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So, you’re a fastball hitter and life throws you a curveball.

You have one of two options:

Wait for the fastball or learn to hit the curveball.

You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about; let’s break it down in terms anyone should get.

  • Fastball – Everything is going your way, life falls into place and you’re accomplishing your goals, what could go wrong. Are you flexible? Do you have a project in the works to advance your project toward the goal you seek and have expressed via a vision board, affirmations or whatever you use to track to a goal you’ve set?
  • Curveball – Unexpected situation arises, health, family member illness, child situation, pet issues …etc. Is this a setback? What of the progress on projects? How long before you can get back to work? Do you have a contingency plan? What happens if you have to ley your project set for an extended period, say a month or more? What if the project is for a client?

Isn’t being an entrepreneur or small business owner fun.

Unless you have deep pockets, you are going to be doing a lot of administrative work for your business and can afford to outsource it. However, you should start off doing some of it yourself to understand it and be able to explain what you want your VA to do. If they don’t understand the work and how you expect it completed they won’t be able to complete it correctly. You get to do it again.

I wish someone would have clued me in. Experience is a tough taskmaster. This is the impetus for a work I started but found it needed to be rewritten not just revised.

The working title is Taming the Freelance Market. I had to put it on the back burner while I was forced to take it easy for a couple of months. I couldn’t trust myself to walk from one spot to another in the house, no stairs until cleared by doctors.

Back in my office after months of medical tests, frustration, fear and the onset of a deeper depression than usual. Working with generalized anxiety and depression is better when working than being able to become too introspective. Medications only work to a point.

Can you say the same? What happens to client projects if something develops medical or emotionally to you or something significant in your life (ex: wife, child, parent); can you afford it?

This should be part of your business plan. Don’t have a business plan?

Get busy creating a business plan ASAP and review it a minimum of quarterly for revision and visit your business goals.

What I have chosen to do after retirement is for sanity and keeping the dreaded anxiety-depression monster at bay. I know I am not the only entrepreneur that suffer from this malady.

There is a group on Facebook (Overcoming Depression for Entrepreneurs) about the subject of depression that is happening because of many factors for entrepreneurs or small business owners.

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart.

There is much to honestly examine inwardly and externally before you hang your shingle out and quitting your 9 to 5 job and joining the gig economy.

Nothing happens overnight, it takes hard work and perseverance to make it in the gig economy.

You need a backup plan and a business war chest to get over the rough spots without going into debt to get your endeavor afloat.

Most businesses fail because of lack of funds not a lack of desire. Desire can only go so far. Money is what drives business. Any goal in the gig economy will require funds to cover the mundane expenses like mortgage, taxes, insurance, medical, food, vehicles …etc.

This is where a solid business and marketing plan comes into play.

With a solid plan and realistic goals, the curve balls will not affect your outcome.

Plan, plan, and review your plan.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Freelance Editor, Freelance Proofreader, and Reviewer Learning Marketing

 

©All rights reserved Robert Medak September 4, 2018

Because of a litany of medical conditions and age, I have not been feeling well and unable to get to my office that is located in a walkout basement.

Me and two dogs. A 35-pound Puggles (Beagle-Pug Mix), and a 70-pound Pit Bull Mix for company and distractions just like many writers.

It is hard to work on things when you can’t trust your own body not to betray you. I will not go into the conditions or the battery of tests. Suffice it to say that for the past two months have been interesting and restrictive.

With a semi-diagnoses, changes in medications, old-school control of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 it has been a somewhat challenging time for me and my wife.

I have only been back in my office for about a week. There are still appointments with a neurologist, the ones with a PA and a cardiologist are done for now.

I have been researching for information for organizing my workload.

As I learn more software, there will be more time broken into projects to be scheduled to practice time management.

As a freelancer for hire, it is time to organize the administrative part of my solo-entrepreneurship and gain better control of the projects contracted and where they stand.

