatened by a declining customer service by not repairing the Granita machine. Turning customers away is bad business and we stand to lose more customers by word of mouth advertising by not offering the entire assortment of products we should.


. Operating on limited hours has threatened our livelihood. We need to extend our hours from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. to keep our potential customers from going to AAFES Shoppette for coffee and frozen drinks.


c. Matching Strengths and Opportunities


1. Mountain Mudd can match its strengths and opportunities by building stronger brand recognition within our geographic location. In addition, if we advertise in The Black Hills Bandit newspaper we will allow our target market to know our business hours and some of our products.


. Mountain Mudd can convert its weaknesses into strengths by servicing the Granita machine and publicizing our operating hours.


. Mountain Mudd can convert its threats into opportunity by repairing non-operable equipment and making he target market aware of products and hours of operation.


V. Marketing


a. Marketing Objective 1 - Our objective is to sell 00 cups off coffee per day. Having no competition within ten miles gives us competitive advantage. To achieve and sustain this sales rate we will have to fix the Granita machine to service those customers who go to AAFES for an Icee when we turn them away. This is consistent with Mountain Mudd’s mission in providing superior service and top quality coffee products.


b. Marketing Objective - Our objective is to provide excellent customer service as a value-added incentive. The number of repeat customers measure this. We want to follow consumer-oriented marketing practices so we continue to serve the consumers needs. This objective converts the weakness of consumers not knowing we exist by encouraging word-of-mouth advertising and strong repeat sales.


VI. Marketing Strategies


a. Target market


1. Our target market is; aged 0-4, family size 1-, young, single and married with young children, income range of $0,000-$4,000, most are working-class military members, most are in Generation X and Echo Boomers, varied nationalities. This is a trend-oriented market and espresso is not only tasty but also trendy. Our only competitor is AAFES Shoppette who serves a watery low quality version of our product.


. Our target market is also a mix of differentiated and concentrated marketing. Many of our consumers share commonalities such as occupation, income, and education levels. But, we serve a vast number of visitors traveling through the area and temporary employees of the Base.


b. Marketing Mix


1. We use value pricing to serve our customers. Part of the cost is our operating cost plus buyers’ perception of the value. Primarily we rely upon perceptions of the consumer to determine what the market will bear. Mountain Mudd offers the right combination of quality and great service at a fair price.


. Attempting to use intermarket segmentation, we have a new base to segment which is the population visiting the Base Education Center in the evening Monday through Thursday. Advertising within the walls of the Education Center and bulletin boards will target this market.


VII. Marketing Implementation


a. Market Organization - The marketing unit will be organized by market management. This system is most advantageous so front line employees can determine what products our specific market is demanding. Decision-making authority over $100 lay ultimately with the owner of Mountain Mudd. Marketing decisions as to what the windows of the hut will advertise is up to the employees manning the hut. Front line employees will be empowered to make decisions regarding changing the flavor of the day coffee, determining if a customer is entitled to a free cup of coffee for a previous mistake, and for planning discounted or promotional pricing days throughout the week. We will ensure our employees make the right decision by spending 8 hours of training with a seasoned employee before going on their own and during that training go over scenarios that will define Mountain Mudd’s customer philosophy and help the new employee understand how to make decisions.


b. Activities, responsibilities, and timetable for completion


1. Product Activity


a. Maintain variety of 4 Torino flavors to add to coffee and other drinks.


i. Area manager responsible


ii. Weekly


b. Uphold quality milk standards for daily stock (Low-fat, no-fat, and soy)


i. Area manager responsible


ii. Daily


. Pricing Activity


a. Product line pricing


i. Owner responsible


ii. Quarterly


b. Pay all invoices within discount period


i. Owner responsible


ii. Weekly


. Distribution Activities


a. Distribute restocking supplies from Billings, Montana (Main Warehouse) via UPS


i. Owner responsible


ii. Bi-Monthly


b. Restock milk supply


i. Area Manager responsible


ii. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday


4. Promotion Activities


a. Place ad in the Black Hills Bandit


i. Area Manager responsible


ii. Monthly


b. Inform customers of daily specials by handing out menus and updating windows signs


i. Front Line Employees


ii. Daily


VIII. Evaluation and Control


a. Performance standards and financial controls


1. Product Activity


a. $01.60 � Monthly Budget


i. No customer complaints about being out of a flavor


ii. Allocating more profits for expanding Torino flavors


b. $0.40 � Monthly Budget


i. No outdated milk product in-stock


ii. Inspecting milk daily for spoilage


. Pricing Activity


a. Maintain pricing standards


i. Keep prices in check with national average


ii. No corrective action


b. Pay all invoices within discount period


i. All discounts are applied for paying within allotted discount period


ii. Reroute incoming mail to Area Manager to itemize payables to submit to Owner.


. Distribution Activities


a. Distribute restocking supplies from Billings, Montana (Main Warehouse) via UPS


i. The hut will never be without adequate stock


ii. Area manager will drive to Billings, MT twice per month to pick-up stock and supplies


b. Restock milk supply


i. No spoiled milk


ii. Receive milk from a more reliable supplier if milk stock is continually spoiled


4. Promotion Activities


a. Place ad in the Black Hills Bandit-$5 Monthly


i. Number of customers referring to newspaper ad


ii. Include coupons in newspaper to increase sales


b. Inform customers of daily specials by handing out menus and updating windows signs


i. That geographic awareness increases by increased sales


ii. Include money-saving coupons with menu


B. Monitoring Procedures


1. Marketing activities will be monitored at all levels from the owner down to the Area Manager and front-line employees who are serving customers to standard.


. An independent firm on a bi-annual basis will conduct a formal marketing audit. This audit will ensure Mountain Mudd is implementing a marketing mix that is profitable. The scope of the audit will be limited to marketing strategy, the marketing organization, marketing productivity, and marketing functions.


. No other audits will be performed.








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Sunday, July 29, 2012

business studies

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MARK INFORMATION FOR MARKETING DECISIONS


TUTORIAL ASSIGNMENT # MULTIPLE REGRESSION ANALYSIS


BACKGROUND


A food products manufacturing company has developed a new low-priced high-energy bar for runners, mountain climbers and other people involved in prolonged strenuous activities. The market for such products has grown rapidly over the past few years, and the company believes that there is a potentially strong market for the energy bar. Before the bar is launched nationally, the companyís Marketing Manager is given the task of running a test market trial and in particular to determine the effect that price and in-store promotions (e.g. signs, displays, coupons and free samples) will have on sales. The data so obtained will enable the company to develop an effective launch strategy for the new product.


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A random sample of 4 retail stores is selected for the trial. Price is varied across the stores (i.e. 1 will sell the bar for 5 cents, 1 will sell it at 7 cents and 10 for cents), as is the monthly promotion expenditure. Data is collected on the number of bars sold in the trial month (the dependent variable). The data collected during the trial were as shown in the following table.


METHOD


Follow the same procedure as in last weekís tutorial.


_ Enter the data, creating three variables.


_ Run a multiple regression analysis with this data, testing for any outliers and for the assumptions of collinearity, normality, linearity and homoscedasticity.


