Monday, August 22, 2011

Pretty designs

I am decorating my hula hoops. It's a lot of fun. I bought Duck tape that has different patterns on it. Some of them have flames, leopard print, tie die and an assortment of colors! I am wrapping the hoops with this tape. I also bought a few rolls of colored electrical tape and found those easier to wrap, but not as cool to look at.

Here is a couple of my hoops in progress:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hula Hoop making project!


I am making Hula Hoops for my YogiDance program. At first I was completely lost with how to make a hula hoop. I went into Loews with no clue as to what supplies I needed. After some help and a few bad hoops I finally came out with some good looking hoops!

This required the use of some PVC piping, pipe cutters, plastic connectors and a pot of boiling water. Now time for the fun part....decorating!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

REDCAT International Children's Film Festival

When I was in Los Angeles I attended the REDCAT International Children's Film Festival held at the Walt Disney Complex! It was a great festival! Here's what I thought:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Opera Singing in Germany and other adventures....: VERY EXCITING NEWS!

Check out my sister's latest blog, please vote for her idea!

Opera Singing in Germany and other adventures....: VERY EXCITING NEWS!: "The icon above represents something that I've worked very hard on, and something which I am very excited to present to all of you! I am ..."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Celebrities everywhere drinking Starbucks!

Celebrities: I finally realize how strange it is to have them. I don’t think it’s as prominent in other countries, and they even know ours. The reason I’m thinking of this is because last week I worked on The Voice, airing later this month. Carson Daly is the host. The panel consists of Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo, Monica, Sia, Reba McEntire, and Blake Shelton. The first day on set I was in the video truck, closely watching the director. I’m used to how live productions work because at PSU I worked in the video room for the sports productions. The whole day was spent running through how the show would go tomorrow. What shots to take, where people needed to stand, etc. I had some freedom to roam throughout the day so for awhile I hung out by stage. That’s where I had my first encounter with Blake. I was making a PBJ sandwich and he walks off stage to crafty.
“Classic peanutbutter jelly,” he says. My first thought was, I feel like he’s one of the talent, but not knowing my country singers well I only found out later that he was Blake. So yes, I had a conversation about PBJ sandwiches with him, which is pretty cool. Later that night – long day, about 14 hours- Cee-Lo came to rehearse. Seeing him was awesome, I love Gnarls Barkley. I was lingering against the wall, and he was waiting by crafty to go on stage. Next thing I know I see him sitting on the drink cooler. No, no, no, not happening in my presence. What if some poor dehydrated crew member needed a drink? Think anyone is going to ask Cee-Lo to get off his rather large butt? Not likely. I ran upstairs and grabbed a folding chair. I tapped him on the shoulder, and offered the chair. Along with the cool stuff I got to see and do there is always something to balance that. It happened to be moving all the furniture, books, everything for wardrobe into another room, and swaping it. Luckily I wasn’t the only person doing this; I’m not the strongest person. My second day on set I was working in the area with the talent.
Each person had trays of food placed in their room. There was a table set up in the hallway with bagels, fruit, cereal, sandwiches and a lot of other snacks. It was my job to hang out up there to make sure everyone had what they needed. It was really similar to working in crafty. From this job I was around all the talent. Interesting to say the least. My only encounter with Christina was her walking by me. She didn’t look like the happiest person, bad day maybe and she’s shorter than me. I didn’t talk to Adam at all, but he was around. Blake was definitely the friendliest out of them all, I saw him around talking to different people, always smiling. I was walking with a Starbucks order and Reba commented that they looked good, luckily for me she didn’t ask for one. I already made two runs for Christina.
She can sure drink a lot of Starbucks. A couple other people I was working with ran there as well, between all of us we probably made 5 runs. There was a closet where we kept all of the food. We ordered trays of sandwiches, fruit and veggies, cheese, and hummus and by the end of the night half of the food wasn’t even touched. I was in the closet preparing to put some things out on the table and I hear someone come in. I look up and Carson Daly is standing there. I was pretty surprised when he said “hi.” I continue sorting Starbucks napkins, uhhh what was I doing? He stands there. “Can I get you something?” I’m not quite sure what he’s doing and I think, please take what you want and go, lol. Normally their assistants would come to me if they need something. But he said, “No, I just wanted to get a picture.” Of me? How flattering. “I always take a picture of the room with all the food in it.” He says something along those lines and that’s great. I continue to stand there, sorting Starbucks napkins, my God there’s so many. “It’s okay, I’ll just crop you out.” He says and I answer, “oh, It’s okay.” Haha. I contemplated asking to get a picture with him but didn’t. It was funny to meet someone that I used to watch on TRL as a teen.
Working on The Voice was an awesome experience. When working with the Talent I wasn’t near anything that was being shot, and it was something I’ve never done before. I actually didn’t mind it. I was able to meet the people in wardrobe, and I liked to see what goes on backstage. It was my first time at a studio like that. Coincidentally the TV pilot that I worked on had their office in the same building. Mad Men was also being shot there. It was a really cool experience that I’m thankful I was able to have!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The days are getting away from me, like they always seem to when I’m enjoying myself.  Tuesday I woke up ready for Halloween. My face was burnt, especially my nose making the perfect Rudolph costume. It was a slow day, after working all day Monday and standing pretty much the whole time, I was feeling too energetic the next day. However, I’m only in L.A. for a little while so I can’t imagine doing nothing for a whole day. So off Kelly and I went to Hollywood. We met up with Meredith, and nice woman, pretty and tall. She is aspiring to be an actress and is currently working as an extra. It’s crazy to think that people can make a living being an extra, but I’m sure thousands of people do it.

