Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Farming Parable

This is a parable that my grandfather always tells me, and I think is worthwhile to share -

Four young men sit beside their dying father. The old man, with his last breathe, tells them that there is a huge buried treasure in the family fields. The sons crowd around him crying, "Where, where?" but it is too late. The day after the funeral and for many days to come, the young men go out with their picks and shovels and turn the soil, digging deeply into the ground from one end of each field to the other. They find nothing and, bitterly disappointed, abandon the search.

The next season the farm has its best harvest ever.

This speaks to our limited understanding of the nature of gifts the that are in store for us - I like it the idea of doing hard work and not even being able to fathom the ultimate results.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's All Invented

A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One sends a telegram back saying,


The other writes back triumphantly,


Which way do you look at things?

Monday, November 27, 2006


Thanksgiving from finish.

That's Mom and I up early in the morning carving the turkey! We took great diligence in stuffing the thing to death...ha.

This is post carving the turkey - my Oma and I are making the gravy. (Special family receipe) Notice I look more awake.

The feasting table of course.

Mom and Heidi in their German aprons putting on the final preparations.
Post feast, all the kids vying for a spot to sit on the same couch.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


It’s not a surprise that I bring an enthusiasm and energy to work that I view as meaningful. Having a father who was an entrepreneur, and a mother who worked with cancer patients, passion was at the core of my upbringing. Our discussions at the dinner table centered around the environmental patent Dad was working on for his new catalytic converters, or how Mom had witnessed the strength of a pediatric cancer patient. I learned at a young age that I did not want to do something just to acquire fame or material wealth, but that I wanted to channel my energies toward a cause and make a difference. I was raised in such a way that passion was merely the byproduct of doing something that you loved.

Study Published on Public Universities

Education Trust just published a new study, examining public school flagships and their efforts in providing education to minority students and those from low-income families. The results are not shocking, as it's become clear that even public school's want to boost their competitive edge, and therefore resorting to admitting based on scores. Check out this article to see where your state school ranked. Illinois got an F, way to go-
Flagships Flunked

Monday, November 20, 2006

This is how to stay young forever. It's a way of living.

1. Being young is discovering that you've just inherited the world and that it's a marvelous one. It's also flawed, woefully mismanaged and seriously imperilled. It means setting out with all the idealistic fervor of Don Quixote to rescue it, to change it, to polish it till its new again.

1 1/2.It's not caring that you are probably destined to fail in all the big ways. It's doing it anyway, and discovering that maybe the "small way" matters more than you think.

2. Being young means its your job to fall in love, and you do it extravagantly and often. You fall in love not only with potential romantic partners, but with trees, with the dark and shiny streets where you walk with your friends at midnight, with the color of the sky when you rise from your bed at five a.m., with a snatch of music that you heard once and never forgot.

3. Being young means you are perfectly beautiful and beautifully perfect. You are not too fat, too pimply, too large of nose or legs or teeth, nor too small of breasts or eyes or height--though some may tell you that you are. But believe me, there will come a day when you gaze at a photograph of your young self and be absolutely stunned by its beauty. And you will wonder how you could have failed to see it, to inhabit it, to celebrate it every day.

4. Being young means you make mistakes. Glorious mistakes. Dumb mistakes. Sometimes even the kind of wild mistakes that will cause you to wonder what you were thinking. It's crying and regretting and bemoaning those mistakes until you realize they weren't distractions from the road after all. They were the road.

5.Being young means your body is meant for movement. It's a time for dancing, making love, for running, for being able to do prodigious amounts of work, then collapsing in exhaustion, only to get up the next day and do it again.

6. Being young means you have very little time and less patience for sitting on the couch, watching other people live their lives on TV. You're far too busy with your own.

7. Being young means you ask the big questions.

8. It means you stay up half the night with your best friend and lover formulating answers, and then go to bed deliriously tired, intoxicated with possibilities. Even though you know no more than you did before you started. And it means continuing the conversation in your dreams where maybe--just maybe--the real answers lie. (I do this all the time:)

9. Being young means that you see really well, and you hear really well and so you look with all your heart. And you listen the same way.

10. Being young means that you're capable of surprising and rattling and inspiring your world. And so you do! Whether the world likes it or not, whether it listens or not, whether it cares or not. Because this is your time and you're going to seize it.

