With what I know now…

I mused last week about what it would be like to relive my college days with my present day mind.  While I had a great time in college, I’m pretty sure I missed a lot of opportunities to simply enjoy my stage in life because I was naive.  As the phrase goes, “Youth is wasted on the young.”

I’m 40 now … that’s not terribly old in the grand scheme of things, but it’s old enough that I’ve developed a tiny bit of perspective.  Most of this perspective is about which things and people I should care about and whether or not I should beat myself up over certain things (the answer to the latter is that I should not beat myself up at all).

So if I were to relive the glory days, the first thing I would do is to appreciate the time and youth that I had.  Seriously, college was the time of maximum freedom with minimum responsibility.  Not everyone is this way, but I certainly contained myself too often trying to be the person I thought other people wanted me to be.  If I were to relive those days, I’d also take time to enjoy the time I had with people I loved and things I loved doing.  The cliched response to the possibility of going back would be to live more debaucherously, but honestly, that’s not my thing.  I may party or play a bit more, but nothing crazy.  The real thing is to enjoy it … because it’s gone too soon and too fast.  I suppose lastly that I’d invest a bit more in my health and weight (I’m a fatty-boom-ba-latty now), so I wouldn’t have as large of an uphill battle now that I’m both older and fat.

All this being said, that made me think … in 20 years, what would I say about reliving my 40s?  What wisdom would I want to give my younger self?  I think, perhaps, that some of the lessons would be the same:

Stop trying to be the person you think other people want you to be,

Take time to enjoy the time you have with the people you love and things you love doing,

Party and play a bit more, but nothing too crazy, 😉

Invest a bit more in your health and weight … because it’s only going to get worse and harder if you don’t do it now.

Certainly, I have other goals that are important like my work and family life, but I would be wise to remember that whatever I endeavor upon to enjoy it …. because ultimately it’s gone too soon and too fast.

I think I’m going to go hug someone now…. =)

With deepest affection,

Doug “Optimus” Pruim (… because it sounds like “Prime” … because it’s Dutch.  Oh, the Dutch.)


Leave a comment

Filed under Reflections

getting published? its (dis)positional

Great food for thought…


When people give their tips for academic publishing, they don’t often focus – or maybe don’t focus enough – on the dispositions of successful academic writers. Here’s a trio of writerly and readerly dispositions that I think are important:

  • be ambitious

We all know that academic writers benefit from thinking about their contribution – what you have to say – and your audience – the  readers you are writing for. But it’s also useful, I reckon, to think about what you want to be known for.

So, humour me here:

(1) Imagine yourself in twenty years time looking back at your accumulated body of work. What do you see as your major contributions?

(2) Now imagine someone else discussing your work in their doctoral literature review, what will they write? (Your surname here, 2015-2035) shows that…

While these are completely hypothetical exercises, the two questions do ask you to imagine, to dare to think…

View original post 931 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Paradox and Possibility of the Struggle

Wise words from a wise man….

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Purdue Teaching Evaluations Fall 2014

I’m not usually one for bragging, but I found my teaching evaluations this semester to be very personally uplifting and encouraging.  I’ve taken the comments from the several hundred student evals I got this semester and compiled them into paragraphs.  Here’s what they had to say:

Doug is great! He is AWESOME! Doug is the best TA I’ve ever had. Doug is the best thing this class has going for it.  DOUG IS THE BEST!  Doug is the most patient TA I have ever met at Purdue!  I like everything about Doug.  He’s amazing. He is so helpful.  He is awesome!  I hope that Doug will continue to TA for this course because I can honestly say that I would have hated this course if he hadn’t been my TA.  Keep on rocking, my man.  I love this instructor.

Doug was one of the BEST TAs I have ever had. What he does well is that he relates the lecture material to real life applications which is extremely helpful to most students. He is easy to approach and is accessible for help anywhere. He definitely has helped me understand the class material to the best of my abilities and I hope he continues to do so in future recitation sections.  He is very good and knows material very well. I believe he was very helpful this semester.  He brings a lot of energy to the classroom.  He shows that he actually wants to be there. He has great energy! He makes the class atmosphere fun.

