Saturday, October 8, 2016


Going back through the blogs I wrote and the blog prompts I do see connection that tie them to each other. The main things that tie a lot of them together is that they most draw from personal experience with organizations and why they worked of the structure they used. I think this helps make it so the prompts are more interesting since I’m able to apply it to things that happened in my own life and think about those things in a different way. For example with the blog on opportunism I had never looked back and asked what was the reason for doing those things and if I was not being the best person while trying to get an advantage over others. Also I never thought about how organization structure happened and why they were the way they were. I just took for granted they were just something that existed and never thought why they were that certain way.

There are many connections that I didn’t make at the time that I can make now. One of those has to do with the opportunism blog post. A connection I didn’t see was how opportunism has a relation with collegiality and how sometimes people would have to pick one or the other depending on the situation. Another connection I didn’t see is why organizations that are successful have the structure they do and what factors into why they use that structure. And also how it can help make them successful, and how just because a successful organization used that structure it won’t necessarily work out the same way for a different organization.

My process for writing these prompts have evolved. In the beginning I would just sit down and write them and I didn’t think of what I would say beforehand. I just wrote whatever I thought and then just edited it and moved stuff around where I felt like it made sense at the time. Also I didn’t try to think about what it had to do with the class before I just looked at the blogs at their own separate things. Now I write a simple outline of what I plan to say before hand and it helps my thoughts stay more organized. Also it helps me see if there is a major theme I'm connecting to and if that connects to what is currently going on in class Also it allows for like major edits that I would do as I went along. Also before I would type it into a Microsoft Word Document before and then copy and paste it into my blog when I was done as opposed to now when I just type directly into the post box which I think helps me get into a mindset of blogging as opposed to writing a paper.

Prompts I would like to see would be prompts that somehow tie current events into them just because I would find that to be interesting to do and I would be able to see what other people think and why. Since we all have an idea of what everyone’s background with organizations are it would be interesting to see if they play into people’s opinion and if they do how they play into it.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Team Structures

Throughout my life I have been involved in many different organizations that had very different structures to them.

The earliest team in an organization I can remember was being on was yearbook in eighth grade. For some reason every year my school let the eighth graders sign up to help with yearbook. It was always very popular because I went to a small private school, so the only extra circulars were the different sports teams and yearbook. How this worked was there was one woman who worked on the yearbook every year who was hired by the school, and she gave the final approval before sending it along. Beneath her were about two or three moms of the kids that were on yearbook who were mostly there to keep us in line. Then there were the eighth graders who would then all sign up to work on one team that was in charge of an aspect of the yearbook. This structure reminds me the most of the simple hierarchy. Simple hierarchy is when there is a middle manager, in this case the woman the school hired, who reports to the boss, in this case the school, and in turn supervises and communicates with the others, the volunteer moms who then oversaw the kids.

Overall the teams seemed not to be very successful. We all did work and everything got done, but I feel like it would have been more productive and efficient if just the parents who volunteered did it all. I think it went wrong in the very beginning when the teams formed. I was sick when the teams were formed so my two friends who were also doing yearbook somehow decided on a team with enough spots and put my name down for me. When I did come next time I could see how all the team were basically the cliques that were in my grade. And while it makes sense that all the more techy guys ended up on the tech team and all the guys who played sports ended up on the sport team photo section team with other teams it was easy it tell that they didn’t care what they were doing as long as they were with their friends. I only remember going the computer lab to work on our section once and there was more goofing off and talking than actually doing what we were supposed to. I think the moms and the woman must have had to go through every team’s work and finish up and fix everything for us.

A more successful team I was on was this summer at the day camp I worked at. There were two groups the counselors could be assigned to and those were Arlington Adventure, which were the fourth and fifth graders, and Sunny Meadows, who were the first through third graders. Now there were new sessions every two weeks so if you wanted you could switch off on which team you were in, but I stayed with Sunny Meadows for all of the sessions. For the most part we mostly kept the groups separated except at the pool, or if we combined the two groups to play a big game. We did have site directors but for the most part they were more hands off and the teams were very independent.

This team had the structure of an All Channel Network. Every counselor was in constant communication with each other because you had to be flexible to work with kids and you couldn’t just branch out and start a new game on your own. There was always a constant stream of communication and information we would all be sharing. At the pool it was always asking each other to watch this spot while I go check on something, or in the morning when counselors who made the schedule for the day told you what games your team is playing and who is explaining each game to the kids, or which kids are in the bathroom so if they decide to do a head count their numbers wouldn’t be off, and even during drop-off or pick-up; if you recognized a parent or a kid you would tell the counselor who had them to make it easier for everyone. Overall I think that the All Channel Network was what allowed our team to be successful and stay ahead of game most days.

