Karen Rigdon

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Karen Rigdon's Page Private Piano and Guitar Instruction Self Employed Bachelors of Secondary Music Education Vocal/General, University of Hawaii Masters Concentration - Computers and Technology Hobbies: Cross-country skiing, walking in the woods, cooking, canoeing, writing. Clubs: Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

-- Anonymous, October 20, 1998


Answers UTNE Reader, June 1998 Romancing the Net Randall Rothenberg Submitted by Karen S. Rigdon The Net Worth of Web Advertising By Karen S. Rigdon

Upon the eve of every new invention, a naove populous cannot foresee what monsters have been created that could possibly forever change their culture in a multitude of ways. Recall Henry Ford's automobile and reflect on the gargantuan influence his invention had on our society's mobility. On the flip side, decades later, the air we breathe has forever been changed by the auto's invasive emissions. Hence, new regulations, acts, and laws must be adopted and embraced to control the out-of-control monsters of invention.

With the wisdom gained from hindsight, we can make predictions about the future of everything from genetic engineering to communities in space. In his article "Romancing the Net", from the UTNE READER, June 1998, Randall Rothenberg makes the prediction that "Big Media is creating a monster ( WWW ) that will someday swallow it whole." He is referring to the advertisers and their agencies who have broken with traditional advertising and are now "exploiting the buzz of the Web"; in the interest of self-interest.

Rothenberg maintains that in order to understand the future disintegration of Big Media you must become familiar with the "Knowability Paradox". In essence, this conveys that the effectiveness of a single element in a complex system is nearly impossible to measure. For example, isolating advertising from production, distribution, sales, and communication will lead you to uncertainty because "no one understands how, or even if, advertising works". In the light of this inscrutability, advertising businesses continue to boom and the Net is the latest hot spot for creative gimmicks with "subversive power". The Net is different, though, because it is accountable, states Rothenberg. This means that marketers can now count how many people click on their Web ads and open them up to read. Proctor and Gamble compensates its online media outlets on the basis of clickthroughs. This practice stirs the pot of sheer fear with traditional advertisers who are now competing with new media technologies that reduce costs, provide possible customer counts, and have the edge on sophistication and flair.

The bottom line, according to my interpretation of Rothenberg's article, is that companies eventually won't blindly spend on advertising anymore. They will balance profits and the advertising budgets as a result of the clickthrough counts. Rothenberg's climatic prediction declares, "If quality information and entertainment are to survive, the consumer will have to make up the difference".

The consumer making up the difference is a scenario far too familiar - health care, welfare reform, school referendum taxes, etc. The customer making up the difference has almost become an evolutionary universal law. We have come to expect it but we still groan when those laws actually materialize.

My personal use of advertising has employed "spring board" ads in the local newspaper. I run an ad to attract new clients, offer that client an incentive to bring in more customers, and then rely on word- of-mouth advertising. This works extremely well in small towns if your first customer was pleased with your services.

To date, I have not advertised on the Web. I find advertising on the Net to be as annoying, pesky, and inconvenient as hungry mosquitoes on a sizzling summer day. The ads cover up the web sites that I would like to view. I must spend precious time swatting at the X's to remove the sponsor's ads from my screen. Will these ads eventually be layers thick and use up more of my time ? Perhaps a new market could be created to remedy this dastardly situation. State of the art computer software that will erase all Web advertising as efficiently as computer virus software eliminates viruses!

After reading this article, however, I felt enlightened. I thought about my favorite free greeting card web site and my friend who recently endured a knee replacement. I sent him an animated, musical get well card ( free ) from the site. I did one thing differently this time before E-mailing the card. I clicked on two of the sponsor's ads!! Keep clickingto keep the clickthough counts upto keep a good thing or two going.


My colleagues from KGHS Radio in International Falls had some interesting responses and input to my article and inquiries. They insisted that the Net has no response formula. You can count the clickthroughs but you can't count the customers who actually are making the purchases due to the ad at a later date. They also felt that the Net was becoming overwhelming and was nearing information overload. The marketers, they contended, have begun to sellout for a quick, cheap, and easy gimmick. But keep in mind that "the customer's psychological makeup has basically not changed over the years", stated Nancy Kantor. "People just can't be sucked in any easier. It's the micro-parts of advertising that have changed".

