my gratitude…

I have been watching in social media, especially Facebook, where my friends have been posting daily statements of gratitude all month long. It’s been inspiring. Thanksgiving also provides a good reminder about being thankful. I too have much to be grateful for today. It’s like a year years of gratitude are just poring out of me. It’s been a life-altering year. I shudder to think how hard it could have been if I hadn’t had so much support.

Starting next month, I return to work. I am so excited to not only be gainfully employed full time but also to be doing the work I love. Thanks to my new employer for seeing something valuable in me and inviting me to join the team.

Huge thank you’s to so many of my colleagues and friends who have been sending me job notices and ideas. The fact that you thought of me and wanted to help me in my job search was spectacular and thoughtful. You were a blessing in disguise. To my other friends and colleagues who offered me references, not only did you help me secure a job you also helped me get into graduate school. I don’t have adequate words to tell you how grateful I am for your willingness to speak on my behalf and help me tell my story. (I am just sorry it was such a long-term commitment. Who knew it would take 11 months?)

To my family and friends…you were the best cheerleaders, sounding boards and hand-holders a girl could ask for. I don’t know what I did to deserve you. You ¬†inspired me daily to keep the faith. Without you I would have been a mess. You gave me the strength to face it all with grace, helped maintain my sanity on those hard days and reminded me that I am worthy. I love you all so much.

Mom! Thanks to you (and a great national jobs report in October), I was able to take your advice and counsel and turn that into an awesome financial solution (and all the while still have a proper nest egg). You’re the best investment advisor ever! When we win the lottery, we are taking you with us. ūüôā

What a gift my girls are. Those little dynamos brought me daily joy and reminded me that nothing is as important as seeing them smile and be happy. NOTHING IS AS IMPORTANT! And D., my love, there are truly no words to tell you how amazing you are. You are absolutely my rock. Thank you for protecting me. It was one of the worst thing to happen to me but it was never a bad thing because of you. What a miraculous partnership we have. Here we are at the end of this event and I feel completely unscathed. Most of all, thank you for letting me be the things I need to be when I need to be them. I have never been more open and real. I know I will never be able to explain what a gift that is to me. I am forever yours.

I know I missed some things. I feel like I need to say thanks in so many ways and to so many people. This only scratches the surface. Let this stand as a documented reminder to me that I have everything to be grateful for in this life.

save yourself from poor data

Poor data and misleading metrics are bad for everyone. (BTW Nate Silver is a data hero.)

This article from Cheryl Davenport and Co.Exist has 3 really great tips for people who want to protect themselves from bad data … and in many cases intentional manipulations. Think of it as a good primer for seeking information in any context. Here’s a brief summary.

1: ASK: ‚ÄúSO WHAT?‚ÄĚ
Don’t just drink the kool-aid right. Better yet, as Davenport argues demand data, especially from your leaders that explains the problems you want to solve.

2: DEMAND CONSISTENCY
How can you really draw conclusions when data can be manipulated in so many ways. The argument here is to press our leaders to agree upon a common set of measures and data and then we must judge them often.

3. SEEK CONTEXT
When data is presented we must engage with it. We have to seek validation. If you take the face value, all you get is the face. Beauty’s only skin deep. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Choose your metaphor but get the point. Never trust a single source…verify.

Resources

Cheryl Davenport. 2012: The Anti-Data Election. Accessed November 8, 2012. via 2012: The Anti-Data Election | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation.

If you are interested, here is how to find Nate on Twitter @fivethirtyeight and on his Blog.

technology & education

This is the moment when technology and education really are starting to converge. Is the overall market demand already driving system change and more specifically, as Seth encourages in the video, can parents really drive education reforms from within?

This is short film showing some visionaries talking about the future of technology and education … “with companies like¬†Knewton¬†and¬†Coursera¬†about their quest to use technology to help engage all children and make the learning experience both more engaging and more streamlined.”

Resource

Morgan Clendaniel. Watch A Great Short Film On The Future Of Technology And Education.  Co.Exist by Fast Company. Accessed October 24, 2012.

notes on debates 4

notes for me on the debates

Foreign policy

October 22, 2012 ‚ÄstDebate Transcript

Interactive replay of the final debate, using fact-checks and graphics to take a closer look at attacks and assertions by President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Reference:

The New York Times. ‚ÄúThe Third Presidential Debate‚ÄĚ. Accessed October 17, 2012.¬†http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/23/us/politics/20121023-third-presidential-debate-obama-romney.html

loyalty and delayed gratification

A solid insight into what companies are getting wrong when trying to establish brand loyalty through loyalty programs.

Andjelic sites an import part of customer satisfaction regarding question of economics and behavior when talking about how many loyalty programs make gratification too delayed.

“One thing to know about human decision-making is that we want to be happy. And¬†we prefer many small repeated gains¬†over anything else. We‚Äôd rather find two $50 bills in two different places than a single $100 dollar in one.”

It goes back to my philosophy that value hinges on the experience. That experience must be simple (convenient), immediate (reward); and visually (emotionally) compelling. It applies in all relationships – business; family; friends; leisure.

Reference:

ANA ANDJELIC.  What Marketers Are Getting Wrong About Loyalty | Co.Create: Creativity \ Culture \ Commerce  Co.Createby Fast Company. Accessed October 19, 2012.

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