Friday, September 16, 2016


There have been times in my life where I have acted opportunistically and other times where I’ve chosen to not act opportunistically. While I tend to act opportunistically with a lot of the small things in my life that could be considered unethical, such as not cleaning out the dishwasher and then going out knowing someone will see it and do it instead, with some of the bigger things in life it’s harder to tell.

An example for me is when I was deciding on what college to go to my junior year. Originally I wanted to major in computer science, but I didn’t get into the computer science major at University of Illinois. I did get into computer science majors at all other schools I applied to, but they were smaller schools. So I had to make a choice to take a risk and try to get into the major later at Illinois or if I wanted to go for the sure thing at a small college. What it came down to for me was did I want the small school or did I want a degree from a university with more prestige. In my case I thought it was more opportunistic for me to go to a bigger school and see how it pans out, and I decide not to even do computer science. Another reason why is that my dad went here back when he was going to college and I felt like because I did get into such a good university that my dad might be hurt that I ended up not going here and I think I would feel a little guilty if I ended up not going to school here.

Another time one of my good friends was upset over something that happened to her but it was at the same time that I was busy with a lot of family and school work. So while I did try to be there for her I still feel like I acted a bit unethical by focusing too much things that were going on in my life and I should have given her more of my time and the time I did give her I should have been more present in our conversations instead of thinking ahead on all the stuff that I needed to deal with.

One example of someone that didn’t act opportunistically in my opinion that I can think of happened over the summer. My sister, who was a theater major in college, had to choose between an unpaid internship at a company that holds auditions and recruitment for a wide variety of televisions shows or a paid job as the person directing an improve camp for teens at a small theater for the summer. She ended up choosing to go for the paid job over the unpaid internship. I think the main factor she used to decide this was the fact that both she and our parents thought she needed the money. With this choice I’m not sure if she acted opportunistically because I would personal go for the unpaid internship because I think it would be better for networking and there is a chance to get a paid position even if its not paid at first. Also the unpaid internship was thought a bigger name company that I think would look better than a summer job at a small theater.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Experience with Organizations

I have been involved with many organizations throughout my life. One of the most recent ones was this summer. I was a day camp counselor at a park in my park district for about two months. Because the day camp was through the park district it was pretty large. It consisted of four parks in the district. Each camp had two site directors and around ten counselors. The park district also had some people they hired as substitutes they could call if there were too many counselors who were unable to come in if the one counselor per every ten kids ratio was off. They also worked with the Northwest Special Recreation Association to provide the kids with special needs aids that had further training for that than we did. Another thing is that there were also options for parents to sign the kids up for swimming lessons or tennis lessons that were just for the kids in the camp along with having before camp and after camp for the parents that had to work earlier and later hours.

How the camp worked was that there were four two-week sessions that parents would sign their kids up for. Our camp ended up being over staffed just due to them looking at the number of kids they had last year and there were about half that number for the last two sessions. Because of this we were always called if another camp in the park district had low staff and unable to get a sub since they didn’t hire too many. At one point I had to go to different camp for a day because of that and while it was a very similar to my camp there were a lot of differences. For example, we had both a craft and a game going on at the same time so kids could choose while at the other camp kids weren’t offered a choice like that. This is probably because the locations were so different. My camp had limited indoor space and a very large outside area that was away from any streets while the camp I was moved to for the day had a large indoor space but not much space outside and the space that was outside was right next to a street.

How the camp worked was that there were two groups the counselors were in. You were either with the older kids or the younger kids. Every Wednesday was a field trip to a waterpark, a game, or bowling, and Fridays they brought food from local restaurants for the kids. There were four possible shifts we could be assigned to and in the beginning of summer the people that were assigned a certain shift planned all the games for the day. What I found interesting was that we changed it about halfway through the camp to the people with the later shift would plan for the next day instead because there was too much time wasted on setting up the games and explaining what the plan was to the other counselors.

One thing I learned from this organization is that even if you’re suppose to be doing the same thing as another group there are still going to be differences in how things are done just due to materials and location. Another thing I learned from this organization is that even if you think it’s a small operation it’s most likely part of another operation that is quite large. There is still so much time spent planning these things even before you’re hired and even before the parents signed up. Also someone had to organize all four of the camps for these field trips and food, and these locations could and most likely were planning with other day camps, so the fact that anything got done it really amazing when you think about it.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Daniel Kahneman Biography

The economist I was Assigned for my alias is Daniel Kahneman. I had not heard of him before I was assigned to him.

Daniel Kahneman was born in Tel Aviv, in what is now Israel, in 1934. He spent a lot of his childhood in Paris. Daniel Kahneman received his bachelor of science degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1954. In 1961 he received his PhD in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

He is most well known for his prospect theory, and in 2002, Vernon Smith and him, received the Nobel Prize in economics for "having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty.”

His work is important because his prospect theory has lots of applications because it's about why people make the decisions they do, so I do think it will apply to this class.