*And no, it isn't all about age. In fact, some of the youngest people I know had enough candles on their last birthday cake to ignite a wildfire.

Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God; your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people premission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Nelson Mandela

I've been reflecting on this comment much lately, and in fact I may pull a bit of it to write one of my graduate schools essays. This quote truly reflects the very thoughts I had prior to rolling into last summer. If I could have heard myself in January, I was saying to my superiors that I didn't want to be the Program Director, nor did I feel confident in my abilities to do so. I ensured them that my skills weren't up to par, and that in my complete honesty I felt that I needed further development.

Development I received. In the coming months I had the unique opportunity to shadow one of the best PD's ever. (names will not be disclosed) and truly get a hands-on experience for what the role of the PD was. Sure I was 22, and all the other Program Director's were significantly older, but I learned that it would be through my actions and decisions that I would establish my greatest credibility. Utlimatly this would be the only way I'd gain the respect of my summer team.

Again, time passed. They told me I could be the PD, and I accepted. Before I knew it I was standing on the stage in front of 300 college-aged staff, spouting bits of leadership curriculum. Leadership curriculum I had co-wrote, lesson plans I had designed, and it was being taught. It was at that moment that I woke up, and saw the other half of this quote come to life. Who am I not to brillant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? So there isn't a benchmark for me to personally measure up against, but that's just it. For me, there may never be a benchmark that I can measure up against. There never has been, because I'm going to do my own thing, in my own time, and in my own way. I'm proud of the fact I broke through barriers, graduated early, moved out of my house and to Florida. Of course I'm looking for my next break, it's how I am.

It's how I've always been, and how I always want to continue to be. Me.

Now back to the graduate school essay...

More Options.

Go big, go long, and go home.

More comments on this later.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Entrepreneurship in the Classroom

CNN: Entrepreneurship University. Entrepreneurship is quickly becoming the latest trend. Everyday I see more and more newspapers hosting articles talking about the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. Looks like the next thing to hit will be entrepreneurship education. I think this article raises a good question though, can entrepreneurship be taught? I think we will see more and more certificate, business, and MBA programs alike launch entrepreneurship programs. I’d be interested in assessing how successful these programs are in creating entrepreneurs. One of the schools I’m looking at for my MBA offers a program in innovation and entrepreneurship. I’d love and am planning in the long run to set up my own business, and wouldn’t it be great to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs on how to raise venture capital, gain investors, and what worked and what really bombed. Learn from experience, it’s always been my motto.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Iraq Cutoff

It’s clear that both parties and individuals are caught in conflict over the war. This is not something that has changed, but rather resurfaced due to the most recent elections. I am in agreement with Abizaid in that we cannot materialize a time nor date for when the withdrawal of US troops can begin. This isn’t a simple game of ping pong, but rather a complex causation and effect, with not only lives, but global security at stake. In our efforts to strengthen the Iraq government, we cannot harshly decide to pull out if the job gets dirty. I’m sorry folks, but we have to look further ahead then just today. Yes this war may have been in the running as long as WWII, but it doesn’t necessitate knee-jerk reactions. Strategy needs to change, and the bottom line is that clear cut objectives need to be outlined and made known to the people. And as for Hillary’s comment, “there is no hope,” yes, well that doesn’t quite cut it in my book either. Could you perhaps articulate a bit more Ms. Clinton? Provide insight as to where you exactly stand. Hmm, g’luck.

Was Dr. Seus a Democrat?

How lobbyists should prepare for the Democratic takeover, I like how they introduce this by saying "If I ran the zoo"

(See end of the article)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Heming Way: 6 Words

Hemingway – an author in the canon - actually wrote a short story once only using six words:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Wired Magazine did a creative little article and asked other well known, and not so well known to author using only six words. You up for the challenge? Perhaps business people should take a few notes from him. (lengthy memos n emails)

In his famous words to F. Scott Fitzgerald: “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of !@#$,” Hemmingway confided to him in 1934. “I try to put the *!@# in the wastebasket.”