We drive on the highway, packed with cars at 2 in the afternoon. Our windows are rolled down, and the songs of Billy Joel are entertaining us. Lunch is at Big Wangs. A cool little sports bar. It reminded me of Hooters when I saw that the back of the servers shirt read, “size matters.”  Okay fine, but I’m not an advocate of provocative marketing, thanks anyway. I ignored it and continued my conversation with the girls. It just happened to be $1 taco day, so I decided to try them. I know, risky for me.

That was the first time I ever ordered a taco out, admittedly. But I figured if it was awful, not such a big loss. This is where Big Wang’s saying really got to me. As brave as I was I ordered one taco to start, when it arrived it came on a soft shell that was the size of a CD. I smiled, really? Size matters, huh? Then give me a taco sized for a person, thanks. Jeez. Regardless of its size and the fact that I finished it in two bites, it was delicious!

It was time to see some sights. I saw the Chinese Theatre-really cool outside! Helen Mirren just had her cement thing done and it was drying in front of the theatre. There were a bunch of characters all over the street area. I got a picture of Batman standing on a fire hydrant.
“The Hollywood sign!” I exclaim at my first sighting. That was the coolest thing I’ve seen thus far. There’s this cool outdoor mall connected to the Kodak Theatre and a big wall with Egyptian style figures (I have no idea why). There were different levels you could go to and see the sign. That’s where I got my picture taken.

They already have the academy award winner for 2010 up, The King’s Speech. Meredith said that this area is like the Times Square of LA. If that’s the case it’s a bit disappointing. The LA area is so big, it’s difficult to see it all, and it’s really spread out which is something that I’m not used to.

The next day was my first day at the beach, seeing the Pacific Ocean! We were on Santa Monica’s beach. It was really gorgeous with the mountains. That is something the east coast is lacking. It always is windy, and since it’s not really warm I am not a fan.  I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind sweating because of the heat. There is a cool boardwalk at this beach. There is a ferris wheel, roller coaster and other carnival-like attractions. Of course there are entertainers as well.

A woman belly dancing, a guy juggling, a magician, and so many others. While on the beach I read a book on the stock market, yes I might be relaxing, but I’m still working! Finally after a bit of temptation I attempted to try to water. Okay, people have informed me that the water would be waaaay too cold to swim in, but I was hoping they were wrong ;).  So I stood in the wet sand and waited for the tide to wash over my feet. Yikes, it was way colder than I wanted to admit. With my head down I wandered back to my towel. The water tempted me for the rest of the day, looking so appealing but knowing that I wouldn’t enjoy what I saw. This was also the first day that I took a yoga class! I went to Power Yoga in downtown Santa Monica! I took a class with the owner, Bryan Kest.

The studio was up a flight of green stairs, and was lined with windows opening up to the adjacent building. I was fairly early and didn’t exactly know where to set up. I put my mat down against one of the walls, but not really sure which way to face. That’s when I realized I had never taken a class like this before. By the start time the room was packed and there might’ve been six inches between each person. Well, it didn’t really matter which was I was facing because Bryan was not doing the postures with us. He walked around the whole time, calling out instructions. It was really an interesting style, and a great workout. After class I walked around downtown. There are a lot of nice places and shops. Then I went on the beach to work on my tan. It’s been rough but I think I’ll make it. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Work with my people!

