Course Reflection: Queens University of Charlotte

I survived my first eight weeks of Grad School! Although I was nervous about learning online, I had the pleasure of taking COM 601 Communication Fluency. Technology has changed since my time at Shaw University. However, I learned a lot over the past eight weeks— I learned how to create accounts for Skype, WordPress, and YouTube. Getting familiar with APA Style after ten years is still an area of opportunity, but I’ll conquer it eventually. Learning about the various communication theories has been enlightening. Week 5, I studied the impact of absent fathers, and applied the phenomenological tradition to examine the non-traditional family structure.

For my final project—another classmate and I chose The Lion King to support Kenneth Burke’s notion that film/literature provides “equipment for living”. Our selection was most interesting because we were able to use the same movie, but apply different communication theories to support our thesis and argument. I believe all of my classmates did a good job on their projects. I think the best example is illustrated below:

~Miss. Monét


Traditions of Communication Theory

“Theories in the phenomenological tradition assume that people actively interpret what happens around them and come to understand the world by personal experience with it,” (Littlejohn & Foss, 2011, p. 47). Phenomenology as a tradition makes the most sense to me. However, I’ m intrigued by the sociopsychological tradition too. The sociopsychological tradition studies the individual as a social being, “The theories of this tradition focus on individual behavior, psychological variables, individual effects, personalities, and traits, perception, and cognition,” (Littlejohn& Foss, 2011, p. 52).  Both traditions are easy to understand because one focuses on personal experience, and the other looks at the individual and how one responds as a result of their personal experience.

Both traditions can be applied to the phenomenon of sons growing up without their mothers or daughters growing up without their fathers. Think about it—the first relationship a male has with a woman is his mother, and the first relationship a female has with a man is her father.  What if the parent is absent? Can an absent parent impact a child’s development and scar them emotionally? Absolutely! Because the individual didn’t have an example of the “ideal” mother or father growing up, it could be difficult for to communicate/interact with the opposite sex. One could end up in a hermeneutic circle—replaying or re-experiencing the same situation(s) while constantly analyzing the details.

How can someone develop a healthy relationship with a person from the opposite sex with mommy or daddy issues? The sociopsychological tradition acknowledges, “…the power that individuals can have over other individuals and the effects of information on the human mind,” (Littlejohn & Foss, 2011, p. 53). The healing process begins when an individual forgives their estranged parent. Forgiveness is necessary in order to break the hermeneutic circle.


Littlejohn, Stephen W. & Karen A. Foss. (2011). Theories of Human Communication (10th ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press. (ISBN-13:978-1577667063).

~Miss. Monét

Reflection: APA Style

I recall using the American Psychological Association (APA) style in undergrad at Shaw University. APA style seems to be the preferred method at Queens University of Charlotte too. I’m curious to know why most institutions prefer APA style vs. the Modern Language Association (MLA) style? For example, two people make a cup of coffee (from the same pot) at work in the break room. One person likes their coffee with cream and sugar while the other person enjoys their coffee with cream, sugar, and cinnamon. At the end of the day it’s still a cup of coffee—it’s the same, yet different due to preference.

Well, its been ten years since I wrote a paper. It’s Week 5, and my draft paper is due on Sunday. I’m still trying to find balance between work, school, and life in general. For me, writing isn’t difficult. To my surprise, APA style incorporates how to write concisely—I struggle with being concise because I enjoy talking. There will be obstacles I’ll have to overcome with APA style. I’ll over analyze if I’m using it right—from quotes to crediting my sources. Knowing when to quote or paraphrase might be difficult to remember (for me). This week will be interesting.

~Miss. Monét

Digital Media Platforms

I remember when Facebook came out–I was in college. There was a lot of buzz around campus regarding the new website, so I created my profile too. It was an innovative way to communicate indirectly in my opinion. Think about it–I see you in person on campus, we don’t speak, but we can communicate, even be friends on Facebook. In 2004/2005, I honestly didn’t think Facebook would be relevant today–guess I was wrong. Do you remember the poke button? I didn’t like it at all. So you poke me, I poke you back, and that’s it? Not even a message?

Today, Facebook has evolved tremendously and changed the way we communicate/interact. At corporations there are guidelines instructing what you can do on your “personal” social media page(s). People have been fired from jobs, relationships have failed, and crimes solved due to Facebook and the evolution of social media in general. Facebook isn’t a true reflection of a person’s reality. For example, do people with large friends list (in the hundreds & thousands) actually know each “friend”? I doubt it. Your Facebook page is your brand–the way you want people to view you. It can either help or hinder you. Also, safety is a concern while using various digital platforms too. Privacy is my #1 concern.

Although I thought online learning and creating this blog (my first one) would be easy, I did face several challenges navigating each site. I’m new to blogging and Skype gave me a headache. In my opinion, it’s not user friendly–or maybe I’m not familiar with it. Slowly, but surely I’m learning how to navigate online for school. Eventually it will become easier as I become familiar with each digital outlet.