"God Bless the Dream, the Dreamer and the Result." 

Monday, March 31, 2008

Get Ahead, Tips for Career Advancement

by: John Mehrmann

What is the magic formula for getting ahead? What can I do to accelerate my career advancement? What should I do to get noticed and promoted? These are common questions, and the secret to unlock potential for career advancement is nearly as common.

A few tips to get ahead:

Apply Yourself

A great idea alone will not succeed as much as a good idea with great effort. Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb with a single stroke of genius, but rather with consistent applied effort to test, study the results, and try again. Inspiration springs from busy hands and busy minds. Keep challenging yourself, keep applying yourself, and you will amaze yourself.

Some people allow themselves to be limited by accepting lower expectations or making minimal commitments, but not you. You have talent, skill, and experience that make you unique. As you apply your talents, you will learn more about how to use your skills. Like a professional athlete or an artisan, consistently exercising your talents will not exhaust them, but rather make them even better. Surprisingly, the more that you do, the more that you are capable of doing. You do not need to wait to be challenged, or wait for responsibility to be thrust upon you. Rather, set very specific goals for yourself and apply yourself to attain those goals. Every achievement will build more confidence, more excitement, and more desire.


If you want to get ahead, hone your personal skills, but keep constant attention on opportunities to help those around you to succeed. It may seem contrary to think that building personal success is predicated on supporting the success of the people around you, but it is a fundamental truth. Some people call it Karma, and some people call it common sense. The way that you treat your peers, your partners, your customers, and your coworkers will all come back to you.

Perhaps you are too pragmatic to believe in Karma. If this is the case, contrast the two potential extremes of your actions as a method to compare the result. If you achieve success by taking advantage of customers, coworkers, partners, and peers, how long would you expect that temporary success to last? If you achieve success by deceiving clients, would you expect them to remain loyal? If you achieve success at the expense of coworkers or peers, would you expect them to continue to give you support, dedication, and cooperation? What would happen to your success if it is at the expense of others?

On the contrary, if you invest your time and effort in the attainment of the aspirations of customers, coworkers, partners, and peers, then what is the result? If you earn a reputation for taking care of customers, could that help you to earn more customers? Will customers be more loyal if they know that you contribute to their success and satisfaction? If you assist coworkers, peers, and partners to succeed, will they be more likely to help you in return? Will successful partners and peers be more able to help you than the ones that are sacrificed for personal benefit? If you make other people more successful, then will it be more beneficial for you to be surrounded by grateful satisfied people? When measured in these simple terms, karma is not so mystical after all.


Act with integrity. Regardless of what position you have or what you do, ethical behavior is critical to your personal success. Integrity is built on ethics and is the cornerstone for credibility. If you can be trusted, then your commitments can also be trusted. Customers are reluctant to make purchases, even at discount prices, from an individual or an organization that does not have a reputation for ethical behavior. Why is this so? How can a good price commitment be trusted if the quality, commitment, or integrity of the individual or organization can not be trusted? By contrast, if the individual or organization can be trusted and continually demonstrates a commitment to ethical behavior, then isn't it more likely to have confidence in a good offer? The same logic applies to customer service, finance, and even management.

Ethical behavior is especially important for management. It creates standards and a culture for the rest of the organization. Workers and peers have more confidence and commitment in a leader that demonstrates ethical behavior. In the absence of ethics there is trepidation, fear, and a risk of contagion. The guidelines are established by leadership, good or bad. Leadership can come from anywhere in the organization that ethics are strongly supported, even if it is not demonstrated by management. Ethical leadership is like a bright light, causing unethical behavior to hide in the shadows. Carry a torch of integrity, especially if you are in a management position.


Be yourself. You are a one of a kind blend of talent, experience, knowledge, and skills. There is nobody else like you, and nobody else has lived your life. Being authentic requires the integrity to be honest about your talents and feelings, confident enough to share your experience and skills with others, and the dedication to do it daily.

You may discover your personal strengths by watching the success of others, reading a book, attending a class, or in a workshop. It is common to see the actions, and the results of actions, in other people, and to adopt some of those traits in our own lives. If this learning is successful for you to seemingly develop new skills, then you are actually merely discovering something about yourself that had not yet been realized. On the other hand, if the tips and techniques taught by others is not effective for you, then it is not because you are bad student, but rather that the techniques may not be a match for your personal strengths. If some techniques do not work for you, then explore to find new ones that do. In the course of this activity, you will learn more about yourself. How you share your strengths and this knowledge will determine how authentic you are to other. Dare to authentic.


You work hard. You get tired. You want a break. That's fine, you deserve to take a break, but that does not mean that you take a break from being diligent.

Daily diligence means a focus on the seemingly little things that contribute to the overall success. Diligence requires dedication and attention to detail. It requires concentrated effort in the direction of specific goals. Diligence does not mean that you never take a break, but it does mean that your efforts are truly meaningful, directed, and have attention to detail. It means follow-up, and not merely assuming that everything will work out in the end. It means giving your full effort, even when you think that other people are not working as hard or seem to have given up. Diligence is the drive that keeps you going, even when the motivation in your tank is running low.

Tips for Career Advancement

Advancing your career is not merely defined by betting a promotion. Creating opportunity for career advancement is the result of continually developing your personal skills, supporting the success of others and your organization. In the process of developing your personal strengths and habits, you will discover career choices that can maximize and leverage your talents. In supporting others, you may unlock new opportunities to expand your horizons, or propel your personal advancement. These things are byproducts of the process, but should not be the focus of your efforts. If you focus on the process of continual improvement, success will naturally follow.

Apply yourself, be Helpful, Ethical, Authentic, and Diligent.


Words of Wisdom

"Common sense is not no common."
- Voltaire

"He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor."
- Menander

"If you are not open to advice, then you are breathing your own exhaust."
- Dan Tafel

"Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
- Samuel Johnson


John Mehrmann is a freelance author and President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital. John Mehrmann and Mitchell Simon are authors of The Trusted Advocate, the fundamental guide to achieving extraordinary sales and sustaining loyal customers. This revolutionary sales guide applies peak management techniques and leadership skills to the sales profession, showing you how to utilize authenticity and integrity in your sales to achieve maximum success.

About The Author

John Mehrmann is an author, speaker and industry expert with Executive Blueprints Inc.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Alleged safe thief asks for phone call

CHICAGO - An alleged thief wasn't fazed when workers at a Chicago muffler shop told him a safe he wanted to rob wasn't open. He just asked them to give him a call when their boss returned with the combination.

The 18-year-old got a call. But so did Chicago police.

When Ruben Carate returned to Velasquez & Sons Mufflers For Less on Monday, plainclothes Chicago police officers shot and wounded him in the leg. Carate was charged Tuesday with attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault of a police officer.

A masked man entered the shop with a gun and demanded money around 8 a.m.

Employees told him they carried little cash and couldn't open the safe, so the man left two numbers to call when the owner came in.

The man returned around noon, wearing the same mask and clothing. Officers told employees to get to the back of the shop, Sida said.

Carate was treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for a gunshot wound. An inquiry into the shooting will take six months to complete.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cook accused of spitting on fan's burger

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. - A fast-food cook and Seattle Seahawks fan has been accused of spitting on a hamburger ordered by a man wearing Pittsburgh Steelers attire.

Kitsap County sheriff's deputies say the 37-year-old customer was with his daughters at the Port Orchard-area eatery last Saturday. He reportedly traded remarks with an employee about Super Bowl XL in which the Seahawks lost to the Steelers.

When the customer opened his food container, he says there was spittle on the burger. He demanded a refund and called the fast-foot outlet's district manager.