With a bit of luck and my taking better care of myself, I will be around for a while longer and posting on a more consistent schedule.

As always, if readers have questions or wish to discuss anything posted here, feel free to contact me.

Always be polite. I take constructive criticism to heart, however, I do not take vitriol and will not accept it.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer,  Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer Learning Marketing

©All rights reserved Robert Medak September 3, 2018

 

 

 

What do you think, is ethics dead? Was there ever ethics?

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”    — Potter Stuart

This requires a moral code other than being selfish and following the libertarian philosophy touted by Ayn Rand, which it seems many of today are following.

Ayn Rand is more about the individual and not altruism and thinking that we are the tribe of human beings on a spinning planet where we must all get along and consider the other person’s point of view.

It is not necessary to agree with opposite points of view, we can agree to disagree while we should consider why does that person have their opinion as we have ours.

Is it because of certain life experiences, some trauma in their life, some trauma in our life, a different socioeconomic condition, different level of education, blue or white collar; there may be many reasons for a person’s outlook and philosophy of life and moral code thereby their ethical stand.

Do you think ethics are taught at home? Should ethics be taught in school?

To me, it really seems visible today that ethics is not something exterior to the economy, which, as technical matter, could function on its own; rather, ethics is an interior principle of the economy itself, which cannot function if it does not take account of the human values of solidarity and reciprocal responsibility.” — Pope Benedict XVI

Is Pope Benedict XVI, right?

Today’s economy is a situation where some of the richest families pay the lowest wages forcing employees to go on food stamps and various government programs which cost taxpayers millions while the families get billion-dollar tax breaks adding to their enormous wealth.

Yes, greed in America is alive and well.

Ethics also contain the truth, not blaming others when they are not at fault, like blaming emigrants for job loss when the reality is automation and technology has cost many jobs that used to be in manufacturing.

Where workers would take days to make a product a robot can do the same in hours without pay, breaks, workers comp, medical benefits and more negotiated in good faith by unions. It is easy to blame others than looking at the root cause of the problem in the cold light of day.

What is morality?

I have to live for others and not myself; that’s middle-class morality”  — George Bernard Shaw

Morality is your moral code, which determines your ethics.

The question for you is, where did your morals come from?

Your parents, friends, church, school, books or somewhere else.

Do consider what is the right thing to do or just do for yourself without regard to the consequences?

Are the consequences of your actions someone else’s responsibility?

Is taking someone’s work and taking credit for it ever okay just because you can make money as happens to authors thereby negating their time, effort, and creativity that they should rightly profit from and not the one who stole/pirated the work of others.

Although, intellectual rights, copyrights, and so-called protections, finding the perpetrator and taking them to court is no easy and expensive, which many others can’t afford.

Ethics or simple honesty is the building blocks upon which our whole society is based, and business is a part of our society, and it’s integral to the practice of being able to conduct business, that you have a set of honest standards.”  — Kerry Stokes

Business Ethics Pledge

In my opinion, doing the right thing is the right thing to do.

I do hold myself to a high standard when it comes to ethics.

My standard is:

“I also turn down work because of my stand on honesty, integrity, and quality.

Authenticity and originality are my primary goals in everything I do.

To do less is to diminish me as a person, and brand.” 

Think about it! Is ethics dead?

Yes or No? Why or Why Not?

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Freelance Editor, Freelance Proofreader, Reviewer learning marketing

 

 

Journalism is supposed to be about facts without interpretation or bias from the journalist.

Today, April 2, 2018, Sinclair Broadcasting issued a memo of copy to be read on over 170 outlets they own decrying all other news as fake news except them.

Today, Journalism turned into an opportunity for propaganda over the truth, if you don’t propagate the owner’s message and slant million-dollar salaries for on-air personalities are in the balance.

It’s a plain case of money over integrity and professional ethics in a society following the Ayn Rand philosophy of being selfish is a good thing like the One Percent, and Corporations in America.