_ Answer the following questions, and include the relevant items from your analysis output in the submitted assignment. N.B. You can include the appropriate items from the output (i.e. tables and graphs) by cutting and pasting them between SPSS and Word using the following procedure (a) in the SPSS Viewer, click on the output item to select it and then in the Edit menu choose Copy objects; (b) now in the Word document put the cursor at the insertion point then select Edit and Paste.


QUESTIONS


1. Are there any outliers in the data? In one sentence, explain how you determined this from the output. (1 mark)


. Are the assumptions of normality, linearity and homoscedasticity met by this data? In one sentence, explain how you determined this from the output. (1 mark)


. How would you assess the model in terms of the variance explained and statistical significance? ( marks)


4. What are the contributions of each independent variable to the prediction of the dependent variable in the model? ( marks)


5. Specify the multiple regression equation for the model. Explain what each of the coefficients in this equation means. ( marks)


6. If the price of the bar was 65 cents and the promotion budget was $500, what would you predict the sales level to be? (1 mark)





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Monday, July 23, 2012

My Marketing Definition

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My Marketing Definition


Marketing is basically the activities that a company performs in order to identify and address customer’s needs. If this is done correctly, the result should equate to success and in turn increased profits.


About eight months ago I decided to make the big leap from corporate America to a more entrepreneurial endeavor. I joined my partner, who happens to be my best friend of twenty years, to help him take his business to the next level. For my experience and knowledge that I have gained over the last fifteen years as a sales director in some of the largest distribution companies in the world, he gave me 10% of the company.


We are Escada, Inc., a small computer distributor located in Miami, FL that focuses on the distribution of refurbished computer systems into Latin America and the Caribbean. We carry factory-refurbished systems from manufacturers such as Hewlett Packard, Compaq, Gateway, Dell, eMachines, etc. The company is small with eight employees but we are growing quickly.


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Since our target market is the reseller channel in Latin America and the Caribbean, we focus our marketing activities to those resellers. It is the responsibility of the computer dealer to market their company to the end user.


With our main product line being Hewlett Packard/Compaq, end user marketing is largely done by the manufacturer. Our main market is the Dominican Republic; it represents about 60-70% of our business. The Dominican Republic is a prime market for factory-refurbished systems. One of our challenges has been to expand into some of the larger more mature markets. Refurbished systems tend to sell better in economically challenged markets where the per capita income level is low. Yes, you might say that there certainly is no shortage of this situation in Latin America, but it has proven to be tough to introduce refurbished systems in some of the larger markets.





One of the things that I have noticed as a newcomer to the company, we really do not have a real marketing plan. Our marketing activities consist of mostly of email blasts, ads in the reseller community journals and of course face to face customer visits via travel from Miami, and in some markets, visits from field sales representatives permanently stationed in-county. We perform frequent customer surveys in order to understand what our customers expect and need from us. It is important to understand our customers needs in order to offer the right services and maintain the proper product mix in order to address those needs. I guess you could say that our organization is both product and market oriented. Although we do have a great interest in our customer needs, you can say we are product oriented because we are marketing well-known products that are already produced. We are market oriented because we also focus on the customer’s market and try to maintain the type of product that they need within our inventory.


Some of the most important needs that we have identified from our customers are


· Having the right product in stock, ready to ship immediately


· A competitive price


· Helpful financial tools such as credit terms


· Quick response to RMA issues such as warranty claims


One of the major challenges we face is to expand our market beyond the Dominican Republic. To do this we must first find the right target market that will embrace our products. We must also understand what are the needs of the customer, in order to have the right product mix and offer the right services. The bottom-line is that we need to have the right product, in the right place, promote it properly, and have it at the right price.





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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beethoven

If you order your custom term paper from our custom writing service you will receive a perfectly written assignment on Beethoven. What we need from you is to provide us with your detailed paper instructions for our experienced writers to follow all of your specific writing requirements. Specify your order details, state the exact number of pages required and our custom writing professionals will deliver the best quality Beethoven paper right on time.

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Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 17, 1770. His father was the tenor


singer in the service of the Elector of Cologne. Said to be a violent and unreasonable


man, he used to beat Beethoven when he came home drunk. He would make Ludwig feel


like he was nothing and worthless. His father would make Beethoven play and if Ludwig


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was tired then he would just “beat” the music out of him. If he messed up on anything


that he played then he would get beaten again by his father.


Beethoven’s father


Despite his fathers fierce teaching methods, Ludwig began to show signs of


assurance, and other teachers were called in to instruct him more. By the age of seven


Beethoven was advanced enough to appear in public. About a year later Christian Gottlob


Neefe took over his musical training and his progress from that day on was speedy. Ch. G.


Neefe introduced Beethoven to the works of Bach and Mozart. A while after that his Nine


Variations for piano in C minor were published, and was listed later in a prominent Leipzig


catalogue as the work of Louis van Betthoven (sic), aged ten. (mispelled in the catalogue)


In 1787, Beethoven went to Vienna, a famous musical center, where then Count


Waldstein met with Beethoven, and became his piano teacher and his friend and client. . It


was here that Beethoven met the great Mozart. He was skeptical about Beethoven, but


once Beethoven started playing the piano his talent was obvious. Watch this lad, Mozart


noted. Some day he will force the world to talk about him.


The death of Beethovens mother in the summer of 1787 brought him back to Bonn.


Beethoven’s mother


With the death of Beethovens mother, his father finally lost it, and put drinking


before Ludwig. The situation became so bad that by 178 Beethoven was forced to put


his father in his place and do something about it. He went determinedly to his fathers


employer and demanded - and got - half his fathers salary so that the family could live; his


father could drink away the rest. In 17 the old man died. No one felt great remorse for


the old guy. For four years Ludwig supported his family. He also made some good


friends, among them were Stephan von Breuning, who became a friend for life, and


Doctor Franz Wegeler, who wrote one of the first biographies of Beethoven. Also, Count


Ferdinand von Waldstein entered Beethovens circle and received the dedication of a


famous piano sonata in 1804.


In July 17 the popular composer Haydn passed through Bonn on his way to


Vienna. He met Beethoven and was impressed, and evidently, he felt, this young mans


talents needed to be controlled before it could be developed. Haydn, who had been a


musical trend setter himself in youth, found that Beethoven was advancing along the same


radical path as he did in his youth. Beethoven soon realized that Haydn was not the master


he was looking for, so he looked for another teacher and found Albrechtsberger, a famous


musician who called him an excited musical free-thinker. The first weeks in Vienna


were hard for Beethoven, opportunities were not coming.


Piano players back in those days hated each other, for the reason that they would


have to prove themselves and were at constant rivalry with each other . Beethoven beat


all of his competitors and advanced into the musical world. The first concert of his own


responsibility occurred on April , 1800 when he launched his first Symphony and


introduced his world famous Septet op. 0. One year later, however, in 1801, a great


tradgedy came upon Beethoven, causing great disorder in his life, he began to lose his


hearing. Most musicians in those days would have killed themselves. That thought


probably crossed Beethoven’s mind, but if anything it made him stronger, but this would


end his career as a piano player, and in turn start his career as a composer.