The manager told deputies a 24-year-old man might be responsible. The next day, deputies went to his house and smelled marijuana. The man was released after being booked for investigation of fourth-degree assault and possession of marijuana.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring/Fall Internships At NPR

NPR offers internships at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at their NPR West office in Culver City, California.

The internship program is designed to provide students and recent graduates with an opportunity to learn about broadcasting and the supporting areas of NPR.

A candidate must be a graduate student; an undergraduate student; or have graduated from college within twelve months of beginning the internship. Interns are expected to work between 20 and 40 hours a week during an 8-to-10 week internship period.

Washington, DC and Culver City, California

Website/Contact Info:

Microsoft Internship Program

As a paid intern at Microsoft, you’ll have real responsibility, real work, and real opportunities to jumpstart your career. It’s an experience you’ll never find in a classroom.

Interns are given manageable assignments that you can complete while you’re here, and your efforts will likely take shape in Microsoft products—or be used by Microsoft teams—long after you return to school.

We don't require that you be a computer science major in order to be an intern, and have a number of non-technical internships. We're interested in individuals who have demonstrated a deep passion for technology and have a desire to solve problems.


Website/Contact Info:

Internships At USPS

The U.S. Postal Service is embarking on the most important transition in its history, and we need the best minds available to help us. Their internship programs offer unmatched opportunities to gain a fast start on the career path to Postal leadership.

The Management Intern Program is preparing people capable of assuming operational management positions that are critical to the future of the Postal Service. We will need trained, experienced managers and executives to take up the Postal Service leadership.

The Summer Intern Program provides opportunity for college students to gain meaningful work experience in their field of study, and allows the Postal Service to benefit from their educational and academic skills.

Washington, DC

Website/Contact Info:

Extra bite - Snake vodka

SAN ANTONIO- A Texas man is facing charges for selling liquor without a license after he was found peddling bottles of vodka containing dead baby rattlesnakes.

Bob Popplewell, who runs "Bayou Bob's Brazos River Rattlesnake Ranch" tourist attraction west of Fort Worth, was believed to be selling the vodka in the Asian community, where snakes are seen having aphrodisiac properties, state authorities said.

Popplewell faces misdemeanor charges for not having a liquor license but will not be charged over the 10-inch (25-cm) baby snakes in the bottles.

In some of East Asia, parts of snakes and other animals are thought to have medicinal qualities and are used to make soups, powders and other preparations. In Vietnam, for example, the serpents are added to bottles of rice whisky and wine.

Authorities confiscated 411 bottles of the vodka, which Popplewell was selling for $23 each.

Popplewell, also the state's largest exporter of live turtles to Asia.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Career Advancement Scholarships For Women

The BPW Foundation established the Career Advancement Scholarship Program in 1969 to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged women seeking to further their education.

Scholarships are provided to women who wish to advance in their careers, or are soon to enter or re-enter the workforce. The Foundation has awarded more than $6 million in scholarships, grants, and loans to over 8,000 women seeking to improve their lives.

To qualify, you must: Be a female, be at least 25 years of age by May 2, 2008, be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national, and must demonstrate critical financial need.

Award Amount :

April 15, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Surety Industry Scholarship Program for Minority Students

Provides scholarship awards to outstanding minority students to support their studies in the areas of insurance/risk management, accounting, or business/finance and to encourage their consideration of the surety industry and surety underwriting as a career choice.

These awards are funded by The Surety Association of America (SAA) from dues and contributions of its member companies.

Applicants must submit an official academic transcript which must contain their fall semester grades for the academic year in progress.

Award Amount :

April 30, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Citizens Financial Group Education Project

The UNCF / Citizens Financial Group Education Project provides academic assistance for African American students through a scholarship award up to $5,000 during the 2008-2009 academic year.

This one-year scholarship, funded by the Citizens Charitable Foundation, is available for eligible students attending a specified college or university (see eligible schools above).

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, be pursuing a degree in financial services or business and have a permanent residence in one of the CFG service areas.

April 1, 2008

Award Amount:
Up to $5,000

Website/Contact Info:

Emma L. Bowen Foundation For Minority Interests In Media

Established by the media industry to increase access to permanent job opportunities for minority students. The Foundation's program is unlike other intern programs in that students work for a partner company during summers and school breaks from the end of their junior year in high school until they graduate from college.

During that five-year period, students learn many aspects of corporate operations and develop company-specific skills. Corporations guide and develop minority students with the option of permanent placement upon completion of their college degree.

March 31, 2008

Award Amount:
$2,250 plus internship experience

Website/Contact Info:

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarships

Women of any nationality pursuing undergraduate business degrees who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field are eligible. To apply, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

1) Be eligible to enter the third or fourth year of an under-graduate degree program at an accredited university/ college/institute program at the time funds are received.

2) Have achieved an outstanding academic record during the first two-three years of academic studies.

3) Demonstrate intent to complete a program in business and show outstanding achievement in business-related subjects, as recorded on the official university/college/institute transcript.

The scholarship award may be used for tuition, books or living expenses at any university, college or institution offering accredited business courses and degrees.


April 30, 2007

Website/Contact Info:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Monday, March 24, 2008

The Great Panty Raid?

COLFAX, Wash. — While the laundry industry has received its share of bad press in the past, "unusual" laundry-related behavior isn't restricted to coin laundries. Two bizarre laundry room tales recently surfaced.

In Colfax, Wash., a man is looking at one-and-a-half months in jail after admitting he stole 93 pounds of women's undergarments. The individual, who pled guilty, was charged with first-degree theft and burglary in the stealing of 1,613 pairs of panties, bras and other women's underwear from laundry rooms. Police said a search of his bedroom turned up enough women's underwear to fill five garbage bags. Police had previously received 12 reports of panty thefts in the northeast part of Pullman, where Washington State University is located.

An even stranger story, if that's possible, has emerged from an apartment building laundry room in Madison, Wis. Repeated discoveries of human feces in clothing and other items left in the laundry room have resulted in charges being brought against a 19-year-old man. The man was arrested after a woman whose laundry had been soiled chased him back to his apartment in the adjoining building. Residents reported finding feces in shoes and boots in an apartment hallway and in washing machines where it soiled several items. The individual was charged with three counts of disorderly conduct, three counts of criminal damage to property and one count of bail jumping.

What is the strangest thing that has ever happened in your coin laundry? Leave a comment on this page.

Surveillance Camera Makes Sweet Catch

SALEM, Ark. —You show me a coin laundry and I'll show you plenty of snacks. Coin laundries and vending go hand in hand. However, one individual may soon discover why it's far simpler to consume tasty treats than place them in dryers.

In February, a laundry customer found something rather unusual in the dryer as he went to put his clothes in — a "Ding Dong." Recently, a surveillance camera at the same laundry reportedly showed a Fed Ex worker bringing in a box of the chocolate snack cakes to the store, according to KSPR News. The man, according to the police report, was known to visit that laundry and watch some TV. Little did he know that this time he was on TV, and being watched as he put the Ding Dongs in the dryer.

The man has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. If found guilty, he could face a fine of less than $200. Fortunately, no one used the dryers and ruined their clothes. If they had, it would have been a higher misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief with a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Let's Talk Baseball

By Matthew C.K. Bradwell
Creative Editor

When you're little, it's about the physics defying pornography of home runs. Home team down 6-0 in the eighth? Nothing like a solo shot to get every six year old on their feet for no discernable reason.

When you're a little older it's about being at the game, figuring out which beer guys don't card, spying cute girls and hassling David Bell (maybe the latter only applied to me).

Then, like all lasting relationships, it becomes routine.

Sure, you still get a little tingly when that guy who used to be Ken Griffey Jr. knocks one out of the park…and the girls are still cute, but good lord was that one wearing braces…and David Bell finally hung up the cleats…

But really, that's all silver lining in one big dark cloud of regret.

