Self Staging: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

Spring 2011


Dorothy P. Byrom, Instructor

Office Hours:  

M: 8:15-1:15, T:11:00-1:00, and by appointment


Office:  Pafford 316b

E-mail:  dbyrom@westga.edu

Phone: 678/839-4890



      Students will be able to identify, analyze, and practice the various discursive modes involved in everyday self-presentation. Students will develop the ability to adapt their oral communication to specific purposes and audiences. Students will learn and practice techniques of effective conflict resolution, team building, stress management, and impression management. Students will achieve a deeper awareness of the subtext underlying oral communication, how to read it in others, and how to master their own. Students will learn how to express themselves more precisely and articulately by expanding their vocabulary and leading/participating in current events discussions.




Text:  Lipoma, Michael and Lori.  Self-Staging from the Inside Out:  Oral

      Communication in Everyday Life.  Student Workbook.  UWG Publications and

      Printing.  Available at Campus Bookstore.


Library:  Many of our assignments require you to be well-informed about current events—all the newspapers and magazines you’ll need are available free of charge at the library; occasionally, you can get the information you need online—in any case, plan to spend part of everyday reading about local, national, and international events.


Other materials:  You'll need:

      --double-pocket folder (one with the binding "spine" in the middle)

 for your journal assignments, --a pack of 3 x 5 index cards.

      In addition, throughout the semester we'll be doing labs and exercises that will require assorted items that I'll ask you to bring to class...I'll give you plenty of notice, and none of them are very expensive.  Set aside $5 in order to purchase these items.



      You must complete all your assignments in order to pass this course.  Before you look at the specifics of how I'll be assessing your work this semester, please read the following excerpt regarding "Five Habits of Mind" from From Students to Citizens and Workers: An Interview with Deborah Meier by Janice Molloy, which briefly outlines the intellectual skills you'll need to cultivate in order to succeed in this (and any other) college course:  


 1. Evidence: How do we know what's true and false?

            What evidence counts? How sure can we be?

            What makes it credible to us?


 2. Viewpoint: How else might this look if we stepped into other

            shoes? If we were looking at it from a different direction?

            If we had a different history or expectations?


 3. Connections/Cause and Effect: Is there a pattern?

            Have we seen something like this before?

            What are the possible consequences?


4. Conjecture: Could it have been otherwise?

            Supposing that? What if?


5. Relevance: Does it matter? Who cares?

The habits of mind are supplemented by habits of work: meeting

            deadlines, being on time, sticking to a task, not getting frustrated

            quickly, listening to what others say, and striving to accomplish

            more than the bare minimum.




      I will base your final grade according to the following assignments/activities:


      Vocabulary mastery:    10% (cumulative)


      Written assignments: Speaker evaluations, workbook exercises, etc.  18% (cumulative)


      First Presentation:   5%


      Group Presentation:  15%             Interview-10%


      Weekly journal     22%,                  Final Presentation 20%






      In this course particularly, your attendance and participation in every class is essential to your success, and to the progress of your classmates. Moreover, the nature of our class work demands a high level of concentration and student interaction;   I want to create the most conducive environment possible in order for every student to excel. Therefore, I will only allow THREE absences--if you exceed that number, I will administratively withdraw you from class.    In order to discourage chronic lateness, I count each late arrival to class as an absence. If you're absent on the day of a graded exercise (panel discussion, presentation, interview, lab, etc.), you will not have the opportunity to make up the assignment.

DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR POLICY: Students will be dismissed from any class meeting at which they exhibit behavior that disrupts the learning environment of others.  Such behavior includes—but is not limited to—arriving late for class, allowing cell phones to ring, speaking disrespectfully to the instructor and/or to other students, checking email or surfing the web, and using personal audio or visual devices.  Each dismissal of this kind will count as an absence and will be applied toward the attendance policy.



