An embarrassing journal entry from last year’s AAPTIS 291

The prominence of jinn and a curiosity for the superstitious is something I had no idea was so popular in Iran, and something I did not expect for such a religious society because I had always separated religion and superstition in my mind. One of the most interesting aspects of these raml practices was the use of mullahs or “sources of emulation” to determine whether the employment of raml is good or bad. Once again, the issue of ambiguity we discussed in class played a huge factor! The responses from mullahs were almost all obscure, requiring interpretation from the audience. I think you said it best when you asserted the responses you elicited attempted “to strike a balance between permissiveness and caution” (p. 17). In my opinion, it was the policemen on page 34 who best addressed the ambiguity by separating raml into “specialized” and “popular.”

Politics Politics Politics

Today I read an excerpt from a book about the portrayal of women and girls in the media for one of my Communications courses. This was my one of first times I had really explored the idea of feminism and sexism in depth, besides scoffing at a sexualized advertisement or the representation of women and girls on MTV. The introduction to the book was really well done. It was methodological, easy to follow, and funny. However, about half way through my reading, I started sensing political overtones. It wasn’t just a casual comment that made me think twice. These were blatant smears on public figures from the past two decades, men and women.

I think one of the most important characteristics of our democracy is the ability openly criticize and challenge leaders. At the same time, no matter what political views one holds, I’d like to think there is a certain respect and honor due to those that serve our country. The words the author used could have easily been toned down to still express a negative viewpoint without nearing slander.

After I finished the excerpt, I decided to look up the author. She turned out to be a U of M professor! The political overtones in the work became even more shocking to me. We all know that politics occasionally enters the classroom. When debating economics, culture, and history, it is often, well…political! But do academics have an obligation to tone down those political undercurrents in their professional work because of their association with the University? I don’t know much about the general consensus on this matter. Hopefully, someone from 220 knows a lot more than I do!

One of the most eye-catching websites I’ve seen in a while!

Who knew Spotify’s website used wordpress?! It’s not a blog, but it incorporates photography, scrolling, and information in a unique and easy-to-read layout. Simple. Modern. Fun to play with. Businesses are trying to “brand” themselves to portray a certain image. I think Spotify is really showing customers with this website who they are as a company and what their product can do for people.

Becoming part of a company “culture”

Okay, I’m admitting it. I love a good Wall Street Journal article. Even more than that, I love their forum discussions! This one I found particularly relevant to college students. It’s about “building a cohesive team” in the workplace and mastering a company “culture.” While we aren’t the ones creating a team and culture, most of us will soon be trying to fit into one. As I’ve searched for internships and read about job searches, companies often talk about their business environment. Especially in technology, it seems that companies from Facebook to Google have a certain company “vibe.”

As we move forward into the working world, how pertinent do you all think it is to look for companies in which you would “fit in?” Is that more important than the type of work, location etc.? Should we be doing more to discover the type of workplace we would best thrive? Thanks!


Higher Education Bubble shown through info-graphics

The most informative piece of information I found was actually a video from Education News. The website has a series of info-graphics about the higher education bubble that explain what is going on and why. While I found a lot of other links interesting, especially a Yahoo News opinion piece that imagined a world without college degrees, this video specifically spoke to incoming college students, rather than addressing (what seems to be) society at large. This video asked prospective students to assess the cost of school compared to their degree’s potential earnings, while still acknowledging that a college education is valuable in today’s society. Although I’m in college already, this was still the closest I have found to someone addressing me. It invites even current college students to investigate their motives for going to a certain university instead of pursuing an alternative.

Link to info-graphic:

Link to Yahoo News opinion piece:–why-college-shouldn’t-matter.html

Elizabeth: a short & sweet bio


forever go blue.

Elizabeth McLaughlin. No nickname (unless you’re my parents). Southern California native. Midwestern girl. Competitive waterskier. Tour guide. Optimist. Perfectionist. Wolverine. Dancer. Writer. Runner.

Likes: politics, football, boating, social media, traveling, music, singing in the car, sleeping, chocolate, and most likely…you.

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” -Confucius

So “over my head” I couldn’t even understand the title

If you’re looking for information on “molecular mechanisms of benzodiazepine-induced down-regulation of GABAA receptor α1 subunit protein in rat cerebellar granule cells,” I’ve got you covered!


“Is the first black President also the last?” – link to untrustworthy writing

I chose an article from USA Today College titled “Is the first black President also the last?” While it may not be factually incorrect, I can’t trust the writer. She is a college student herself, and unlike some USA Today College writers, she didn’t list any credentials or previous publications. She also quotes anonymous Twitter users and random people at the inauguration, who also have questionable authority and knowledge on the issue. Anyone can form an opinion and post it on Twitter, so it’s hard to say if those tweets are grounds for such a strong statement as: Obama might be the last black President.

– Elizabeth McLaughlin, winter 2013 cohort, section 002