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Archive for December, 2008

Hopefully not a new year’s trend

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

There’s something super stinky and equally scary about this article in the Times today.  Apparently, the entire vertical marketing chain of publishing and purchasing of books is collapsing.  Publishers aren’t taking manuscripts, and retail bookstores aren’t doing well.  As a writer and learner, this is very disturbing.  

First, bookstores.  I love bookstores, but honestly, when I go in to browse, I rarely buy.  Why?  Well, first there are things called libraries where people can borrow books for free.  Secondly, the bookstore rarely has what I’m looking for in stock.  Why would I special order it to have it arrive at the store when I can stay home in my jammies and order the book online at Amazon.com without wasting fossil fuels?  Exceptions to the retail (first hand) bookstores may very well be the second hand bookstores, which I am also a fan of as a reader.  However, as a writer, it is a little bit of a challenge to watch your own hard work get resold at half price (and zero profit for the author).  Although, the recycler in me loves that books can be recycled rather than being tossed or gathering dust on someone’s shelves.

To the most disturbing portion of this article: the publishers no longer taking manuscripts.  Books contain ideas: without new books, we can’t really have shared or new ideas, and that is the horror of this entire collapse. If people stop reading, we, according to Thomas Friedman (see Hot, Flat & Crowded), are just pouring gasoline on the ‘dumb as we wanna be’ fire that is already blazing and out of control in the US.

Don’t give up on books.  Resolve to get them back into your life in the new year, in order to save all of us and create solutions to get us out of the mess we are already in.

(Infamous) Resolutions

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Yes, I sipped the Koolaid and believe all the psycho-babble about writing down my goals and resolutions for the year. (Even I cite the infamous Harvard graduate study where one group wrote their goals down, one group didn’t, and at the reunion the group that did had infinitesimally higher rates of ‘success’, yet, no one can ever give me the precise reference of the article, nor could I find it…) but, I digress.

I’ve been pretty religious about writing my goals down for at least the past 5 years now.  I was digging out the office tonight and stumbled upon the one pager goals for a few of the years.  After getting over my initial shock of actually meeting or exceeding many of my written goals, there have been some over the past few years that didn’t quite make it to the hall of fame (aka: unkept resolutions).  Here are just a few:

-Buy Porsche 356 replica and learn how to drive it (a manual transmission) 
-Take a ballroom dancing class (usually requires a partner–hence, why this one was a failure)
-Take a French or Spanish class
-From 2005: Decide once and for all about Law school (I wrote down “NOT GOING” next to it. Oops!)
-Exercise at least 3 times per week (I do this, when the weather is good…) 

It is good to have goals.  Even if you don’t make all of them.  But, I think it is important to raise a glass at the end of the year about your triumphs, as well as your failures and blunders.  After all, if we always achieved everything we wanted, I think the fun and challenge itself might be lost, rendering the entire process a big dull blah.  Besides, I am a girl who always seeks a good challenge!

Happy new year – and don’t forget to celebrate the good AND the not so good this year.

New Year, New Moo?

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

So, I’m a little slow when it comes to the blogosphere (I freely admit that I’m old school in that I still read stuff like books and email).  That aside, a friend emails me today a blog about the Moo card.  If you, like me, ask: what the heck is a moo card?  It appears it goes a little something like this:  there is a company that makes cards, smaller than business cards, with a cool pic on one side of the slimmer card, and blog/contact info of the individual on the other side.  You can order 50 different cool pics for the backs of the cards, and now apparently, people are trading them (much like baseball cards or stickers like when I was a kid).

Interesting thing about this is that it has a kind of built in feature that business cards do not normally possess:  people actually want to keep the moo cards because of the cool picks.  Also, it marries Flickr photos so you can even put your own pics on the back side of your moo cards.

Although I’m not cool enough to have ordered moo cards, I do have a new business card with my basic contact info on the front side of the card, and my slashes on the back side, along with websites, and social media contact info.  I’m just missing the cool pics.  Darn.

Bottom line:  I’m amending my previous blog on 5 Things every college student should know to have him or her have a B card OR a moo card.  They might actually keep the moos for awhile.

The Word of the Year

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

At least according to Webster’s dictionary for 2008 is: “overshare”.  I call it–TMI.  Too much information for those who dislike acronyms.  Anyway, the word apparently isn’t in the dictionary just quite yet, but I’m sure it is headed there soon.

I like new words – but is that TMI??

