Yes-Man and a Little Honesty

I have decided that Senior Year is going to be the year of yes.

  • Can I wear sweatpants to the bar? – yes
  • Should I buy those Red Socks tickets? – yes
  • Do I want another piece of pizza? – yes

You get the picture… Whether you think this will ultimately bring me more harm than good – very fair assessment… but nonetheless I am determined to make it my mantra this year.

But if I am being completely honest with you, Wednesday August 30th when that clock hit 6:50 my yes-man attitude went completely out the door…

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The only thing running through my head was no-man – and I knew right then and there that I would become one of those statistics Professor Kane had joked about at the beginning of class.

As he ran through the syllabus the only thing I was thinking was: how did I get myself into this situation and how do I get out of it ASAP?

Needless to say, I was intimidated and ready to throw in the towel.

But I guess here we are – still enrolled in Kane’s class and writing my first blog post nonetheless. How did I get here you might ask? Well I am proud to say that the yes-man took over in me – and I went back to the reasons I had signed up for this class to begin with.

Back when I was frantically registering for courses at around 3:00 AM Seville time I remember nerding out about the potential topics that could be covered in a social media class. I assumed “Social Media and Digital Business” meant something along the lines of learning how to navigate the different social platforms and consequently learning the business strategy behind successful use of them. But after our first two classes, I clearly could not have been more off.

Which brings me to another reason I decided to stay in this class – in addition to my determination to stick to my yes-man mantra. It was after I watched the “Where do Good Ideas Come From” TED talk as well as read the “Wisdom of the Crowds” article for the first official day. Both of these never once mentioned social media platforms – further pushing me away from my initial expectations for the class. Instead both were focused on the crowd and more importantly the highly “leverage-able” advantage a crowd can have. The shift to looking at a great idea as a network is something I had never thought of before – and honestly one that I think is probably harder to grasp for a lot of people.  In my experience, most people credit their “a-ha” moment to a specific point in time rather than the gradual combination of a groups collective thoughts and contributions.

But it was starting to think of the crowd in this way that further solidified my desire to stay in this class. I have never been in a class that relies so heavily on the interactions of other members – I have only taken your typical cookie-cutter CSOM classes consisting of a structured syllabus outlining papers, quizzes, and final exams. It is something that I am used to, and honestly slightly more comfortable with. This notion of my grade being influenced by what my peers think of my work is something I have never thought of before and initially made me extremely nervous. But after the second day of class I started to think of the crowd in a more positive light. I have decided to look at the entirety of our ISYS6621 class as another crowd in my life. A crowd whose critique I can benefit from, as well as build off of and learn from. Gone is the day where the classroom serves as yet another arena for students to compete in. Now the crowd is my biggest asset.

Kinda sentimental in a way, right?

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So, there you have it – we have officially come full circle now. Yours truly is ready to head into the rest of the semester and Professor Kane’s class with the wisdom of the crowds ;) (no pun intended) and her yes-man attitude.

 

3 comments

  1. As an aside, if you haven’t read Shonda Rimes “The Year of Yes,” you’d thoroughly enjoy it. I confess that I started this crazy experiment 10 years ago mainly as a crazy gimmick to get students interested in technology. Then I saw how the learning experience was so much better when peers were interacting with one another that, honestly, I’d have a hard time going back to a normal classroom setting. This class is weird at first, but I think you’ll get won over much as I was.

  2. Hi, Taylor! I’m very glad you gave into your “yes-man” attitude and decided to stick with it. While I shared your apprehension about all the moving pieces involved in this course, the interactive nature of it was very appealing to me. I find that the “cookie-cutter CSOM classes” you spoke of to be very dry and foster an environment of competition rather than collaboration. After our first group discussions, I already feel how different and beneficial this type of exchange between undergraduate and graduate students from all backgrounds is. Cheers to getting to know you more throughout the semester and figuring out the meaning of ISYS6621 together!

  3. What a great first post! Your first few lines had me laughing to the point that I shared with my roommate (who’s not in the class, and stared blankly at me in confusion). My main reason for sticking with the class (besides the great things I’ve heard about it from former students) is Prof. Kane himself, as I had the opportunity to spend a week with him in California as a part of TechTrek last semester. However, even I was shaken after the first class. Your part on the crowd being your greatest asset is one of the many refreshing aspects of this class that I’m excited for. That yes-man attitude will get you far!

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