I day played on a TV pilot today! It was a great experience. I admit that I was not used to standing all day, so by the time I got home I felt like someone continuously punched my feet. Kelly and I got to do this with Dave, Rafa and Eric. It was a nice little Unstoppable crew. It was great to work with people that I know. One advantage to getting to set so early was seeing the sun rise on the LA skyline. Work started at 5 a.m.

I checked extras in; there were over 200 on set today, which is why there were 12 additional PA’s. Dealing with extras can be interesting. There are always characters in every group. Same thing goes with crew. There were some people I wanted to avoid and others I met that were really cool. The first location was in a park a little bit outside of the city, in not the best area. It was a Monday and there were people hanging out in the park all day. 

I wonder what they do there all day. Mostly I locked up the set for the day. After lunch we moved a couple blocks down, not the best neighborhood to be in. It was almost 9 p.m. before going home.  I’m really surprised how quickly I was able to get work.  I know that’s not the norm. After such a long day I definitely needed some time to recuperate.  Luckily I’m here for three weeks, so I don’t have to rush around and feel comfortable just relaxing.  Just taking it all in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

After Much Anticipation...

I decided in January that I was going to take a trip to Los Angeles. It was about time to visit the west coast, specifically this city where I might want to live. This post as well as future ones will be about my 3 week adventure in LA! Here goes....
“I am not checking a bag. Even if I have to wear three layers of clothing!” I say to Josh once he saw the pile of clothes lying by my suitcase, my room a mess.  Packing took a week,  maybe it was that I was over eager and ready to get going. I packed three weeks of stuff into a backpack and small luggage, unpacked it, packed it again and finally after the screech of the last zipper I tossed the luggage into the car.  I did end up wearing my sweater and jacket on the plane, but not multiple layers. I arrive at the airport with a very short period of time to catch my flight. After a lot of hurrying, lines and unpacking/repacking I get to my gate. My flight is booked maxcap and they still haven’t assigned me a seat. Superduper. 
“Oh my God.” My attention is averted to the woman boarding passengers. She has a huge grin on her face. “I watch your show all the time.” I glance over to see a woman who she is talking to, wearing sunglasses so I didn’t really recognize her. Plus with the amount of TV I watch it’s not surprising I couldn’t put a name to her. My first celebrity sighting and I didn’t even get on the plane yet.
I got my seat, one of those with extra leg room, exciting at the time but couldn’t make up for how uncomfortable the seats were. Looking back I should’ve just curled up on the floor. Great plan until the flight attendant came around and said if I can’t fit under the seat I’d have to be checked.  Speaking of that, one thing I didn’t consider: where I was going to put my bags once on the plane. Here goes, I think and hoist my 40 pound luggage over my head struggling to get it on the shelf above my seat. Apparently even with all my chuttarunga practice gravity was tough competition. I thought this was where my journey ended, with the luggage falling on top of me. Death by suitcase. Luckily some guy was nice enough to help me get it up there, and some lady was nice enough to tell me to check it next time. Or maybe it was my conscious; at this point I didn’t even bother to acknowledge that idea.
I fly maybe once every year or couple years; not enough for me to be comfortable with it. After some mantras and gum chewing my nerves calmed. Luckily they had movies to pass the time. I was running from the night, but it caught up with me by the time I reached LA. On the descend I saw endless lights. I finally saw for myself how expansive the LA area is. I walked through the airport, my head held high shoulders thrown back and a grin on my face that I tried to suppress. It was my first time flying alone. I crossed that off my “firsts” list. I exited the airport and saw my first California palm tree! Outside the air was comfortable, warmer than when I left during the afternoon. Ashley picked me up. “So do you feel like going out tonight?” I smile, of course! It was my first night in LA, I didn’t feel tired even though I didn’t sleep on the plane. We went over to her neighbor’s house- Ryan. First thought being that he looked like Justin Timberlake, but wasn’t about to say that. I met his friend Nick and all of us went down to Santa Monica. We ended up in a pub listening to live music.
“So what do you do?” I asked Nick as we were walking to the pub.
“I work as a manager at Burger King.” He answers seriously and shrugs.  
I look at him, not sure if he’s for real and say, “Oh I didn’t realize they had Burger King out here.” Of course I did, they are everywhere. Later he tells me that he doesn’t actually work at Burger King. Really? Thanks. I don’t understand why people do that. After the pub we go to a hotel bar on the roof that is right on the coast. It was awesome, because you could go out on the roof. So we were out looking at the ocean. It was so nice to hear the waves crashing on the shore. Then it started to rain.
After a long day of traveling, and fun night out I crashed on the sofa. It was a liberating day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You got a fast car