Why did he swing at that pitch?
Why didn't the manager pull him an inning earlier?
Why did we pay so much for a new center fielder?
Why did we pass on Brian McCann in the draft?
Joe Carter.

God I love baseball.

With that kind of optimism in mind here are the teams in each division that are in for the most regret in 2008. That's not suggest these teams will finish in last place (although some might), but more likely they'll come tantalizingly close to the playoffs, teasing themselves with glimpses of the light at the end of the tunnel, only to have it all joylessly ripped away in September. And since we live in the Wild Card era, I'll throw in an extra team per league.

AL East

Blue Jays

Whenever I think of the Jays, the first thing that comes to mind (besides that whole Joe Carter business) is that scene in the Matrix when Joe Pantoliano's character laments his decision to leave the pretend world of the matrix saying, "Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?" It's kind of like that for Toronto. Playing in baseball's most consistently competitive division hasn't given the Blue Jays a chip on their shoulder or an extra drive to succeed, it's just kept them out of the playoffs every year since…you know. Expect more of the same this season, as Toronto struggles to get out of third place in the East despite improving their offense and bullpen.

AL Central


Remember 2006?

The Twins started the season terribly, then on the same night Roger Clemens returned for the Astros they got beat on national television by Minnesota rookie Francisco Liriano. Then the Twins stopped losing games, Nick Punto, Jason Tyner, Jason Bartlett and Luis Castillo were lovingly named "The Pirahanas" by White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillien (that may have been the only time Ozzie Guillien's name and the word "loving" ever appeared in the same sentence) and on the last day of the season they took the division from the (then surprising) Detroit Tigers.

That was awesome!

Remember last year?

The Twins flirted with .500 early then seemed to make some noise after the All Star break before steadily freefalling and finishing the season four games south of even and third in the Central. Then Torrii Hunter went for the big bucks and warm weather in Anaheim and Johan Santana got shipped to the Mets.

That sucked!

And it looks like this season is going to be worse. With the Indians pretty much fielding the same team as last season, the Tiger’s fielding the single scariest lineup since the Yankees of the mid 90s and the White Sox looking to bounce back from an uncharacteristic fourth place finish, the once mighty Minnesotans have the potential to overtake the Royals as worst team in baseball’s best division.

Strictly speaking that doesn’t make the Twins a disappointment, but the loss of two markee players on an already disappointing squad is going to make for a lot of unhappy Norweigans in 2008.

Thank god for Joe Mauer.

AL West


The wherever-the-hell they’re from Angels have won the West four of the last five years. In the Mike Scioscia era the only thing that keeps them from playing baseball in the cold (or as cold as it gets in Southern California) is a competitive division (with the noted exception of 2004 – if ever you needed proof of East Coast media bias, check out the 2004 AL West standings and then imagine if that had happened in the AL East).

This year the Mariners have the potential to improve on last season’s surprise (near) success. In fact, on paper Seattle looks like a significantly better team. The Angels have an alarmingly overlooked lack of power from players not named V. Guerrero (one more for that East Coast bias). It’s so bad that their projected starting infielders combined for 29 homeruns in 2007, less than half of the homerun production of the Mariners infield. And while sophomore Angels GM Tony Reagins’ fetish for overpaying aging centerfielders coming off contract seasons has created a convenient logjam to compliment Mr. Guerrero, Raul Ibanez and Brad Wilkerson are nothing to balk at either (and I hear that Ichiro guy is pretty good too).

Waive those rally monkeys all you want Angels fans, your team is going to win a lot of games in 2008 - but the Mariners are going to win more.

NL East


For the second time on this blog, I am going to openly admit to shedding tears on the last day of the 2007 season when Jimmy Rollins hit his twentieth triple and the Phillies won the NL East. It was my single greatest moment as a sports fan, and I wake up every morning to this picture proudly hanging above my bed.

But as much as I hate to say it, I’m feeling nothing but dread heading into 2008. The Mets are more talented than their 2007 record and have only gotten better with the addition of Johan Santana.

(it’s certainly not helping matters that all the news coming out of Clearwater consists of the Phillies talking trash to the Mets and Brett Meyers playing jokes on people)

And the Braves, oh god the Braves.

All this Jayson Stark, Daily News and New York Post talk of a budding I-95 rivalry between the Phillies and the Mets silently leaves out Bobby Cox, Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves – you know, that team who mercilessly won the Division thirteen years in a row. They leave out that the Braves have only one hole in their lineup (Mark Kotsay) an even mix of proven veterans and promising youngsters, to say nothing of one of the few pitching staffs in baseball without any question marks (except maybe Tom Glavine, and that’s a question mark I would love to have).

NL Central


The Brewers will compete. The Cubs will compete (and probably win). The Astros might even compete. The Reds and the Pirates are in trouble, but the Reds are quietly building a talented young team and the Pirates aren’t expected be much more than the Pirates, so no disappointment there.

The Cardinals, once the class of the National League and two seasons removed from an improbable World Series win, are in for a lot of hurt.

I guess watching Rick Ankiel from April to September will be pretty cool and you can never really count out Pujols, but when Kyle Loshe is your big off-season acquisition, hopes aren’t exactly high.

If Cardinals fans thought 2007 was a harsh shot in the gut, 2008 is looking like swift knee to the face.

NL West


With less power hitters than any other division in baseball (Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Young and Matt Holliday are the only players in the West who hit more than 30 homeruns last season), the NL West will likely be won on pitching. That thrusts the Padres and Diamondbacks to the front of the pack with each team having the luxury of two Cy Young winners (Jake Peavy and Greg Maddox on the Padres and Bandon Webb and Randy Johnson on the Diamondbacks) and at a bevy of Cy Young candidates pitching behind them.

The defending pennant winners just don’t have the arms to compete. Ubaldo Jimenez is young enough and has the velocity to develop into a legitimate ace, but really do you want to rest your hopes on the shoulders of a guy named Ubaldo?

The Rockies were able to squeak out at the end of last year by relying on a group of streaky hitters (Holliday, Tulowitzki and Helton aside) who all got hot at the exact same time. That’s not suggest that it wasn’t impressive, but it’s not going to happen again.

Wild Cards

Mets, Yankees

The current reigning champions of regret, the New York Mets, have certainly improved with the addition of Santana, but he still only gets to pitch once every five days. If the Braves turn out as good as I’m afraid they are, that poor little tyke could find himself on the cover of the New York Post twice – an impressive feat for someone not old enough to commit adultery.

The Yankees could get done in by the stacked talent in their own division and the AL Central. If the Yankees and Red Sox beat each other up whenever they play and the Blue Jays are a consistent spoiler, the Yankees are going to have a difficult time amassing more wins than whoever is second in the Central (and Hank Steinbrenner seems pissy enough as it is).

Good luck Joe!

Easter Boogie!!!!!

Happy Easter!!!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Internships At Aetna

At Aetna, we're looking for smart, energized people who are ready to make a difference in the working world. At Aetna, you'll find a richly diverse workforce — with employees of different races, ethnicities, life experiences and viewpoints.

Whether you are a student looking for a summer internship or a graduate looking for professional opportunities, Aetna has something for you.

Opportunities for students and recent graduates exist across all Aetna functions, offering meaningful work, in-depth training programs and best-in-class experience. Specific positions and requirements vary by area, but dedication and a passion for excellence are a must.


Website/Contact Info:

Marian Norby Scholarship For Female Tech Students

The Society for Technical Communication is a professional organization for people developing technical information through such occupations as technical writing, editing, graphical design, interface design, and Web design.

This scholarship is for those who are interested in studying for a degree or attending a continuing education or training course in one of these areas.

Applicants must be female, must be working full- or part-time for the federal government as a secretary or administrative assistant, and should be interested in enrolling in a training or academic class related to technical communication.