      Several of the projects in class will require you to work with other students, and some will require you to assess other students in their degree of success/competency. I expect, therefore, that you will work with each in a constructive, compassionate and rigorous environment, sharing ideas and expertise for the benefit of the group as a whole.   Part of your responsibility in this class is to help each other improve, and this means that you must point out your class mates’ strengths as well as their areas of weakness in order that every student might grow in his or her oral communication skills.   I expect you to deliver your feedback in an honest and tactful manner. If your input to your fellow students or to me is ever unkind or vindictive, I will administratively withdraw you from class.   We'll create assessment criteria together in class so that everyone will know precisely what to look for and how to give feedback to classmates.



     Throughout this semester, your class's journal day will always be Thursday ...please complete this important assignment as follows:


      1)  Each entry must be 1-1/2 to 2 typed pages (not counting headings) in MLA format, double-spaced, 12-point font --proofread and spellchecked!   I do not give any credit whatsoever to journal entries that do not meet this length requirement.     


      2)  Bind each entry in your double-pocket folder... always bind your LATEST journal entry on back. 


      3)  In each entry, describe a communication skill you learned in class the previous week, and how you applied it in your everyday interactions outside of class...also, you might want to discuss what worked for you and what you'll do differently next time, as well as other relevant points you'd like to make. 


      4) You must submit ELEVEN journal entries during the semester; Week 15 is the last week in which I will be accepting journal submissions. Entry #11, your evaluation of your fellow students is Due 4/28/11 by 9:00am.


      5)  Note:  the spirit of this assignment--namely, a method of regular, reflective learning and self-evaluation—prohibits writing journal entries weeks in advance.


      6)  I will only give credit for ONE journal entry per week, so please keep track of the number of entries you submit so that you can fulfill the ten-entry requirement by the last day to submit journals.


      7)  I welcome your candor in journal entries, and I never share anything you write with any other person inside or outside of class.  I do ask, however, that whatever your comments, you maintain a tone of respect for yourself, your classmates, and your teachers.  


       I only accept journals that are formatted accordingly; I do not accept journals via e-mail.   Always bind your LATEST journal entry in the back of your folder.  You must submit ELEVEN complete journal entries this semester; I do not accept electronic submissions. 


Journal Entry Eleven: During the first two weeks of class, you will type a two sentence comment on three of your fellow students.  You will note their communication weaknesses.  After completing the final presentations, you will complete a paragraph noting how three of your fellow students have dealt with the weaknesses you observed at the beginning of the course.  How much improvement have you seen in their communication skills?  Each paragraph should be ½ page, and POSITIVE assessments of your colleagues. University of West Georgia students are provided a My UWG e-mail account. The University considers this account to be an official means of communication between the University and the student. The purpose of the official use of the student e-mail account is to provide an effective means of communicating important University related information to UWG students in a timely manner. It is the student's responsibility to check his or her email.  In other words, you should e-mail me from you’re my UWG account, not from a personal account, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.  



      I do not accept any late work (sorry).  Being late with your class work hinders your own progress as well as that of your classmates, especially in a class of this nature.   I define a "late assignment" as one that you have not given to me (not left in my drop-box, but physically placed in my hands) before class on the day the assignment is due.


 Paperless Policy:  As of Fall 2006, the English Department implemented a “paperless” policy in its classrooms.  Therefore, materials (handouts, assignment sheets, notes, etc.) will be made available online.  Students may print these course documents, including the syllabus, on their computers.


GENERAL POLICY ON SEVERE WEATHER: University policy regarding severe weather and emergency closings is posted at http://www.westga.edu/index2277.php and official announcements about class and/or examination cancellations will be made only by the President and/or the Department of Public Relations.  If my class is cancelled, please check Course Den for your alternate assignment.


Spring 2011 SYLLABUS:


      Please Note:   This schedule is likely to change occasionally, so make sure you keep yourself updated by checking our class website on Web CT often!



R 6:  Welcome to English 2050!   Introductions, syllabus, class

goals, etc.. **** Choose one college-level word that is NOT currently in your vocabulary. On Tuesday, we will compile our vocabulary list. Beginning Improv and getting to know one another.  Workbook: Intro to Unit I.  Note  *** write vocabulary list 1 on 3x5 index cards along with their definitions, and bring to class on Tuesday.