In 180 his doctor sent him to Heiligenstadt, a village outside Vienna, in the hope


that its rural peace would rest in his hearing. The beautiful scenery and new surroundings


reawakened in Beethoven a love of nature and the countryside, and hope returned to his


life, and he beagan to be optimistic about the terrible situation he was in. However, his


doctor told him that there was no improvement in his hearing, and Ludwig began to


become depressed again. He wrote his will and left instructions that it was to be opened


after his death. This is a long moving document that reveals more about his state of mind


than does the music he was writing at the time. Only his last works can reflect in sound


what he then put down in words.


After his return from Heiligenstadt, Beethovens music deepened. He began


creating a new musical world. Between the years of 180-1808 Beethoven wrote six


symphonies. Between 180 and 18 he wrote six more. Beethoven’s brother had


died in 181, delaying the process of ever thinking of music. He became a bitter man


because of his deafness, but this is when he composed his greatest works. So it was


bad that he lost his hearing , but if he hadn’t he wouldn’t have been as recognized as


his is today.


Finally Beethoven decided to return in December to Vienna, on the way there


hecaught pneumonia. He recovered, only to be laid low again with cirrhosis of the


liver, which ended up giving him dropsy. His condition worsened dramatically by the


beginning of March. His friends realized that he was probably going to pass away any


day and gathered up.


Beethovens final moments, if a report by Schuberts friend Huttenbrenner are to


believed, were dramatic in the extreme. At about 545 in the afternoon of 6 March,


187, as a storm raged, Beethovens room was suddenly filled with light and shaken


with thunder


Schubert and Hummel were among the 0,000 - 0,000 people who mourned the


composer at his funeral three days later. He was buried in Wahring Cemetery; in 1888 his


remains were removed to Zentral-friedhof in Vienna - a great resting place for musicians -


where he lies side-by-side with Schubert.


Beethoven was a great composer. Through all the tragedies, and hardships in his


life he still managed to make phenomenal music and not give up. It is astonishing that


someone who loses their hearing could push on like that and compose music that they can


only hear in their heads, and put it on paper.


Sources


(1)


http//www.questia.com/Index.jsp?CRID=ludwig_van_beethoven&OFFID=se1


()


http//www.questia.com/PageManagerHTMLMediator.qst?action=openPageViewer&docI


d=6181064


()


http//w.rz-berlin.mpg.de/cmp/beethoven.html


Please note that this sample paper on Beethoven is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on Beethoven, we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college paper on Beethoven will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

George and Lennie(of mice and men)

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George and Lennie’s relationship


The novel “Of Mice and Men”, written by John Steinbeck, has two main characters, Lennie and George share a life long relationship. This is a relationship of duty and loyalty, one where George is like a parent, or master some may say, although George seems to abuse and use this relationship.


Lennie is a ogre, but within he is a kid trapped in by chains, and his mind is locked up because of fear and stupidity, for this reason George must act like a parent. Constantly lennie is asking George about life and where it will go and where it has been. George controls lennie, scolds him when he has done something wrong, when lennie drank straight from the pool of water George got angry with him. Lennie had a dead mouse in his pocket because he cannot stop his hands from touching soft things, George got angry with him. George makes sure lennie is straight, by holding onto things such as the work passes, If lennie had his, he would lose it. George is more like an uncle than a parent, and feels it is his duty, passed down by Aunt Clara, to take care of lennie.


Lennie loves George all the time, like the sun shining in the sky, it won’t stop; he does not know how to be mad, at anyone. However George shares a different view, though he loves lennie because of their lifelong friendship, he resents lennie. Love will always exist between these two no matter how many things Lennie can screw up, even if he loses a job in Weed, or if one of them is dead, love is eternal, the resentment will subside and the love will shine through.


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Lennie’s stupidity allows George to use his beloved friend; most likely he does not realize it. George’s duty allows him to use lennie to a certain point, and blame lennie for screw ups which were the masters fault. George and lennie are alike in a way, they “dun mean ta”, lennie means no harm, George means no harm when using lennie, but he is blind to it, and love is blind.


On a deeper level, George is like a master to lennie, who would be his pet. Lennie is always shadowing George, a loyal pet, and a needy pet. George must feed him, take care of him, give him attention and play with him. George controls lennie like a dog on a leash, and when he lets him run around something goes wrong. This relationship goes both ways, lennie, just like a pet, comforts George and gives him someone to complain and tell stories too, to let loose.


The relationship that George and lennie share is a complex, life long, tired and worn out love between themselves. Though it is worn out, they keep going as a bald tire about to blow, and even after, they will run on the rims until there is nothing and nobody left.





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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

i have a dream

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I Have a Dream


Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every


dream precedes the goal.


Pamela Vaull Starr


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Dream is like chocolate. It brings you sweet when you achieve it. Holding a dream, you may feel your heart rich.


When I was only a little girl, I have a dream that one day I can be the owner of that ice cream shop at corner. Having no idea how life would be in front of me, I simply believed that enjoy all those delicious ice cream is the last thing I can do in the world.


When I was sent to school, I began to realize that life should be something more than ice cream. Students all around me were really excellent and versatile. Look, that girl could dance like a bee, and that boy had a beautiful handwriting. Look at me, I was like a ugly duck, dreaming that one day I would grow up to be a beautiful goose.


Years follow year, something was gradually changing my mind. Pure age seemed no longer come back. At those ignorant years, I dreamed all exciting things like most girls would dream about, beauty, wealth, boy friend. It was a dissipated period I would never want to imagine.


At the age of 17, I entered the key school at that town. Heavy study occupied most of my time and I had no spare to dream for meaningless things. The only dream I had in whole three years was to enter the university.


Things were as smooth as I thought to be. I was admitted to enter the university. Since then, my life was different from what it used to be. But still I have a dream that my father and mother, who are thousands of miles away, will keep healthy.





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Monday, July 16, 2012

Explain how themes/ideas were developed in the texts you have studied.Sonnets 18 and 29 by William Shakespeare.

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In Sonnets 18 and Shakespeare discusses the themes of love, beauty, time and depression. He develops these themes through the structure of the sonnet. The structure of a sonnet consists of three quatrains and a couplet.


In Sonnet 18 Shakespeare compares his friends beauty to a summer’s day. He states his friends loveliness is greater than the most perfect thing he can imagine. A summers day is flawed, it can be too hot, too overcast or too windy. The second quatrain takes the theme of loveliness into a broader context. “Every fair from fair sometime declines”. Shakespeare says that all things beautiful fade away. However at the beginning of the third quatrain (line ) Shakespeare begins to refute the power of time to erode loveliness. “But thy eternal summer shall not fade”. Interestingly S/S uses three negatives to state his opposition to the authority of time and death. “Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st”. “Nor shall death (personified) boast he has taken your beauty away. In the final line of the third quatrain, S/S states why death and time shall ‘have no dominion’.


The answer to the dilemma posed in the first quatrain (everything declines) is resolved in the final couplet. The friends loveliness will be preserved in the poem itself. “So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,” (so long as the poem exists and the people read it) “So long lives this (the poem) and this gives life to thee.”


Thus the themes of Sonnet 18 are developed through the structure. The first quatrain states a comparison. The nd quatrain enlarges on this. The third quatrain addresses the dilemma positively, and the couplet states how that dilemma will be precisely resolved.