Award Amount :

July 15, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship

Applicants are evaluated for their potential to successfully complete school, their financial need, and their commitment to a long-term career in cosmetology.

Only cosmetology students will be considered for an award (this includes barber schools, but not esthetician training.)

Submission of a complete application by the deadline, and active enrollment or acceptance to a cosmetology school by August of the award year is required.

Candidates must include a letter of recommendation from a sponsor. Preferably, your sponsor should be an employer, instructor, counselor, or someone qualified to offer testimony of your character. The sponsor's role is to write a letter of recommendation supporting your candidacy in response to the questions listed on the application.

Award Amount:

June 1, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nurse Is a Relative Term

By Bob Rehak

I just got out of the hospital last week, and it turns out that no matter how good the hospital is or how skilled your surgeon is, it’s the nurses that matter. Nurses are like the hospital’s waiters and waitresses. You can go to the best restaurant in town and have the most fabulous food you’ve ever tasted, but if the waitress didn’t treat you well, that’s probably going to have a profound effect on your experience. I’ve eaten at places like Lawry’s, Magnum’s, and Wildfire, (all with coupons) and they were all very pleasant and expensive experiences, due to the quality of the food and the attentiveness of the waiters and waitresses (and the price). I’ve also had a few fancy meals where I had the feeling that the waitress knew that we had pulled up in my Escort wagon and treated me like, well, someone who had just pulled up in an Escort wagon. Then again, some of the best service I’ve ever received was at Sizzler (some of the best rolls with butter, too. I think they’re made by elves). So the way you’re served and cared for can make or break the experience. Same with the hospital.

I went in on a Friday morning for a “routine” gall bladder removal, although I contend that any time someone reaches in through your navel and pulls out an organ, it’s a little more than routine. The whole procedure was to take about 4 hours, start to finish, from the time I walked in, to the time I was wheeled to the curb. I’ve left my car at Midas for an oil change for longer than that.

Since I was in mild pain from the gallstones and a little chilly from the Kleenex-thin gown I was wearing, I was counting the minutes till my favorite doctor, the anesthesiologist, came calling. Just put me out, do your business, and wake me when it’s over. I vaguely remember the anesthesiologist talking to me in the operating room, and I remember thinking that he really could use a shave or a mask, especially since I was about to get three holes poked into me for the laparoscopic procedure. (Basically they stick a camera in one hole and instruments in the other two holes and play with surgical chopsticks to snip and move things. At least that’s the way I had come to envision the surgery).

The anesthesiologist asked me some general questions that I can’t remember. He may have even asked me for my bank account number for all I know (unless he saw us pull up in the Escort). I was out really fast and woke up in Recovery, which should really be called Irritation, because they really don’t want you to recover there.

It’s like one of those scenes from an action movie where the hero is beat up and keeps collapsing, and the villain nods to the henchman to give the hero another whack to stay awake and answer the question. I thought I was recovering very nicely, on the edge of feeling comfortable, and then the nurse would stand six inches away and say “Robert? Robert? You’re in Recovery. Robert? Can you hear me?” Since they didn’t remove my ear drums, of course I could hear her. So I mumbled something to get her off my back, but that just seemed to get her more excited and chatty. “Open your eyes, Robert.” God, I hate it when they use your formal name, like some convicted killer. So I broke under the pressure and opened my eyes to a room that seemed as well lit as a White Castle, only there was no onion smell or ketchup packets on the floor. OK, I’ve complied with all your requests; I answered the questions and opened my eyes; now go away. She did, I slipped back towards comfort-town, but she caught me just before I arrived. We played this fun game for a while, and slowly I realized that they were keeping me over night.

It seems there were a few minor complications during the routine oil change, after all. The doctor later told me that the gall bladder was “nasty”; a medical term I hadn’t heard before. He was afraid it may have had an effect on its neighbor, my liver. My four-hour quickie lube turned into a three-day diagnostic check.

On Day One I met my first shift PCT (Patient Care Technician). I’ll call her Maria S., since that was her name. Maria was one step and three years away from being a registered nurse, so she had to pay her dues by working as a PCT. Basically it meant that she had to care for her patients on a more personal level: the bathing and aiding to the bathroom and the walking around the hospital floor to get patients back on their feet. Maria was a great PCT; she went above and beyond, in my opinion.

At one point my wife noticed dried blood on my inner thigh, right near the Mason-Dixon line. Maria went right in and cleaned off the area, without hesitation. If it was me I would have handed the patient a wet-nap and pretended I was being paged in the ER. I’m no Florence Nightingale; or Maria S.

On Day Two I met the second shift PCT, a young lad I’ll call Scooter (not his real name, though it may have been his real nickname). Scooter was obviously not into the whole PCT experience. He did his job more like it was part of a plea bargain than a vocation. Scooter asked how I was doing, but in that same voice I use when I go through a toll booth. Whenever I would ring Scooter for a bathroom escort, he’d wheel around the IV and just wait for me to catch up. I get more personal attention from a Wendy’s drive-up window than I got from the Scooter.

The first time that I needed him to take me around the floor for a walk, Scooter spent some time conversing with his PCT buddy, another youngster I called Goober. These two were obviously friends, and they each had patients to “care for”. While Scooter and I were out for a walk, Goober would go by with one of his patients, and I swear the two of them rolled their eyes at each other every time we passed. These walks that the hospital wants you to go on are to get your system moving and get you one step closer to the exit. You’re supposed to go at your own pace; gingerly, like your ankle could snap on the next step. Slowly you build up your stamina and start walking like you’re strolling through broken glass. Eventually you walk like you mean it.

When I went on walks with Maria, she told me to stop when I needed, take deep breaths, and hold onto the rail as she followed this close behind me. With Scooter, our walks were an obvious inconvenience to his social life. Maybe him and Goober were in the middle of a Halo 3 combat, I don’t know. All I know is every time he took me for a walk, he held onto the IV and walked six feet in front of me, like he was leading a pony. He may have been trying to lap Goober and his pony, I’m not sure. All I know is that he rode me hard and put me away wet.

By the end of my hospital stay, I was ready to go home. I was looking forward to uninterrupted sleep and quality time in my own tastefully decorated bathroom. Mostly I was looking forward to getting away from the hospital. And Scooter.

NEXT WEEK: Losing Patients and Broken MRIs

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Princess Grace Scholarships In Dance, Theater, and Film

National in scope, the Princess Grace Foundation is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance, and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships.

The program offers scholarships for theater, dance, and film students, apprenticeships for emerging theater artists at non-profit companies, fellowships for theater and dance at non-profit companies, and fellowship for an individual playwright at New Dramatists.

All candidates must be United States citizens or have permanent resident status. Scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships must be completed in the United States.

Actors, directors, set designers, costume designers, lighting designers, sound designers are eligible.

Award Amount :

March 31, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Footlocker Foundation Scholarship

The Foot Locker Foundation provides support for educational and sports programs across the country that equip children and young adults with the necessary tools to achieve their goals and be successful in life.

Continuing in its efforts to serve in the community, Foot Locker Foundation, Inc. has partnered with UNCF to fund this scholarship program for high school seniors or students attending or planning to attend a UNCF member college or university during the fall of 2008.

Award Amount :
Up to $5,000

April 1, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Free Pizza

Fizz Bar & Grill in Lakeview will be serving free slices of classic and specialty pizza to anyone who stops by Wednesday between 5 and 9 PM. There's no purchase necessary.