Much of the greed in America, Corporate welfare, and the war on the middle class can be traced to the 1970s and trickle-down economics started by Ronald Reagan in the 1970s who also touted about “Make America Great Again”. Knew I heard it before. Trump and his family don’t display original thinking. Trump is using Reagan’s failed trickle-down economy from the 1970s that didn’t work then and made things worse for the middle class. Since Trump doesn’t read, he is repeating failed history.

Being a septuagenarian, I remember Journalism as something where ethics and integrity were valued. Sadly, it is no longer true since Sinclair Broadcasting who Trump’s Department of Justice allowed to acquire more stations to propagate Trump’s words by stroking the ego of a narcissistic sociopath while anyone whom he doesn’t like is not allowed to acquire other entities., think ATT’s desire to acquire Time-Warner, parent company to CNN News because of Trump’s war on CNN and Jefe Bezos of Amazon because Trump doesn’t like the Washington Post owned by Jeff.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received in my life came from my Grandfather who lived through the Great Depression when he told me, “Don’t believe anything you read or hear, and only half of what you see.”

Due diligence by checking facts from many sources, thinking for yourself you can make truly informed decisions, not what someone wants you to think. More so in today’s environment then ever before in the history of the last 70 years, I have witnessed.

Color me skeptical, but I do not believe words as much as I do actions.

Any entity that claims to be the one true source for your news is automatically suspect in my opinion, an entity moving toward mind control while also trying to dumb you down creating a slave mentality, ultimate control of what the populace thinks rather than living in a land of the free.

Born at the end of WW II, I was an Enlisted ARMY Reservist during the Viet Nam War.

Today, my shame for today’s America heightened exponentially when I heard about Sinclair Broadcasting’s must-read on-air memo and witnessed a video of multiple on-air journalists reading identical copy.

I consider myself a critical free thinker, avid reader of multiple books, and genres. While I am open to listening, you will have to prove it to me with enhanced facts, not conjecture before I am willing to accept a position. I will fact check and do not believe in alternative facts such as Kellie Ann Conway pronounced once on Television. It is impossible to un-hear statements from Presidential Aides.

Do your own work and fact checking to make sure you are thinking for yourself and not listening to talking heads with a message their boss is pushing as propaganda rather than the truth unless you don’t care that your thoughts are being warped by these talking heads.

I only like fiction in my story reading not in my real life.

Have thoughts? Let’s start a discussion.

By

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing.

Lessons learned in twenty-seventeen

As a septuagenarian, here is an overabundance of noise on the Internet and Social Media put forth by people whose aim it seems is to separate you from your money offering advice and high-priced packages that offer no guarantee of even a modicum of success.

Let’s face it, how hard is any individual going to submerse themselves into a book, video or audio package when life and overdue bills are staring them in the face while wondering if tomorrow they will become unemployed as corporations and laying employees off.

One can see that corporations are only interested in one thing, their shareholders, and CEOs, and not employees. Immigrants are not the cause of the loss of jobs as many government officials espouse. Automation and corporate greed have done more to decimate the middle-class working family than Immigrants over the course of the past several decades.

Politicians claim there is no war on the poor and middle class.

Starting in the 1970s, look at Social Security. People pay for Social Security through payroll taxes to safeguard form retirement since many companies didn’t have retirement packages or lost them through Wall Street Investments. The government when to the Supreme Court loaded with conservative justices and won the right to call Social Security an entitlement and could use the money for funding government.

Now the Conservatives want to eliminate both Medicare and Social Security which are funded through payroll taxes and squander money in areas that accomplish only lessen the quality of life and living standard while seeking in creative a class of slaves for the rich by people who have been in Congress longer than many of their constituents have been alive and completely out of touch with reality. While the working class lives on a budget to keep from living in utter poverty the Government is running such massive deficits that our great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren will be lucky to pay off if there is any world left for them with the pollution and atmospheric changes the current corporate and government is willing to leave for them.