Doug is a great TA. After the first paper, which I did not do as well on as I had hoped, I began utilizing his help by having him look over outlines and rough drafts of essays before I turned them in. This help was very valuable. He offered good suggestions, and by the time I got to my last essay it was very easy to write.  He makes himself available to students whenever needed. He is very creative in coming up with ways to better explain a concept if needed.

I really appreciate your concern for me.  I love the motivational music before class starts.  My favorite teacher I have had so far in college. I love the energy and enthusiasm Doug brings to the classroom. It makes going to class enjoyable.  Playing music at beginning of class to promote a relaxed setting. Always is positive and good at explaining questions over material through multiple everyday examples. The instructor includes all students well and is very approachable.

I will never forget Doug for that one day with the guys and the lotion. Doug made class very fun and interesting whenever he had something to say.  He assists students who feel misguided by the material. He is very encouraging and personable. Great class, Doug is a wonderful, personable teacher! He is very helpful during office hours.  He responded to emails quickly and was very helpful.

Doug has an amazing talent for getting students up and involved with the learning process. This can be quite difficult with students who are always tired form late nights. Doug however gets everybody up and awake and ready to go no matter what the subject is or how tired students are upon arrival.  He has a great personality, never change!  Has a lot of energy.  He always knows how to make class interesting.  He gets students to participate and interact with each other in a non-abrasive way. Mr. Pruim creates a fun and relaxed environment while also maintaining an atmosphere intensely focused on the course work.

He is smart. He was AWESOME!!!! Truly loved his energy and passion. When the two guys came in and did their stupid message thing Douglas was awesome when he went down there. It made coming to class fun and I felt like he truly cared for the students in the class. Wish he would have talked / taught more!  He is very engaging, very enthusiastic, very friendly and charismatic towards his students. He wants to help them in any way possible.  He is very funny and tried to make class fun!  He is very kind to the class and gets everyone on task.  He is very positive in class every day.  He is always trying to motivate students with music along with seeing eye to eye on what we are going through.

Doug uses a lot of humor which is nice.  You are funny! Very funny.  Keep being funny.  Doug makes everyone laugh in tough times.  He makes the course a little more fun by providing comic relief. This instructor brought a funny nature to the class which helped make the class more fun.  He is very humorous and catches students’ attention well. His humor made recitation actually exciting.  He is really funny yet tells us what we need to know! He presents information that’s easy to understand.  He used his humor to relate to the students. It made class more enjoyable when he would talk.  He’s super funny and honestly made things a lot less stressful. Keep doin you, man. His sense of humor made the class more fun.  He was really funny and made things more fun. I liked the music before class.   He is just a silly guy.

I loved the use of comedy as a tool to grab students’ attention. It makes me want to listen and at the same time enjoy what you are saying. Keep it up, I think you would make a fantastic instructor for your own course! He reaches out to students and uses humor as a want to make students feel more comfortable and open. He is very willing to help.

Doug uses great examples and stories that go along with concepts.  He explains all theories well so everyone can get a strong understanding of the material. Doug explains all concepts well and provides excellent feedback on written assignments. Doug irons out any wrinkles students have in their understanding of the material. Doug has been a great TA. He does an awesome job of tying everything together and putting it in a way that I can understand it. When helping us towards an exam his explanations are right on point with what we need to know.  He was very good at explaining theories in recitation and making them more relate-able to our everyday lives.  I like how the instructor was able to take information that we learned in lecture and relate it to things that are relevant in our lives making it easier to learn. I like the examples he gives in class because they really help make the material stick in your mind. The instructor did a great job at giving examples and explaining topics well.

Not going to lie, Doug was probably my favorite TA that I have had so far here at Purdue. He does a great job of making what could have been a dull recitation engaging and fun. He is hilarious and knows how to keep us engaged. I really enjoy how I can send him my papers so that he can look over it, give me constructive feedback, and then give me good grade if I make the corrections he suggests. I learned a lot in recitation because he clears up questions I have from lectures very effectively. I really appreciate how the first few minutes of class are chill and relaxing before we go into material. I hope he continues to dress up for Halloween, play music for the first few minutes of class, and give out candy because that was so great.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the class and how it was taught. Also Doug was very helpful when it came down to the papers and provided very helpful feedback that I would have missed if I had not sent to him beforehand. I really enjoyed the class.  I really like how you were available to help with the mini-paper topic. It really helped me out. Other than that, I didn’t really have any interactions with you. I would have loved to see you teach a class. I think it would have been very fun and I think I would have enjoyed that class.