Lobi Traoré and Joep Pelt at the Old Town School of Folk Music Wednesday 3/19

In 2007 Malian musician Lobi Traoré, famous at home for his "Bambara Blues" and abroad for collaborations with stars including Ali Farka Touré and Bonnie Raitt, teamed up with Dutch blues musician Joep Pelt to release I Yougoba. They perform together Wednesday night in the first show of the Old Town School of Folk Music's new concert series "AfroFolk: Music and Culture of the African Diaspora." Seating is limited; call 773-728-6000 to reserve a spot.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fitness Health Tip

by: Mary Rose

Everybody dreams of being healthy, beautiful and fit. The first fitness health tip is to believe that we are what we eat. Eat healthy and one will be healthy and beautiful. Healthy eating means eating three regular balanced meals-breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and making sure that each meal is a combination of carbohydrate and protein foods. Meals should include cereals, pulses, milk or curd, eggs, chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables.

There is a fitness health tip which may come as a pleasant surprise and that is- Adding sugar is not a crime. Three to four teaspoons of sugar a day is permitted if one is not diabetic. Finally, the whole secret of fitness and weight control rests on how much oil is consumed daily and how much fatty foods are eaten in a day. The normal requirement is 2-3 or 3-4 teaspoons oil per person per day. One may indulge in richer food twice in a week.

Another fitness health tip is that the major reason for an overweight and unhealthy body is a change in lifestyle. Today we don't walk anywhere, and hop into and out of cars. We also spend a lot of time sitting in front of television and computer. This is one reason why people in their 20's and 30's suffer from hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes.

Everybody from six years and above must ensure that a regular exercise session is fixed in the daily routine. A 20-30 minutes walk must be taught and practiced as regularly as brushing the teeth and bathing.It is also important to avoid too many soft drinks and packed juices which most of us prefer and stock in our refrigerator. It not only increases our body weight but also harms our teeth and skin. Rather we should resolve to drink plenty of water.

To conclude, there is no magic wand to achieve healthy, beautiful and fit body. It is imperative to keep a watch on what we eat. Keep the diet well balanced, regular and complete with salad and fruits. Make sure that one is active throughout the day and follow a regular fitness program that is in sync with the age, body and health.

About The Author

Mary Rose has several books to her credit including those on Health and Fitness.For more information logon to http://www.casanads.com/bm/hf.htm

Source: articlecity

Fitness Health Tip

by: Mary Rose

Everybody dreams of being healthy, beautiful and fit. The first fitness health tip is to believe that we are what we eat. Eat healthy and one will be healthy and beautiful. Healthy eating means eating three regular balanced meals-breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and making sure that each meal is a combination of carbohydrate and protein foods. Meals should include cereals, pulses, milk or curd, eggs, chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables.

There is a fitness health tip which may come as a pleasant surprise and that is- Adding sugar is not a crime. Three to four teaspoon of sugar a day is permitted if one is not diabeticFinally, the whole secret of fitness and weight control rests on how much oil is consumed daily and how much fatty foods are eaten in a day. The normal requirement is 2-3 or 3-4 teaspoons oil per person per day. One may indulge in richer food twice in a week.

Another fitness health tip is that the major reason for an overweight and unhealthy body is a change in lifestyle. Today we don't walk anywhere, and hop into and out of cars. We also spend a lot of time sitting in front of television and computer. This is one reason why people in their 20's and 30's suffer from hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes.

Everybody from six years and above must ensure that a regular exercise session is fixed in the daily routine. A 20-30 minutes walk must be taught and practiced as regularly as brushing the teeth and bathing.It is also important to avoid too many soft drinks and packed juices which most of us prefer and stock in our refrigerator. It not only increases our body weight but also harms our teeth and skin. Rather we should resolve to drink plenty of water.

To conclude, there is no magic wand to achieve healthy, beautiful and fit body. It is imperative to keep a watch on what we eat. Keep the diet well balanced, regular and complete with salad and fruits. Make sure that one is active throughout the day and follow a regular fitness program that is in sync with the age, body and health.

About The Author

Mary Rose has several books to her credit including those on Health and Fitness.For more information logon to http://www.casanads.com/bm/hf.htm

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Global Warming Is It Real?

by: Frank Vanderlugt

The debate about global warming continues today and will continue for many decades to come. The subject of global warming refers to the average increase in the earth's temperature--which then causes changes in climate.

With the earth getting warmer, it may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans. When scientists debate about global warming, we all benefit. We are being given all of the information available on both sides of the subject.

When we talk about the issue of climate change, the concern is primarily about global warming caused by human activities or by the natural cleansing process of the earth.

We are told by one group that we are all personally responsible for releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels when driving our automobiles or using other means of mass transit, and by home energy usage (the electricity, heating and cooling). The use of these fossil fuels is directly responsible for global warming, which is destroying the earth's biodiversity and ecosystems.

On the other side of the debate are the scientists who tell us that global warming is only partially caused by the use of fossil fuels. They want us to know that the different cycles and temperatures of the earth are part of a natural cycle that our evolving planet goes through.

The debate about global warming is one that will continue for many years to come. Neither side can provide substantial evidence that fully supports their position.

It true that we are polluting the environment and that we should reduce our use of fossil fuels, protect rainforests from being harvested, and also plant new tropical trees in countries where the rainforest have been decimated. However, this does not prove that global warming is caused by these actions or that these actions by us are meaningless.

While the debate about global warming continues, it might be wise if we consider what we can do to reduce pollution. Whether the pollution causes global warming might not be the real question here. The pollution of the environment is directly affecting the air, water and land throughout the entire world.

An action as simple as planting trees can help clean the air. An average tree uses and absorbs about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide during its lifespan. And, in return, the trees will release oxygen back into the atmosphere.

About The Author

Frank J Vanderlugt owns and operates http://www.all-about-global-warming.com All About Global Warming

Source: articlecity

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Youth Opportunities Foundation Scholarships

Contact: Felix Castro, PO Box 45762, Los Angeles CA 90045, (310) 670-7664, (310) 670-7664, Fax:
(310) 6705238 Eligibility: Applicant must be a graduating high school senior with an exceptional high
school career. Applicants are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and a SAT score of at least
1100. For an application send a self-addressed stamped business size envelope to: Youth
Opportunities Foundation. Applicants must be California residents planning to attend college. Award:
Varies; Deadline: March 31

James L. Warner Memorial Scholarship Fund

Contact: Whittier Union High School District, 9401 South Painter Ave., www.wuhsd.k12.ca.us, e-mail:
Robert.Chavez@wuhsd.k12.ca.us Eligibility: Graduates of schools within the Whittier Union District.
Must enroll at one of the following schools: Pomona College, Stanford University, University of California
(any branch), University of Southern California or Whittier College. Award: $1,260; Deadline: March 31

William B. Ruggles Right To Work Scholarship

Contact: Kathy Jones National Right To Work Committee William B. Ruggles Scholarship 8001
Braddock Road Springfield, VA 22160 (703) 321-9606 Eligibility: Scholarships are available for students
majoring in journalism. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay which demonstrates their
understanding of the "Right To Work" principle. Write to the address listed for complete details. Award:
$2,000; Deadline: March 31

Justicia en Diversidad Scholarship Fund, Scholarship For high school students interested in law

Contact: Pablo Tagre, La Alianza at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA 02138, (617) 495-4606 email:
ptagre@law.harvard.edu, www.law.harvard.edu/studorgs/alianza; Eligibility: Must have a
cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Student must be from a high school in the United States. Must be
planning to attend a 4-yr
U.S. college, full-time next year.Award: $5,000; Deadline: March 25

DeVry Inc. Scholarship Program

Contact: 1 Tower Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181, (866)338-7934, www.devry.com, e-mail:
ccollins@devry.com; Eligibility: High school graduates who wish to enroll in a fully accredited
bachelors of science degree program at one of the DEVRY institutes. Must maintain a 2.5 to renew it.
Award: Full- and half-time tuition; Deadline: March 23