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A similar structural development occurs in Sonnet . The themes here are love and depression. The theme is stated clearly in the first quatrain. “ …..disgrace…..beweep my outcast state.” The subject is alienated from society and depressed. Even God fails to listen. Heaven is deaf to his “bootless (useless) cries”.


The subject even hates himself and looks upon his fate and curses it. The second quatrain enlarges this theme of depression throughout a series of invidious comparisons. The subject envies others who are more skilled or better looking than himself. “Featured like him, like him with friends possessed.” (Popular). The third quatrain begins typically with a conjunction that maintains a counter argument. “ Yet in this state myself almost despising.” Thus the subject has hit deep depression to the point where he almost despises himself. The ‘yet’ offers the first sign of possible joy. The subject then considers the love he possesses for his friend. “Haply I think on thee.” The quatrain then, using a simile describes a shift of mood from “sullen earth” (dark despair) to “heavens gate” (joy).


But again typically it is the couplet which provides an almost epigrammatic reason for that sudden joy. “for thy sweet love remembered… that then I scorn to change my state with Kings.”


Thus the first quatrain develops the theme of depression. The second quatrain enlarges on this theme by adding a further element of envy. The third quatrain introduces hope. Joy rises ‘like a lark’. And the final couplet reveals precisely why the subject is now happy. It is because of the sweet love of his friend.


In conclusion, the structure can be seen as the means to develop Shakespeare’s themes. Love, beauty, time and death are all explored and analyzed. Yet the sonnets rarely end on a depressed note. Whatever dilemma posed in the first quatrains will almost always be answered positively in the third quatrain.





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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cinderella

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In the story “Cinderella A Story of Sibling Rivalry and Oedipal Conflicts” is about a conqueror winning out over her siblings that always mistreated her. A child may feels inferior to his or her siblings because they do not have the love from their parents that their siblings have. They will feel unloved, not cared for, and weak. Many different sources in the German language of being forced to stay among the ashes became a symbol for many various things, but also for sibling rivalry. Martin Luther in his Table Talks, talks about Cain as the “God-forsaken evildoer,” and a powerful man, while Abel was “forced to be his ash-brother,” which was nothing (Bettelheim 56). The fairy tale gives many people memories of their sibling rivalry when they were young. It lets everyone know how bad sibling rivalry can get. It tells how the positive side of the circumstances can be, as well as the negative side of having a sibling in your home. Sometimes having a sibling can consequence in always being close with someone. Sibling rivalry mainly affects a child’s feelings. The emotions in the person subject to sibling rivalry are sometimes very different from those of his or her brothers and sister. “Cinderella” speaks about sibling rivalry in its remotest form, it talks about the jealousy of the stepsister, and how it could ruin a person’s happiness (Bettelheim). A child is very sensitive and fragile. A person has to be really respectful and understanding towards them. However, if the parent does not do a good job parenting and treating all the children the same, sibling rivalry could break up a family. Bettleheim believes that children impulsively know that Cinderella earned her visits from the fairy godmother because of her power of character. This will cause another problem with Cinderella as a role model children may believe that they too are of higher character than their idol.


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Friday, July 13, 2012

Frank Kafka's Metomorphosis

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A substantial number of authors of great literature write from personal experiences. Franz Kafka (188�14) seems to be the core of modern-day estranged authors and anxiety; Kafka’s work depicts the tribulations he himself dealt with throughout the course his own existence. From the beginning of his life, it is apparent that he was out of place. Being Czech in the Austro-Hungarian empire, a German-speaker among Czechs, a Jew among non-Jews; distanced from his overbearing entrepreneurial father, from his bureaucratic job, from the opposite sex; caught between a desire to live in literature and to live a normal bourgeois life; acutely and lucidly self-critical; the physically weak Kafka was unable to find a suitable atmosphere to suit his own preferences. The discomforts of his life are expressed accurately and imaginatively in “The Metamorphosis,” a novella that illustrates the many underlying themes of Kafka’s life both with symbolism as well as characterization. Two of the distinct themes that are conveyed in this story include Abandonment/Neglect and Economic Affects On Human Relationships. Abandonment and neglect appear as themes that genuinely reflect the mindset of Kafka himself. It is unmistakably obvious that such strife with human connection has been a focal point of Franz Kafka’s writing. In “The Metamorphosis,” Gregor Samsa, the main character and embodiment of Kafka himself, is traveling salesmen whose experiences are similar to that of Kafka’s life. Gregor is the sole breadwinner in his family, and provides for his mother, father, and sister Grete; all of who rely on Gregor to work of the debt Gregor’s father created when his entrepreneurial business venture failed. Gregor in no way enjoys his job, which consists of long hours and tedious work, although he does enjoy being the provider of the family income. After being abruptly transmogrified into a vermin beetle, Gregor soon realizes he can no longer provide for his family and notices a sharp disinterest in his well being; unlike before where his family showed affection towards Gregor. A few of the ways Gregor felt isolated before his transformation include how he was constantly traveling for his job and had not roots or ties to any location. This is very symbolic of the isolation and neglect substituted for social interaction in Gregor’s life. One instance of Gregor’s self-inflicted abandonment is how he used to lock himself in his room. After being turned into a bug, the disgust and abhorrence he received multiplied the feeling of abandonment. “But even of the sister, worn out by her job had grown tired of caring for Gregor as before still the mother would not have been compelled to take over for her, and Gregor would not have needed to be neglected.” This quote illustrates when Gregor transformed into an insect, the once laid back family undertook the task of providers which once Gregor’s. The second theme of many in this intriguing novella, is that if economic affects of human relationships. After Gregor realized he could no longer provide for his family, his role in the family diminished until it was essentially worth nothing. Only the essentials were provided to him, which included whatever food was around, and an insignificant cleaning of Gregor’s living space. “But at other times he was no longer at all in the mood to worry about his family; he was filled with nothing but rage over how badly he was looked after…His sister now hastily shoved any old food into Gregor’s room with her foot before running off to work in the morning and at noon; in the evening, not caring whether the food had perhaps been just merely tasted or � most frequently � left completely untouched she would sweep it out with a swing of the broom.” This quote explains the vehement abhorrence Gregor feels for his former family. The insect Gregor becomes is quite symbolic of the “pest” or “vermin” he represents to his family. The economic affects on human relationships are a crucial underlying theme in Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.” When Gregor finds he can no longer provide income, his family neglects him as well as ceases to care for his well-being. “In this overworked and overtired family, who had time to be concerned about Gregor beyond what was absolutely necessary.” Throughout the book, Gregor feels the overall attitude and attention towards him sink into a decline. Each of his three family members has a distinct issue with Gregor, all which is centered upon Gregor. The majority of attention Gregor receives is the result of him “being in the way.”


Hobbled and neglected, Gregor begins to waste away in his room. The combination of sleep deprivation and lack of nutrition coupled with the apple lodged in his side from his father’s aggravation would lead to his unfortunate demise. The family needs money and agrees to house three lodgers in exchange for money using Gregors room to store excess furniture and other random items adding insult to injury. This insult is a branch of social neglect. The family did leave Gregors door slightly open in the evenings, so he could listen and watch in on the household functions in a minute way. On one particular evening, the lodgers heard Gregor’s sister Grete practicing her violin. Since they were paying rent and assumed the home was essentially theirs, the lodgers called her into the dining room for a show. Grete agrees and upon hearing the music, Gregor crept out of his room towards Grete in order to illustrate he could still appreciate her music. The lodgers are inevitably and unbearably disgusted at seeing the beetle; this becomes limit of the family’s strife. Gregor steals back into his room. During the night Gregor dies. Most likely, the cause of death is a combination of neglect, abandonment, social dissension, economic tribulations and self-pity. It is also apparent Gregor’s conscious attempts to show his admiration for this family that does not acknowledge him are indeed futile.







