Group Project: Peaceful Protest March

After the lecture on Civil Rights and Liberties, as well as an extensive discussion on the Jim Crow laws leading up to the Civil Rights Movement, students will take place in a 54 mile march around the UCF campus.

Why 54 miles? Because this was the distance between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama that thousands marched in 1965 under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr.

As it happens, the main road around UCF is 3 miles long – this means 18 laps is 54 miles. Students have from 5AM to 6PM to complete the first 51 – and then the whole class will march the final three together.

Students are divided into teams, and one person from each team must be moving at all times. The 51 miles can be completed keeping an average pace of 13 minute miles.

Understanding the need for teaching individuals to fight for causes outside of their own interest (explained in the lecture notes above) students may recruit outside help to complete their miles. They also may help other teams finish.

This is a difficult task requiring planning, community effort, and sacrifice. A fitting way begin to build empathy for the marginalized.

Civil Rights and Liberties: Examining Peaceful Protest and the Principles of Nonviolence

Your civil rights and liberties are intended to protect you against discrimination or injustice committed against you because of your RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ETHNICITY, GENDER, DISABILITY, OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.


What is the difference between a civil liberty and your civil rights?

  • Civil liberties are protections against government actions, protecting freedoms.
  • Civil rights refer to positive actions of government should take to create equal conditions for all Americans.

In order for us to truly see change, people must develop empathy and take action which is NOT BASED IN SELF-INTEREST. What does this mean? It means that we need to fight for the rights of others when we receive no personal benefit.

The Southern Poverty Law Center gives us a road map for fighting hate at the community level. There are things we can ALL do:

  1. Act
  2. Unite
  3. Support the Victims
  4. Do your homework
  5. Create an alternative
  6. Speak up
  7. Lobby Leaders
  8. Look long-term
  9. Teach tolerance


As we engage in peaceful protest, me must understand the principles of Nonviolent Resistance

  • Nonviolent resistance is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, *satyagraha, and other methods, without using violence.

*Coined by Mahatma Gandhi: Satya means TRUTH Agraha means INSISTENCE… translates to “An Insistence on Truth”


Martin Luther King Jr. developed a list of six facts to help people understand non-violent resistance and join with him in his vision:

  1. Not for cowards, not an acceptance of evil: quiet physically but not spiritually
  2. The goal is NOT to defeat or humiliate the opponent but to win him over to understand new ways to create cooperation and community
  3. The non-violent resister attacks the forces of evil NOT the people engaged in the evil “Defeat the injustice not the unjust”
  4. The non-violent resister accepts suffering without retaliation, accepts violence, but never commits it.
  5. The non-violent resister learns to love the opponent with unconditional love: “Cut off the chain of hate”
  6. Based on the belief that the universe is “just” moving us towards wholeness and peace.

This requires the belief that change is possible, and that personal sacrifice is probable.

Group Project: Around the world travel blog

For this project, each group will be planning a 30-45 day trip around the world. While students have great flexibility in this trip, they must include the following criteria:

  • No fewer than 4 regions of the United States from the map below must be visited.

Regions devided

  • No fewer than 4 countries outside of the United States must be visited.
  • No fewer than 3 of the 4 countries outside of the USA must have a national language other than English
  • No fewer than 3 continents must be visited
  • Each day needs to be accounted for – travel days included.
  • All costs including transportation, lodging and food must be calculated.
  • A discussion of the UNIQUE CULTURE you find in each region will be detailed in your final project, including but not limited to:
    • race, ethnicity, traditions and customs, food, religion, symbols, laws, rules, norms and shared beliefs.
  • You must include a record of entry requirements (passports, visas, etc) into each country and ensure your group would be allowed to visit, and for how long. Make note of the process of requesting these items and the timeline to receive them.
  • A travel blog will be completed for each group.


Cultural application project for Nonverbal communication: The Real Housewives

Group Project: The Real Housewives of “______________”


You will be divided into groups and will be writing a script surrounding a specific culture you choose.