Doug is one of the best teachers I have ever had. He is always interested in helping his students succeed.  He provided useful feedback and is incredibly helpful.  Doug has good communication.  He got back to my emails almost immediately, even at 11:30PM which was pretty awesome.  Doug is a great TA!  He is good at answering emails back fast.  He was my TA and always answered any questions I had. He is a very funny guy, too.  He’s very good at communicating with me if I ever had a question.  I always feel welcome to ask questions or concerns.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Family Communication Studies

Stafford and Canary (2002) derived five relational maintenance strategies for marital resilience:

  1. ‘Positivity’ includes acting polite and cheerful, being nice, courteous, and upbeat during conversations, and avoiding criticism;
  2. ‘Openness’ involves discussing the relationship and sharing thoughts and feelings;
  3. ‘Assurances’ involves expressions of love, commitment, and in other ways implying the relationship has a future;
  4. ‘Social Networks’ concerns spending time with and including mutual friends and family in activities; and
  5. ‘Sharing Tasks’ refers to engaging in household chores as well as any tasks that may constitute the responsibilities of the couple.

While I’m not sure why they chose an acronym that spells PO ASS, these strategies provide some ideas for things we could do to help our relationships:

  • Greet your loved one warmly.
  • Talk about your dreams, aspirations, feelings, and/or insights.
  • Do something nice that says “I love you”.
  • Take some time to do something fun with your family or friends.
  • Ask if there is anything you could do to help make their life easier.

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellany

After a nice hiatus, I’ll post again

I’ve taken this semester off from blogging … mostly because I wanted to take a break.  Every healthy part of me tells me that’s enough of a reason.

So I’m at the end of my MA at Purdue.  I’m working on my thesis, and I plan to finish and graduate by August.  Because after that, I’ll start my PhD work at Purdue in the Fall.  I’m going to be honest … the thesis has been kicking my butt.  Not because it’s been excessively hard, but because it’s been overwhelming.  The details, the revisions, the deadlines, the paperwork, the rules within the department, the rules within the school, the learning curve for Qualtrics, the learning curve of doing my own statistical analysis, the unwritten departmental politics rules, the schedules, the egos, the life that is my family responsibilities, and so on (by the way, if you’re ever looking for an example of polysyndeton to show your kids … this was it … sorry for the melodrama … I’m a grad student.)

My thesis is interesting, so that’s good.  My biggest problem right now is that people are unable or unwilling to complete my survey.  I’m looking for info on people’s evaluation of advice on Facebook.  What I’m finding is that one group says they never talk about anything personal or advice related, and the other group just drifts off mid survey when I ask them to tab over to Facebook to look for something.  I’m getting some data, but it feels like there is a ‘leak in my boat’ as it were.

p.s. If you want to take a survey … go HERE! 😉

In any case, I hope everything goes well.  While I am intrigued with computer-mediated communication, I would also like to branch out to study humor more in depth.  I’m a super huge fan of the Benign Violation Theory, and I’m all sorts of geeked about the opportunity to start exploring it through research.

Alright, that’s it for now … I think I’ll go ahead and get out to enjoy some of this nice day.  Thanks for stopping by, my friend.


Leave a comment

Filed under Humor

Reflections on Tech 637 #tech63713

Reflections on my time in Tech 637 with Dr. V:

Tech 637 (The “Social” Internet) has been an interesting class for me.  Since I’m from Communication and this is in the Tech school, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It was a pleasant surprise to find out that Dr. V studied in Communication, as well.

Tonight, we chatted about overarching themes from this course.  I was struck by how the human drive to be social manifests itself through the internet.  People connect online whether to each other, information, or resources.  The ideas from across the semester and lessons include: connecting, transparency, network, relations, info flow, power, collective, participation, uniting.