SHELL Legislative Internship Program

Contact: 500 Citadel Drive, Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90040, (323)720-1932, Fax: (323) 720-9519,
www.naleo.org; Eligibility: Undergraduate college student of a 2- or 4-year institution and resident of AZ,
CA, CO, FL, IL, NM, NY or TX of Latino origin. Need not attend college in these states. Participants are
offered a summer internship to work for a state or federal elected official. Must demonstrate leadership
potential and possess a sense of commitment to the Latino/a community. Must be a U.S. citizen or
legal resident of Latino/a origin. Award: $1,500; Deadline: March 23



Hair Models

Short, Medium, Long, Natural Hair, Color, Weave
Runway Skills
All Shapes/Sizes
Please Bring Photo

Come Prepared to Audition in Heels ≈

Monday, March 17, 2008
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Luster Products, Inc.
1104 W. 43rd Street
Chicago, IL 60609
Enter Building from Employee Parking Lot

(773) 579-1800 Ext. 406

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Laugh and the Work World Laughs With You

by: Craig Harrison

Many of today's work environments are rife with moody bosses and co-workers, repetitive tasks and unpredictable market pressures. Stress abounds. Managers often tell me they can’t afford the time or cost for my humor workshops; how can they afford not to address workplace stress.

We know clinically that laughter and play have medicinal qualities, offering physical, psychological and physiological benefits as well. In the workplace, humor and fun can increase productivity, encourage creativity, enhance team building, and thus improve esprit de corps.

While we may not be able to control everything that happens to us in our jobs and work environments, we do have control over how we choose to react. I coach others how to create an environment which is safe and friendly, and use humor to help maintain a healthy balance between the pressure and seriousness which comes from high stakes jobs and a competitive marketplace. Remember that humor starts from within. Being able to laugh at your own foibles goes a long way toward creating a healthy work climate in which to flourish.

The following are activities and strategies for you as individuals, workgroups and managers. Be creative and use these ideas to stimulate your own remedies to workplace stress.

- Adorn your work area with cartoons, headlines or funny photos which bring a smile to your face and visiting co-workers'. Whether you're surrounded by your favorite Pez dispensers childhood, or wry cartoons that speak to your tastes, let your work area comfort and humor you while taking some of the edge off the standard office decor.

- Tap a co-worker to be your humor-partner. Bring a daily joke to share. Commiserate about funny workplace events. Keep each other buoyed with good cheer. When the chips are down your humor partner can chip away at your depression, and vice versa.

- Don't think cubicles limit your humor options. I've seen shower curtains, umbrellas and other devices used effectively to set a light or semi-serious tone. For some, creativity flourishes behind their cubicle's shower curtain. People tampering with your work area? Don't get angry…protect it with yellow "Crime Scene" tape!

- Subscribe to a humor website to be e-mailed a free daily or weekly humorous story, joke and anecdote. Sites such as www.netfunny.com/rhf/ or www.oraclehumor.com/ are two examples.

Are You Laughin' At Me? One manager, known for his moodiness, acknowledged it with a "Mood-O-Meter" outside his door. Both he and his employees took turns forecasting his mood: from fire-breathing to variable clouds to periodic eruptions…proceed at your own risk. Don't underestimate the power of self-effacing humor for making yourself more accessible and liked.

Room for Laughter. Some companies designate a room, work area or corner of their office as a romper room, where frolicking and silliness is allowed. Whether yours has a punching bag, games, a dartboard or foosball, it's a room for letting off steam and taking a break from the grind.

Whine Not. Everyone loathes whiners yet we all need to blow off steam periodically. One group of creative trainers and their manager decreed Thursdays to be effective whining days. They self-policed themselves the rest of the week, making sure not to whine. Yet even their Thursday gripes had a departmental sanction and somehow seemed healthier. After all, they belly ached together. A ripple effect actually improved the morale of departments adjacent to theirs!

Meting Out Humor. Many professionals approach meetings with trepidation. A dash of humor can make a difference. For regular meetings earmark one or two minutes each meeting for a humorous interlude. In one workgroup a "humor hand" rotates from meeting to meeting. Employees take turns setting a lighter tone to the meeting, insuring everybody is engaged. An anecdote, verbal or physical activity focuses the group on the task at hand and brings colleagues together in a spirit of fun.

When not to use Humor. Not all humor is good humor. Humor that hurts, ostracizes or is cruel will have a detrimental effect on others and you. Strive for humor that is inclusive, creative and captures our human essence. By now you know that sexist, racist, ageist jokes and crude humor are not only inappropriate, but can lead to sanctions, termination or even lawsuits. Be sensitive when telling jokes involving terminations, reductions in force (RIFs) and personal tragedies. Their hurt can linger long after the fact. . When in doubt…leave it out!

Appropriate humor can make hard tasks easier, collaborations fun and certainly make workdays go faster. Laugh, and the work world laughs with you!

About The Author

Since the age of eleven when he went door-to-door selling Used Jokes, Craig Harrison has been connecting with customers through humor. As a professional speaker and corporate trainer Craig Harrison's Expressions of Excellence provides sales and service solutions through speaking. Contact him at (888) 450-0664, through his website http://www.ExpressionsofExcellence.com or via e-mail: humor@craigspeaks.com

Source: articlecity

Student Job Opportunities At The IRS

As the largest accounting firm in the United States, the IRS offers invaluable career opportunities in the world of finance for students like you, and for professionals of all levels.

Plus, we make sure you have time for all of your life activities outside of work, because we believe the more fulfilled you are in your personal life, the more satisfied you'll be in your professional life.

Typical positions you may qualify for include clerical and para-professional positions in one of our larger field offices and in our major Service Center Campus locations.

We also have Seasonal or Temporary positions as Clerk, Data Transcribers, Tax Examiners and Contact Representatives.


Website/Contact Info:

State Farm Internship Program

State Farm's goal is to recruit a diverse group of top talent at various colleges and universities within the United States.

We offer interns challenging and meaningful work that allows them to demonstrate their abilities, apply the knowledge they've acquired through college courses, and be evaluated for future employment opportunities.

Our interns join State Farm with the intent of learning more about the Company and with the hope that State Farm might become their future employer.

Opportunities available in accounting, actuary, and computer science.


Website/Contact Info:

PBS Internships and Jobs

PBS is a media enterprise that serves 355 public noncommercial television stations and reaches nearly 73 million people each week through on-air and online content.

PBS offers employment opportunities in a variety of disciplines including communications, engineering, accounting, information technology, creative services, development, programming, interactive services and many other areas.

We have talented employees with diverse backgrounds and interests who are committed to a common goal and work hard to achieve it.

PBS offers competitive salaries. And, as an employee-oriented company, PBS also offers an outstanding benefits package.

Washington DC unless otherwise indicated

Website/Contact Info:

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund provides grants to students actively working for peace and justice. These need-based scholarships are awarded to those able to do academic work at the university level and who are part of the progressive movement on the campus and in the community.

Early recipients worked for civil rights, against McCarthyism, and for peace in Vietnam. Recent grantees have been active in the struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression; building the movement for economic justice; and creating peace through international anti-imperialist solidarity.

Award Amount :

April 1, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Oracle ThinkQuest International Competition

ThinkQuest inspires students to think, connect, create, and share. Students work in teams to build innovative and educational websites to share with the world. Along the way, they learn research, writing, teamwork, and technology skills and compete for exciting prizes.

Students, ages 9-19, form a team and recruit a teacher to act as coach. Once the coach enrolls the team, students work together to create an innovative website on any topic within a broad range of educational categories. Diverse teams and globally relevant themes are encouraged.

