Monday, June 7, 2010

Getting Tech-Savvy Millennials Reading

I've been trying to do a lot more writing recently (not so much on my blog, as you can tell...) but, here's a recent article that I wrote for "Read To Me International" that was recently e-published on the Millennial Generation. You can find it online here:

Getting Tech-Savvy Millennials Reading
"Let's face it—we live in a technologically savvy world. Today, our Millennial Generation teenagers are walking around ichatting and instant messaging while they're supposed to be studying, and highly consumed, if not already addicted, to this phenomenon called Facebook. It's no wonder reading takes a backseat to all of the latest video games, handheld gadgets, and internet phenomenon.

Members of the strongly progressive Millennial Generation were born approximately between the years of 1978 - 2000, according to Strauss and Howe; along with the web, cable, cell phones, and other gadgets galore. The oldest millennials are those just graduating from college and graduate school and entering the work force, with the youngest moving through their teen years.

So, just how do we keep our wired millennials interested and engaged in reading? The answer is easy. Keep it simple and start with the basics:

Ramp up the competition - The millennial generation thrives on competition. Pizza Hut got it right when I was in school back in the ’80s. For every five books read, we got a FREE personal pan pizza. The class that had read the most books by the end of the school year won a pizza party. Food is always a "no-brainer" incentive. Friendly competition where a student's self-confidence can soar is even better.

Make it fun - To promote reading, students and faculty at Ocoee Florida Middle School created a music video called, "Gotta Keep Reading," which got them onto the Oprah Winfrey Show. All of the students, teachers, and administrators brought their favorite books to school and sang and danced in the school's courtyard to a remake of a Black Eyed Peas song. The video is now a YouTube sensation, and the middle school received a full library makeover from Target. What could be more fun than seeing yourself singing and dancing on YouTube with your favorite book in hand while striving for a million hits?

Keep it up-to-date - After graduating as an English major and reading 37 books my last semester of college, I vowed that I would not pick up another book. Ever. What brought me back to reading wasn’t a paperback or even a hardcover – it was the new Amazon Kindle. It's sleek, affordable, and can store hundreds of books in one lightweight gadget. The traditionalist would probably have a hard time conforming to the Kindle, but if you want teens engaged, keep your local libraries and homes up-to-date.

The modern world is a rapidly changing place, full of things that are here one day and gone the next. One constant, however, is that all of us can benefit from the wisdom found in books. So perhaps the take-home message for millennials just needs to change a little ...It may not always be cool to be seen with a book in hand, but it's OK to have a Kindle."


Monday, May 10, 2010

Daikon Legs

First, I'd like to say, "Happy Birthday!" to my wanna-be husband, Justin K. C. After all these years since elementary school, I know you still want me.

Daikon Legs...

For those of you who may not know, Daikon is a large Asian radish used in many Japanese dishes. Since I was young, my family gave me the nickname, "Daikon Legs." Just look at the picture and you'll get the idea. Unfortunately, MANY, and I mean, MANY, Japanese girls are cursed with the Daikon Legs. It only hit me the other week as I was running through Ala Moana Beach Park and started noticing all of the Asian tourists walking along the beach. I thought to myself, "OMG! There are actually other girls with the same shaped legs as me!" No definition AND No ankles (a.k.a. Cankles.)

So, this got me thinking...What are other signs besides Daikon Legs that scream "She's Japanese!" Here they are...and believe me, the next time you see a Japanese girl, you'll be thinking, "Oh IS true!" :

1) Small Breasts - If you see a Japanese girl with large breasts, she's either a) not Japanese or b) has fake ones. No ifs, ands, or buts.

They're Constantly Bowing Their Head - Yes, it's a sign of respect...but sometimes, I think, "I wonder if her head will ever fall off?"

They Cover Their Mouth When They Laugh - I don't know what it is, but when Japanese girls giggle, they always cover their mouths.

You Hear Them Saying "Ah-No" Before Every Sentence - "Ah-No" = "Um."

They Have Bleached, Straight Hair - Japanese girls long to have beautiful blonde hair like Paris Hilton. Unfortunately, Japanese girls don't realize that when we bleach our thick black hair, it turns to a brittle, brown, horse mane.

Hello Kitty - A Japanese girl is ALWAYS carrying around SOMETHING with Hello Kitty on it. Always.

Alcohol = Red Face - Hey guys. Wanna know when it's time to pick up a Japanese girl at the bar? Her face is beet red.

8) They have single eyes
- If a Japanese girl has double eyelids she either a) got plastic surgery for her birthday/graduation/wedding gift or 2) was blessed at childbirth.

9) Crooked Teeth
- Trust me, Japanese girls have crooked teeth. Thank God for braces otherwise I'd have teeth facing in all different directions except for straight.

