Real Life Lessons From a Social Media Shutdown

I love social media.

With all of my heart.

Recently, I found out that sometimes it doesn’t love me.

It was devastating.

It was worse than the worst heartbreak of my teen years.

In all of my extra and in all of my glory, I never dreamed this could happen to me.

Social media is the foundation of my career, after all.

And in the blink of an eye, it was gone. Continue reading “Real Life Lessons From a Social Media Shutdown”

Social Media is My Life (And I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way)

In my 45 years of living on this earth, there is one subject that is absolutely taboo in a discussion with my parents…and it’s probably not what you think. We can talk about sex (even though I’d really prefer not to), we can talk about my dating life, we can even talk about my kids’ dating lives, but the one thing we will not address is social media.

Social media has been a strain on our relationship. They can’t seem to understand why I love it. And they definitely, without a doubt, have huge disdain at the fact that some of their peers on active on social media.

In the words of my father, “Twitter is the devil.” Continue reading “Social Media is My Life (And I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way)”

Epic Advice for College Students

epic advice for college students (1)

With all of its chaos and emotion, the month of August can also bring refreshing and positive memories to social media feeds with the start of the new school year. For college students and parents alike, those emotions can be mixed, as it’s a time of independence and growth.

This year I entered my 20th year working with college students in some form. In the past, it’s been as an advisor or student orientation leader, and to be honest, I’ve even worn the mascot costume before.

Classes began for us this week, but students across the country have been moving in since the beginning of the month. I have two younger cousins who are embarking on this journey themselves and my hope for their success is no different than that of the students I see every day.

Because I tend to think I’m hipper than I actually am, I decided not to post my own thoughts on college student success, but instead to post a question on Facebook and post the responses here. Believe it or not, I agree with every single one of them! Continue reading “Epic Advice for College Students”

Take the First Step

WHEN YOU WALK Blog Post

Last summer I made a decision that I should have made 20 years ago. When I think of the number of times in the past 20 years I’ve searched, I’ve tried, and I’ve given up, it’s hard not to become discouraged. For more than 20 years, I cheated myself into believing that I was walking and living in my passion and purpose for life when I knew it wasn’t true. My saving grace is that despite the detour, I am now here and happy. When I look at the benefit of finally making the right decision for my life – a decision that’s based on passion and gifts – I’m able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Even though I have 20 years of not walking in my true purpose, I’ve learned things along the way that make me appreciate the current walk more.

My story is relatively simple. I have always had a love for the news and writing. At the age of 13, CNN was my favorite television channel. In 7th grade when I had to interview a person in my chosen career, I chose a radio news personality from a local Chicago station.

I knew I wanted to write and work in media. In high school I was on the newspaper and yearbook staffs. In college, I was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and I worked part-time as a  reporter for the local newspaper. My first job out of college was as a reporter for a national news organization.  Continue reading “Take the First Step”

Technology Knowledge is a Requirement, Not an Option

Learn why we require computer science training.

Coding is the new Spanish.

When I was in high school, the best advice I received from an y adult willing to give me advice was to learn a foreign language, preferably Spanish. I was advised that I would never have a problem finding a job if was bilingual. And for the most part, that advice was correct. In addition to learning to speak another language, I learned to appreciate another culture, and I’ve had several opportunities to meet people from all over the world.

When I started on the parenting journey, I was convinced that my kids would have the same opportunities as I’ve had, as long as they learned to speak Spanish.

So I did what most parents do, and demanded they learn Spanish and enjoy it. But because I was so busy demanding, I didn’t stop to listen to them or look at the world around me.

Code.org reports on their website the following facts:

1. Computer science drives innovation throughout the US economy, but it remains marginalized throughout K-12 education.

2. Only 27 states allow students to count computer science courses toward high school graduation.

3. There are currently 586,107 open computing jobs nationwide.

4. Last year, only 38,175 computer science students graduated into the workforce.

When I took a minute to take note of these trends, I realized very quickly that while Spanish was nice, my kids really needed to learn how to code. And so they did. And they enjoyed it. So I took it a step further.

They’ve participated in a hack-a-thon, summer pre-engineering program,  STEM camp at a local university, and recently  attended a STEM event sponsored by Microsoft. I’ve made sure that despite their artistic and athletic endeavors, they have a good foundation in computer science.

In this digitally-driven world we are living in, it is imperative that children know and understand computer technology, internet safety and security, and the basics of coding. It even appears that like Spanish was for me in the 80’s and early 90’s, computer science graduates should never have a problem finding a job.

Our children need to have a foundation in computer science in order to be prepared for the future.

As a matter of fact, children as young as five years old can learning coding techniques on the www.code.org website. And this summer when I decided to upgrade my skills in hopes of advancing my career, I learned a lot about information technology — including coding.

And for the first time since 1990, I haven’t used my Spanish skills to advance my career; instead I’m using my computer skills and that training has paid off.

Grab a  copy of our technology contract for families: techcontract

For other blog posts you may have missed, click one of the images below

Click through to see our technology contract for familiesRead about our experiment wearing Converse everyday.Read more about what Starbucks cost me in one visit.