Ready for Change? Get educated!

It’s nearing the end of the year.  Time to take stock of our past and make plans for the future.  If you’re stuck in a rut and want to try something new,  this is the perfect time to take concrete steps towards making that shift.  If what you would like do is way off track from your current profession, don’t despair.   Get educated!

There are numerous websites out there which promote further education.  I would rank http://www.career-education.net/ near the top.  It aggregates the various schools which offer a wide variety of online AND offline programs for in-demand careers such as culinary arts, healthcare, education and even medical billing jobs.  What I found particular useful is that the site offers a concise description of the various disciplines so that you can make an informed choice.   There’s even a career quiz also available to help you assess which program/course is a proper fit to your personality.   

Now what you must already keep in mind is that learning is just half the battle.  A new skill is only useful if it is actively practiced. =)

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Secrets of Adulthood

Gretchen Rubin has released another short video in which she lists what she has learned over the years.  The most profound for me, aside from “The days are long, but the years are short”,  is “You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you LIKE to do.”   Personally, this is particularly true during these times when the uncertainty generated by the global economic (and political) turmoil has led people to choose to stick to jobs which they might no longer necessarily like.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Moving? Get a Mover!

Recent events in our professional lives have lead me to thinking about physical relocation and the inordinant amount of stress it generates.  Aside from the uncertainty about any move – how do we get jobs/schools,  will our kids adjust to the change etc… there is the added concern about packing and unpacking one’s belongings.  Can I really trust someone to pack my grandmother’s china with the same kind of care I would give?  At the same time,  we neither want the additional stress of physically driving all our belongings to their destination nor do we have a great deal of stuff which we want to drag across the country. 

Thank goodness for service providers like UHaul which help demystify and destress the moving process.   They help customers avoid the high prices of full-service movers and/or the hassles of truck rental while at the same time providing guaranteed delivery and expedited transit services.  Backed by ABF Frieght System Inc, one of the USA’s largest less-than-truckload freight carriers,  U-Pack’s moving services is able to leverage on the efficiencies of scale by enabling customers to pay only for the space they use.

UPack’s Mantra?  You Pack.  We Drive.  You Save.  Enough said.  =) 

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Oprah Freebie: Holiday Hits 2008

I totally love this.  Oprah has teamed up with some of the biggest names in the music business to create a one-of-a-kind holiday mix. 

Faith Hill, “Joy to the World” from the album Joy to the World
Tony Bennett, “I’ll be Home for Christmas” from the album A Swingin’ Christmas
Il Divo, “O Holy Night” from the album The Christmas Collection
Josh Groban, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” from the album Noel
Brian McKnight, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” from the album I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Amy Grant, “O Come All Ye Faithful” from the album The Christms Collection
Harry Connick Jr., “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” from the album What a Night! A Christmas Album
Aretha Franklin, “Silent Night” from the album This Christmas

These eight songs can be downloaded free for the next 48 hours.  Click on this link.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Hairspray Manila: get your tickets to the Nov 29, 8pm show now!

“You can’t stop an avalanche as it races down the hill
You can try to stop the seasons, girl, but you know you never will
And you can try to stop my dancing feet, but I just cannot stand still!

Hairspray is the kind of musical which will have you singing and tapping your feet the entire time, and also really make you think at the same time. It imagines a world where no one is an outsider and no one is a square, and invites everyone in.

It’s 1962 – the ’50s are out and change is in the air. Baltimore’s Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion–to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, “The Corny Collins Show” and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program’s reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her ‘do? Only in Hairspray! Welcome to the ’60s! Bright, campy and wonderfully light, “Hairspray” reminds us that fun comes in all shapes and sizes. Now THAT’S worth singing about. =)

Send an SMS to (Smart) 0920-901-0863 / Sun (0922-847-0523) or email ticket2me@gmail.com to order your tickets for the 8pm performance on Nov 29. =)

Seatplan may be viewed at:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pSV_W_Zn3VtJb9Cb42y8BQA

Ticket prices:
ROW A – ROW I: P1,200
ROW J – ROW S: P1,000
ROW T – ROW X: P800
ROW Y – ROW Z: P600

 

A 10% discount is available for groups of 5 or more! Please spread the word!

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The musical features an original score by Marc Shaiman (who co-wrote the music and lyrics for the acclaimed animated musical, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) and Scott Wittman. Their songs take Tracy from the soundstage of a 60`s-style dance show to the streets of Baltimore to a downtown rhythm and blues record shop.

Hairspray went on to win 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical and has also become one of the most successful and popular movie musicals starring John Travolta, Zach Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer.