We have already seen the death of the Great Barrier Reef, the extinction of many species of animals, destruction of rain forests, pollution of rivers and lakes, fish in the oceans that are inedible because of mercury and radiation. Why some in Congress care? They’re rich and their children don’t need to worry because they will never have to work a day in their life like the other eighty to ninety percent of the people wondering how to pay for health care, prescriptions, and generalized living expenses as most Americans do.

What many fail to realize is that America is the only country without a designated language and the highest prescriptions and medical cost of any modern industrial nation on Planet Earth.

America is slowly slipping from the ranks of most educated and well-read amongst many nations.

Looking Forward to Twenty-Eighteen

Contrary to the noise, the only person responsible for the success or failure of my second career is ME! 

Amidst a litany of medical conditions one of which I have some lingering side effects today preclude me from working anywhere else but from home.

As individuals, we are the only ones responsible for our lives past, present, and future. If there were ever a time to put on the adult pants, that time is now for we can rely only on ourselves for our own lives.

Partnerships are only good for each person taking one-hundred percent responsibility for making the relationship work.

I chose as my second career one that is singularly individual, frustrating with steep learning curve because learning only comes from doing and practicing to ever improve; each day is a new beginning to strive for being better than the day before. Perfection is never the end game but only to be better than the day before. The career I chose is one that my it nature is a solitary existence and one that is good for a person due to certain physical limitations must be a partial recluse.

My second career seemed the first choice as someone who is an avid reader of all genres from the classics to contemporary but must state a preference for some long dead composition.

I choose to peddle my wares, as some have suggested lower than I should that hurts their rates, I choose to work with newer authors to help them create the best composition possible on a meeting of the minds.

Editing is somewhat subjective while following given grammatical, punctuational, spelling, and typographical rules. One must also consider sentence structure and linguistic norms.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

That quote says it all. Authors write for themselves but also with a reader in mind. Anyone aspiring toward authorship must keep in mind that being an author is akin to an entrepreneur.

Authors need a platform, a website, marketing, a following, PR, social media, publishing, editing, proofreading, formatting, indexing, bookkeeping, and more. Sounds like an entrepreneur doesn’t it. Yes, writing is a business and deserves to be handled as one.

To this end, for twenty-eighteen, I will be removing distractions, taking some online courses and dive into reading the numerous books on style and others to improve over last year and allow more time in my day for many creative endeavors.

The biggest challenge is determining what is working or isn’t working when it comes to promotion and branding for what I loosely call a career with only a few one of clients.

I must be more proactive in finding clients willing to trust that I can deliver quality.

My second Career:

Freelance Writer

Blogger

Editor

Proofreader

Reviewer

Learning Marketing and Branding

Twenty-eighteen, a new beginning and a better year than twenty-seventeen!

Author

Robert Medak

Please feel free to comment or begin a discussion on this post or any post on this blog.

 

 

 

 

In 2003, I was in my thirty-seventh year with SBC (Originally Pacific Telephone & Telegraph that was a subsidiary of American Telephone & Telegraph known as ATT. In 1984 The Bell System was divested into Baby Bells. PT&P became Pacific Bell or PacBell. SBC bought out PacBell and later bought the name ATT. I offer this history as a side note to bring together what follows.)

While working for PacBell, I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Syndrome and some other medical conditions. The most important one is the Meniere’s.

There are four symptoms to Meniere’s.

  1. Hearing Loss
  2. Fullness in the Ear
  3. Tinnitus (Ringing in the ear.)
  4. Vertigo + Nausea (Spinning world and sometimes vomiting)

I was blessed with all four symptoms. This is something one just learns to live with like taking B12 Injections for pernicious anemia You get used to it because there is no viable alternative.

In 2003, thanks to the Meniere’s, and unseen and less understood condition was not doing my attendance was less than exemplary. Fortunately, the company was offering an early retirement package to employees with enough time and age. I was lucky enough to be offered such a package. With termination because of attendance issues, this was a no brainer, I took the package in December of 2003.