7 Things That Never Go Out of Style

Friday, December 19th, 2008

1. Innovation – progress requires innovation & fresh piping hot ideas
2. Manners – treating others how you want to be treated is always a good idea
3. Passion – never giving up on what gets one fired up is a classic
4. Chocolate – (duh–no brainer)
5. The color black – garanimals for adults – when in doubt, throw on black, another classic
6. Friends – the people who will be there in good times, but more importantly in the not so good times
7. Holidays – so we can all reset, refocus, and restore

Two Audiences, One Message

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Today I had the honor in being in front of 2 very different audiences.  First, in front of my students proctoring a final exam for one of the courses I teach in part, and second, in front of about 1,000 people attending the NAWBO Indy Holiday Luncheon. After (shockingly and humbly) accepting an award from NAWBO (The Avatar Award–totally new & cool this year for the chapter, BTW) I was asked by one of the amazing women at the luncheon where my inspiration comes from.

My immediate answer?  Everywhere!  In people (everyone), in books (everything I can get my paws on and read), in places, and in ideas themselves.  Now that I had more time to think about it, I think it actually comes from the variety of people I meet, of books I read, and things I get to do.  No day is the same day twice for me (thankfully).  Although sometimes the variety makes me tired, it is also the fountain from which I gather my strength.  

My unifying message for both audiences I guess would be this: in each of us lies a calling, a purpose, and a reason for being here.  If we can find it, we all have the ability to blossom and become rock stars.  However, if we don’t look for it (which may be the seemingly ‘easy’ way out), we may have wasted souls (at least according to Drew Barrymore).  Our only enemy is time, because it is finite.  Everything else is potentially infinite.

So, I’m glad I’m tired, because I know I was inspired enough to try and do what I could to improve the space in which I moved today, in my own little way–be it giving a final exam in front of students, or being lucky enough to accept an award in front of a crowd.  May you also be tired (in a good way)!!!!!

Not

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

We always talk about who we are and what we are, but why don’t we ever talk about who and what we are not?  Here are a three things I am not:

1.  A morning person.  Never have been.  My brain doesn’t work well before 10 am (and that’s after a gallon of coffee).
2. Tardy. If I am (which is rare), traffic was bad, the weather was bad, or armageddon occurred.  I’m just not usually late. 
3. “Math”y.  I LOVE accountants, because there is no way I could ever do what they do!

You can learn a lot about yourself and others by who and what they are….AND more importantly sometimes…what they are not.  What aren’t you?

Time Out: More on Gen Y

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Last law school final of the semester (hopefully not EVER) for me is tonight.  Wish me luck, I will need it.

Taking a break from the studies, I will note something interesting I have been pondering over the weekend…besides contract law.  I had the luck to attend a lecture by Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting last week, and one bit stuck with me regarding generation Y, which is this: 30-60% of generation Y believes they are ‘entrepreneurial’.  

If, roughly, a third to a half of the next working class generation feels they are entrepreneurial, I wonder: are they getting any formal training on how to actually become entrepreneurs?  If you work in academia, ask yourself: where are the entrepreneurship classes?  If you can’t find an answer to that question, maybe it is time to begin thinking about offering it as an opportunity for students to learn.  Otherwise, we have the equivalent of mechanics without a toolbox, bakers without an oven, pots and pans, and artists without paint and a canvas.

Amen!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Amen!!!

My Very Own…Factor Test

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Post Civ Pro final (don’t worry, I won’t recap it and make it painful all over again for me and painful for you to read the first time), one of the things I’ve learned about in my first semester of LS is: the factor test.  There are a LOT of them that one needs to memorize, and that courts use to weigh and balance all kinds of things, from remedies, to jurisdiction, to even website interactivity! (Again, I’ll spare you the details)…

So, while driving home tonight, and getting home and celebrating completion of my first LS final by reading a fun book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, I started thinking: hey, what would my very own factor test look like?  

Here is my personal factor test to seek out rock stars in my very own life:

1.  Rockability:  Cool.  Hip. Makes the boring bearable, and the fun fantastic!  (And yes, even nerds/older people and all can get and be this.)
2.  Passion:  fired up about widgets, or computers, or underwater basket weaving… whatever it is….just FIRED UP is the key!
3.  The Spike-Lee-Do-The-Right-Thing element:  people, who in a crunch would do the right thing…
4.  Off the beaten path element:  The loaner.  The rebel.  The one who is not afraid to go her own way.  My brother says I like “weird”…and I do!  Weird is good!
5.  The Lemonade element: Does the absolute best he can with what he has been given (ie lemons into lemonade)…and has a winning attitude, even when the chips may be down.  

These are 5 factors I seek in others….and when I balance them out and find someone off the charts in these 5 domains, we have a winner!  It really doesn’t matter what he or she ‘does’ either – one can be off the charts and be CEO of a fortune 100 company, or a janitor, or anything else in between.

Please don’t commit to memory, as this won’t be on the test.  Instead, ask yourself–what would be in YOUR very own Factor test????