S. Africa Democracy

S. Africa has ruled to recognize gay marriages. I think it’s interesting to note that they pride themselves in being democratic. But does a true democracy recognize and uphold certain truths that are self-evident, and make decisions around these standards? Such as a man and a wife being a union? Or is democracy change, the definition many in our country have now deeply taken to…

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Bull in a China Shop

After wrestling with more numbers, and decimals...

Wandering the earth in a 5'5 frame (that's a good day, w/heels), I know strength doesn't come in with a certain appearance. Although I think there are many still out there that believe strength comes adorned in willpower, stamina, and even the age old brute strength. But, what if strength were the opposite? What if strength was the ability to show vulnerabilities that might appear to some as weakness? What if strength was the ability to see things for what they truly were?

I think the answer can only come to us when we are still enough to hear it. Perhaps in those moments we want to strive ahead, strength is actually in self-restraint; to be still, and to listen. Like a bull in a china shop, it's easy to see the visible strength, but the moment he makes sudden movements, everything comes crashing down. His strength is more in his ability to harness his gifts.

It takes strength to become familiar with our "weaknesses". I know a lot of people who would like to say "I can do it on my own." People own this mantra in their careers, in the way they run their families, and manage their money. According to most sacred texts, pride is a fault. And I would like to believe that perhaps it takes more strength to acknowledge that we might not have all the answers, and even more courage to to see that we need other people.

Quick Fix Democrats

It looks like the Democrats are already pushing in many different ways for a quick fix. Exhibiting their push for withdrawal of the US troops in two ways: 1) Pelosi backing Murtha who was one of the initial advocates for pulling the troops out and 2) their recommended strategy to Bush to force redeployment; it looks like they want fast change.

What needs to happen is that the President needs to exhibit his power and refocus his party. There needs to be a well-thought out and different strategy employed for Iraq, yes, but it needs to not be a sudden “fix it by leaving” approach. He has until January to gain the confidence of his supporters. Pulling out U.S. troops would not only yield vast carnage, it would greatly strengthen the hands of terrorists and terrorist states (especially Iran and Syria) in the region. Shuffling the U.S. administration is not going to change any of these circumstances.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Realists? Democrats?

CNN hosted an interesting article today that outlines one of my concerns as Democrats are the majority. Will they decide to block the president or demonstrate the ability to govern? In what way will they display Democratic allegiance? The only way real change and positive growth is going to come to fruition is if people decide to stop making it about them, and start dealing with the real issues.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Thinking about business. It's from the gmat and the numbers taking over my head....

What I'm thinking about tonight is the wonderful examples I've had in my life. I have a few memories flashing through my head right now as I vere away from my studies to reflect upon other such things.

Opa - Self taught in refining metals, sponsored from Germany, started his business from the ground up and was successful. But not only was he good at business, but he's good at love and balancing life. For when I think of Opa I think of his soft smile, and hands that held mine when they'd get so cold. I think of the way he's lived his life through a great faith in God and a great love for his wife and family. This is true success. This is truly what I pray for.

Mom - Learns from experiences, and extremely positive attitude and outlook on life. A very hard working woman who managed to balance a demanding career with raising two children. This has been a great thing to learn from. She's exceptionally intelligent and someone who has had one of the greatest impacts on my life. She's constantly seeking to learn more and help more. And at age 50 she's heading up a innovative career and truly leading others. Go Mom!
The best thing ever is, to have my Mom on your side, you've got quite a powerful force.
...My mom and I happen to be very similiar. It's crazy when we are together!

Prof. Pinnix - Someone who truly offered me the gift of humbleness. Being one of the smartest individuals I knew, he had a gentle and soft nature about him that caused you to be attracted to him. I'll never forget when we saw each other after a year had gone by, and he ran up to me and hugged me and told me it was so great to see me. It was Jack who believed in me when I was a mere 20 year old, believed that I would change the world with my energy and that it was only a matter of time. He called me the energizer! From him I see the world differently, and with a compassion to inspire and move others.

