Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy Fuzzy Holiday News! Amid Consumers Who'll Kill for wii-PS3-Moon Sand: YAY!!! Grassroots "Philanthropic Adoption" Program for Holid

From My Post on Digg (Click this text to digg it!)

14 days ago-31 kids remained on the Wishing Page of the 200-ish names of grassroots org's Adopt a Child for the Holidays in New Hope, PA. By Dec 19, 292 kids were sponsored! Organizers were surprised again on 19th by more $ donated during drop-off credit large part of success to their daily-updated web site w/ new wish lists newly adopted kids

More Details from my Clipmarks Post (Click to go here Pop! if you'd like!)

I am so impressed by my community I think it’s a "first" for me-feelings of happiness regarding my area as a collective group is not in recent memory. The reason I wanted to put this clip online was to give the orgs receiving presents a plug. Additionally, it's amazing to me that only 14 days ago they were looking for people to adopt the last 31 of the approx. 200 names received.

As of yesterday, the gifts were due and 292 kids were sponsored!
They're shopping today for EVEN MORE kids after they were unexpectedly handed a lot of $$$$ yesterday during the present drop off.

The project's 2 coordinators consistently updated this site from the start date w/ kids' wish lists beyond its end, attributing their web-usage to the amazing results.

This program has certainly made this holiday much more fun than it has been in the past. I just wanted to share some good news to brighten the holiday-outlook for a few others!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Completely Unique Recommendations for Holiday Shoping from Saltimbanca (unexpectedly found it--LOVED IT!)

Here's a great blog for anyone still shopping...such unique items w/ links for where to purchase (I'm not sure if she's selling any of them directly or not), but these are sure to be perfect for anyone in the under 30 crowd (and probably a hit with the over 30's too!). Check it out...I found it while searching for something else today, NAILED IT!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Shopping for ______(fill in holiday) is like an annual test of my sanity....need help?

I'm off the hook...kind of... this year with holiday shopping...due to those "philanthropic adoptees" I mentioned earlier...So what do you do when you have someone on your list to buy for who doesn't have nothing (yes...the double negative is intentional)? This shopping challenge is best left to the last minute...yes...last minute!
Here's the deal...
1. Why spend more time stressing when (if you've experienced this dilemma previously) you know you're not going to think of anything during the extra time anyway? Save yourself the stress toxic-whatever-the-hell-it-does-to-your-body! Instead...procrastinate! Or, think of it as...prolonging the inevitable for purposes of self-preservation :o). Works for me!
2. If you can't think of anything anyway...try something new...something you've never thought a mad libs for gift giving...
Think of the easiest person you've bought for in the last couple years and what the item was that you purchased.
Regardless of whether the easiest person liked the item (maybe it's better if they didn't seem to like it in this case), give the same type of item to the hardest person on your list!
3. Spa...
Chances are high that if you're stressing about gift-giving, so are the same people you're stressing over...and who wouldn't like a nice stress-relieving little something (or...if you're my Bob...a nice BIG stress relieving something! hehehe)...Check out
4. I'll do my best to duck out of hellish holiday shopping time to offer a new tip...if I'm capable of thinking of one!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

NEW! A career site for Women's Studies Graduates

Okay, so finally, I have managed (I think) to integrate a customized search engine (google's CSE) into a blog that has an embedded Google calendar, & I'm using RSS/XML feeds for job searching in conjunction with the specialized search engine! Woohoo! If you're in Women's and Gender Studies, then you may be (perhaps...) feeling happy too...since there's a huge gap in info for job hunting after you've gotten those pieces of paper! After doing my own job search and the whole networking thing, I decided to give this idea a try...wanna help me? I could use it!!! At this point, everything is public and can be edited and added to, so please, before some right-wing nut wrecks it for us, help me out over there!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Time: The best thing ever to happen to consumer capitalism

Well, with plenty of deadlines now quickly approaching, my (26 years of steadily decreasing) excitement over the holiday season is starting to dwindle. Rapidly shifting from enthusiasm to anxiety, the middle of December marks the time when my "Oh $@&$ what am I supposed to do first?" sends me into stress-world in quite a hurry.

This year, although I'm still feeling overwhelmed by the ever-growing number of items on my to-do list, I'm definitely on track for that Dec 24 deadline. Several new ideas for the holidays have been partially responsible for the fact that I'm actually taking the time on this Monday morning to post here (as opposed to the typical pacing I would be doing, until my floor cries out for mercy as I steadily wear down the path that marks my track).

