Sing Praise to God — In the third person

I’m doing a reference to another blog again. Ponder Anew put up another wonderful ponderment about the word choices, in this case, which person of pronoun — first, second or third — is best for worship and why. So go over there, read and contemplate, and then comment here or there about it. Or you can just watch the hymn below — in the third person.




Posted in Education, Gonzaga University

Final Analysis and Interpretation (Chapter 13 Adrian and Downs)

Surprise surprise, the first thing we learn in this chapter is that the analysis is subject to interpretation. “No one has been able to delineate completely and specifically how interpretation ought to be performed.” (Location 5000). I guess this means this chapter is a really good teaching point — on how to learn when something isn’t cut and dried.

It has a lot of summary list.

Dewey’s legendary reflective thinking pattern:

  1. Define the problem
  2. analyze the problem
  3. Set up criteria for a solution
  4. List alternative solutions
  5. Choose a solution

DeWine steps for communication audits:

  1. Problem Identification
  2. Set an objective
  3. Proposed method or solution
  4. Reality
  5. Implementation
  6. Evaluation

Adrian and Downs method (the one we follow):

  1. Synthesize data
  2. develop focal area
  3. Identify and define problems
  4. Identify organizational criteria for success
  5. Consider the organization’s stages of development
  6. Form tentative conclusions
  7. Finalize conclusions
  8. Make client-centered recommendations

Brainstorming is the process of constructing a case, not discovering a case. It requires time and should not be rushed.

Not all problems are communication problems.  Sometimes it is communication that needs to be resolved, sometimes it is other issue that need to be resolved but communication can help in resolving it.

Problem definition is tricky. Auditors sense problems, and then try to use their creativity to define and express the problems. Errors that can occur in the process include:

  1. Not discovering a problem that exists
  2. Identifying a problem that does not exist
  3. Trying to solve the wrong problems
  4. Failing to probe deeply enough to understand the problem.

To avoid this the auditor should do as comprehensive search as possible. Then make sure whether an observation is a problem or not. Test different ways of characterizing the problem. Probe the nature of problems fully.

We need benchmarks for comparison. We need to tailor ideas to the organization. It isn’t a one size fits all.  Various national cultures may suggest different needs and options.

From all this we form tentative conclusions, and then test them, check assumptions, use intuitive powers, while being wary of false cause-effect traps.  It is too easy to see causation in correlation. For that matter, looking for causes in systems, where an event can be both cause and effect, is a dangerous thing to do.

Once you go through all that, finalize conclusions, and make client-centered recommendations.



Cook, D., Patterson, J., Downs, C. (2004). Final Analysis and Interpretation.In Downs, C., Adrian, A. (Eds), Assessing Organizational Communication: Strategic Communication Audits(Location 990-1281), New York, NY: The Guildford Press.


Posted in Avondale United Methodist Church, Church, Music

Reflections on choir

1 Timothy 4:12Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.


I remember when I was young(er) taking especial note of the passage above. I taught me to be bold, but also to be sensitive, to others who might be tempted to despise my youth to their experience. I mention that to mention the latter …

It has been a little more than a years since we at Avondale United Methodist Church brought in a new choir director.  A very young choir director compared to many of the members of the choir (myself included, I suppose I must admit). I know there were questions about how well such a young director would understand and be able to work with such a mature adult choir. And while he came with heavy credentials and loads of experience, especially for one of his youth (A prodigy of sorts), this would be his first experience in a church setting. Would he be too technical for us?

Well, now that we are in his second year, the second season, I can safely say that all those concerns were certainly put to rest. He was stiff at first, it took him awhile to learn to relax and how to interact with people, but he has settled in nicely. He is already on the third organist he has gotten to work with, learning to handle change. But what I chiefly wanted to mention was the spirituality and musicality he has brought to us.

Avondale has always had an emphasis on good music, well done, from the entire congregation, with an emphasis on worship and ministry. Aaron came in following a director of more than 10 years. And in this one year he has brought us further than we have been previously in the time I have been attending AUMC. He is challenging us to be better — musically and spiritually — with our music. We want to do the best musically, and we want to do it with a conviction that the congregation can feel. Each week I can see the members around me learning something new, rising to new levels — of both musicality and conviction.

Today we did a version of “Abide with Me”. It was a simple piece. Which made it the most difficult to do. Doing simple things well is the real challenge in anything.

And well we did — even with the hornet that was flying around the choir loft. To God Be The Glory.

Posted in Uncategorized

Liberty Memorial



Today the Avondale United Methodist Church book club toured the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO.


We decided to go as a follow up to the reading of Last of the Doughboys, a book about interviews done with the last surviving veterans of World War I. We received a tour group tour of the museum.



The museum is well laid out, with a multitude of artifacts, murals, and interactive displays.