After three years of retirement, I wanted something to do that keeps my mind active. I did a lot of volunteering. Friends of the Library, Citizens on Patrol, Worked in the Senior Citizens Thrift Store, Treasurer of Serenity Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, Parliamentarian of the Citizens Club, President of the Fire Safety Council, events coordinator, publicist, and PR person for Serenity Haven. While I kept busy, there was still something missing.

In 2006, I began reviewing books. Having been an avid reader for over half a century by that time I noticed that the books I was reviewing could do with some proofreading if not large-scale editing.

Later began my career as an online copywriter of various subjects and interning as an online copy editor. My reviews offered me the opportunity to edit manuscripts and do some PR for the author of a book.

Since I am on a fixed income with a scant budget I have had to wear many hats.

I am a CEO, CFO, CMO, COO, CCO, Editor at Large, Content Creator, Publicist, and PR Department, which means always something new to learn and practice on a DIY basis.

MY WHY

I have thought about this question from the first time I heard it.

For me, it is not about the money, but helping people, small businesses, entrepreneurs, authors, unpublished authors, or anyone who needs the services of a proofreader or editor with a limited budget and can’t afford the services that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Because of a litany of medical conditions and medications that require a regulated schedule I work from home that requires little to no overhead and able to work inexpensively passing savings onto the client.

I have read Asimov to Zola, Classics, Romance, Business, Medical Texts, Fiction, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, and just about any genre there is.

I have had discussions about various authors with people.

I was fortunate to meet and have two books autographed after a talk at Southwest Manuscriptors Torrance, CA by Ray Bradbury.

As Mr. Bradbury explained it, his writing teachers were the tomes he found in the library.

His advice was invaluable. By reading everything one can learn to write, but only if they write something every day. One’s first work may be horrendous but should improve as time goes along. Very few people are born writers without some work before.

It usually takes time and hard work to become an overnight success.

My main drive is to help writing become better by eliminating clichés, redundant words, spelling, punctuation, passive sentences, and any other items from a reader’s viewpoint.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” Ask any author if they agree and most will.

It a form of paying it forward. It is all about the copy and making it the best possible for the reader.

I have been chastised for the prices I charge causing others to not make as much for their work.

I don’t care. I charge what I do because I know that many authors can’t afford an expensive editor or proofreader when they self-publish.

I believe that there should be an editor for every author that the author can afford to work with without having to take out a home mortgage to pay for.

Does this “MY WHY” make sense?

Talk to me about it. I love discussions and helping people where and when I can.

I also deliver honest unbiased reviews and have been known to call out authors when there is something amiss for the reader. An Example is non-consistency of terms or in one case of a new writer the protagonist leaves in a truck to go to town and then gets into a car to come home but it is meant to be the same vehicle. If it starts a truck it stays a truck unless it is sold and a car is bought.

This sounds simple but can through the reader off and screams amateur.

Authors want to be taken seriously for their work and have readers. When a reader reads a book that hasn’t been properly edited they either stop reading or never read that author again. Readers who spend money for a book have an expectation of quality. An editor helps with the quality.

NOTE: I would appreciate comments you may have about this post.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

If you work in any capacity of freelancing, do you have a contract in place for any work performed for your clients?

Why or Why Not?

Do you need a freelance contract signed by your client for your records?

Has a client ever requested that you sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) for work you have performed?

Why all Freelancers need to have a “Freelance Contract” in place before beginning any work for a client.

  • Do you like getting paid for your work?
  • Before you begin work, shouldn’t you know what the client is expecting?
  • Shouldn’t you know what the project entails and any required research?
  • Does the client know what much the completed project will cost?
  • Are there expectations when and how are you to keep the client updated on the project?
  • Are there designated payment milestones on the project?
  • Is there an expected due date for completion?
  • Are there provisions for any editing of the project or extra research costs?

There may be more that may come up when consulting with any client about an upcoming project.