At KGHS, it was a unanimous feeling that radio advertising was the most human form of advertising. "The human voice has appeal. The frequency of radio ads serves as friendly reminders with human appeal. You just can't come close to that on a computer".

"Will there be no distinction between retail and image advertising due to transactional counts on the Net ?", I questioned the KGHS staff. I, of course, spoke with confidence so that I may have appeared to have understood the question I asked. The staff answered by educating me on the five components of a retail ad. 1. The offer 2. The price 3. The asking for customer action. Stop by, phone, etc. 4. The creation of urgency. Now, while supplies last, etc. 5. The theme or hook. Third Anniversary Sale, Hunting Season Sale, etc.

Then we discussed image advertising that positions the business in the customer's mind. Image ads are emotive, they use a soft sell technique. There is no urgency created in an image ad. They deal with how the customer feels and thinks about the business. Think of them as approachable and humanitarian.

In conclusion, I ponder the following questions. Will retail and image advertising differences eventually disappear ? Will marketing as we know it be wiped away by the "knowing" NET? Will we, as consumers, be forced to make up the difference for quality information and entertainment? And, will it all be the fault of the accountability of the Net? Please ask me again in the year 2010 when I have gained wisdom from hindsight.

Answered by Karen Sue Rigdon (dbrigdon@northwinds.net) on October 06, 1998.

-- Anonymous, October 20, 1998


OK, ACCEPTED, with one question, I see you as coordinating the newspaper and quality control of the articles and content for the whole year as well as submitting an article or two?, Terry A. ******************************************************************** I am contracting for the letter grade A. For the A criteria, I have secured a monthly column in our local news- paper for our cohort to have a communication connection with our community. I will prepare a handout with guidelines for the column. We also have a general guidelines handout from the Daily Journal which I will distribute to our group. I will write the kick off introduction article in November. Group members will then volunteer to write for the following months. Articles will include photographs of contributing authors. Articles will be clipped from the paper and placed with our other works.

For B criteria, I will participate in Rotary's PROJECT STRIVE teen mentoring program. The project is targeted at seniors who are not meeting their maximum potentials academically. I will attend three two hour mentor training sessions in preparation for a one on one mentoring relationship. My role to date has been to recruit mentors, mentees, plan the monthly breakfast meetings with the students, prepare jokes and activities for the meetings, make reminder phone calls, buy gifts for door prizes for the students, and research statistics on the net. I will document everything I do in the program and prepare a notebook each quarter. This obligation is for one year.

Answered by Karen Sue Rigdon (dbrigdon@northwinds.net) on October 08, 1998. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------

-- Anonymous, October 20, 1998

Karen Rigdon's Page

Private Piano and Guitar Instruction

Self Employed

Bachelors of Secondary Music Education

Vocal/General, University of Hawaii

Masters Concentration - Computers and Technology

Hobbies: Cross-country skiing, walking in the woods, cooking, canoeing, writing.

Clubs: Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

-- Anonymous, October 21, 1998

My Political Involvement By Karen S. Rigdon

Approximately three years ago, the mother of two of my piano students, Ms. Tess Banion, spurned my initial curiosity about political processes and the DFL party in Minnesota. The family had moved from Kansas where the woman had organized various unions and worked on campaigns for numerous candidates in the Democratic Party. Ms. Tess Banion joined a service organization (The Rainy Lake Women's Club) I was a member of and we both volunteered to be on a special committee for education.

The committee was formed to research different ways to finance public education in Minnesota if a bill passed that would lower our property taxes due to removal of the educational funding dollars. We needed to analyze the problems other states had when these bills passed and find ways to earmark dollars for education so that the quality of education in our state would not be compromised.

After several months of committee meetings, Ms. Banion decided to ask our state representative and speaker of the house, Irv Anderson, to meet with her to discuss the findings of our group. Anderson, impressed with Ms. Banion's eloquence and political savvy, offered her a job at the state capital in research. Ms. Banion is presently the head of research for the DFL and is always accessible to me for any questions or concerns I may have concerning politics. She knows where to steer you if she cannot provide the answers herself.

After my friend moved down to the Twin Cities I was asked to be a delegate for the DFL and represent our district. I gladly accepted and had several opportunities to attend conventions with two other women delegates from International Falls. It was an extraordinary learning experience. However, shortly after all the hoopla my "political life" fell silent.

