Friday, April 29, 2005

The new CEO of GM should be my husband

My husband and I worked for GM in the early '80s, when they were then in a state of morass and decline. I had been one of their first liberal arts co-op students and stayed on after graduation from Albion College. My husband had been a summer intern (I got him the job!) and also stayed on after graduation from Princeton to work on the Oldsmobile Division in Lansing, Michigan, our hometown. Even then, we knew that things were bad, judging from the looks of the Cadillac Cimarron, which looked oddly similar to our much cheaper Chevy Cavalier. That was not a good sign. Needless to say, but we left to go back to Business School at the University of Michigan, seeing the writing on the wall. Not to brag, but my husband is a very smart man, and he has always had ideas about how to turn GM around, so I would propose that GM do what Ben & Jerry's did, when they needed a new CEO: let people apply for the position. Who knows what new energy and ideas they might get? It might just be what they need to survive. I nominate my husband, Aneil.
Maggie & Jack make it all worthwhile. Posted by Hello

Mom, we need to celebrate...

It has been a big deal for our family to leave Winston-Salem, our friends, our wonderful church, Reynolda Presbyterian, and for the kids to leave their school, FCDS, just for me to go back to grad school in Chapel Hill. So, it was a wonderful surprise when Maggie, my 10-year old, said that we needed to celebrate the end of my first year of school this week. It was thoughtful of her to realize that it is a milestone for me.

We can learn new things--both in 1st grade and grad school...

My son, Jack, is in 1st grade at Durham Academy and is learning about how to write for a newspaper. One of the teachers at DA is a former reporter and is teaching the kids all about being a reporter. They are all writing stories--Jack wrote one column on math and one on his piano lessons. Mrs. Lovelace's class has named their paper The Mannie Sun, after learning about the names of famous papers. My son today asked me if I had ever heard of the New York Times! One year ago, I never would have guessed that Jack and I would both be learning about the newspaper business at the same time. My last class in Phil Meyer's class was yesterday, and I certainly learned a lot from him. The book says, "All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten", but it sounds like there are some fun and interesting things to be learned both in 1st grade and in graduate school, too.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


There is now a term for people who go back to school later in life--Re-Entry. UNC even has written material for professors to educate them about older students so that they can help them make that transition with re-entry. We read the material in pedagogy. It is commendable that the University is trying to help returning students feel more comfortable in the classroom. Now that I have experiences re-entry for myself, I will have even more compassion for those students when I am a professor. While I have loved learning and am very grateful to have the opportunity to be back in school, re-entry is not easy. Re-entry makes everything about school--studying, exams, moving backward from teaching to being a student, as well as the normal collegial sniping--a bit more challenging.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Am I old?

In our last Pedagogy class, our professor was describing the ideal professorial candidate today:
  • 10 years of professional work experience, and
  • a Ph.D.

I smiled to myself, because he was describing me perfectly, and it gave me a sense of hope for when I go on the job market next fall.

However, one of my classmates quickly replied...You mean you'd prefer someone to be really old when they graduate? I don't think she knew that she "outed" me when she said that...but it stung.

this is life...

In the midst of finishing my first year of my PhD program in the J-School, my 10-year old, Maggie, falls off her scooter and breaks her wrist. Just as I am wondering how I will get my papers and projects done, I lose 2 days of work to the emergency room and waiting on her foot and hand! The UNC emergency room was amazing. Despite the long wait, the nurses, medical student, residents and attending physician (I can't remember their names, but they were wonderful) did a great job fixing her up. Luckily, she remembered to wear her helmet, but scooters are now banned from our home. They are just too dangerous. I hope the next two weeks are quiet.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I love advertising, but...

I am majoring in advertising and PR in the J-School, so you would think that I love advertisements of all kinds. I am the one who has taped the Superbowl ads for the past 10 years--for the commercials. Yet, I'm not sure what to think about my husband, who has introduced my 7 year old son to the Terry Tate, Office Linebacker commercials for Reebok. Yes, they are funny, but they are also a bit rough for a 7 year old. I wouldn't want him going back to 1st grade tomorrow, enforcing the rules at school with Terry Tate-like behavior.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Good-bye, Professor Taffs...

Another of my beloved professors has died. I just read in my Albion alumni magazine that Tony Taffs, my freshman english professor, who was also one of our highly accomplished music professors (I double-majored in econ and music) died in February and the memorial service was on campus last night. I thought I was a fairly decent writer until I took freshman english from Professor Taffs. He was a quiet man with an imposing red pencil, which is how I knew from day one that I still had a lot to learn about writing well. I had the good fortune of joining the Episcopal Church where Tony was the choir director, and so had the opportunity to make music with him. We were not an imposing choir, but Tony encouraged us to sing with joy and always made us laugh. Despite being the only college student, he and his wife, Jean, always made me feel welcome. Twenty years later, in our on-going Christmas card exchange, his most recent note to me was how beautiful my children looked. It is because of professors like Al Bolitho, and those who have now gone before us to make heavenly music: David Strickler, Jackie Maag, and now Tony Taffs, that I am now back in school, hoping to carry on their legacy of teaching and caring.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Thank you, Dr. Bowers...

My pedagogy class at UNC, taught by Dr. Bowers is probably unusual. I applaud him for making the effort (and it is a tremendous effort--you should see our syllabus!), for helping us to become excellent teachers. As I sat in class this week, listening to the discussion of academic integrity and how impassioned my classmates became, I realized that his efforts today will make a big difference in the lives of others tomorrow.

I'm whittling away at what "other" means...

In my pedagogy (ped-a-go-gee) class (a class for learning how to teach), our reading for this coming week is on how to be aware of diversity in the classroom. UNC has tremendous resources for professors on how to be better teachers, and one of the issues this week is being aware of diversity issues in the classroom and how to prepare for them. Among the diversity chapters is "non-traditional" students. There is a name for what I am!

A recent Marketing News article (can't get the article on-line--only on paper) mentioned that we are actually a growing demographic--those who are returning to school for a second career--but are difficult to reach in one place with advertising because we come from all walks of life and have so many different goals and interests.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I got my commemorative DTH...

I stood in line this morning to get my NCAA Championship DTH edition! The Daily Tar Heel printed an extra 5,000 copies with the winning Tar Heel basketball team on the cover and the word was that they would be ready at 8:30 this morning. I think the DTH staffer did a double-take when this older woman made it to the front of the line, but I figured that after cheering for them to beat my home-town Spartans and then Illinois, I'd like a remembrance, too. Besides, I have enjoyed getting to know Fielding, who is a DTH staffer, this semester, in my J-School class with Prof. Meyer, so this is a good way to remember the class, as well. No, I'm not going to sell mine on eBay.