Throughout the term you will research this cultures traditions, norms and rules surrounding the core elements of nonverbal communication:

  • Physical Appearance
  • Gestures and movement
  • Face and Eye Behavior
  • Vocalics
  • Space and environment
  • Touch
  • Time Orientations

Using the lecture material as the basis for your own research you must CLEARLY portray each of these areas in your completed script.

During online modules you will progressively turn in your research on each area.

After an  opportunity to do a final run through of your script in class you will turn in the final draft, which will include your references back to your research which was used as a basis for the script.

On the final night of class you will be presenting your skits to the class. This should be done without notes – and the seven areas of nonverbal communication should be recognizable to the class without you breaking your character to explain them.

Student project to accompany “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

The following project is designed to help students explore their “love languages” and should be completed after reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

After completion of all five projects, the students will analyze what their primary and secondary love languages are; both in showing and seeing love.

5 love languages

Individual project: Five Love Languages Assignments:


The following assignments may be completed for one person, or you may select a different person for each one.

For each one you may not tell the receiver that this is being completed for an assignment. You should keep detailed records of your entire process from planning, to execution, to reaction for your final paper.


Words of Affirmation

Send a greeting card IN THE MAIL to someone for no specific reason (cannot be for a birthday, anniversary, etc.) telling them what they mean to you and why.

You may buy a card or make one. You need to add a personal letter in the card. 

Record their reaction on receiving it and your feelings about what you said. Do you think there is a different reaction to the card being mailed? If it was bought or made? Was the reaction what you expected?



Acts of Service 

Make a “coupon book” for someone with 8-10 acts of service.

These “acts of service” must correspond with the conditions in the book. 

This should be handmade (think of the ones you made in grade school for mothers or father’s day) and not purchased. 

Give it to them, record their reaction to receiving it, and your feelings about making it. Was it what you expected? Why did you select this person?


Quality Time –

Spend at least three hours doing something that qualifies as quality time according to the “Five Love Languages”.

Document their reaction and your feelings before, during, and after the activity.


Physical Touch –

Hug five different people.

You must initiate the hug.

At least one must be a stranger.

No more than one can be immediate family.

Record their responses and your feelings before during and after the hug.


Gifts –

Give someone a gift that you FIND OR MAKE… YOU MAY NOT SPEND ANY MONEY…

The give cannot be for a specific occasion (graduation, birthday, etc.).

Record their reaction to getting it and your thought process about the process of selecting and giving it.


Five Books to add to your Summer Reading List

In preparation for my fall classes, I have been working on a reading list. I planned to send it out only  to enrolled students, but have had several requests from graduates on what books they might read this summer – so I will share it with you here.

The first four will be required for my Interpersonal Communication Class. The fifth book, The Five Love Languages, is used in my Nonverbal Communication classes – students may read the original book, or the Love Languages for Singles edition.

The links below go to, however these books are widely available from various retailers as well as most public libraries. In many cases there are Kindle Editions for an even lower cost.


The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Brandon

The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem is essential reading for anyone with a personal or professional interest in self-esteem. The book demonstrates compellingly why self-esteem is basic to psychological health, achievement, personal happiness, and positive relationships.  Branden introduces the six pillars-six action-based practices for daily living that provide the foundation for self-esteem-and explores the central importance of self-esteem in five areas: the workplace, parenting, education, psychotherapy, and the culture at large.  The work provides concrete guidelines for teachers, parents, managers, and therapists who are responsible for developing the self-esteem of others.  And it shows why-in today’s chaotic and competitive world-self-esteem is fundamental to our personal and professional power


Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandburg

In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In became a massive cultural phenomenon and its title became an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of best-seller lists both nationally and internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theaters, dominated op-ed pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership. Now, this enhanced edition provides the entire text of the original book updated with more recent statistics and features a passionate letter from Sandberg encouraging graduates to find and commit to work they love. A combination of inspiration and practical advice, this new edition will speak directly to graduates and, like the original, will change lives.