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Faulkner’s Rebellions

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William Faulkners short stories “Barn Burning” and “A Rose for Emily” are keys to understanding what Faulkner’s feelings about the confines of society. Both are stories of a person going against the traditional norms of society to ensure that they are comfortable in life. William Faulkner uses a similar theme in both A Rose for Emily as well as Barn Burning to portray the idea that rebelling against traditional ways may be the only way to become independent.


In “A Rose For Emily”, Emily goes against the tradition of a young marriage. In the late 1800s it was traditional to get married at a young age, while Emily stayed single throughout her entire life. Intimacy before marriage was not accepted by society either, but this did not stop Emily and her lover from living together. The townspeople described her situation as ...a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people (0). Emily resisted the traditional ways of society to accommodate her own happiness.


In Barn Burning, Sarty knows that what his father is doing is wrong and does not want to live that life once he grows older. Since burning barns and thievery had been part of the familys tradition, it was expected of Sarty. His father tries to convince Sarty that his life may depend on these traditions by saying, Youre getting to be a man. You got to learn. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you aint going to have any blood to stick to you (147). His father is trying to threaten Sarty by saying that if he does not support his family, then they will not tolerate him. In the end, Sarty sacrifices his family for his independence, because he would rather be honest and alone than with a dishonest family.


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Both Emilys and Sartys lives were extremely influenced by their fathers. In A Rose for Emily, Emilys father did not think any man was good enough for his daughter, which left Emily a single woman until after his death. The townspeople describe her period of denial by telling “them that her father was not dead. She did that for three days...Just as they were about to resort to law and force, she broke down, and they buried her father quickly (8). A direct result her fathers death, she murdered her own lover, Homer Barron, in fear of losing him. Her denial of death occurs in both her father and Homers death. She slept with Homers corpse for over 40 years, never admitting to the fact that he was dead. The only way Emily could get what she wanted was to go against everything society considered normal.


Sartys father forces him to make a decision, leaving him a much happier life. In Barn Burning, Sarty saw his father burning down barn after barn and realized that he did not want to be like that. As the story progresses, Sarty begins to realize that he does not have to live this life, even if his father and brother do. The more Sartys father tries to force Sarty to become like himself, the more Sarty knows that he does not want to. His father was the cause of Sartys decision to give up his family to become someone respectable, unlike his father.


Emilys character does not change throughout the story. She has always gone against the traditional ways and did as she pleased. Sarty is a dynamic character because in the beginning of Barn Burning, he does as his father says even though he does not want to. As the story progresses, Sarty starts to realize that he does not want to be like his father. Sartys turning point is when his father is about to burn another barn and he thinks to himself, I could run on and on and never look back, never need to see his face again. Only I cant. I cant (15). He starts to think of giving up his family to do the right thing. At the end of Barn Burning, Sarty completely changes and becomes independent, leaving behind his family. Sarty does what he is told to do in the beginning and what he thinks is right in the end.


William Faulkners A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning both capture the American culture of rebellion against society. The use of the themes that Faulkner uses illustrates that rebellion against normal ways is sometimes the only way that one can achieve true happiness in their life.





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Death of a Salesman

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The purpose of this brief essay is to examine Arthur Millers play, Death of a Salesman, with respect to its reflection of the impact of American values and mores as to what constitutes success upon individual lives. George Perkins has stated that this play has been described as possibly the best play ever written by an American (Perkins, p. 710). The play marks a brilliant fusion of the ideas and problems central to Millers artistic and creative life; among those problems are the relationship of selfishness to altruism and the need to define an achievable code of morality for oneself (Perkins, p. 710).


Willy Loman, the dominant central character of the play, has defined morality in terms of his capacity to provide financially for his family. Frederick Karl (p. ) states that Willy Loman is an outgrowth of a Depression ambiance, which suggests that he defines success with respect to income, retaining a job, and fiscal security (all elements of mans work that literally disappeared overnight during the Great Depression). Loman is a commercial cowboy, whose travels are days and weeks spent out on the range in pursuit of one more big sale. Arthur Miller himself argued that Lomans situation - that of the formerly successful and now unemployed salesman unable to find a reason for continued life - was so general a quality of American life that he (Willy) was victimized by our being what we are (Karl, p. 0).


According to Perkins (p. 710), Willy Lomans fatal flaw has been variously interpreted as a pitiable blindness to the realities of the American Dream, as the unrealistic hope of a doting father for his sons advancement to levels he himself never achieve, and the bad luck of a salesman working a tough territory. Each interpretation has a certain degree of validity. Taken together, they reflect a critical perception of Willy Lomans life and concerns as typical of a society in which material success is valued over other types of success. Willy may be an exploited victim of an indifferent capitalist system (Perkins, p. 710), but he clearly values that very system and has bought in to its norms and mores. Thus, when he finds that the one thing which had defined him as a man, a husband, and a father has been taken away from him (e.g., his job), he regards himself as a failure.


When Willy Lomans act of sacrificial suicide is completed, it is Linda Loman who is left to cope with the supposed benefits of his act of love meant to redeem his house. The character of Linda Loman reflects Willys own perception of himself; she recognizes that her husband, Willy, is only a little boat looking for a harbor (Miller, p. 76). Her sons and her husband are unable to communicate openly; she serves as the conduit through which they express their emotions, worrying throughout the play about her husbands long slow decline into professional failure. It is her tragedy as well as his. The men with whom she lives (and whom she loves with a desperation that is in and of itself tragic in tone) are hateful to each other (Miller, p. 76), a condition that her best efforts and intentions cannot cure.


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It is Willys tragedy that Linda responds to throughout the play. He is, she tells their son Biff, a human being and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid (Miller, p. 56). Willy is, as Linda knows all too well, a small man who, upon losing his salary as a salesman, can no longer understand the terms of his life. Her tragedy (a consequence of his failure as a husband) is that in spite of his shortcomings, his failures, his bombosity, and his arrogance, she loves him and her world revolves around him. Lindas fear is that he will go through with a suicide to save their home; this is a legitimate fear, which is realized when Biff and Willy have their final confrontation and Willy is told, once and for all, that he and his son are nothing but a hard-working drummer who landed in the ash can like all of them (Miller, p. 1). This confrontation between father and son serves to convince Willy that he has failed as a father - failed to inspire his son to greatness or even ambition, and failed to provide for that son the model of a successful father.


Willy, says Linda, was so wonderful with his hands (Miller, p. 18). His death will, in her mind, become just another sales road trip. She will continue to expect him to return to the free and clear home that she will occupy alone, perpetually waiting for him. Lindas fate, which is to be a widow always listening for the sound of her traveling husbands voice as he return from another trip, is not of her making. It is solely the result of Willys inability to face a future devoid of the possibility of one more big sale, one more grand and successful score in the world of the traveling salesman. Because he cannot face his future (or the knowledge that his future was preordained by his life), Linda is left alone to endure her own. Thus, because Willy cannot confront his failure as a husband and provider, Linda Lomans life is irrevocably shattered.