You Need a “Freelance Contract”.

The free-lance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”  — Robert Benchley

Ask any freelancer, what happens if a client doesn’t pay them? Without a “Freelance Contract”, not much.

With a Freelance Contract in place, a non-paying client can be taken to claims court and forced to pay the amount within the contract.

Why Freelancers should always establish payment milestones in the contract.

  1. The Freelancer can receive a certain percentage of the total amount to check out how the client pays, Check, PayPal or some other form agreed upon.
  2. As the Freelancer completes a portion of the project he/she will receive another percentage of the project established in the contract.
  3. Any extras if research is required.
  4. Both client and Freelancer can follow the progress of the project.
  5. Offers the client and Freelancer deadlines.
  6. Assurance the both client and Freelancer are on the same page.
  7. A legal agreement that can be used in a court of law for non-payment.
  8. Protects the Freelancer.

8 clauses every Freelance Contract should include:

  1. Pricing/Rates
  2. Payment/Invoicing
  3. Single Point of Contact
  4. Kill Fee
  5. Revision and Rewrites
  6. “Scope Creep” The project is good but would be better if A, B, and C were added.
  7. Copyrights: For freelance writers and web designers.
  8. Deadline

There is no, one contract fits all. Therefore, create a basic template that is easily adjustable to the current client’s needs and project.

Freelancers do the work but may not be able to talk about it; always ask for referrals and a testimonial.

NOTE: Testimonials are good for branding.

Author:

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, Reviewer

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Don’t believe anything you read or hear, and only half of what you see.”— John Jankovich (1890-1971)

There has been an uproar as of late about fake news stories.

Fake news is nothing new. It started with Willian Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer I when Pulitzer’s New York World and Hearst’s New York Journal vying for the top paper began to change their stories by adding more sensationalization to their content including the increased use of cartoons.

This became known as “yellow journalism”, this was the beginning of what is called tabloid journalism, that one sees at grocery line checkout stands.

There was once a time where journalists like Walter Cronkite, Clete Roberts, Edward R. Morrow and others were considered trustworthy sources of news.

Somewhere along the rating battles for the top news source, advertising, and dwindling newspaper readership, television viewership started to create an instant news environment but the in-depth reporting found in newspapers was no long viewed in the same manner before television was invented.

Today, anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet along with Internet access can post a story, no fact checking necessary. It’s called “citizen journalism” and not held to any standards.

Rumors are like songbirds; they sound filling but make a poor feast.” MICHAEL GEAR & KATHLEEN O’NEAL GEAR,People of the Nightland

Can you believe in the veracity of the author of articles read online or heard on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC or other sources where people incur their news?

Is there reporting bias?

Is there a concealed agenda from topmost management?

What obfuscation is potentially perpetrated by so-called sources that do not vet references with exhaustive fact checking via multiple sources before branding a story as legitimate news?

Many may not remember, but both CBS and NBC have been scammed with so-called news only to find out that is was more hoax than legitimate news because they did not perform due diligence and vetting their sources with multiple sources because of tight deadlines and trying to get the story out first for ratings instead of getting it correct.

This is not an indictment of citizen journalism. As a receiver of news, it behooves that one relies on more than one source.

During the 2016 Presidential Election, the veracity of the candidates was called into question on numerous occasions and found false statements under the scrutiny of fact checking.

The gist of this post to follow the quote attributed to John Jankovich above.

Many of you have never heard that name, he was someone born in 1890. He was a special person in my life and someone whom I greatly respected. He was my maternal grandfather. I can’t think of anyone I respected more than him.

John Jankovich taught me many life lessons. He also taught me many techniques of how to prepare certain types of seafood from shell to table. He was a man of many talents, working with his hands and lessons learned just by living through some catastrophic years in his 80 years on the planet (1890 – 1971), I turned 26 in September of 1971.

What is your opinion about “Fake News?

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader and Reviewer

I also turn down work because of my stand on honesty, integrity, and quality.