The top 5 teams in each age division receive laptop computers and a cash award for the coach's school. In addition, the top 3 teams in each age division travel to ThinkQuest Live, an educational extravaganza celebrating their achievements. A special award is also presented to the team best demonstrating global perspectives.

April 2, 2008

Award Amount:
Laptops and a cash reward

Website/Contact Info:

Emma L. Bowen Foundation For Minority Interests In Media

Established by the media industry to increase access to permanent job opportunities for minority students. The Foundation's program is unlike other intern programs in that students work for a partner company during summers and school breaks from the end of their junior year in high school until they graduate from college.

During that five-year period, students learn many aspects of corporate operations and develop company-specific skills. Corporations guide and develop minority students with the option of permanent placement upon completion of their college degree.

March 31, 2008

Award Amount:
$2,250 plus internship experience

Website/Contact Info:

NAACP Legal Defense Fund Scholarships

This program has assisted over 8,000 students with more than $16 million in financial support. Thereby, we have helped to increase the pool of highly trained civil rights lawyers and other professionals who defend the rights of the African-American community.

The Herbert Lehman Education Fund is a national scholarship program that makes annual awards to outstanding students who meet rigorous eligibility criteria. Students who are interested in applying for college or law school scholarships are strongly encouraged to review eligibility criteria and program descriptions before requesting or submitting applications.

The Earl Warren Civil Rights Training Scholarships are awarded each year to 15-20 new students whose community involvement activities and leadership qualities demonstrate outstanding potential for training as civil rights and public interest attorneys.

Award Amount :
$2,000 - $13,500

March 31, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

National Black Nurses Scholarship

NBNA is committed to excellence in education and conducts continuing education programs for nurses and allied health professionals throughout the year. The association provides annual scholarships for students.

Scholarships provide funding for continuing education. This funding enables nurses to grow and better contribute their talents to the health and healthcare of our communities.

NBNA's mission is to provide a forum for collective action by African American nurses to "investigate, define and determine what the health care needs of African Americans are and to implement change to make available to African Americans and other minorities health care commensurate with that of the larger society."

Award Amount:
$500 - $2,000

April 15, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Cost and FX of Texting

Written by: Bob Rehak
Edited by: Sharon Estill
Joboja Staff Writers

I don't get text messages.

I mean that literally and figuratively, as in, I don't receive any text messages, and I don't understand text messages.

I don't receive any text messages because I don't own a cell phone. That's a simple enough explanation. Don't get me started on why I don't own one; that's another article for another day, and I need all the ideas I can get to remain employed.

When I say that I don't understand text messages, I don't mean that I can't comprehend them, I mean that I don't understand their reason for being. Kind of like the problem I have understanding why we have parsley or iguanas in this world.

Help me understand text messaging: you have a perfectly good, working cell phone in your hand. Inside the cell phone is data that includes the names and numbers of everyone you know, including some you'd rather not know (i.e,. not part of your "fives." Hey, I may not own a cell phone but I still know how to speak cell slang). You scroll through your contact list and pick the person you're going to contact (nice symmetry there). At this point, you have arrived at an electronic fork in the road. You can choose "send Message" and T-Y-P-E what you want to say, or you can just touch the "Send" button and your perfectly good, working cell phone will do what the AT&T gods intended: it will CALL that person, and you can chat away (assuming her or she isn't busy texting someone at the same time).

If you choose to drive down the T-Y-P-E road, you have to use your opposable thumbs like a monkey playing Tetris and type your 160 character-maximum message, then hit "Send." Of course, first you have to master the type-kwon-do moves necessary to create a text message, since you only have 8 numbers for all 26 letters. I've seen some Blackberry-belt masters on the train work their phones to create a text message. It's all very impressive and very unnecessary at the same time. Kind of like being able to swallow fire.

Now that you have composed a 160-character maximum text message, you can hit "Send" and wait for one of your fives to read it and come back with a pithy response. Unless of course his phone is turned off, or he reads your text message and decides to ignore it. That's the chance you take with texting.

Of course, limiting a text message to 160 characters requires that you learn the text-messaging language. I've read text messages before, and I can understand the shorthand. It's cute. But by no means is it original. Ever since Cain called Abel "that SOB brother of mine," people have used abbreviations to communicate thoughts. But abbreviations are useful only if you know what they mean. I love it when someone receives a text message with an abbreviation that's unfamiliar. She'll stare at it and try to decipher what it all means. She'll ask other people what a certain string of characters mean. Finally, she may give up and just CALL the sender to ask what "JWTTMYML" means.

"Don't be silly, Ashley, it's 'Just Wanted To Text Message You My Love.'"

How personal.

Of course, my Dad may be to blame for all this texting. I think he may have invented text messaging in the 50s. He was married to my mother for over 39 years before she passed away, and ever since he decided that Illinois was the place to live, he would write her a text message every time it snowed. Every time. Each time there was a fresh snowfall; my Dad would go out to the backyard and stamp out "LUM" in the snow, right under their bedroom window. It stood for "Love You MaryAnn". When we put up a basketball pole in the driveway in 1971, he made sure to write "LUM" in the cement. And it didn't cost him 99 cents a minute (ironically, he worked for AT&T, so maybe that's where they got the idea).

Just like the old saying that there's no such thing as a free lunch, I hate to tell all you texters out there, but there's no such thing as free texting. I have to laugh at those of you who think it's free. Because you've been duped.

T-Mobile and Verizon charge 15 cents per message; Sprint and US Cellular charge 20 cents. You say you have a monthly plan, and that you get "Free and Unlimited" texting? Sorry, PT Barnum, but you're wrong. All those carriers charge $5 to $20 per month JUST FOR THE TEXTING.

If you don't believe me, consider this verbiage from one of the carriers' websites, taken word for word:

"For an even better bargain, you can purchase a monthly package. All incoming messages are FREE and UNLIMITED, plus you automatically receive a text messaging e-mail address to send, receive and reply to e-mail via text message."

Ahem. If you "purchase a monthly package…incoming messages are FREE and UNLIMITED??" Last time I looked, "purchase" doesn't equate to "FREE." My dog knows that maxim. You're still paying for the premium. It's like saying that you get HBO and all your movies and HBO programming are free. But…you…pay…$9.95…per…month…to…add…HBO…to…your…cable…package.

To further prove that there's no such thing as free texting; ask your carrier how much your monthly plan would be WITHOUT text messaging. Five to 20 dollars less, they would tell you. Basically you're paying an additional $5 for each cell phone in the house. So a family of 4 will pay an additional $20 a month to include "free and unlimited" text messaging. That's $240 per year. That's right, Dorothy, say it with me now, "There's no such thing as free texting. There's no such thing as free texting…"

And for all of you "American Idol" fans who weren't AT&T customers, you were charged 99 cents every time you voted for Clay Aiken a few years back. Shame on you all, for obvious reasons.

And check out these stats: last year AT&T carried 64.5 million text messages as "Idol" viewers voted, and it charged them up to 15 cents for each vote, depending on their wireless plan. That translated into a 50 percent boost in messages from the year before, and almost 10 times more than the company carried during the first season of "Idol".

Roger Entner, wireless analyst for IAG Research, said, “The sponsorship was a strike of genius on AT&T's part. The messaging revenue they get from the show is almost pure profit. The cost of servicing a text message is a tiny fraction of a cent, and they're charging what? Fifteen cents a message?" Viewers can use any brand of phone service to call in support for their favorite contestant, but only AT&T customers can vote via text message.

And it's not just "Idol" that's riding this gravy train. About $17 million was raked in by NBC on the Deal or No Deal "Lucky Case Game" just in the first three months of 2007. No wonder Howie's on a "Million Dollar Mission." He needs to unload some of that guilt.

And texting isn't just costing dollars. According to a recent study by AAA on teen texting, nearly 46% of teens send text messages on their cell phones while driving.

