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Archive for January, 2011

The Tangible Thank You

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

The age old debate goes on and on whether or not one should pen a hand written thank you note of gratitude, or if electronic thanks suffice.  While I generally find myself progressive and looking toward the future about most things in life, I personally have to kick this one old school and go with the hand written thank yous.

Author of 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life would agree with me. Just saw his story on CBS Sunday Morning, and loved it.  I personally try and write at least one thank you note or tangible thank you greeting each and every week – it is on my one page sheet of goals for the year.  Furthermore, I can share with you that it makes the difference, and can differentiate you from others – in a good way.  It can make the difference between candidates competing for a job, even–as I was recently made aware yet again.

As I’ve shared before, in my home office, I have a wall of fame, where I keep my hand written thank you notes that I have received.  While I keep other stuff on there, the thank you notes are some of the most valuable tangibles on that wall for me.  I treasure them and am grateful whenever I receive a hand written thank you among all the junk and bills in my snail mail.

Next time you’re thankful, I double dog dare you to actually get those old fashioned things out called a “pen” and “paper”, and write a note of thanks.  It really not only makes the receiver happy, but it will also make you feel better, too.  Even if your penmanship isn’t the best, and even if you only can say “thanks.”

Vice President of the United States of Awesome: 2012

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Best thing, hands down I read on the internet today was this blog post on the United States of Awesome.  Thinking about running for VP of the US of Awesome in 2012…I’ve got a good shot, being from the state with the most VPs and all!

And I just dig “United States of Awesome.”  Cool title.  Honestly, as jacked up as the world is right now (and the United States is included in that hot mess), this still is a truly awesome country to live in!  Yes, we have problems.  Education reform, a lot of stupid laws and government we do NOT need, and the shrinking middle class are the problems du jour right now, to name only a tiny portion; however, this country was founded on the awesome concept that we can have a LIMITED government, and more importantly, have the freedom to live the dream.  We can run for office, get an education, start a business, or pursue our own individual dreams in this country – and that just isn’t the case in many, many other places on this planet.

Albert for Awesome VP in 2012.  I can see the buttons now. Sweet!

Life is Like a Box of Snarkies

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I was asked to write about the state of of the single for the folks over the in UK, so I wrote a guest blog post on that, focusing on that next holiday coming up.  Don’t know what holiday that is?  Just head to the mall–you’ll know in 2 seconds flat.

Came home, and looked up the origins of it.  Turns out it was red, but not exactly rosy.  I’ll let you do the search and see what you come up with.

You’ll have to wait for my post on my thoughts around this holiday…but in the interim, do yourself a favor, if you’re single (or even if you’re not) this time of year: try and be good to yourself.  Life can be a bit of a box of snarkies at times.  Pressure, deadlines, stress, administration, debt–you name it, it can creep up on you and attack when you least expect it.  So, when I say be good to yourself, that does NOT mean go out and inhale 10,000 calories and a pitcher of pina coladas to wash it down.  Instead, I mean make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep (at least 7-8 hours), try and eat right, make time to exercise, and yes, even treat yourself once in awhile.

Keep the box of snarkies closed.  Lord knows they can open up and attack early and often enough on their own!

Love, Regained

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Tonight, I received my first copy (of what I hope will be millions) of my 6th book, Single. Women. Entrepreneurs.  If you’ve written books too, you know exactly what I mean when I say that it feels like love, regained.

You put that first copy in your hands after a lot of long hours, grueling rewrites, and frustration, and come up with nothing but LOVE!  Total, pure unbridled love for the fact that you persevered through the menagerie of trying to bring something into the world–that something that only began as an idea–and actually now has materialized into a thing…a book!

That, and the cover looks cool.  And, I didn’t use pink!  That was intentional on this one (and no offense to pink, it just has been done and redone on every women’s book cover since the dawn of time).

It’s quite a fickle relationship – the author and the book.  At first it is love–love of an idea–and a lot of passion.  Then it turns into work.  A LOT of work.  Then, it gets pretty grueling (my grueling part is editing, my least favorite part…) But, last and certainly not least, when you put that first copy in your paws: back to love – that same love of the idea that you began with.

In closing, two groups I need to give special thanks to tonight on this project: 1. Bridget Gurtowsky and Gurtowsky Graphics, for putting up with my 5.6 trillion iterations of the cover, (literally), which turned out BRILL; and 2. IBJ Publishing, who turned this manuscript around in record speed.

Last but not least, if you want to watch the book and love unfold in reality, you can follow us with it either on Facebook or Twitter.