The opening video started with the events that led up to the war, and much of the museum covered the period prior to America’s entrance into the war.


The war was a pivotal moment, both socially, politically, technologically, economically, and the museum preserves and communicates forward today those messages, a century after that struggle began.


After touring the museum, we went above ground and toured the Liberty Memorial, and went up the spire to see the panorama of the Kansas City skyline from its summit 217 feet above ground. That is taller than the 167 feet of Niagara Falls or the 168 feet 7 inches of the Verrucht water slide at Schlitterbahn’s Water Park in nearby Kansas City, KS.


We rode up via elevator — the stair are apparently only used for emergencies — though we did have to climb the last 45 steps after getting off the elevator.  It is not ADA accessible.


Posted in Uncategorized

PIMCO off the radar

Interesting that the main story that rocked us in the business world at work today wasn’t anywhere on the Yahoo news feed or business feed tonight.  I had to go to Reuters to pull up anything about it.


Interesting conjectures about Bill Gross.  Is he the wronged by PIMCO, or is PIMCO getting rid of someone past his prime? The story takes a lot to get to the SEC investigation of PIMCO about security pricing questions.

News stories can lead people on to conjecture a lot of things. And based on conversations I have heard, people can be tried without jury in the court of individuals’ and the public’s opinions.


So I say, conjecture away, but don’t convict too hard.

Posted in Education, Gonzaga University

Group Projects

My class has been divided into teams, and each given a case study from the book to do a presentation on. Our case study is on Bullying in the Workplace. We are doing a PowerPoint. Currently we are drafting.  We are trying to find videos to illustrate the presentation. One person suggested this very professional video, which does say a lot about bullying:

I agree it is a very good video. I am just not sure that I want to put my audience to sleep watching a 14 minute talk where somebody is reading their PowerPoint presentation.

I prefer something a little more dramatic.  One of the slides asks the question “is bullying the same if everyone in the office is treated the same”. That reminded me of this clip (starting around 3:30).  A little long, find a way to trim it down, but this is a little more spicy:



Then there are these clips I found, this first one uses humor to introduce the subject:


And this next one gives some practical advice:

And this one is a French video, just for variety and diversity:

So, my real question: without really knowing the structure of the PowerPoint itself, which do you think would make a more interesting lead-in, as well as being seen as academically worthwhile to include in a school presentation?



Posted in Education, Gonzaga University

Lack of productivity


noun \ˌdi-sə-ˈpā-shən\

: the process of slowly disappearing or becoming less

: the act of using all or a lot of money, time, etc., in a foolish way

: behavior that shows you are interested only in pleasure, money, etc.


noun \ˌprō-dək-ˈti-və-tē, ˌprä-, prə-ˌdək-\

: the rate at which goods are produced or work is completed


noun \ˈfō-kəs\

: a subject that is being discussed or studied : the subject on which people’s attention is focused

: a main purpose or interest

: a point at which rays of light, heat, or sound meet or from which they move apart or appear to move apart; especially : the point at which an image is formed by a mirror, a lens, etc.


Today was going to be a highly productive day. Vacation day from work. Spend the whole day getting ahead of school work for my master’s program.

Instead, I slept in late, took Betsy to the doctor, ate lunch, sat and looked at the same couple of pages for an hour before taking another nap. Woke up when the kids got home from school and set then to work on their chores (dishes, lawn, etc.), then sat back down to the computer to stare again.

The same sense of brain dull all day long. Lack of focus. Sense of sinus. More rest doesn’t seem to help.

I have burned the midnight oil and beyond recently to keep up with projects, and it seems the brain finally objects. It works more and more to produce less and less. Yet the demands do not change — they keep on requiring more.

An outside perspective would probably see things differently. Find a lot of wasted effort here and there. Find unnecessary activity. minor amusements.

What does it take to be and stay focused? At the moment I don’t seem to have it.

NOTE: Definitions at the beginning taken for Merriam Webster Online.

Posted in Family

The six-legged spider

Okay, Pictorial blog today.  Have a son who turned 15 this week, and Saturday was the birthday party.

Here in the family I make cakes with themes that the kids choose. Been a lot of interesting themes, which I blogged about previously, but this time the boy didn’t have an idea, so left it up to me:


This is a cruise ship cake. A reminder of the cruise he will be going on with the North Kansas City High School vocal music department for their spring break in March. It is a very stylized cake, since I wasn’t up to those multi-layered cakes, or making a lot of portals for ship windows on a cake. It has the name of his cruise ship and music notes for the group he is going with.


He also got one special gift: one of these hex bugs, or whatever they are called.  We all had a lot of fun watching it scurry across the floor.

DSC04715 DSC04708

Then of course there was the usual candle blowing ceremony, and the playing and talking with family and friends.


It really makes all that house-cleaning worthwhile, if time-consuming.