First, I have "gotten off the hook" with 4 presents due to an “adopt a child for the holiday” program that my son's school district is sponsoring/coordinating. The hardest people on my list to buy for, partially make up this group of 4, who have generously offered to help with the effort to "be Santa" for approximately 4 (as of my last could be higher now) children. Therefore, they will not receive gifts from my partner and I this year, and instead I will be shopping for our "philanthropic adoptees" (as I've been enjoying calling them).

As glad as I am to be free from shopping for these kids (plus I'm well aware of the obvious ease of shopping for someone with nothing compared with shopping for someone who has everything---or could buy anything s/he wants, whenever s/he wants it), I'm faced with a little dilemma related to my "adopted" kids' wish lists. Do I show the same judgment (age-appropriate, avoiding gender-stereotyped gifts) that I try to employ when I shop for my son, or one of his friends (birthdays, etc)? In other words, I'd like some help with my current problem, which is whether a 6 year old who wants (let's say for the sake of the question) an iPod, be given an iPod. I don't want to reinforce the social pressures that make being different in my area horrifically difficult, but I also don't want to impose my parenting/political-economic beliefs on kids who are not really comparable to my own son in most ways. Should a munchkin ever get an iPod? I'm actually leaning toward buying it (even though it goes against most of my ideals). If a child may never have a chance to get one otherwise, shouldn't s/he have at least one awesome holiday-present-opening-extravaganza?

Let me know what you think...

Off to shower and shop (more) and find a cute dress...I still have my partner's company Xmas party to attend tonight (joy!).

Friday, December 8, 2006

The LinkedIn networking continues!!!

I can't believe that my first group (the first year I was an instructor at Douglass) of students at Rutgers University will be graduating this May!!! It's crazy to think of me (since I'm pretty close in age to the students) as having "former students" who are soon to be college graduates! Wow, it's making me feel old!!!

I can't officially announce any new position(s) yet, but I can say that I'm still conducting my "guerrilla-style" networking campaign on LinkedIn (just click here for my profile on the site....if you know me feel free to ask to join via LinkedIn's site); however, if you don't know me (b/c you'd need my first name, last name & email address to add me as a connection on the site), but you feel as though you may be able to contribute and or benefit from my rapidly expanding network of super-talented former undergraduate students, friends, and family members, just post a comment here and I'll email you with an invitation if it looks like you'd make a good addition (please include your title, industry, business name if possible, and why you'd like to be added).

The networking project has been such a success that I'm refining my criteria for inclusion (as of now there are only 2 or 3 people out of the group that aren't people I know from in-person experiences--and it's because they're top recruiters who just might be beneficial to anyone in the 'work) and that's why I'm asking for the info if you'd like to join.

Oddly, recruiting has made a comeback in a way that I never thought I'd see (my dad dealt with recruiters and headhunters in the 80s) after the early 90s. Because I keep getting requests via email (yes, if you post your resume on monster or career builder, recruiters will contact you for just about any job on the planet...even if you're not qualified...some are legit others aren't...and most of them haven't read my resume...otherwise they wouldn't be emailing me about jobs in areas requiring high-level IT skills). However, there are plenty of legitimate recruiters out there and they are definitely looking for people (apparently it's not so easy to fill a "pipeline" w/ ready to go candidates for careers in a particular field).

This set of legitimate recruiters (FYI in-house recruiters tend to be preferable to staffing/recruiting firms, and hiring managers top the in-house recruiters when it comes to decision making power)* along with many specialized (field-specific or industry-specific) firms are part of my linked in network. So many companies are looking for "new talent" and I figured I'd just continue building my network (since the inception of any project is always the hardest...continuing this one is totally manageable) to hook up my "former-student-talent" with jobs!

However, I'm very protective of my former students! I have an unbelievable group that will be graduating in May 2007, 2008, & 2009 (and former students who haven't joined yet, don't think I forgot about you, I just haven't had time to get to every spreadsheet from every semester I taught--plus a lot of email addresses bounced--just get invited via the link above and use the same email as you did when you had me for an instructor :). Plus, as I continue to teach (I'll say more about that topic later), there will be more years w/ graduations to come!

* Hahahaha... I had to invoke the asterisk! The deal with the in-house vs firm based recruiters is going to vary depending on your field, industry and the size of the company. A small company won't have an in-house recruiter or "Talent Development Specialist" (one of the many synonyms for their job title); additionally, if you're specialized in an area that isn't conducive to employer-related recruiters, there are recruiters out there that specialize in just about everything and anything, so finding a reputable one could be the key to your job search!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

We've only just

Yes, in a world already overpopulated by blogs, I will begin my own. Please disregard the current deficit in my own posts, I'm just getting started! I'll be back later and, wow, I have so many topics to cover...I don't know where I'll begin!