Tell My Sons: A Fathers Last Letters by Lt. Col. Mark Webber

At the pinnacle of a soaring career in the U.S. Army, Lt. Col. Mark M. Weber was tapped to serve in a high-profile job within the Afghan Parliament as a military advisor. Weeks later, a routine physical revealed stage IV intestinal cancer in the thirty-eight-year-old father of three. Over the next two years he would fight a desperate battle he wasn’t trained for, with his wife and boys as his reluctant but willing fighting force. When Weber realized that he was not going to survive this final tour of combat, he began to write a letter to his boys, so that as they grew up without him, they would know what his life-and-death story had taught him—about courage and fear, challenge and comfort, words and actions, pride and humility, seriousness and humor, and viewing life as a never-ending search for new ideas and inspiration. This book is that letter. And it’s not just for his sons. It’s for everyone who can use the best advice a dying hero has to offer. Weber’s stories illustrate that in the end you become what you are through the causes to which you attach yourself—and that you’ve made your own along the way. Through his example, he teaches how to live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way


Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron

Is it possible to live well when the very ground we stand on is shaky? Yes, says everyone’s favorite Buddhist nun, it’s even possible to live beautifully, compassionately, and happily on shaky ground—and the secret is: the ground is always shaky. Pema shows how using a traditional Buddhist practice called the Three Vows or Three Commitments, offering us a way to relax into profound sanity in the midst of whatever non-sanity is happening around us. Just making these simple aspirations can change the way we look at the world and can provide us with a lifetime of material for spiritual practice.


The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Marriage should be based on love, right? But does it seem as though you and your spouse are speaking two different languages? New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman guides couples in identifying, understanding, and speaking their spouse’s primary love language—quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. By learning the five love languages, you and your spouse will discover your unique love languages and learn practical steps in truly loving each other. Chapters are categorized by love language for easy reference, and each one ends with specific, simple steps to express a specific language to your spouse and guide your marriage in the right direction. A newly designed love languages assessment will help you understand and strengthen your relationship. You can build a lasting, loving marriage together.


Learning to use Microsoft WORD to your advantage

After years of coaching students on writing in a professional and scholarly manner, a trend in academic writing has come forward. Many students say they do not like to write this way not because they do not recognize its importance, but simply because they are not good at it.

The reasons for their perceptions of their shortcomings are varied:

  • Some are non-native English speakers.
  • Some feel they have never been taught.
  • Some blame social media and technology on them not retaining what they have learned.
No matter the starting point, they now stand at the same place: FEAR. 

Terrified of professional writing and the shadow of scholarly weakness it may cast on them, they run from it, as far and as fast as they can.

I have and still maintain that the way to get better at writing, is to “Just Do It”. However, I understand that the first steps in change are often the hardest.

Sometimes, you need some training wheels.

In addition to spell-check, the newest versions of Microsoft Word have very advanced grammar and style checking options. The following tips will help you easily set up Microsoft Word so that it will assist you in not only finding errors, but also learning why they are wrong.

When you open WORD, go to Options, and then select Proofing.

  • Check the 5 boxes below “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word”
  • There is a drop-down box next to “Writing Style”, select Grammar & Style
  • Click on “settings” next to this drop down
  • Make sure that it checks your document for 1 space between sentences

I recommend that at least at first you check ALL OF THE BOXES after Grammar and Style. Doing this will look for many common grammar mistakes, but more importantly, it will analyze your writing style. In my opinion, for students, some of the most important things this flags that are often unnoticed are:

  • Cliches, Colloquialisms, and Jargon
  • Passive sentences
  • Use of first person
  • Gender specific language
Not only will the Grammar and Style check give suggestions for editing, the newest versions will explain the rules behind the suggestions. By taking the time to review these, you will soon alter the style of your writing.
Finally, go to the FONT menu (in the document in 2013, previous versions have a formatting tab).
Select Times New Roman, 12 pt font. and SET AS DEFAULT for all documents. This way you use what is the standard acceptable font for all of your papers, automatically.
Using a recent version of Microsoft Word is key
While they are expensive, students now have the option to buy a four year subscription. It is available for a discount at most college bookstores, and can be found at the UCF Technology Product Center. This 4-year license allows one person to install the software on either 2 PCs or 2 MACS, and includes both version updates and 20GB storage on SkyDrive – where you can both store your documents to access them remotely, as well as share unique read-only or editing links to classmates or colleagues.
A small investment of time and money will boost your confidence, and most likely, your grade.