The Compliment Sandwich

The Compliment Sandwich

Mastering the Art of Delectable Criticism
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If giving critical feedback has ever left you feeling close to indigestion, then this alluring approach is sure to soothe your aching appetite.  

Throughout all of my encounters with constructive criticism, there’s been no more effective way to deliver a piece of information that through the one and only Compliment Sandwich. I first encountered this phrase during my freshman year Creative Writing course with University of Colorado graduate student, Monica Koenig. 

The Compliment Sandwich is the action of chronologically placing two very real compliments on either side a piece of constructive criticism, whether giving advice on creative writing, how to ride a bike, or relationships alike. She argued that this is the most positive way to give and receive constructive criticism, and the entire class must abide this way. No need to rush to the grocery store to prepare; all it takes is a little thought. 

How to Make Your Own

Imagine consuming one of your favorite sandwiches. Maybe you’re sitting in an exciting restaurant, ordering from a food truck window, on the phone in your apartment calling for take-out, or simply sifting through the sour milk and funny-looking chicken for those last pieces of bread in the back of your fridge. 

Now that you’re good and hungry, begin to take that sandwich apart. Excluding that side of fries or bowl of fruit, the first essential piece of ‘The Sandwich’ as most commonly referred to includes two slices of bread, or the like, on either side of something delicious inside (I apologize to my gluten-free, breadless, sandwich-topless friends for the stereotypical metaphor; work with me here). Begin to take a daring look inside. 

The outermost layer of the sandwich, ‘the bread’, signifies the compliments delivered to the third party; this leaves the delicious insides of your sandwich, whether it is a burger patty with cheese, peanut butter and jelly, potato chips and Nutella, or whatever other creative foods can fit between two slices of the scrumptious shell. 

‘The insides’ of your sandwich signify the constructive criticism that the third party receives on whatever type of discourse or argument. And thus, a beautiful, little Compliment Sandwich is created: compliment, criticism, compliment. 

Why It’s Important

This eloquent way of forming constructive criticism provides the third party with positive feedback about what went well, information about what to change, and a graceful way of delivering it that will provide the least amount of hurt feelings. The receiver feels encouraged by the initial compliment which provides a safe avenue for the constructive criticism. The discussion ends with a compliment for the receiver to leave uplifted instead of torn down by the feedback. Feel no shame for digging unapologetically into this exquisite creation; from personal experience, it’s undoubtedly a customer favorite.

Example:

Compliment: “I love the title and the opening paragraph of this essay. It’s truly engaging and intriguing; you do a great job of hooking your reader from the very first line.”

Criticism: “However, I felt a little lost with your train of thought on this argument. The organization of the essay could be something to work towards revising.”

Compliment: “Regardless, I really appreciate your passion for the stance you argue in this essay; it’s sure to make a great impact on every reader.” 

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Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

Because nobody loves you more than she does.
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There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

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The Crimes And Misdemeanors Of A Sitting President

Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is: Can this nation survive any more division?

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Whether you agree with Nancy Pelosi, regarding impeachment or not, the question each American should ask is; can this nation survive any more division? Is Nancy correct in her comment, "He's just not worth it?" Impeachment should not be used as a political tool to remove an unwanted government official out of office. Its purpose is to bring charges against a government official and once the official is impeached then the legislative body can impose judgment which could ultimately remove the official from office.

Moreover, in the past, this country has impeached two sitting presidents and neither ended with his removal. According to www.merriam-webster.com, the definition of impeaching is "(a) to charge with a crime or misdemeanor, specifically: to charge a public official before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office. (b) to remove from office especially for misconduct, and (c) to bring an accusation against."

So how many cases of impeachment has the United States experienced with sitting presidents? According to www.History.com, eight U.S. presidents have faced impeachment, but with very different results. John Tyler was the first president to face impeachment proceedings in 1843. Representative John Botts of Virginia filed claimed Tyler conduct of the U.S. Treasury although the House of Representatives voted Botts' claim down.

Andrew Johnson was the second sitting president to have impeachment proceedings filed against him. In 1868 President Johnson dismissed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and according to Congress, the president violated the Tenure of Office Act. Even though Johnson was impeached the Senate would not confirm his removal from office and he finished his term.

With the exception of Grover Cleveland, the twentieth century gave way for many calls for impeachment beginning with Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, and ending with George H.W. Bush. None of these presidents were subjected to the process as the claims never had the votes to call for a hearing on the committees.

There were three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, however, he resigned in 1974 before any of the proceedings could take place. In 1998 Bill Clinton was impeached over allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice relating to the Monica Lewinsky case. In Clinton's case, the Senate acquitted, and he finished his term in office just like Andrew Johnson.

President Trump is under scrutiny for some of the very reason's other presidents have had impeachment proceedings. He has proven to most American's that he is a danger to our democracy. Trump has snubbed his nose at the foreign emolument clause, creating an open way for foreign powers to pressure our president to stray from his constitutional obligation to the United States. The firing of the FBI Director James Comey and fulling admitting on national television to Lester Holt that he did because of "this Russia thing." This is "obstruction of justice," and other presidents have been charged with this article of impeachment. However, Nixon resigned, and Clinton was acquitted.

So why is he not worth it? First the truth, he won the election. Unless there is proven evidence that he colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 presidential election reversing this fact will drive this new faction of voters back to the polls to elect another under-qualified candidate. In addition, the Republican Party will use the impeachment as a platform in the upcoming election. Citing the Democrats stole the White House from them.

Second, is the nation ready for even one year of Mike Pence as president? His record as Governor of Indiana is the only evidence needed. He banned Syrian refugees, he reinstated mandatory minimum sentences and authored a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. He doesn't take to Twitter, has the political knowledge, and is waiting his turn to strike like an incurable virus.

Third and even more disturbing is the Republican Party and their efforts to gloss over his crimes and misdemeanors and cite the economy, and jobs. Many won't vote against Trump because of his base; cannot afford to have to explain their decisions to his base voters in 2020. Most fear they will have to go through a primary. Even though if they removed Trump and put Pence in his place they could have during their two-year reign and most American's civil liberties would be a thing of the past.

The voters gave their voice in 2018 and Congress is working, unlike the previous Congress. They have a lot of work to do and spinning their wheels debating the crimes and misdemeanors of the sitting president is counter-productive. History will repeat itself and he will be acquitted.

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