Nevertheless, Miller allows Willy one triumph also in keeping with his staunch belief in the American - financial - dream. His suicide does provide economically for his wife by ensuring her a roof over hr head. Although Willys attempt to rescue Biff with his insurance money is generally regarded as an act of self-deception, Willy is not entirely deluded in his death (Perkins, p. 710). He has learned that Biff was aware of his marital infidelities on the road, and that despite this knowledge his son has not stopped loving him. This realization reflects Willys tentative grasp if a special reality - that his son has not judged him a failure because he never made that final big score and Biff had continued to love him regardless of his self-imposed sense of failure.


Willy Loman stands in, so to speak, for every American male who defined himself as a man, husband and father with respect to his success the workplace and his capacity for grabbing a share of the material American dream. Willy Loman is a man who has deluded himself and has judged himself more harshly than his wife or his son. His tragedy is that he comes to an understanding of this delusion too late to make any changes in his life. Whether or not we as readers or as members of the audience agree with his judgment is irrelevant. It is Willys own failure that is important in this play.


Works Cited


Karl, Frederick R. American Fiction 140-180. New York


Harper Collins. 185.


Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. London Penguin, 18.


Perkins, George. Editor. Benets Readers Encyclopedia of


American Literature. New York Harper Collins. 11


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critical thinking

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Introduction


This essay portraits my journey of learning habits, experiences and strategy I will be using to successfully complete my masters degree. One of the important way of learning I feel is reflective writing and critical thinking which helps to evaluate ones strategies and also to evaluate the overall approach to ones work and their effectiveness in applying skills.


In recent years the word critical thinking has become a buzz in education system. For many reasons educators have started teaching thinking skills with contrast with teaching information and content. In a brief version of critical thinking can be stated as the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed - the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process - the reasoning that went into the conclusion weve arrived at the kinds of factors considered in making a decision. Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome.


Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 16.


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(http//www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/longview/ctac/definitions.htm)


Critical thinking can be seen as having two components


1. a set of skills to process and generate information and beliefs, and


. the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to


guide behaviour.


It is thus to be contrasted with


1. the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, (because it


involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated,)


. the mere possession of a set of skills, (because it involves the


continual use of them,) and


. the mere use of those skills (as an exercise) without acceptance of


their results


(http//lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/crit.html)


Reflection lies somewhere around the notion of learning and thinking. We reflect in order to learn something, or we learn as a result of reflecting. Reflective writing is the expression on paper/screen of some of the mental processes of reflection. Other forms of expressing reflection are in speech, in film, in graphic portrayal, music etc. The expression of reflection is not, however, a direct mirror of what happens in the head. It is a representation of that process within the chosen medium and reflection represented in writing, for example, will be different to that encompassed in a drawing. In other words, in making are presentation of reflection, we shape and model the content of our reflection according to many influences. Factors that could shape your reflection into reflective writing might include


• the reason why you are writing reflectively (personal reasons � eg in a diary or for academic purposes etc)


• whether others are going to see what you have written and who they are (eg no-one else; a tutor who will mark it; a tutor who will not mark it, friends etc.);


• your emotional state at the time of writing, and emotional reaction to what you are writing (eg - a disturbing event that you do not want to think about or something you did well and want to enjoy in the rethinking process);


• related to the above, how safe you feel about the material and anyone


seeing it;


• what you know about reflective writing and how able you are to engage


in it (see below)


(http//www.unl.ac.uk/interfaculty/credit/reflectivewriting%0_studentguide_.pdf)


Critical reflection is defined as deliberate process when the candidate takes time, within the course of their work, to focus on their performance and think carefully about the thinking that led to particular actions, what happened and what they are learning from the experience, in order to inform what they might do in the future. (QCA, 001, 8). Reflective writing includes each of these elements of rigorous critical thinking, with an added emphasis on reconsidering preconceptions, exploring conflicts between competing values and concepts, and carefully considering the implications of various views for the writer’s actions. Variety of outcomes can be expected as a result of reflective writing for e.g. development of a plan or formulation of plan of action or decision or resolution of some problem solving activity. Finally reflective writing might provide self development, empowerment, knowledge and most importantly lead to the process of learning.


Let me begin by asking what is learning ? learning is the cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge. I have been accustomed to this process since my childhood, the process of learning from that period has been changed constantly, the difference been at this stage this process has become more stressful and challenging. One of the example of my learning experience is the university of Sheffield Hallam where I am pursuing my masters degree.


To relate to my personnel experience the module critical thinking and investigation methods have moulded me in way that helped me to think effectively in relation to the subject matter, that is, how to properly understand and evaluate it. But did not start at the very beginning as I mentioned earlier the first impression was the negative effect which led to me loosing interest. It began when I started reading and discovered that critical thinking could be responsible in making decisions which might effect ones life. The example I could think for critical thinking is my practice of learning which has been dramatically changed while doing this masters degree. My previous education has been pursued in India where the learning process is totally different. The teaching method India is spoon fed wherein the teacher does all the talking and the students only have to write down notes and then read the same notes and answer their examination papers. Thus this system unable oneself to think or put forward ones views and opinion. Similarly in my case I had never experienced such a leaning process which would enable me to critically ask appropriate questions, gather relevant information, efficiently and creatively sort through this information, reason logically from this information, and come to reliable and trustworthy conclusion. Well my learning activity was opening my textbooks and start learning important matters by heart without even understanding the logic behind it. But this began to change when I went to pursue my bachelors in Switzerland where the learning was based on research methodology. Hence my learning practice has been changed from the past to the present where i have been given opportunities to put forward my ideas by doing some research work. Learning can be done through various ways like reading a book, watching a video, listening to your lecturer or audio piece, through actions etc, but it depends upon oneself as to how you learn best. According to my opinion I believe that if you hear the lecturer giving seminar or a lecture you grasp only 10% of the total matter taught, but at the same time when you see a demonstration or a video clip of that particular topic it is believed that you learn around 50%. In my case I believe in practising things which I learnt and research tells us that people tend to learn around 0% by doing in practical. Yes I believe that I learn best when go through practical training. I would like to give an example of my previous educational course diploma in hotel management which i pursued in India. The term hotel management as the name sounds does not only deals with managing the hotel and the front of the house areas but it also briefs us about the back of the house functions and how they work in connection with the front of the house departments. I only understood this concept when I underwent a 6 month practical training at one of the India most popular hotel the Taj Mahal , Mumbai. There I worked in departments like kitchen, human resources and sales and marketing and realised that cutting an onion in the kitchen also requires skills when compared to being a sales personnel whos job is to meet big corporate and sell his hotel. Hence the best way in which I learn is by doing things practically.