Authenticity and originality are my primary goals in everything I do.

To do less is to diminish me as a person, and brand. ”

—- Robert Medak

There are many job boards and opportunities for academic writers. I have chosen to never write academic articles.

You would probably ask me why?

For me, it is about a moral code I developed decades ago. I believe strongly in honesty, integrity, and quality.

  1. If I were to write an academic paper and a student were to turn it in as an assignment: He/She has plagiarized. It isn’t his work.

  2. He/She hasn’t learned anything. This is the purpose of an academic paper. Research and fact finding thus gaining experience and knowledge.

  3. He/She has not learned how to rely on themselves.

  4. He/She is taking the easy way out by cutting corners.

Even the possibility of academic articles being used for this purpose is enough for me to have no desire to write academic articles.

Example:

A number of years ago while in college, I wrote a paper on Microwave Vaccum Tubes. I designed an electronic schematic showing all formulas concerning the parts list and how I derived the values for the components.

There were reasons that this work was assigned. What would I have learned if I had ordered an academic paper?

I also did a review of a book for a political science course taken for my major.

These were for separate courses that showcased my work, not someone else, the grades received were earned my me.

By doing the work I proved that I am not part of the almost 50 percent of today’s freshmen applying to community college must be remediated because they are unable to perform college-level work.

Businesses are spending 3.1 billion dollars a year remediating employees because colleges students do not have adequate communication and math skills for today’s businesses.

Being an old-school grammarian, there are times when visiting websites, readers should be appalled by the grammar and punctuation errors, verb-subject agreement, and poor writing.

Granted, that typos are impossible to catch everyone. The point is, that before anything is posted to the internet or any media it should be thoroughly edited and proofread.

Read and you will find words being used that show a lack of the basic understanding of English.

Where have native English speakers learned that it is okay to use learnt when they mean learned?

Just because a word has been added to a lexicon doesn’t mean it should be used instead of the proper word.

Social media and texting is the downfall of proper English, I can’t speak for other languages since I don’t speak any.

How are your communication and math skills?

Do you read?

Do you practice your communication and math skills?

Do you spend time expanding your vocabulary?

Through the use of judicious use of proper English for verbal and written communication will help in clear and concise communication to establish what the communicator is trying to say and have it understood whoever hears or reads it.

© 10/24/2016 All Rights Reserved

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader,and Reviewer

Are Tomorrow’s Leaders of Business, Journalism, and Politics Ready to Communicate Effectively. What about Tomorrow’s Authors?

Think about this, the students in middle school today will be tomorrow’s leaders. Shouldn’t we prepare them for the world ahead?

You only need to visit the Internet and most social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others to recognize that command of written English is losing ground. There are typos, shorthand, and errors on sites that offer us news, educational and technical information for consumers, hobbyists, and the general public. Would you trust someone whose communication skills are lacking?

US News and World Report, “How to Fix America’s College Remediation Issue – More than half of community college freshmen are told they aren’t ready for college-level work.”

An Inc.com article about remediation, “Report shows more than $3.1 billion is being spent annually on remedial writing training.”

The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy’s article by John Maguire, “Why Many College Students Never Learn How to Write Sentences.”

There is a movement, if it is, I choose to be a hoax, or not to eliminate the teaching of cursive writing being taught in schools. Parents should check their child’s curriculum and verify that cursive handwriting is being taught to their child or take it upon themselves to request it of the school district. If that fails, it is the parents’ duty to teach their child cursive handwriting.

Check out this article by about cursive handwriting in The Washington Post’s article, “Cursive handwriting is disappearing from public schools.

Are college standards being dumbed down to accommodate students as this article states? Remediation and the Dumbing Down of Campus Standards article by Paul Trout, English MSU-Bozeman.

Who is at Fault for the high need of Remediation of High School Graduates? 