Are you people kidding me? Why not just set up an Xbox and a flat screen TV on the dashboard while you're at it?

While there are no definitive statistics yet available about texting-related accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 80 percent of accidents in the U.S. are caused by distracted drivers. Additionally, there are more than 43,000 fatalities caused yearly in the U.S. by traffic accidents.

Do the math. But not while you're driving. Please.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

FBI Internship Programs

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a law enforcement and domestic intelligence agency charged with protecting and defending the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats; upholding and enforcing the criminal laws of the United States; and providing leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.

The FBI has numerous internship opportunities available for undergraduate and graduate students seeking to contribute to the FBI’s mission and learn more about what it is like to work at the FBI.

Programs include the Honors Internship Program, the Middle Eastern Foreign Language Honors Internship Program, the Volunteer Internship Programs, and the Visiting Scientist Program.


Website/Contact Info:

Internships and Jobs at CNN

CNN is a division of Turner Broadcasting System, which also heads TNT, TBS, The Cartoon Network, and the Atlanta Braves.

Turner Broadcasting System is proud to offer college juniors, seniors and graduate students an opportunity to learn from the best in entertainment, news and sports. We offer a number of internship opportunities in Atlanta and many of our other offices.

People are drawn to Turner Broadcasting System because it is an exciting, enlightened, socially responsible company with which to build a career. Our company is committed to create, build, program and market networks better than anyone in the world.

Atlanta, GA and other cities

Website/Contact Info:

Booz Allen Hamilton/William F. Stasior Internship

This program offers an opportunity for undergraduate students to gain experience with one of the world's leading global strategy and technology consulting firms.

Selected interns will be responsible for their local housing expenses. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must complete an online application and provide a resume, faculty recommendation and Fall semester 2007 grades.

Eligible majors include: Engineering, Business, Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Information Systems, Computer Science/MIS, Computer Science, Psychology, Management.


Website/Contact Info:

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

Available to full-time undergraduate and graduate students majoring in accounting or criminal justice at an accredited four-year college or university.

You must be taking at least 12 semester hours and demonstrate academic achievement to be eligible for this award. Additionally, you must submit official transcripts from any college or university you have attended, an essay and three letters of recommendation. Junior/community college and high school students are not eligible.

The Ritchie-Jennings Memorial scholarship program was named after two members of the ACFE, Larry Jennings, 49 and Tracy Ritchie, 41, both of Houston, Texas. They were among five people fatally wounded when unknown assailants in Karachi, Pakistan fired upon their vehicle on November 14, 1997.

Award Amount:

April 18, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Excellence in Business Commentary National Essay Competition

The competition is funded by Coca-Cola and The Executive Leadership Council, an organization of senior African American corporate executives in Fortune 500 companies.

The competition asks African American undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited college or university to research, analyze, and write about a critical business issue and trend developed by The Council.

The essay theme for the competition is Global Awareness on the Impact of Business on Our Environment.

Ten winners are chosen annually from a competitive pool of students. The winning essays demonstrate business savvy, creativity, and intellect.

Award Amount :
$1,000 - $7,000

March 23, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

The Sallie Mae Fund Unmet Need Scholarship

Open to families with a combined income of $30,000 or less, this program is intended to supplement financial aid packages that fall more than $1,000 short of students' financial need.

This scholarship is not designed as a substitute for aid provided by an institution. The program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are accepted or enrolled as full-time undergraduate students at approved, accredited institutions.

Students must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) to be eligible to apply. Recipients will be selected based on financial need.

Award Amount:
$1,000 - $3,800

May 31, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

Hallie Q. Brown Scholarships For Women

The National Association of Colored Women's Club (NACWC) has the following objectives: to obtain for African American women the opportunity of reaching the highest levels in all fields of human endeavor; and to obtain for African American women the opportunity of reaching the highest levels in all fields of human endeavor.

The Hallie Q. Brown Scholarships are awarded biennially to students who are recommended by an active member of NACWC.

Applicant must be a high school graduate with a minimum C average. Applicant must be in need of financial assistance and submit with application family income, sources of income and number in household.

Award Amount :

March 31, 2008

Website/Contact Info:

The Sallie Mae Fund American Dream Scholarship Program

The Sallie Mae Fund is committed to addressing the barriers to college access, which it groups into three categories: knowledge of college and financial aid, closing the financial gap, and academic preparation.

They are partnering with the United Negro College Fund to offer scholarships to African American citizens, legal permanent residents or nationals of the United States who are enrolling full-time at an approved institution in the United States.

Applicants must meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria and have a financial need as verified by the attending college or university financial aid office. This scholarship is opened to 4-year and 2-year colleges.

April 15, 2008

Award Amount:
Up to $5,000

Website/Contact Info:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Off Season

Written by: Lisa Minns
Edited by Kate Kliner
Joboja Staff Writers

It’s that time of year again, Super Bowl is done and over with. No more football on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and the occasional Thursday. Some will call this the off-season. I call this the dating season. Now, you may be thinking that’s because all of the men who are normally glued to their tv’s watching football are now out and about doing things. Or you may think it means that I, as a woman, will no longer have to go to sports bars and act like I know what’s going on while watching a game. I’m sure you’ve all seen a few of these ladies. Eyes glazed over with a total look of boredom as they sip their drinks, eat their chicken wings and gab on their cell phones. They are there because they read or heard somewhere that going to a sports bar during a game is a good way to meet men. None of this is the case though with me. I call it the dating season because I’m the football fan. I’m the one glued to the tv every Sunday watching football and screaming at the players when they drop yet another perfect pass. You guessed it, I’m a Dolphins fan.

Now, most men call a girl who looks like a lady and yet loves sports their dream girl. Then they get one. It’s all great in the beginning. They tell their friends all about it and are so proud of her sports knowledge that they actually glow when she gets into a debate about stats and plays. Then the season starts. It’s cute at first. Go out to watch a few pre-season games. Show it off to their friends. Then the regular season starts. Then they realize that I’m not kidding when I laugh at the invitation to go somewhere on a Sunday between August and early February that doesn’t have a tv. What? Did they not check the calendar? Can we get home by 1 p.m.? There are six other days in the week. We can go there then. Or, bring a tv for me. I’ve also dated the ones who feel the need to try to have deep and meaningful conversations with me while a game is on. Why? Isn’t that what commercials and half-time are for? If it’s not about the game, we can talk in approximately three and a half hours. Give or take a play or two and any possible overtimes. I’m busy yelling at the tv….louder than you or any of your friends. Then there was also the guy I dated who swore to be a diehard fan of a team that shall remain nameless and yet couldn’t name one player on the team and never watched a game. His reasoning was that he “would rather play football than watch it on tv." Okay, that’s fine if you actually play but when you are thirty-something and your last experience playing was pee-wee football when you were about 10, that doesn’t make you a football player.

So, this is indeed the off-season for me. I go into withdrawal from my usual Sunday fix, continue to complain that there should be a support group for something like this, wait for training camp to start in July and pre-season to start in August and I date. I start my quest to find that guy who not only says he can wants a woman who loves sports but can handle it. I give them the cliff notes version of what I’m like during football season all summer long and see if they are still around come August. If so, I’ll watch a few pre-season games with them. See how they handle me dressing in team stuff to watch the games and the belief that if I yell loud enough, the players will actually hear me…and listen (they never do). Points to any man who not only is still around after all of this but is right there loving it all with me. I’d also like a man who has a favorite team, knows the players on that team and actually watches the games. I’m still looking for him. So, if there are any men out there who think that this sounds like a good deal, let me know. It’s not all one-sided either. I will get up and get you a drink…when I go for my next one and if I loose rock, paper, scissors, I will make the next ice and drink run. Fair is fair.

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