Archive for June, 2012
In “The Myth of the Latin Woman” Judith Ortiz Cofer breaks down the many stereotypes America has against Hispanic women. She cites a couple of common incidents that happened to her, and many other Latino’s, because of the stereotypes people have against Hispanics. The author met a man who recited “Maria” from West Side Story and another time she walked in a boat-restaurant to give her first poetry reading, and an oldermistakenly thought she was a waitress.
The way Latino’s dress comes from a tradition in their culture. In Puerto Rica, there are many different colors all over and thus, the girls were colorful clothes and show a lot of skin because it’s hot. However, in America, people think that Latin girls were colorful clothes and show a lot of skin because they are whores or easy to get with. The author proves this is untrue after going to her first high school dance with a boy who tried to kiss her. She rejected the kiss and he mentioned something about Latin girls maturing early. The author, having learned how to deal with these situations, simply walks away.
I think that most, if not all stereotypes, are simply incorrect and have no point. It is prejudice to think certain groups of people have to dress, behave, or do anything in a certain way. Everybody is free to act as they like. If a group of Latino girls were raised to dress and act a certain way, it is a cultural issue and should not be ridiculed by anybody. I firmly believe we all have the right to do what we feel is right, and others should not interfere with that.
What a lovely and lyrical retelling of the old Grimm’sin this fantasy book for middle school readers! I remember the story well from childhood, especially the spell that the goose girl casts to get rid of the boy who tends the geese:
O wind, blow Conrad’s hat away
And make him chase it as it flies
I with my golden hair will play
And bind it up in seemly wise
The spell doesn’t appear in Hale’s version of, but Ani, the princess turned goose girl, does have a way with the wind.
The story begins as manys do, with a birth. As soon as Princess Ani can talk, her aunt secretly teaches her how to talk with the swans in the nearby lake. It’s a talent that will serve her well later when she becomes a goose girl. Most of the time, though, she’s learning how to be a queen, a difficult task because she’s sadly lacking in confidence.
After Ani’s sixteenth birthday, her mother tells her that instead of becoming queen, she must marry the prince of a neighboring country. Soon Ani, her lady-in-waiting, and a number of palace guards set off through the forest. After weeks of journeying, Ani learns of a plot against her and barely escapes with her life. She travels to the neighboring country on her own and ends up working as a goose girl. She passes through many trials and dangers before she finds the strength to claim her rightful place as the princess.
I felt immersed in the delicate, magical, and poetic writing style of this fantasy book for middle school readers (as well as teens and adults), and read compulsively as the memorable and complex characters clashed in a gripping story. A wonderful read by, who has written several other books set in the kingdom of Bayern, where Ani lives.
Reading level: Ten and up, although the pace may seem a bit slow to younger readers. A romance unfolds, but it is perfectly chaste.
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I recommend this book for the ambitious professional that that intends to make a run for the top of the corporate ladder and is a goodgut-check for those in early to mid- . It is an easy read and you can move through it in a single coffee shop sitting without getting booted for squatting (I read the entire book at the Ethereal Café in Grants Pass Oregon, downing one slightly scalded cappuccino and one large brownie). I picked out the most relevant pieces by identifying what I wanted to remember (which I added to my learning journal), and what actions I wanted to take. Both are outlined below.
Why I selected this book:
I heard Mary Anne Gale (the author) speak in Cincinnati in 2008 and her style resonated with me. She was a spoke plainly and skipped all the North American frilly corporate speak. This Drucker-esque style gets my attention, but it was her content that led me career-changing action steps.
During the talk on career, she gave a lot of great ideas for managing my career, but her Career Map was by far the best tool for developing a strategic long view of your career that I have seen. I have since spent many hours developing my own personal strategic career plan based off her model. In the past I had a series of goals in 5-10 year increments, but now I have developed details to achieve those goals.
Was the book helpful?
Absolutely. Like Mary Anne’s’ presentation style, this book cuts out all the corporate fluff and delivers to-the-point career changing elements. First is a way of thinking about your career as someone who plans to run for public office. By thinking in these terms, you begin to understand how to advocate for yourself and to build a pool of voters who will help you achieve your goals. Second, Mary Anne gives you the practical steps you can put into action on day-one to ensure you are on the path to identify and achieve your career goals.
What will I change as a result of reading “Running for Office”
Lots of good materials in this book, below I have captured the most relevant for me.
Had I not already developed my own personal Career Map (at left), this would have been the trigger. In reading through her book, I will go back and emphasis the “relationship” segment of the career plan and make it more granular.
- I will identify three things to learn from my boss, and learn how I can reapply.
- I will schedule the question “what is your top priority” to my join-up with my manager once per quarter
- I will identify what I want my own personal equity to include. Perhaps, strategic thinking, trustworthy, well connected? (Pierre suggested I should include conflict or large group facilitation to this list)
- Identify what influential leaders around me “want to be known for” and create opportunities to learn from / help them.
- Get serious about finding a couple s
- Check to see if my one up manager would like to do a work plan review 1x or 2x per year.
What did I add to my learning journal after reading “Running for Office”
- Trust is central to relationships & trust must be earned; don’t ever forget this
- You must trust your s with your whole story, selective sharing will not develop the relationship.
- Voters: cultivate at least five but no more than ten deep-quality relationships (this will be a challenge for me)
- Never turn down an opportunity to build a work relationship outside of work (dinner, event, etc.)
- Five keys to relationship building: 1. Find the common interest 2. Identify the strengths they can coach you on 3. Identify how to make them more successful 4. Make sure they know the work you do and what you want to do 5. Constantly deliver outstanding results.
- Always make sure you have something valuable to share
- Deliberately widen the circle of people who know you and who know your work
Net: “Running for Office” is a quick read for anyone who feels their career is not quite where they want it to be, or it should be.
Robert Langdon in his first adventure is awakened by an urgent telephone call from Maximilian Kohler the head of CERN. One of his top physicists Leonardo Vetra was murdered and he needed for the Harvard symbologist to make the trip to Geneva immediately. A fax with a picture of the dead scientist showing his chest branded with the words Illuminati jolted Robert into action. Arriving at a designated hangar located on the East side of Boston Harbor, he is amazed that the private jet a high speed civil transport or HSCT Boeing X-33 has the same look and the same speed as a space shuttle lands in Switzerland sixty-four minutes after he buckled his seatbelt.
After meeting the dead man’s daughter Vittoria adopted from a catholic orphanage at the age of eight when Leonardo was a young priest. The action continues in Rome where Robert and Vittoria search for clues locating the whereabouts of four kidnapped cardinals on the eve of conclave to elect the new Papal head of the Catholic Church and also finding where a canister of anti-matter that is buried somewhere within the caverns of Vatican City before it explodes.
The novel is a page turner and the reader is thrust into both the worlds of the Scientist and the strong-arm grip of repression that forces mankind to take one-step forward and two-steps back in the eternal search for the quest of the soul and the same ultimate need for the excitement of scientific discovery.
The novel’s ending has a personal connotation when the passing papal is buried with his own secret known only to his faithful assistant and the newly elected Officiate. If fiction is truly an illusion of reality then the author has done a worthy job of presenting it.