When I read that becoming involved in the political process was a suggestion under our grading contract I felt that familiar tingle of excitement from the past. Then, in mid October, an advertisement for the Koochiching County DFL 20th Annual Walleye Feed appeared in our local newspaper. I made several phone calls and told everyone I saw about the politicians that were coming up for the event. "We've never had a line-up like this before. Don't miss this one!" I urged.

Before attending the event I called John Fredericksen, the superintendent of our school district, and asked him what would benefit our district educationally that would be appropriate to ask for. His vast amount of political knowledge amazed and humbled me. As I listened to him, I searched his words for an area that I could write about or discuss with a gubernatorial candidate without looking as though I hadn't done my homework. I finally decided that an area I could comfortably address would be the huge fine that is imposed on our district if teacher contracts are not settled by a certain date. The fines end up impacting the children in the classroom - period. They are the ones who come up short and have to do without. The contracts if handled at the state level would spare all the negative local disparity between teachers and management.

The line-up of candidates at the dinner was indeed inspiring. Attorney General Hubert "Skip" Humphrey III, state representative Irv Anderson, U.S. 8th District Representative James Oberstar, and DFL candidates Mike Hatch, Edwina Garcia and Nancy Larson. Hatch seeks the office of attorney general. Garcia is campaigning for secretary of state. Larson is running for state auditor. The candidates arrived as the DFL supporters were having supper. Each one came to our table, shook our hands, and spoke with us for a few minutes. This had a wonderful, intimate, small town "feel".

Oberstar was the first to speak. The gratitude of his local constituents permeated Union Hall as they applauded Oberstar's success in persuading Northwest Airlines to lower airfares to and from International Falls. He told the audience, "You are not the end of the line; you're the beginning". Oberstar also spoke of the new highway bill he developed that secured $100 million for projects in the district.

When Humphrey spoke he clarified that his support of gun control was not aimed at eliminating hunting but to help stop shootings in urban Minnesota. "We don't have a license to hunt people," Humphrey said. He noticeably was wearing a pair of blue jeans with his suit coat and mentioned that he had been grouse hunting earlier that day. Humphrey showed a charming concern over the fact that some people call him old-fashioned and others say his budget is a mess. He said he supports the timber industry and that his ties with environmental groups don't justify our concern. A small amount of time was given to his negative opinion of Coleman's tax relief and budget proposals. The entire group of six praised each other and urged the constituents to elect the full slate of DFL candidates. It was clear by the rushed pace of the speeches that they had other places to go. However, in the last minutes as Irv Anderson was closing, Ladd Kocinski and I spoke with Oberstar and had our picture taken with him. We thanked him for coming to the Falls and told him how much it meant to our small town. I asked him where he lived and he told me he traveled back and forth between Chilsom and Washington DC. We also thanked him for getting our airfares lowered. Ladd and I also had our photo taken with Humphrey and exchanged a few words with him about gun control. Moments later they all hurried past us to a van waiting outside.

The evening left me feeling exhilarated and prepared me for Election Day. I felt that the candidates were trustworthy, competent and sincere and I was thrilled that they had come to the "beginning of the line" to introduce themselves to us. About seventy people had been in attendance and all were "charged-up" and applauded after many of the comments made.

Skip Humphrey is and has always been an advocate for seniors. He also wants to procure the votes of the teachers. At a recent educational conference at River Centre he told 1,500 teachers that he is the candidate committed to public education. He wants smaller class sizes and all children reading by second grade. Early childhood education development is at the nucleus of his plan.

The DFL party in general seeks to improve public education and has a brochure that touts their ambitions and successes in education, opportunity, and community. Their educational achievements include: | "Created more accountability, including statewide testing for elementary and secondary students and tough new graduation requirements." | "Added more choices for families through charter schools, open enrollment and post-secondary options." | "Provided more support for public schools from the state, so property taxpayers can get a break and students in all parts of the state can count on access to a high quality education."

Teachers must be concerned about who wins elections because they are responsible for the learners in their classrooms that will be the future of Minnesota and the United States. I hope the DFL wins this election because I believe that Humphrey and his colleagues will transform public education in Minnesota and make our state a better, safer, more innovative place to live, learn, and grow in.

-- Anonymous, October 25, 1998

Choose to "Sharpen Your Saw" By Karen S. Rigdon November 1998

Welcome to a new monthly column that is intended to serve as an educational sharing link with our community. The authors are a group of 22 local educators enrolled in the University of Minnesota-Duluth's Masters of Education program. Many thanks to the Daily Journal for allowing us a voice as we "sharpen our saws" to benefit the learners in our area.