There is more than enough blame to go around from parents who don’t look at their child’s homework, teachers who are over-worked and underpaid, bilingual education which exacerbates not assimilating into English, core standards, the government’s no child left behind report sent to President Regan and the Department of Education to the rewriting of books that the far right in America is trying to do to the point of ignoring history so as to not offend someone. There are some that still deny some history like the holocaust and genocide conducted by governments to various religions. There is an old quote, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Originally attributed to George Santayana.

Another thought, The United States of America stands as the only industrialized nation without a designated language. That’s right, although English is taught in schools, the United States Congress has never passed a bill to make English the designated language. There have been many bills generated to create a designated language, no bill has ever made it to the desk of the President of the United States for signature.

The dumbing down of standards actually began in the 1960s with the emphasis on test scores rather than actual learning how to study, writing, reading, math and science. There was more emphasis on test scores than learning what students need for the real world like learning how to comprehend what they read in their textbooks and basic computation and communication skills.

With both parents required to work to survive the new economic reality, some have scant time to make parent teachers meetings that were held in the 1940s and 1950s when one parent could afford to stay home. Parents not checking the curriculum of their children and involved in what was being taught to their child.

The statistics about reading are abysmal, most parents and children do not read other than what is required for a class and nothing more, the loss of reading comprehension and reading level is one reason for remediation of college freshmen. How can one develop reading comprehension if they don’t read to gain both comprehension and vocabulary expansion?

How can parents who don’t read expect their children read?

In the 1940s and 50s

Students were held to higher academic standards for extra-curricular activities. There were dress codes, children showed respect to teachers and administrators. Misbehavior was dealt with swiftly. Parents were kept abreast of their children’s discipline and behavior misdeeds.

This does not mean corporal punishment but sent to a separate classroom allowing the class to continue learning. The use of school detention with a note to the parents was the rule of the day.

Parents were more involved with their child’s education.

Is your child’s school offering parent-teacher conferences and do you attend?

Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences at Your Child’s School.

All schools should hold parent-teacher conferences. Parents should demand to speak to their child’s teacher(s) and work at helping their child with core knowledge in reading comprehension, writing, math, and science. If their child is lacking in a specific area, asking the teacher for more work or requesting how a parent can help their child is in order.

Ultimately, the concept of solid core education is what will help the child in the future when they are ready for college to not have to be remediated to handle college-level textbooks and writing assignments. Some courses require blue book tests where the student must write a short essay dealing with the question on a test while others may require a term paper.

In college, part of a student’s grade is how well they can communicate in writing to explain a position or concept related to the course matter.

Written and oral communication is important for everyday intercourse but more so in the college environment.

A person’s command of writing and vocabulary strength are requirements for their ability to clearly express and explain their meaning at work or in classroom discussions with their college professor.

You or your child can build a larger vocabulary by the simple act of reading and use of a lexicon for words that are unclear, unknown or unusual to find their meaning and proper usage.

Reading not only helps you and your child, you also help authors by purchasing their book, checking out a book at your local library and posting a review. If you enjoy a specific book, please be kind enough to tell your friends why you liked it and recommend that they read the book. They might recommend a book for you to read that they enjoyed reading. Spreading the word at the office is an excellent way to practice oral communication skills and public speaking albeit one-on-one building interpersonal skills comfort.

We all need to practice or upgrade our basic communication skills unless we begin to backtrack on our abilities and failing to maintain our written and oral communication with others. Practicing also helps the continual growth of our vocabulary to make our meaning clear and concise to the person you are communicating with to understand your meaning as clearly as you think you are presenting the information in your mind.

Practice and preparation are the two main ingredients in communicating your thoughts to readers and through interpersonal intercourse among friends, teachers, and business associates. This also leads to being comfortability when communicating orally and in your writing.

Nathaniel Hawthorne said it best about written communication, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

There is no substitute for learning the basic core skills of reading, writing, math and science to create a will rounded intelligent person able to communicate with others and not be misunderstood.

Think about it and share your opinion in the comments.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning branding and marketing.

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