This is where I will leave off for tonight. There are many others I've been blessed to share my path with, and share in my journey. And to all of them out there, wherever they may be, may they feel the resonance of my gratitude.
Signing off,

Vision 2012

DePaul University announced and as been tracking it's progress towards Vision 2012, and recently has made their milestones and plan public. I commend their efforts in continuing to strengthen and build upon their academic structure and community as a university. What I like the most is their aim to act as an institution to prepare women and men to be at the forefront of their chosen fields as ethical and socially engaged leaders. An incentive to continue education at DePaul: I could take on an even more active within their ASK and Leadership Institution program for undergraduates. I'm also be very interested to sit on the board for Vision 2012, and the role that Kellstadt Business School could act as a vehicle for change.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Walmart

According to CNN Walmart will be decking the halls with Merry Christmas this year instead of Happy Holidays. I find it interesting that the Christians and Catholics packed on this much heat, and a boycott last year that it resulted in this response. Once again illustrating the power in numbers.

From Our Friendly Mac Users

Small little joke of the day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Own Address

There's been a lot of stimulation lately surrounding different avenues of my life. It finally feels good have been able to take a breathe, look over the horizon, and navigate accordingly. As far as the important things in life go these are the relevant issues that have been on my mind.

1. What I want to do. This includes a lot. I've had a surge in my research and reading lately. Education is power. And so in my investigating I found another degree I'd like to get in Educational Policy and Leadership. I've had dreams since I entered education of being able to have further impact in acting on the state board or working for a think tank in research, possibly in terms of advocating on a higher level to get experiential learning in the classroom. I've thought about when the right time is, if I should switch things up in terms of my MBA applications, and have come to the following conclusion: start out with the generalist degree, get some working experience, dabble in a few personal endevors to get a taste for more, and evaluate. I am young, and I'm not going to get myself thinking I don't have time to do it all i.e. the career, the family, my own business, and a nice vacation in the mountains...ah.

2. Politics. I didn't come from the most political family, sure my parents voted, but we didn't have real debates over these issues. Of course the majority of the family is very conservative and republican, but they didn't really tell me why. It wasn't until I took a few political science courses at DePaul that I started to get an inkling as far as what goes on. With the latest mid-term election I have to say I have become even more interested in politics. Reading about them, talking about them, and thinking about them. As a citizen of the US I feel it is not only my right but my duty to use my education and decision making skills to be impactful and serve our country. I want to live for a cause, and maybe even wave my banner. I believe that in the coming few years I want to find a place for my voice to be heard, an outlet for me to be a further advocate for my views through supporting and educating my fellow citizens.

3. Location, location, location. More specifically, DC and the opportunities it could hold for me as a budding student and professional. In being there in the coming election year I could be host to a wide array of events that may foster and develop those very things I so wish to imbed into my professional and personal life/career. Additionally, I've done Chicago. I know the scene, and I know what it offers. For those of you that know me more intimatly you know there is a fierce passion that burns inside of me for adventure and the new. I enjoy a good challenge. It's been my experience that in those situations where I am breaking new grounds that I learn the most about myself and the world around me. New experiences = new ways of thinking = inspiration. If you've ever seen me bored, it's not a good thing...

4. Can't lie - the gmat. Thanks to a recent interview I've mustered up great amounts of motivation again to really kick this thing in the rear. I'm determined to do well and definatly am not going to take it again. This is not an option. Heck, all the other components of my application are pretty darn competitive, and I'll be damned if I can't keep up that trend.

5. Being a woman. Laugh all you want. I think it's awfully funny how excited and astonished rare it is for women nowadays to get an MBA. And moreso how excited those administrative folks you do speak to get when you say you don't want to just get one, but you want to serve the fellow female MBA's in a greater leadership capacity. And to tell you the truth that's one of the main reasons I want to get an MBA. Sure I want the hard skills to go with the soft skills, but I also want to help inspire, motivate, and educate fellow females about the opportunities in business. Equally important is the leadership component, and I have a couple of things to say about this and it's development in the business industry.

Enough thoughts, it's time for dream land. Au revoir` (bet you didn't know I spoke french, or at least 1/8)

President's Address

Glad I can listen to NPR from work. God bless it.

Interesting notes from Bush' speech so far:

- Faith community initiative focus
- Deal w/ it. His answer to war. We'll deal with it. (what does this mean)
- Some problems require more then govt. help
- People not content, but will make decisions based on principles
- Strategy: he's looking for changes, underlies he doesn't want the troops to come home

What to get done:
No Child Left Behind
Energy - foreign oil dependency

What I think: Get ready for a gridlock. Both good and bad.