The phrase, "sharpen your saw", refers to a principal of continuous improvement. Renowned author Stephen R. Covey says that highly effective people have seven habits. Habit number seven is the practice of sharpening one's saw. This is accomplished by learning, growing, and developing new capacities and expanding the old. Covey states bluntly, "Grow or die. Stretch or stagnate". Without continual improvement, there is no increased effectiveness. The bottom line is that you cannot expect schools and businesses to improve if teachers and employees do not improve.

A friend of mine recently E-mailed me a humorous list of actual quotes from Federal employee performance evaluations. Included in the list was, "Donated his brain to science before he was finished using it". It is doubtful that this employee took night classes at the local college, volunteered his time to serve on the hospital board, or read inspiring classics. Perhaps, instead of drinking deeply from the fountain of knowledge, he merely gargled! His saw blade was dull and someone noticed.

Fortunately, the whole world is a classroom, if you are alert and pay attention to what is happening around you. Experience educates, nature educates, and relationships educate. The possibilities are endless. There are times when someone may grow weary of doing something for you. This is a perfect opportunity to stretch yourself to learn the task, if you desire it to be done.

When I first moved here ten years ago, I had never touched a worm, not to mention a minnow or a leech. I did, however, hunger for the taste of walleye. My husband patiently baited my hook for two full years. Then, one fateful day, his patience wore out. I had to stretch or starve! I had to learn how to touch a minnow (barehanded), without freaking, and impale his slimy little body with my hook. Impossible, I thought.

A sympathetic, local woman came to my rescue and developed a step by step program for my education in the School of the North. The hook-baiting lessons began with sticking my hand, ever so slowly, into the minnow bucket and letting the minnows swim around my hand. The snowmobiling lessons began with a 20-mile per hour ride to the Junction. The hunting lessons began with holding an unloaded .410 correctly in her backyard. Slowly but surely, I expanded my new skills and found myself loving the Falls more and more. Perhaps even one day, I will be demonstrating to a newcomer that cleaning a grouse is as easy as peeling a banana!

Learners of all ages need mentors and teachers to inspire them with passion for the things they love. Too often, learners are motivated through fear of failure rather than the love of knowledge. Johann Goethe, the German literary giant, said, "People cannot learn what they do not love". We always manage to find time, one way or another, for what we undeniably love.

As you "sharpen your saw" and stretch yourself in new and exciting ways, encourage curiosity and questions from all those around you. To witness the enthusiasm, joy, and excitement of a student or your child as they develop new skills is an honored privilege. Your inspiration could forever change their life.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 1998

Home Phone Number : 218-283-9021

-- Anonymous, November 18, 1998

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Parts1-3, A Review by Karen Rigdon

The book "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman challenges the narrow view that IQ scores largely determine our destiny in life. Goleman reminds the reader that decades of research, studies and experiments have shown that many people with high IQ scores struggled, while many with humble IQ scores did surprisingly well. The reason for this could well be that those with a modest IQ possessed skills such as self-control, zeal and persistence, and the ability to self-motivate. These skills, as well as subduing destructive emotional impulses, being able to read another's innermost feelings and respond appropriately, and knowing how to handle relationships smoothly are all examples of what Goleman calls "emotional intelligence".

It is fascinating to consider the truism that IQ contributes only about 20% to factors that determine success in life. In his book,"Frames of Mind", Howard Gardner challenged the IQ view and identified seven key varieties of intelligence. Some of these intelligences include spatial capacity, kinesthetic genius and interpersonal skills. At one point, his list had stretched to twenty different varieties of intelligences.

When one accepts the broader view of multiple intelligence, a child with a low IQ has added hope for success. Gardner says, "The single most important contribution education can make to a child's development is to help him toward a field where his talents best suit himWe should spend less time ranking children and more time helping them to identify their natural competencies and gifts, and cultivate those".

Gardner, along with Yale psychologist Peter Salovey, have been influential in their studies that show how crucial "personal" or emotional intelligence is. Of particular interest to educators, is the discovery that emotional intelligence skills can be taught to children. Kelly Ravenfeather, LICSW of Lutheran Social Services in Duluth, encourages teachers in her workshops to help students learn to soothe their anxiety before tests with deep breathing exercises. For the most part, the emotional education of children has been left to fate, with tragedies making headlines far too often. Neurological data does imply a window of opportunity for molding our children's emotional habits. Goleman advocates the schooling of the whole child with a balance between head and heart, thought and feeling.