For its Philippine Tour which will be staged from Nov 14 to Dec 7, 2008 at the Star Theater, CCP Complex, Atlantis Productions has assembled an exciting, talented cast:

  • Madel Ching as Tracy Turnblad
  • Tim Espinosa as Link Larkin
  • Noel Rayos as Corny Collins
  • Michael de Mesa as Edna Turnblad
  • Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Velma Von Tussle
  • Dulce as Motormouth Maybelle
  • Nyoy Volante as Seaweed J. Stubbs
  • Leo Rialp as Wilbur Turnblad

So what are you waiting for, send an SMS to (Smart) 0920-901-0863 / Sun (0922-847-0523) or email ticket2me@gmail.com to order your tickets now. =)

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Quote of the Day from Tom Robbins

Our individuality is all, all, that we have… blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it, in grace and love and wit….

—Tom Robbins

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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The Kids Say: You Can Vote However You Want

Tired of the endless back and forth of the two parties?  Confused as to whom to vote for?  The talented kids of Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy have broken down their key arguments and set them down to music.   Their key message: 

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like

So on Nov 4th,  be sure you go out and Don’t Vote.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Freebie picks of the week

I’ve come across some website gems which I’d like to share with everyone.

  1. Open Yale Courses – Lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses are made available to the public free of charge via the internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.
  2. Finetune – In addition to its web-based player,  Finetune has a fantasic desktop application which enables Mac and PC users to listen to both Finetune and iTunes playlists, as well as search by name for favorite artists as well as get a custom radio station of their work.  I’m hooked on the David Cook radio channel.  =)
  3. Cookstr – Starting this month,  a new website will showcase the recipes of star chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, as well as those of less-well-known but highly regarded cookbook writers.  According to the NYTimes,  visitors to Cookstr can search for recipes using a wide range of parameters, from the more obvious — ingredients, season, occasion — to more specialized criteria, like lactose-free, kid-friendly or requires-only-one-pot-to-cook. The site will start with 2,500 recipes, most likely to increase to 10,000 within a year.   Go and sign up to their newsletter now. 
  4. Hulu –  Hulu offers shows from nbc, Fox, pbs and other channels, including free full episodes of SNL, The Daily Show, The Office and other hits the TiVo-less masses often miss, plus films like Ghostbusters, The Fifth Element and Lost in Translation.  Note, Hulu’s video library currently can only be streamed from within the United States.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Open Yale Courses

This is way cool.  I just found out that Yale has made several of their courses free over the internet.

Taken from the Open Yale Courses FAQ:

  1. What is Open Yale Courses?

    Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.

  2. Why is Yale sharing some of its undergraduate courses free worldwide?

    While it has long upheld the principle that education is best built upon direct interactions among teachers, students, and staff, Yale also believes that leading universities can make an important contribution to expanding access to educational resources through the use of internet technology. The goals of the project also align with the University’s aim to increase its presence and strengthen its relationships internationally.

  3. What is included in these online courses?

    Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided.

If you have the time and would like to learn something new,  please do listen to the lectures.  ‘I’ve certainly learned a lot from the Financial Markets course.

Here are some of the courses:

Biomedical Engineering
Ancient Greek History
Game Theory
Financial Markets
Milton
The American Novel Since 1945
The Civil War and Reconstruction Era
France Since 1871

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Are schools educating our children out of their creativity?

We may differ in parenting styles and philosophies but one thing holds true for all parents:  we want our children to be the best that they can be.  For many,  this is achieved by investing in education – sending them to the best schools that money can buy, hiring private tutors etc.

So why is it that more and more people feel that the education system is in crisis?  I’ve talked with HR practitioners who decry the dearth of talent being churned out by the so-called top universities. I’m meeting more and more people (some of whom are educators) who have decided to homeschool their children because they strongly feel that the traditional schools are stifling their creativity and taking the fun out of learning.

Sir Ken Robinson, author of Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative said it best during a June 2006 lecture at TEDtalks.  If you are a parent or an educator,  stop whatever you’re doing and watch this video:

Key takeaways:

  • “They’re [children] not frightened of being wrong. I don’t mean to say being wrong is the same thing as being creative. What we do know is if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you never come up with anything original. And by the time most children get to be adults most children have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong”
  • We stigmatize mistakes.
  • Creativity is as important as literacy and should be treated with the same status.
  • The education systems around the world are educating people out of their creative capacities… “Truthfully what happens is, as children grow up we start to educate them progressively from the waist up. And then we focus on their heads. And slightly to one side.”
  • “the consequence is that many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized. And I think we can’t afford to go on that way.”
  • The education system needs to be rethought and reengineered to help cultivate our children’s whole being (not just specific parts) to enable them to make something of their future.

The full transcript is available here.

Michael Wesch and the students of the Introduction to Cultural Anthropology class of Spring 2007 at Kansas State University made a very thought-provoking video spelling out the results of a survey on what it means to be a student in North America today.

Sigh.   This certainly isn’t making our school hunting any easier.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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