The way I learn I think is the most appropriate, but only thing I would like to do differently to learn is practice more as I preach because I normally say that I will do my assignments today and I never end doing it up, therefore I would like to be more truthful to myself which would further enhance my learning. I believe that education is never a waste the more u learn the more it adds to your knowledge. But there are certain factors that may act as a barrier and effect my learning process


• lack of confidence


• lack of tutorial support when studying


• lack of personal support


(http//www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/importanceoflearning.htm)


I might want to change a certain things which would help me to improve my learning those include


• Paying more attention


• Practice as I preach


First day at Sheffield Hallam university and I was beginning to feel homesick already. I still remember the very first day in the university such huge that I was totally lost and didnt know where to go. After finding out for which class I was scheduled for the first day I quietly went and attended my induction classes. The first week was rather very interactive as came across many students in this university. As the weeks passed by I started coming in contact with all my modules and found out these modules related exactly to the course I had chosen. I still didnt even open by books and the assignment started to flow in, the pressure mounted and the stress had started to take over me. But I decided that I need to start from somewhere and here I am writing my first assignment on critical thinking and investigation methods. This module is relatively new and I would need to plan out as how I would manage and enhance my learning,. There were certain thoughts that were running down my mind as to what should I do to make my learning more effective. The only thought I found valid for this process was critical reflection. This meant that being a good thinker I started thinking rationally about the lectures, seminars, taking notes, drawing mind maps as from where I will begin my research, analyse them and then present them.





CD-ROM


After being in Sheffield Hallam university I have found that things here are very different when compared to home, for e.g. the teaching method, modules, learning materials provided etc.. The first thought that landed in my mind about this module of critical thinking was totally negative which really made me lose my interest towards this subject. This thought appeared because the handing over of the CD as the only learning material used by the lecturer to teach this module was something really absurd which I had never experienced before.


But gradually as the weeks flew and I watched the CD my perception began to change I really started forward to know more about this module and finding ways of how this module will groom me in future. The CD has played an important role in helping me to learn better and effectively. The CD is an introduction to the module and a meaningful attempt to pursue mastery. The journey of learning is designed to be engaging, interactive and not necessarily turning pages. The CD marries the video and text together and makes it more interesting for students. It makes the learning process more active than passive, the concepts which the developer has tired to portray is clearly understood through this CD with the help of audio, video and text demonstrations. CD enables the learners to use video controls, set pace and use video to relate task. The CD emphasises on writing skills and critical awareness of the subject. It also contains information on text, sounds and images which is also known as media richness. The other feature about the CD is that it points out about Mastery which not to repeat and learn theories, but to analysis and evaluate ideas. (Hart 16, 15).





There are certain advantages and disadvantages of CD provided to us for this module


Advantages


Good for permanent data storage- shelf life of a CD-ROM is long and data can be referenced frequently, Easy to store- The CD-ROM being mobile and occupies very limited storage space, Interactive presentation- the use of audio video presentation could enhance learning process , Security- It can be secured through a password.


Disadvantages


Maintenance cost- Hardware, software, expertise, Limited Access- Once information stored on the CD cannot be changed, Readability- It is difficult and tiring to read a book on a computer when compared to its paper version


Conclusion


In this piece of work I have tried to relate the theory and my personal experience. These two sections in my opinion are not interconnected as things are very different when you apply them in real life. The books we refer to may provide only the base my listing the core concepts, but the understanding of these concepts are solely dependant on how one practices. In the same way thinking skills are develop by students with the help of critical reflection as it has the ability to control ones thinking. This kind of assignment on critical thinking and investigation method, will help to become more communicative and active in learning. This work has motivated to seek for information and think about the issues more seriously and critically. It has also helped me to get into the habit of thinking reflectively as I sought to identify issues that I could write about. This also helped me to improve my problem solving skills and analytical skills.


Bibliography


1. Bell, Judith Doing your Research Project a guide for first time researchers in education and social science, rd ed. Buckingham Open U.P. ; (1)


. Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (001) How to Research, nd ed, Buckingham Open University Press


. Burns, R (15) The adult learner at work Business and Professional Publishing Sydney


4. Hunt, Cheryl (1) - Reflective Practice.


5. Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking. (16).


6. Moon, J (1) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development, Taylor and Frances, London


7. http//www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/longview/ctac/definitions.htm


8. http//lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/crit.html


. http//www.unl.ac.uk/interfaculty/credit/reflectivewriting%0_studentguide_.pdf


10. http//www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/importanceoflearning.htm


Critical Thinking and Investigation Method


Reflective Writing


Assignment 1


Unit Tutor


Mr. Colin Beard


Student ID10880


Introduction


This essay portraits my journey of learning habits, experiences and strategy I will be using to successfully complete my masters degree. One of the important way of learning I feel is reflective writing and critical thinking which helps to evaluate ones strategies and also to evaluate the overall approach to ones work and their effectiveness in applying skills.


In recent years the word critical thinking has become a buzz in education system. For many reasons educators have started teaching thinking skills with contrast with teaching information and content. In a brief version of critical thinking can be stated as the use of those cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome. It is used to describe thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed - the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions when the thinker is using skills that are thoughtful and effective for the particular context and type of thinking task. Critical thinking also involves evaluating the thinking process - the reasoning that went into the conclusion weve arrived at the kinds of factors considered in making a decision. Critical thinking is sometimes called directed thinking because it focuses on a desired outcome.


Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking. 16.


(http//www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/longview/ctac/definitions.htm)


Critical thinking can be seen as having two components


1. a set of skills to process and generate information and beliefs, and


. the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to


guide behaviour.


It is thus to be contrasted with


1. the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, (because it


involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated,)


. the mere possession of a set of skills, (because it involves the


continual use of them,) and


. the mere use of those skills (as an exercise) without acceptance of


their results


(http//lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/crit.html)


Reflection lies somewhere around the notion of learning and thinking. We reflect in order to learn something, or we learn as a result of reflecting. Reflective writing is the expression on paper/screen of some of the mental processes of reflection. Other forms of expressing reflection are in speech, in film, in graphic portrayal, music etc. The expression of reflection is not, however, a direct mirror of what happens in the head. It is a representation of that process within the chosen medium and reflection represented in writing, for example, will be different to that encompassed in a drawing. In other words, in making are presentation of reflection, we shape and model the content of our reflection according to many influences. Factors that could shape your reflection into reflective writing might include


• the reason why you are writing reflectively (personal reasons � eg in a diary or for academic purposes etc)


• whether others are going to see what you have written and who they are (eg no-one else; a tutor who will mark it; a tutor who will not mark it, friends etc.);


• your emotional state at the time of writing, and emotional reaction to what you are writing (eg - a disturbing event that you do not want to think about or something you did well and want to enjoy in the rethinking process);


• related to the above, how safe you feel about the material and anyone


seeing it;


• what you know about reflective writing and how able you are to engage


in it (see below)


(http//www.unl.ac.uk/interfaculty/credit/reflectivewriting%0_studentguide_.pdf)


Critical reflection is defined as deliberate process when the candidate takes time, within the course of their work, to focus on their performance and think carefully about the thinking that led to particular actions, what happened and what they are learning from the experience, in order to inform what they might do in the future. (QCA, 001, 8). Reflective writing includes each of these elements of rigorous critical thinking, with an added emphasis on reconsidering preconceptions, exploring conflicts between competing values and concepts, and carefully considering the implications of various views for the writer’s actions. Variety of outcomes can be expected as a result of reflective writing for e.g. development of a plan or formulation of plan of action or decision or resolution of some problem solving activity. Finally reflective writing might provide self development, empowerment, knowledge and most importantly lead to the process of learning.