A Heinz 57 Day

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Some of you out there already can guess what my meaning of this blog post is….my day today was very Heinz 57: nothing but CATCH UP.

Instead of an hour to get to class this morning, it took 1 hour and 20 minutes, thanks to someone on I69 that decided to host a big gaper delay and wreck at 7:00 am this morning.  Gee, thanks.  Then, between that and a major building totally burning down in the downtown area, traffic this morning was a MESS.

If you know me well, you know the absolute LAST thing I like being is late.  I’m just…not.  It drives me NUTS when people are late…but day continued on with a harried pace.  The good news was the one appointment I was actually early for today even turned out being late anyway, because there was a medical emergency involving a dog and his leg.  (Don’t worry, he’s fine.)  But I had to wait while the emergency was being attended.

I’ve been sitting down in the law library for the past 20 minutes, and friends, this is the first time I actually had a chance today to catch my breath.  Or just catch up.  Since, in fact, it was a Heinz 57 Day.

I’m bringing this post as a reminder to you, me and all of us…next time we have “boring” day, please appreciate it.  I know I will.  Because boring is GOOD every once in awhile.  It helps us mentally…catch up!

Bulldogs and Bears

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

I’m not a sports nut.  In fact, I don’t normally watch sports.  Too many other things to do.  But today, I actually went to a Butler Bulldogs game (It was part of a Christmas gift to my mom.  It was on her bucket list, too, so why not?)  But, in OT, the Bulldogs lost to Milwaukee.  Boo.

Butler men’s Basketball has had a pretty tough year.  When you make it almost to the top last year, everyone wants to kick your dupa this year, and unfortunately, the Bulldogs are taking some pretty tough hits, today included.

Then, I came home and watched the Chicago Bears–a team I grew up around the entire marketing genius/era of “the superbowl shuffle”–also go down in another fiery inferno of loss in the playoffs.

It was a tough day for the Bulldogs and the Bears.  But the Bulldogs and Bears share one thing in common–they rarely give up–both are indefatigable!  After all, I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with either one…would you?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

I’m certain both teams will be back to win even more soon!  (Bark bark and growl growl…)

Kicking the Winter Blahs…in the Dupa

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

This time of year is tough for me, and so many others.  It’s absolutely freezing outside, the holidays are over, the sun makes a very rare appearance, there’s nothing in sight but a bunch of work work work, and spring break feels like it is about a year away.  Today, before I start my pile of work, I thought I’d share a little about how I personally try to kick the winter blahs – right where it counts!

The best way for me to get renewed (other than the obvious stuff of eating right, sleeping right, exercising, and keeping your new year’s resolutions) is to take the time to really explore what is new out there in the wide wide world.  For example, I do a LOT of searches on new books, new music, new bands, new ideas, and new places to travel during this time of year.  Maybe that means taking a class for you.  Maybe that means trying to meet new people–whatever that form is, new is always gives me the energy to look at the world in a different way.

The point is that you try to get something new and different into your life.  Besides, who wants to have the same day over and over again?  Sounds like a pretty boring way to live life to me.  If you’re not pushing yourself hard enough to try some new things, try to get a buddy to check you…and you in turn can help them too.  Start with a change once a week, then maybe once a day if you can.

If we all keep on doing what we’ve always done, we’ll just keep on getting what we’ve gotten…right?  If you’re Warren Buffett or one of the Google founders, I guess that’s OK- but even THEY have to step out of their comfort zones and take a chance, right?

Same Theme, Different Conversations

Friday, January 21st, 2011

It’s weird how the universe works.

Just today, I had a totally common theme woven throughout all the conversations I had with different people, in different places.  One was here in Indy, one was in Minneapolis, and one was in Texas.  They were different times during the day.  But what all three conversations shared in common was the content and theme, even though they were 3 different people in 3 different places.

What does this mean, Erin?  I really AM getting to a point here.  As I’ve stated here before, I think that when you’re ready to hear or learn something new, and set that mental intention, the universe really seems to deliver.  It’s pretty cool how it works.  And even though this was something I thought about in the past, it wasn’t so evident until today – it had been germinating, kind of like the avocado seed/pit my mom is trying to grow, (that’s a whole other story, and I’m sure I’ll get kidded when she reads this, because she’s one of my two frequent readers of this blog…hahaha) over a long period of time.

I know I’m being a little cryptic, but the bottom line certainly is that when you’re really ready to try something, learn something or grow in some kind of way, the universe will serve you up a hot, piping dish of change….IF you set the intent.

Really, it’s on the menu!  So order it!

