Tag Archives: library

Higher Education and The New Yorker

Anyone that is currently working in higher education, has obtained graduate degrees, or reads The New Yorker will appreciate this. At times, I think the comments are funnier than the piece.

Enjoy and share your comments below.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:  Is there a Doctorate in the House?

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iPad? iPod? No Thanks.

I feel that it should be against the law for me to not want to have an iPad. I mean, it’s 2010, technology is evolving faster than it has before with electronics. Nevermind an iPad, I don’t even own an iPod. I know…crazy isn’t it? I’ll give that a couple of seconds to sink in.

One Mississippi, two Mississippi…welcome back.

I don’t own nor want an iPad or iPod. Reason why you ask? Because I consider myself  “kinda-sorta old-school” in the sense that I get tremendous joy from holding my books and magazines. I utterly adore taking an hour-long trip to Staples to pick out new highlighters, pens, and pencils to mark up my literary finds. Or exhausting a good part of my afternoon sitting in the big comfy chairs at my local library skimming through potential books that may come home with me.

The smell of a new book ignites a fury of plasmic ions within my blood that speak to each other in Latin. Not really, but you get the point. So to hold a plastic device that renders no need for my highlighter is of no interest to me.

As for the iPod, I appreciate that if I want to listen to music I don’t have to lug my Sony Walkman around with me anymore and flip my Michael Jackson “Bad” tape to side two…I can simply press the forward arrow to change songs. Except that when I read or write, I need total calm and quiet. I can’t have the T.V. on, or the radio, even the ticking of a Grandfather Clock will get to me after a while. If I had ear buds vibrating my vestibule I’d never get anything done.

While I would never turn away the iPad, iPod, even the Kindle as gifts that I would use in my spare time, you wouldn’t catch me in an Apple Store browsing either.

You will, however, catch me at Borders with a decaf coffee in my hand hiding at the corner table reading Lolita. Come over and say Hi.

Your turn: Share your thoughts on the iPad, iPod, and/or Kindle. Do they help you work or waste your time?

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Poetry as Therapy? You Bet.

How excited I was to read this.

Funny how something that seems like such a simple idea and method hasn’t caught on in medicine until now. I’d love to see this plan take action in many more areas.

Click here to be taken to the article.


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Finding Inspiration in Everyday Things

When I’m home working, I look outside a lot. Sometimes it’s to give my eyes a break from the nagging glare of the computer screen and other times, it’s simply to gain inspiration and ideas for whatever it is that I may be writing at that time.

Today I saw crisp green leaves on the trees…every so slightly moving from the breeze. At first I thought nothing of it. But as I looked out a second time, I fixated on just the leaves and nothing else. A little cliché I know, but the inspiration came to me almost immediately.

“Green, new, refreshing, new job, new life, new baby, first time, redo, growth, flowers”….these were all words that popped into my head. There’s plenty more words and feelings to attribute to new leaves and spring, but that was a good start for my fingertips because they began caressing the keyboard again and I, in turn, starting letting the ideas flow again.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that give us our ideas. When we don’t necessarily see the inspiration right away, that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

One could probably come up with a hundred words for one leaf, what that leaf means to them or what they feel when they look at the leaf. That’s the idea. Take something small and run with it. Allow it to lead you into bigger arenas to find ideas.

Your turn: Where do you gain your inspiration from?

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You Are Your Biggest Fan

Paint YourselfI see many new freelancers ask this question either to myself, or on other freelancing websites. “What is the best way to get to know other freelancers?” Being a freelance writer and editor, I feel it’s my civic duty to other writers out there, be it that you’re brand new or you’ve been around the block as a writer, to provide you with some ways that I was able to get my writing career off the ground. 

First off, I find it important to mention that these tips will come in handy for any type of freelancer, not just writers. If you’re a graphic designer, a software engineer, a computer programmer, et cetera. Think of the tips as starting points for anyone wanting to break into the freelancing world.

1.)     RUB ELBOWS:  Ahhh….the old elbow rub. This is either super easy or super intimidating for some. Those people that are extroverts such as myself, have no problem getting their name out there. But those that are introverts, well, you tend to be shy and want to hide in your shell. You’re going to have to get over that, and fast. Granted, a lot, if not all, of your freelancing career can and will be done online, but that doesn’t mean that you can hide behind your ergonomic chair forever. 

Rubbing elbows means just that. Getting yourself known. Attend writers conferences, photography workshops, library events, etc. Just because you want to be a freelance writer and not a graphic designer doesn’t mean that you should ignore the designer market. If a client calls up their friend, Mr. Graphic Designer, and tells him that they need an awesome six hundred word article to accompany that breathtaking picture of Niagara Falls that he took last weekend, who do you think Mr. Designer is going to turn to? Yep, you guessed it, his freelance writing friends. So don’t dismiss fellow freelancers just because they may not be in your niche. Think of your elbows as the paint brushes that should be spread across the ENTIRE freelancing community canvas. And don’t forget to pick bright colors, for they attract more attention.