Favorite Quote right now:
Herman: "Bush disappointed in outcome, does this mean you are out of touch with the American public?"

Why Gates:
Connected to national security
worked for a # of presidents before

Gates Replaces Rumsfeld

After much prediction, Rumsfeld looks like he will be resigning. To take his place will be Robert Gates, former head of the CIA. What does this mean?

Bush made it sound like Rumsfeld would resign otherwise and that basically everyone needs how to learn how to get along. It'll be interesting now to see if he can pull of the united front he ran on in 04'

Or Else is Here

All in all, I think Michael Leeden said it best over at The Corner: "In retrospect, isn't it fair to say that Bush's reelection and the Congressional results in '04 were basically a message to him? 'Get Iraq right, you've got two years or else.' And he hasn't got Iraq right, so the 'or else' arrived as threatened."

Oh my. Here we go.

House of Blues

My question is has this race truly been more about competence in President Bush then idealogy? And what does this mean for 2008? How will the parties align?

Good News. Bad News. No News.

To my dismay I had to go to sleep earlier then I would have liked, unable to finish up the election night hoopla with MSNBC. It meant I had to wake up this morning to good news, bad news or no news. Looks like it's smack in the middle.

It's coming down to the wire now and the news continues to flash that closest heat for the Senate, now dependent on two states: VA and MT. What will happen?

VA: Hard race to call. What's projected right now is about a 1% difference.

MT: Tester is in the lead here again by merely 1%.

There is likely to be a recount ahead of us.

Conclusion, you can't tell right now because it's this close to the wire. With a 1% lead things could easily sway either way. What we do know is that the House is now a Democratic one. I'd like to see the Republicans keep control of the Senate, otherwise I fear we could have a bumpy road into the coming Presidential election. With the war on the forefront, and currently unresolved, I don't think a Democratic Senate would be our best bet either. They say the people want a change, but do the citizens really have an idea of what change they seek?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


2006 Elections Blunder so far:

- Problems w/ electronic voting (not surprised and certain demographic locations where these were placed render problems i.e. older populations, lower income, etc.)

- KY poll worker chokes a voter (personal favorite, what’s next, death by ballot?)

- Lawyers are already predicted to try to keep the polls open later in TN. (Democrats think this will help….hmm)

- The public is being told that exit polls will greatly sway votes and that the GOP should beware. So if they told us that the Republicans had already won could we just open the bottle of Champaign?

Next year at this time, I have to admit it would be pretty fun to be in DC amidst all the activities. I heard all the political bloggers are headed to the Tryst to have an e-lection night party. P.S. I recently got bit by a bug, the political bug.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Illinois' Race: Election 2006

I got my vote in, knowing full well that I wouldn't be able to do it from my current residence. I'm not too keen on our choices for IL Governor, but I guess you take what you get.

Blagojevich - He wound up in some infortunate cirumstances and is under corruption investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald. Given what happened with the former Governor Ryan and investigations, this is really hurting his campaign. He also took a lot of money away from state education last year which I'm not very keen on. Examining his historical record I don't see him fulfilling or having much success with his promises on cutting taxes, yet boosting budget spending towards education.

Topkina - She's considered the moderate republican, which today is somewhat rare. However, she seems to sit on the fence when it comes to certain issues like abortion and gay marriage. It may work to her advantage since she may capture more independent voters, and also for those who don't want see to Blagojevich back in office, this is the really only other viable option.

We'll see how tomorrow turns out. On a personal note, I'd be much more interested if it were a senate race.

Economics of Obesity

I've been doing a lot more reading lately and have taken on a new personal course of study until I enter back into academia. It's best to keep the brain jogging at a regular rate and what better way to do it then read. Check out this article entitled "The Fat of the Land" and how it explains some of the economics of obsesity. It sheds some light on yet another one of America's epidemics. Then after you do that, check out Obesity in America's animated map and the rapid changes that have occured throughout the last 20 years. See what percentage of the population in your state are obsese. If it's anything like what I saw, the results will really shock you. The rapid movement is grueling, and the scary thing is this issue isn't going away.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Free Hugs Campaign. Inspiring Story! (music by sick puppies)

This is a really good video. Offers some good insight.
I'll give a free hug-