10) They Get Carded At The Bar Even Though They're 40
- What's one of the best things about being Japanese? You can be in your 40's and are still asked for i.d. at the bar. Japanese women know anti-aging face creams. This is one of those rare times when CaucAsians wished they were simply...Asian.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Birth Control

I just spent an AMAZING week with the bff and her family. It's kinda cool saying "family" because she now has a little one of her own to take care of (besides her husband.) I went on vacation thinking that I was going to relax and lay around for 10 days. I did a lot of that, but I also came home with an overwhelming abundance of new knowledge about babies. What I learned is like birth control for me. Is what I learned and saw(!) really worth having a kid?!

These were my take-aways for the week:

1) They cost a butt-load of money.
-Your water bill goes up from having to pee every hour during pregnancy and it never goes down after you have the baby because you're constantly doing laundry. Add to that your hospital and Dr. bills, clothes, and diapers. Now, when you go shopping for yourself, you can no longer buy those $100 sunglasses that you normally would have bought when you were sans baby. You need to revert back to struggling college student days where you go with the Clearance rack $16.99 sunglasses. Sucks!

2) When you're pregnant, you're really NOT eating for two people.
-Almost every pregnant woman tries to console herself by saying she's eating for 2 people --an excuse as to why she's gained an enormous amount of weight and looks like she let herself go.

WRONG! Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you can eat DOUBLE. When you're pregnant, you're normally supposed to take in an additional 200 calories. That's HALF of a PB&J sandwich.

3) Why do Dr.'s measure the baby's head?
-It's called Baby Development. Big **Duh** moment for me here.

4) Poop smells REALLY bad...especially after eating Tex-Mex.
-Of course, what you eats affects what you're baby eats if you're breast feeding. It's amazing how this gets transmitted! I could tell when the baby ate Fritos & Salsa! I've never smelled anything quite like this before.

5) Sleep, Eat, Poop, Sleep, Eat, Poop - Repeat 10 times a day.
-It's true! This is basically what babies do all day. What a life!

6) It IS possible to lose the weight from pregnancy!
-The bff was back into her pre-pregnancy jeans just a few short days after she gave birth. Sick, I know. But, this just shows me that you don't have to look like a whale and continue to wear maternity clothes months (or even, years) after you've given birth.

7) They require attention...LOTS of attention.
-Babies know when all you want to do is watch college basketball playoffs, The Wire, or Grey's Anatomy rather than play with them, y'know?

8) Milk vs. Curds
-Have you ever smelled milk or cream in your fridge when it's old and curdled? It stinks. And yes, curds from babies is the same as curds in your milk.

9) Wardrobe malfunctions & dysfunctions
-Is your boob leaking, cause you've got a huge wet spot on your blouse? This never happened to the bff, but I can just imagine it happening to me. Having to think about what you're going to wear to make sure it's breast-feeding friendly is something I do not look forward to.

George Eliot once said, "What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories." The most special moments that I witnessed on my trip were the quiet moments that I saw my friend sharing with her newborn. It was personal and peaceful and made me realize that Yes! having a baby is worth the stretch marks, the weight gain, and the wardrobe malfunctions and that 10) It is possible to love someone more than yourself.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

If I Had A Magic Wand...

I had a colleague come to me yesterday and tell me, "One of the Law Professors thinks you're mean and they're going to talk to the Dean about you because they think that no 'tenured faculty' member should be treated the way you treat them." Currently, faculty at our University are experiencing a cut in pay of 6.7% due to the bad economy. If I had a magic wand, I'd cut it to 50% for certain faculty members who try to push their weight around.

Here's what else I'd do with my magic wand...

1) I'd wave my wand over any guy who did me wrong and shrivel their penis to the size of a peanut...permanently.

2) I'd grant myself with inflatable boobs 'cause sometimes you feel like Double D's and sometimes you don't.

3) I'll wave my magic wand and make you start foaming at the mouth the instant you start talking behind my back. You know, kinda like washing your mouth out with soap...only, it taste like spoiled milk and rotten eggs.

4) I'd wave my magic wand over my body and TA-DAH! Instant liposuction!

5) I will wave my wand over all the people I work with so that they only speak when I command...and say only what I want to hear.

6) I will wave my wand over the boyfriend so that he instantly has the super powers of Chef Alan Wong/Emeril/Bobby Flay, the cleaning powers of Mr. Clean, and the ability to take me on a shopping spree when I choose (and, I'm not talking about shopping at Ross').

7) I'd grant the bff and myself unlimited backstage & dressing room access to any Josh Groban and Michael Buble concert - FOREVER! - In addition, a full time nanny at her disposal so that she can attend these concerts with me.

8) I'd wave the wand and grant myself with the ability to never work again.

9) I will instantly add 50 more pds. and cellulite to your body if you try to threaten me by trying to pull rank / race / education / or sex around me.

10) I'd stick my magic wand up your ass if you get on my nerves and continue to irritate the hell out of me.