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Discussion Post: Week 6

Well, after a long week of work on our web portfolios, hopefully yours is off to a good start. How do you feel about the progress you’ve made thus far? What work do you expect to have to tackle outside of class? Do you have any lingering concerns about your portfolio? What areas do you expect to be the most challenging in the future?

What about Presentation II? How has your planning gone thus far? Do you feel like you have a clear direction for this presentation, or are you still figuring out how you want to address your topic? What did you learn from the experience of Presentation I that you hope to apply during this round? For that matter, do you think you can apply any of the advice from the textbook or from your peers to further strengthen your presentation?

On a side note, a few people had questions about the “Purpose of Education” blog post I added a few days ago in terms of how it fits into the class. Just to be clear, I’m not adding additional requirements or anything of that nature, as a few of you asked. Remember that for each week of participation on the course blog, you have an eight-day period in which to post, from one Sunday through the Sunday that follows. The “Side Discussion” post I added is just another medium in which you can post, both to earn credit and to discuss that significant issue.

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Discussion Post: Week 1

Once again, welcome to the COM 315 course blog! I’m looking forward to chatting about various subjects with you over the duration of the semester. As I mentioned in class, while I do run another blog with content that may, at times, overlap with this one, my goal here is to tailor this version to your particular interests and the needs of our class. (You’re free to engage the other blog as well, if you’d like, of course.)

How is your preparation for Presentation I going? From the topics I’ve seen thus far, we can expect a unique array of presentations. If you haven’t already done so, please remember to submit your topic no later than the start of class this Thursday. I’m excited to see the rest of them!

We’ll start this week by considering the tumultuous tale of Lance Armstrong, who won an unprecedented seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999-2005 after recovering from testicular cancer. As I previously noted, Armstrong’s miraculous feat drew heavy scrutiny from the start, even though he reportedly underwent hundreds of blood and urine tests during his cycling career and never had a single positive test result. This year, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) launched a fresh wave of doping allegations against Armstrong, based largely on testimony from other cyclists — who themselves had positive test results — that they had seen Armstrong use the blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO) as well as steroids, and that he also trafficked and administered the same performance-enhancers to others. The USADA claimed to have over a dozen witnesses ready to testify against Armstrong in arbitration, although the USADA never officially revealed their identities, claiming that Armstrong had previously engaged in witness intimidation.

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Welcome!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the COM 315 course blog! Over the coming months, we’ll be using this blog to:

  • Discuss Course Assignments
  • Pose Questions and Answers
  • Share Media (video clips, links to relevant articles and readings, etc.)
  • Network and Converse

In addition to serving a class requirement, feel free to use this blog to network with one another, ask questions, or just have a friendly chat.

The first formal discussion post will be added next Sunday. I’m looking forward to a great semester!