Let me begin by asking what is learning ? learning is the cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge. I have been accustomed to this process since my childhood, the process of learning from that period has been changed constantly, the difference been at this stage this process has become more stressful and challenging. One of the example of my learning experience is the university of Sheffield Hallam where I am pursuing my masters degree.


To relate to my personnel experience the module critical thinking and investigation methods have moulded me in way that helped me to think effectively in relation to the subject matter, that is, how to properly understand and evaluate it. But did not start at the very beginning as I mentioned earlier the first impression was the negative effect which led to me loosing interest. It began when I started reading and discovered that critical thinking could be responsible in making decisions which might effect ones life. The example I could think for critical thinking is my practice of learning which has been dramatically changed while doing this masters degree. My previous education has been pursued in India where the learning process is totally different. The teaching method India is spoon fed wherein the teacher does all the talking and the students only have to write down notes and then read the same notes and answer their examination papers. Thus this system unable oneself to think or put forward ones views and opinion. Similarly in my case I had never experienced such a leaning process which would enable me to critically ask appropriate questions, gather relevant information, efficiently and creatively sort through this information, reason logically from this information, and come to reliable and trustworthy conclusion. Well my learning activity was opening my textbooks and start learning important matters by heart without even understanding the logic behind it. But this began to change when I went to pursue my bachelors in Switzerland where the learning was based on research methodology. Hence my learning practice has been changed from the past to the present where i have been given opportunities to put forward my ideas by doing some research work. Learning can be done through various ways like reading a book, watching a video, listening to your lecturer or audio piece, through actions etc, but it depends upon oneself as to how you learn best. According to my opinion I believe that if you hear the lecturer giving seminar or a lecture you grasp only 10% of the total matter taught, but at the same time when you see a demonstration or a video clip of that particular topic it is believed that you learn around 50%. In my case I believe in practising things which I learnt and research tells us that people tend to learn around 0% by doing in practical. Yes I believe that I learn best when go through practical training. I would like to give an example of my previous educational course diploma in hotel management which i pursued in India. The term hotel management as the name sounds does not only deals with managing the hotel and the front of the house areas but it also briefs us about the back of the house functions and how they work in connection with the front of the house departments. I only understood this concept when I underwent a 6 month practical training at one of the India most popular hotel the Taj Mahal , Mumbai. There I worked in departments like kitchen, human resources and sales and marketing and realised that cutting an onion in the kitchen also requires skills when compared to being a sales personnel whos job is to meet big corporate and sell his hotel. Hence the best way in which I learn is by doing things practically.


The way I learn I think is the most appropriate, but only thing I would like to do differently to learn is practice more as I preach because I normally say that I will do my assignments today and I never end doing it up, therefore I would like to be more truthful to myself which would further enhance my learning. I believe that education is never a waste the more u learn the more it adds to your knowledge. But there are certain factors that may act as a barrier and effect my learning process


• lack of confidence


• lack of tutorial support when studying


• lack of personal support


(http//www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/importanceoflearning.htm)


I might want to change a certain things which would help me to improve my learning those include


• Paying more attention


• Practice as I preach


First day at Sheffield Hallam university and I was beginning to feel homesick already. I still remember the very first day in the university such huge that I was totally lost and didnt know where to go. After finding out for which class I was scheduled for the first day I quietly went and attended my induction classes. The first week was rather very interactive as came across many students in this university. As the weeks passed by I started coming in contact with all my modules and found out these modules related exactly to the course I had chosen. I still didnt even open by books and the assignment started to flow in, the pressure mounted and the stress had started to take over me. But I decided that I need to start from somewhere and here I am writing my first assignment on critical thinking and investigation methods. This module is relatively new and I would need to plan out as how I would manage and enhance my learning,. There were certain thoughts that were running down my mind as to what should I do to make my learning more effective. The only thought I found valid for this process was critical reflection. This meant that being a good thinker I started thinking rationally about the lectures, seminars, taking notes, drawing mind maps as from where I will begin my research, analyse them and then present them.





CD-ROM


After being in Sheffield Hallam university I have found that things here are very different when compared to home, for e.g. the teaching method, modules, learning materials provided etc.. The first thought that landed in my mind about this module of critical thinking was totally negative which really made me lose my interest towards this subject. This thought appeared because the handing over of the CD as the only learning material used by the lecturer to teach this module was something really absurd which I had never experienced before.


But gradually as the weeks flew and I watched the CD my perception began to change I really started forward to know more about this module and finding ways of how this module will groom me in future. The CD has played an important role in helping me to learn better and effectively. The CD is an introduction to the module and a meaningful attempt to pursue mastery. The journey of learning is designed to be engaging, interactive and not necessarily turning pages. The CD marries the video and text together and makes it more interesting for students. It makes the learning process more active than passive, the concepts which the developer has tired to portray is clearly understood through this CD with the help of audio, video and text demonstrations. CD enables the learners to use video controls, set pace and use video to relate task. The CD emphasises on writing skills and critical awareness of the subject. It also contains information on text, sounds and images which is also known as media richness. The other feature about the CD is that it points out about Mastery which not to repeat and learn theories, but to analysis and evaluate ideas. (Hart 16, 15).





There are certain advantages and disadvantages of CD provided to us for this module


Advantages


Good for permanent data storage- shelf life of a CD-ROM is long and data can be referenced frequently, Easy to store- The CD-ROM being mobile and occupies very limited storage space, Interactive presentation- the use of audio video presentation could enhance learning process , Security- It can be secured through a password.


Disadvantages


Maintenance cost- Hardware, software, expertise, Limited Access- Once information stored on the CD cannot be changed, Readability- It is difficult and tiring to read a book on a computer when compared to its paper version


Conclusion


In this piece of work I have tried to relate the theory and my personal experience. These two sections in my opinion are not interconnected as things are very different when you apply them in real life. The books we refer to may provide only the base my listing the core concepts, but the understanding of these concepts are solely dependant on how one practices. In the same way thinking skills are develop by students with the help of critical reflection as it has the ability to control ones thinking. This kind of assignment on critical thinking and investigation method, will help to become more communicative and active in learning. This work has motivated to seek for information and think about the issues more seriously and critically. It has also helped me to get into the habit of thinking reflectively as I sought to identify issues that I could write about. This also helped me to improve my problem solving skills and analytical skills.


Bibliography


1. Bell, Judith Doing your Research Project a guide for first time researchers in education and social science, rd ed. Buckingham Open U.P. ; (1)


. Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (001) How to Research, nd ed, Buckingham Open University Press


. Burns, R (15) The adult learner at work Business and Professional Publishing Sydney


4. Hunt, Cheryl (1) - Reflective Practice.


5. Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge An Introduction to Critical Thinking. (16).


6. Moon, J (1) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development, Taylor and Frances, London


7. http//www.kcmetro.cc.mo.us/longview/ctac/definitions.htm


8. http//lonestar.texas.net/~mseifert/crit.html


. http//www.unl.ac.uk/interfaculty/credit/reflectivewriting%0_studentguide_.pdf


10. http//www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/importanceo


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