T11- Drop/Add Ends

T11: 1st Improv. For 1/13: Look over Emotion/ States of Mind List p.37 in your workbook and make sure you understand what all the words mean in item #7.

R13: Review Vocab. List. 1st Current Events discussion, “Ten Dimensions of Creativity” pp.139, 1st Alphabet Chat.




 T18: First Vocab. Quiz. Review Vocab. List 2. 1st Presentations and evaluations

R20: First week for submitting journals containing student evaluations and personal entry. 1st Presentations and evaluations

Before T25: Practice stepping outside of your comfort zone (on at least four separate occasions); practice the alphabet conversation at least four times, and note your observations/physiological responses on p. 17 in your workbook.



T25::Second Vocab. Quiz.  Work Books Due.  2nd Journal Entry Due. Comfort Zone assignment discussion (see above);

R 27:Current Events Discussion. Workbook readings for today: Intro to Unit II, and Maslow’s Hierachry, pp. 143-145.



T1-Third Vocab. Quiz.   Workbook discussion:  Intro to Unit II, and Maslow's

      Hierarchy, pp. 143-145.

R3:  3rd Journal Entry Due. Stress Management lab—don’t miss today’s class, and don't be late!!!  Please bring the following supplies:  1) workbook;  2) a sharpie


 WEEK 6-

T8: Vocab Quiz #4.Complete Unit II exercises for today: "Redistributing my Energies to Achieve My Ideal" p. 50; Boundary Protection p. 60.

R10:   4th Journal entry due today.. Stress Management, concluded:    "Forgive for Good" pp. 148-153, and “Red Hot Rock" pp. 154-159.  Work Books due today.



T15: Vocab. Quiz# 5. Intro toUnit III. Discussion:  Stages of Conflict, Confrontation Approaches, and the Listening Scale.

 R17: 5th Journal Entry Due today.  ALSO:  Complete responses (in workbook) to items on pp. 66-68; write examples that you notice about each step of the Listening Scale (p. 72 or 73); examples of Stage One and Stage Two conflicts on p. 74.


M21- Office hours cancelled.  Can be reached by email.

 T22: Conflict resolution, continued. Vocab Quiz #6 today.

R24: Read and complete Workbook exercises pp. 84-88.   Journal entry #6 due.



March 2-Last Day to withdraw with a grade of W

T1: Vocab Quiz #7.  Current Events Discussion

R3: 7th Journal Entry Due.  Alphabet Chat, Improv.

March 7-11 Spring Break- No Classes


T15: Vocab Quiz # 8."Bomb Squad" exercises pp. 84-88 due.   Work Books Due. Team building:  pros and cons.

R17:  8th Journal Entry due. Team forming; ground rules, contact information, and brainstorming.

 TEAM ASSIGNMENTS and Team Project


 WEEK 11

T22: Vocab Quiz 9. Workbook reading:  Warner, "Making Your Co-Workers Angry,"  p. 160.

 R24:  9th Journal Entry Due. Team Challenge!  Don’t miss this class!



WEEK 12-

 T29: Team Workday--no class meeting. 

R31: Team presentations and team evaluations



T5: Team Presentations and team evaluation.

R7: Vocab Quiz #10.Interview packet (resume and cover letter) workshop--bring final drafts of your resume, a brief cover letter (introducing yourself and providing an overview of your suitability for the job) and your want ad to class.  For both of these written pieces of self-staging, do some research (your Writer's Resource and several websites will provide models for you to follow).   Interview sign ups:  very important!! 



WEEK 14—

      ** Journal Entry #10 due. Last week for submitting journals.  

T12: Interviews:  no class today.   Journals due at my office no later than 3:30 p.m. Early submissions OK

 R14: Interviews: no class today          



 T19: Final Presentations and evaluations

  R21: Final Presentations and evaluations



T26: Final Presentations and evaluations: Last Day of Classes!  Woo hoo!

R28: Evaluations of fellow students due.

Have A GREAT BREAK!!!!!!!!