Our social internet manifesto for the evening included the following advice:

  • Don’t Drink and Tweet.
  • Don’t step in the Deep Web.
  • Don’t bother trying to control information. Individually, you are nothing.
  • Is that Freedom Rock? @StarkAnneR Turn it up!
  • Keep Calm and Hashtag.
  • No one ever wants “tea with the gov’t”
  • Only you can prevent distraction fires.
  • Power comes with participation.
  • Show us your Klout.
  • Stop, collaborate, and listen.
  • Tag your stuff. #tagyourstuff
  • Team up with smart people … they make you look better. (thanks, all)
  • Transparency is the best form of secrecy.
  • Transparency might compromise individual’s privacy and reveal your offline reality.
  • Weak ties are your strength.  Thanks, @mihaela_v!
  • When trolling, use the following hashtags: #umadbro? #burn #trollin
  • With great connections come great responsibilities.

Things that helped me learn:

The reading guides helped me assimilate the material quickly, and (to be honest) kept me ‘honest’ about how much I read.
Pushing me into the deep end of twitter with a hootsuite life-preserver was the best way for me to start.
I was amazed at how accessible the weak tie network of Twitter really is. Met some of my CMC idols…

Favorite Topics

Honestly doing the presentations was great. Loved learning about #lolcats
Rey Junco! I should have brought a bag for my head the day he spoke in class b/c he blew my mind. =)
The strength of weak ties was great … and illustrated by our involvement in Twitter.


The thing I’ll take away is a greater network filled with weak ties and several stronger ones now.


Filed under Reflections

Comments on Other’s Blogs


Dr. V

































































Leave a comment

Filed under Links

Tweetdeck versus Hootsuite

Last week, my Hootsuite inexplicably stopped working.  I’m not sure if it was because I had just upgraded to Windows 8.1, if there was a bug in Hootsuite, if there was a bug in Chrome, or what … but it did.  I realized immediately how dependent I had become on software that tamed and organized twitter for me.  I tried looking at Twitter’s main feed, but instantly realized that this was unworkable.  I was also instantly reminded of why I was initially turned off by Twitter before I knew about Hootsuite.


For those of you in Tech 637 with me, you’ll know that taming Twitter is absolutely necessary for managing our classroom conversations.  Without Hootsuite, I was out of the loop.  So I changed things up and went with the alternative we had talked about … Tweetdeck.

Initially, the two programs look like they are nearly identical.  They share the same purpose, they both have feeds, and they both tame the beast.  There were some interface differences, but I figured I could manage them.  So I dove in …

I created new feeds, I set things up, I tamed the beast … but there was just one thing.  I didn’t like it.  I’m not sure if this is a function of me starting with one program rather than the other, but Tweetdeck did not seem nearly as intuitive to me.  Beyond being unfamiliar, it was clunky.  I didn’t know where to look.  I couldn’t pull it together as fast as Hootsuite.  Certainly, Hootsuite still has some peculiarities … but I still liked it better.

That said … as quickly as it went away … it came back. The problem corrected itself, and now I’m back on Hootsuite.  And it feels nice.  Perhaps a more experienced Tweetdecker could fill me in on ways its better, so if you have some, please share.  For now, I’ll sit back down in my old (albeit newly adopted) hootsuite recliner and watch the Twitter show.

Peace out.


Filed under Tools

Discussion seeds by Patrick O’Sullivan

In his paper outlining the Masspersonal Model of Communication, Patrick O’Sullivan (2005) poses several questions for further discussion.  I find them fascinating, and I pose them for you to ponder, as well.  In thinking about Facebook as a place where we have personal conversations in a public arena, O’Sullivan asks:

  • Why would someone share personal conversations with small or even large numbers of strangers?
  • How does the public nature of the message or exchange shape the process, message interpretations, and consequences for both the interactants and those witnessing the interaction?
  • How do these interactions differ from private personal interactions in outcomes?
  • How does awareness (or lack of awareness) of the public nature of the one-to-one interaction (one one or the other or both communicators) shape the communication episode and the outcomes?
  • What is the role of intentionality in shaping the interaction, such as when an interaction assumed and intended to be private is instead unintentionally made public?

Food for thought … if you figure it out, let me know! =)

OSullivan, P. B. “Masspersonal Communication: Rethinking the Mass-Interpersonal Divide” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Sheraton New York, New York City, NY Online. 2009-05-25 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p14277_index.html

Leave a comment

Filed under Reflections