Communication? Um…Let Me Just Communicate THIS, Sweetie…


…So… I am taking a summer intensive curriculum in order to get licensed in the health care industry, and the school that is providing the course insists that all students have to take this accompanying online course on “Effective Communication.”



Now, I’m not all high and mighty when it comes to communication. I don’t have a super high horse that I need to come down from in order to amiably strike up a conversation with a stranger. I do fine getting my personal exchanges across during a verbal discussion.


…I’ve also had segments of my professional career lifetime where I’ve been a public policy speaker, a governmental liaison for high school students transitioning to college life, a communications contact and public speaker “face of the company,” a development/fundraising officer, a marketing manager for an international publishing company, an editor who has worked with overseas authors,…as well as a stint as a humble monk ready to welcome strangers to the community table to break bread.


…So, I guess you could say that I’ve had my experience with the concept of effective communication.


Which has made tolerating the bogus tripe that makes up this communications course so difficult to stomach. It’s a single individual who created the course—which I think is interesting in-and-of itself. Why wouldn’t the course be collaborated on by a panel of communications experts if it is being taught by a scholastic institution? I mean…there is no shortage of “communications” resources out there. It’s a topic du jour for marketing professionals. So why let a single individual—with only a Master’s degree no less—create a curriculum and syllabus that is supposed to provide students with effective tools for dealing with patients and elder care residents? (The curriculum is not geared towards people in the health care industry either, so…) I just feel like the course hasn’t even been vetted or audited by anyone, or this instructor’s credentials necessarily confirmed. The online text of the course is rife with type-os, and I’ll admit that I’ve found some of the information to be completely illogical.



So far—from my perspective as someone who has been a public policy communications professional—the information in this online course is just total garbage. (Not to put too fine a point on it.) If this were a book on a shelf in the “Communications-Marketing” section at a Barnes and Noble, I literally would’ve laughed out loud in the store, contemptuously derided the publisher for printing the drivel of an obvious narcissist, and tossed it aside to look for more serious titles.


I dunno. Maybe this educational school where I’m getting my licensure is used to younger students in most of its curriculum classes who are less mature and need more “basic” communication skills? (However, I have not felt out of place in my class, where most of my classmates are of contemporary age to myself…)


I know it sounds like I’m being unreasonable and vicious and catty,…I dunno, maybe even hurtful… and for all you know I could just be blowing off some steam. So as evidence to back up my ire, here are a few screen shots of the latest lesson on “Neutral, Exclusive and Inclusive Words” (DAMN IT…the author/instructor can’t even be bothered to use a f*cking serial comma!!!!):


Screen Shot_A


Screen Shot_B


Screen Shot_C


Screen Shot_D


Hmmm… How delightfully…”generic,” as the instructress is so fond of saying.


[Recently…I’ve been watching a lot of NBC’s Will & Grace reruns on the boob tube, getting ready for the cast’s triumphant return to the small screen this fall season. And you might wanna read this next part with the voice of the indomitable character of Karen Walker (played by the equally luscious actress Megan Mullally) from that show, because…you know…it might be more effective that way…]


So lemme see if I can effectively communicate this with you, honey… I’ll even use some of the “Neutral” words from your list (see first screen shot above) so you can better understand:


I get the sense that you don’t understand diddlysquat, nor do you seem to appreciate or respect what proper “communication” is all about. You don’t even know how to plan or organize your lessons in a practical or useful format. I came to realize this after reading the first few chapters of your amateurish and anything-but-effective course on effective communication. So pay attention to this, lady—I would sincerely appreciate it if you would locate the money I paid you so you could give it back to me until you have the time to practice some real pedagogical chops and create a lesson plan that doesn’t absolutely suck. Okay?


Thank you.




…Well, that might not be the most tactful way to address someone in person. But a personal blog gives me a little bit of leeway here…FOR SOME HUMOR…which is a fabulous way to establish rapport with new people you meet…and also when dealing with atrocious online courses written by people who don’t know the difference between their boom-boom and their ya-hoo.








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