2.)     Social Networking:   I’m sure most of you are already members of some of the social networking sites. But if you’re not, then you need to be, and fast. No one has the ability to deny that sites like LinkedIn and Twitter can take your business to new heights. I’ve seen it personally with Twitter. The more I tweet my blog and website, the more hits it gets. Simple move right? Right. Now go sign up for all the social networking sites that you can click your mouse on. And hurry. Some other freelancer is doing just that right now, and taking your could-be customers. So get a move on.

3.)     Business cards:   I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Why do I need business cards, I never leave my house. I find all of my work online.”  And others are thinking “Geesh, how can you NOT have business cards?”

Business cards are your key to any lock. Remember that. Put them up at your local bank, library, convention centers, super markets, ANYWHERE.  You never know when a fellow publisher, writer, or photographer will see that you are a freelance writer and need your services. If you don’t have business cards, then as soon as you are done reading this post, Google business cards and get to work. It’s going to take you some time to pick out the appropriate colors, fonts, and designs,  so allow room to play in your schedule. Make sure that, if you’re a first time business card buyer, that you also purchase a card holder so that you can carry your business cards in a professional fashion rather than wrapping them in a rubber band and throwing them in your back pocket. Don’t laugh, I know many a people that do just that. Then they give me their business card with dog eared edges and the half bend that only a back pocket can make. “No thanks, keep your card” is what I want to say. But I take it and toss it in the nearest trash receptacle because I can’t take you seriously if you don’t take yourself seriously. 

Remember my fellow freelancers, you are your biggest fan. If you don’t think your awesome, then no one else will. So be an extrovert and let yourself shake a few hands and hand out a few cards. Make friends with fellow freelancers. And don’t forget to let me know how you make out on your road to stardom. I’m here to help if you need it. Also, if you’ve found other ways that have helped your freelance career, please comment on this post so that everyone can reap the benefits of more clients.

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Happy Mother’s Day

A Mother's HugMother’s Day. In my opinion, THE single most important day of the year. Every day should be mother’s day if you ask me. Mothering is a hard job. It’s not just changing diapers, giving baths, making dinner, cleaning the house, etc. There’s so much more mental planning and prep work going on that no one sees. 

Before I became a mother, and when I was younger, I would toss a few cards and cheap gifts at my mom. Give her a hug and a kiss and wish her “Happy Mother’s Day”. However, blossoming into adult and mommy hood has given me a new found appreciation for not just my own mom, but mother’s everywhere. So selflessly we give ourselves up to better our children. No one really notices that mothers eat last, or go a few extra weeks without that hair cut so that our children can walk around in Uggs rather than no name wanna-be’s. 

Above all, we want to see our children thrive. And we’ll give up anything to give them more than what we had. That often goes unnoticed…or in some instances…it’s expected. So…mother’s….biological…adoptive…whatever….enjoy your day. Have an extra pancake and cup of coffee that your kids made you this morning. Go get a pedicure AND manicure simply because you DESERVE it.

Enjoy being the most important person in someones life. Recognize that you are and continue to set good examples for your kids to follow. No one loves you and looks up to you more than your children. No one will ever need you to hold them tight more than your kids. Know that when you receive the thousands of hugs and kisses daily (and the attitudes on the bad days) that that is your child’s way of saying “I love you and all you do for me mommy”. 

With warmest wishes….Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms. Enjoy your day.

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Library or Bookstore?

Book MarkLibrary or bookstore? My answer to the question would be bookstore…and here’s why. And, please, don’t think me out to be a snotty, spoiled lady….but I adore brand new books. There’s something about being the first and only person to crack open that semi-stiff cover. Beautiful, new, crisp, unmarked pages coupled with that brand new book smell. I’m lost immediately within the pages…turning to the next page from the top right corner and gently running my hand down the untouched page. I can’t help but want a book to be new.

I first realized my preference for new books in middle school. I loathed getting used text books from the kids before me and seeing their names sloppily written in the space above where I was instructed to print mine. There mindless doodling and dog-eared pages secretly made my writing hand twitch. This “phobia” continued well into high school and into my college years. I remember very vividly reaching for the new versus used pile of textbooks from my college bookstore. I didn’t care about how much money I wasn’t saving buying new rather than used. I didn’t want to be engrossed in my reading and have to ignore bright pink highlighted passages that someone before me thought may have important…because..chances are…I knew I wasn’t going to find what they thought was important to them important to me.

I read seriously and sedulously. Chewing every word slowly before swallowing and moving onto the next. I mark pages and passages different from the normal person. I created my own editing format that only I can understand. And I also knew that I would keep all my college literature, so that was even more of a reason for me to buy new…when I needed to reference back to those books (which I often do) I would be able to flip to the section I know is important, rather than trying to determine if I highlighted that section or if it was the student prior to me.

Not that I don’t go to my local library or used book stores, I do. I utilize the workshops they offer and I network myself as a writer in my community. But I don’t check out or buy many used books….I’ll browse more often than not. I’ll write interesting titles and authors down, then head over to Borders to buy them so I can read them as fast or slow as I want.

You’ve heard my preference for library versus bookstore. Please share your preference for new or used books. I’d love to hear your story.

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