Marathon Thursdays, The Teaching Zone, and Snark Attacks

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

For the spring semester of 2011, I’m teaching two courses pretty much back to back on Thursdays – hence, I’m calling them “Marathon Thursdays”.  It has been a challenge trying to find times during the week to squeeze in teaching and learning, so I decided to load up my teaching on Thursdays as an experiment to see if it makes me a better teacher – I’m hoping so, because I can hopefully get and stay in the teaching zone.

Those of you out there in cyberspace, if you’ve taught, know what I’m talking about.  You have to get into the zone of teaching prior to stepping foot in the classroom.  If you don’t bring your A game, you’ll either be eaten alive, or worse yet, dissed by your students, because you don’t have street cred in knowing your stuff.

Also, the zone includes a little bit of performance, not so much theatrics, but more about being able to hold the attention of the audience.  The bigger the room, the harder it is to reach the students in the back row, too.  But, if one can get in the zone of teaching beforehand, this too helps alleviate some of the stress in moving a healthy classroom session forward.

I haven’t quite figured out yet if being a learner via law school has actually made me a more or less tolerant student of my profs relative to my own teaching, either.  I do try to be constructive, but at times, I suffer from an occasional snark attack.  The attack doesn’t so much occur when the prof is trying something new; instead, it occurs when I find the material the prof is teaching is completely out of date, and missing new and innovative ideas in the content that happen to be occurring in the real world.  The ivory tower, purely academic world drives me nuts both as a teacher and a student, because ivory tower is only 1/2 the story – the other half of the puzzle is the real world that’s actually happening outside the classroom, and in every day life.  If we don’t give our students the opportunity to figure out how to handle, manage, and harness the real world, we’ve only won half the battle.

In this crazy world of text messages, the internet, Facebook, Twitter, and all things flying at us at lightening speed, I think it would be best if we as students might consider that it is a difficult task to hold everyone’s attention in a room for an hour or two in order to learn and give just a smidge of empathy back when our profs at least try.  To those teachers out there who have this mastered, hats off to you.  To the rest of us, well, we’re still learning how to master that skill.

Hopefully, I’ll figure out how to get a little closer during my marathon Thursdays this semester.

My Day Sounds Like a Bad Country-Western Song, But With a Happy Ending

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

There are only a few hours left of this day.  I’m grateful.  Here’s why.

As I blogged yesterday, today I had the audacity to check my law school grades from last semester. They were…marginal.  Although I must say that as usual, my best performance was on an essay final, whereas the other grades were all the multiple choice shop of horror final exam classes.  In my opinion, there is no place for a multiple choice final anywhere near law school….as I’ve of course ranted here before.

Then, to add a little more salt to the wound, I took a deeper look at my teaching evaluations from last semester.  Harsh.  And a bit of karmic retribution, admittedly, because I expect my professors at law school to take their work seriously as well, and let them know when I think they don’t.  However, I have to say that I take the courses that I teach VERY seriously in pharmacy school…why?  Because in pharmacy, if you have a bad day as a pharmacist and mess up…someone could D-I-E because of the pharmacist’s error.  I think that’s an excellent reason to take my teaching super duper seriously in the classroom, and outside of the classroom too–attention to detail and professionalism are very important points to get across in this profession.  The profession of pharmacy carries massive weight of responsibility and integrity with it, and therefore our students must also begin to carry their loads in the profession.  Otherwise, EVERYONE would be a pharmacist, errors might be made all over the place, and we’d be less respected than…lawyers.

Third, a fabulous professor from Butler who I had during pharmacy school undergrad, Dr. Waqar Bhatti, passed away this week.  Super bummed about that.  He taught at Butler for a long time – I had my first ‘intro to pharmacy’ course, History & Orientation of Pharmacy, as a Freshman with him.  And sterile products.  He was truly passionate about teaching pharmacy as well.

And last but certainly not least, I head to law school for class this evening and find the major road in completely shut down due to ice.  Of course, the police waived us off into a skating rink of a neighborhood which was even icier, to which I was late to class.  It was like a comedy hour – skating rink, then ran nearly out of gas, then couldn’t find a parking space, then ran to a door that was already locked to get into the building.  Someone sure didn’t want me to get to class tonight, but I worked around them.  Get ‘r dun.

But fear not!  The day wasn’t a total country song!  This day marks the end of my edits for my book on Single. Women. Entrepreneurs. I turned in my final edits, and approved the cover today.  So while there was a whole lot-o icky in my day, this triumphant accomplishment I shall celebrate.  Immediately, if not sooner!