International Documentation Project Reflections: Week 2

There hasn’t been anything major that happened group wise since my last post. It was a pretty busy week for me. I had two tests I had to study for, three important meetings (one major one being for my internship – which went awesome), among other things.

Our groups managed to get together to discuss our roles, what we can do, etc. We also decided to break up the sections of our “Guide to Identity Protection When Creating User Accounts” and I ended up doing a section on usernames and privacy. This included whether to use e-mail addresses as usernames, how do you select usernames without giving way too much personal information, and so forth.

Our (unofficial) project manager/official group editor, Peter who is with the Irish group decided that it would be feasible for us to have at least 250 words per section, so we would cap the entire document at 900 or so words so the French team will be able to translate it with ease. I pretty much became the unofficial project manager for my group as well. Two of our members were behind a bit, but we managed to get them both caught up. One was sick, and the other had Internet issues and it was just a hectic week for her. She wanted to do a Google Hangout, and I was hesitant at first since I’m camera shy, but I sucked it up and went with it because I knew she wanted to/need to get caught up. Well, what was suppose to be a 30 minute session, turned into 2 hours. We talked about school and everything under the sun. We didn’t just use this time just to discuss school and other things, we were also waiting to see if any other people from our group would want to join in on the conversation, and they did.

We set an internal deadline for turning in our portions by this Thursday, Feb. 16, with Friday, Feb. 17 being the latest so Peter could edit the document and send it out to the French group by Monday, Feb. 20.

For the upcoming week, our group will probably just focus on getting our drafts completed and submitted. I still have more to worry about though. I may have jury duty on the 15th, and I’m hoping it will be canceled. :/

That’s it for this week!

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International Documentation Project Reflections: Week 1

First blog post! YAY!

When I entered this class I was just expecting to learn about working with international groups and technical communications. We had touched on several things in previous courses about gestures, gender roles, etc. However, I was surprised to learn that we would actually be getting real-world experience working with technical writers in other countries. And by this being an online course, I think it makes it even worthwhile and exciting. I was enthusiastic because this would be a good way to learn more about communicating and editing/working on technical documents with students in different countries and who have different cultures (in this case, Ireland and France), various work practices, and languages and dialects. This approach would not be as personal, but more so on an academic level, so that was interesting and a bit intimidating at the same time.

So, this week we officially got the ball rolling in my ENC 4262 International Technical Communications class on our documentation project. I turned in my Country Report (got an “A”) and then I contacted my group. I had introduced myself to them the same week as we had to select our groups, so I reached out with a follow-up e-mail discussing group roles, my pros/cons, things I’ve done with past groups, experiences, etc. My teammates followed suit. Earlier in the week, I received an e-mail from our teammates in France and Ireland, and my teammates and I were welcomed with opened arms. We’ve already chosen a topic (A Guide to Identity Protection When Creating User Accounts) and decided over the weekend to think about it, our roles, how we’re going to divide up the work, how we’re going to communicate, etc.

There was an event that occurred on Friday, and after this had happened, it gave me a lot to reflect on as far as working with groups. On Friday, there was a machete attack that was deemed as being investigated as an act of possible terrorism at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Our French group was close to where the event happened. We’re all connected to the WhatsApp app and I had read back and forth about what had happened between the French and Irish group. They were okay and not in harm’s way, but it just goes to show you how things can somewhat affect you even if you live thousands of miles away, and only know people from a business/academic standpoint. It had me worried even though I’ve only known them for a short period of time.
This made me think about how would an event like this (if God forbid, it did get to a point where people were injured and killed), how would it affect the relationship within our group? How would it affect communication? Would the project get completely halted? I wonder sometimes in real-life situations how students and business people collaborating with others in places where war or political troubles is always constantly happening deal with these issues. I’m not saying that this will happen within my group, but it still makes me wonder about the “what ifs…?”

That’s it for this week!