I found the chapter entitled "Passion's Slaves" to be full of answers for many puzzling life circumstances, as well as excellent tips for empowering one's life through self awareness. For example, I understand now why some people "blow up' or loose control of themselves. This is due to the design of the brain that triggers an emergency response in the limbic brain, before the thinking brain has a chance to fully analyze the situation for a fine tuned response. Being swept away by an emotion can be out of our control, but we can control how long an emotion lasts. We can learn how to shake off unfavorable moods and soothe ourselves. We can practice challenging the thoughts that trigger anger. We can take a "time out" so that we will cool down and have time alone to seek out healing distractions.

With knowledge and practice, out-of-control emotions can be brought back into line. This, Goleman says, is the master aptitude because out-of-control emotions thwart the intellect. Combined with hope and optimism, the person who can pull back the reins on out-of-control emotions can enhance their ability to think flexibly and with more complexity.

In the classroom, each teacher has their own methods to avoid situations that could become emotionally volatile and distract learning. Tim Everson, a secondary computer teacher in International Falls, lays down clearly stated classroom rules. He makes sure that all the students understand the rules, and academic expectations. If they break the rules, he reminds them that they chose to do so and, therefore, have no reason to be angry with him for the consequences of their decisions. Everson also makes it a point never to yell or scream at anyone in his classes thereby modeling emotional control to his students. Direct confrontation is avoided as it has the occasion to lead to physical violence against the teacher.

At the elementary level, kindergarten teacher Mary Moe of International Falls, has one rule posted in her classroom. "Never, no never, hurt anyone on the outside or the inside". In the first week of school they all discuss the rule and she asks, "How do we hurt someone on the inside? Do we take their skin off to get inside them?" After a short discussion time she says that the children catch on that this is done by saying something mean to someone or teasing them. If the rule is broken, she asks the student, "What is the number one rule?" The consequence for breaking the rule is missing playtime, which is extremely painful for kindergartners. This exemplifies the building of the foundational emotional intelligence skill of empathy.

The emotional intelligence skills (also referred to as character development skills) are a necessity to maintain an optimal learning environment in school. They also are needed in marriage, family and community life and in the work place to ensure harmony and productivity. From the yesterdays of the great philosopher Aristotle to the groundbreaking present day psychologist Goleman, we have seen that the only way for individuals to live truly committed to civil and moral values is to "put aside one's self-centered focus and impulses" and to continually strive to be emotionally literate.

-- Anonymous, November 22, 1998

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- The Quality School, by William Glasser Reflections by Karen Rigdon

In the chapter entitled, Building a Friendly Workplace, Glasser states that courtesy is the core of how a lead-manager deals with the workers and that an atmosphere of courtesy should prevail in schools as well as workplaces. To stress this would eliminate the need to make numerous dont do this and dont do that rules because common sense would dictate as to whether a behavior was courteous or not.

Glasser recommends keeping the rules few and simple. They are established through discussions with the workers and students. A critical part of the discussions would be to determine what should be done if a rule is broken. Another goal is to aim for a non-punitive system that is replaced by problem solving methods.

I was drawn in by Glassers views on the teacher-pupil relationship. He encourages educators to share bits of their personal stories and struggles with their students so that they become experienced as a need-satisfying friend rather than an adversary with whom to engage in power struggles. Students also will be more likely to want to do quality work if they feel they are friends with the teacher. Students feel empowered by being allowed to help make rules, give feedback as to how learning will proceed, and are included in the evaluation process.

-- Karen S. Rigdon (dbrigdon@northwinds.net), December 20, 1998

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- Contribute an answer to "Reflections on the Quality School"

-- Anonymous, December 20, 1998

Hello Lisa, Jill H., Jill K.,Pat and Karin;

The format in which you have submitted your research project is good and your statement of the problem is certainly one that is very achieveable. The results of your project will be excellent information for your school district and you may become directly involved in working toward making this happen. Your proposal is accepted - continue to be concise and enjoy this research process! Mary Ann

-- Anonymous, March 21, 1999

Hi Karen, Your grade for fall and winter quarter is an "A". Congratulations! Keep up the good work on your research project. Mary Ann

-- Anonymous, March 29, 1999

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