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
This is a very powerful song. It’s a classic sung by a famous feminist singer.  This song is so profound; every time I listen to it I get chills. Chapman is an amazing lyricist with true artistic ability. Fast car is a ballad sung from a female’s perspective.
The first words of the song go, “You got a fast car” followed by, “I want a ticket to anywhere.”
These two lines tell the meaning of the song; desire.  The metaphor of the car is really expressing her desire for a different life.   She thinks a man can help her to get it. Wants strongly motivate people and drive their actions. Universally everyone wants love and I think that this is the core of the song. The lack of feeling loved or cared about is a very real problem for a lot of women.  Everyone can relate to wanting things.  What will people, especially women do to feel loved? Women are nurturers, we give love more freely and in exchange we want to receive it. Women will go out of their way and sometimes beyond their comfort zone to feel loved.  Once they do whatever they have to in order to feel loved life might be great, but then like in the song, unhappiness returns. It’s a trap that the woman in the song managed to crawl into and current problems reflect ones from her childhood. Why is this so frequently true? In this fast paced world changing at an amazing rate, I think that more women are realizing that love comes from within.
She speaks from a lower class perspective with problems similar to so many people.  Often when difficult times arise people try to find an escape; something to get their mind off of the difficulty and feelings that inflicts them. All too commonly for women the escape is men.  This is a classic example of a tragic story that plagues the average woman.  The chorus of this song brings hope, and a great example of the power of youth. Your entire life is ahead of you and there are so many options.  This can be a blessing as well as a curse. In the chorus of this song she says that she had a feeling that she belonged and could be someone, to paraphrase. Obviously that is important to her and once she found a man that filled her desires she stuck with him.
Everything that happens in your life is a reflection of your decisions. Most people do not want to be accountable for their choices and choose to blame others for the situations that they are in. Unfortunately no one grows with that attitude. Once you change your perspective and become introspective your world will change dramatically. The problem is accountability for situations. Everyone has difficult times in their life; it’s about how you deal with them that determines how your life will unfold.  Unfortunately for the woman in this song, it does not unfold the way she imagined. She talks about having to quit school to take care of her father, and that is a noble thing to do. Everyone has responsibilities, but the key is not to use them as excuses.  Although this song might seem like a sad tale, it’s really not. It ends with these lines,
You got a fast car 
But is it fast enough so you can fly away 
You gotta make a decision 
You leave tonight or live and die this way
This is an empowering song showing that it’s never too late to take control of your life. It might’ve taken the woman in this song half or more of her life, but it’s a triumph. No one has an easy life. We all face challenges every day. I think that slowly but surely women are realizing the power they possess and taking independence to a whole new level. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

An "About Me" Speech

              I recently started attending a local Toastmasters group. This is a group that practices public speaking and leadership skills. Since I believe that there is always room for improvement, I decided to participate and volunteered to give a speech. This speech has to be about me, and anyone who knows me will agree that I don't like to talk about myself. Knowing this is probably why I volunteered. I will give my speech tomorrow night. I typed up my speech, and hope that it will go something like this.
                (Roll out yoga mat) You're probably wondering why I rolled this yoga mat out? That's what I do every morning. I step to the front and greet the day with a smile. I go through an hour of asanas, rejuvenate is shivasana and meditate for a few moments. I haven’t always had that discipline. When I was in college I woke whenever my body decided. I’m not in college anymore and I realized that something needed to change. I couldn’t stick to the lifestyle of a college student.  One day a seed was planted in my mind to get up early and do yoga. This thought manifested into action and I rolled out my yoga mat. After I finished I felt a rush of energy I never knew I possessed. This is a great example of how I like to live my life. My world starts as a thought, or seed planted in the soil of my mind. I toss the thought around in my mind (harvest the seed) and finally it manifests into reality, or blooms.
                I am a creative person and I find it difficult to focus on one task for a long period of time. One thing that never changes is my desire to improve. Change is necessary for improvement and I strive to embrace it, though not always easily. What makes it more difficult is knowing that change comes from within. Going back to my yoga example; I was not getting satisfaction out of my day when I slept in, so I changed my actions. This is the foundation for which I live my life
I work toward living my life by three principles: karma, enlightenment and love. I view karma as doing what I know is right in my heart, based on morals that were instilled in me from my parents and other figures I admire. Enlightenment is working to improve myself. And finally love is what I aim to put into every action and interaction throughout my day.
Life is a journey and I have not mastered it. I will continue to try, using the principles and willpower that I possess. At the end of the day I give thanks when I’m on my mat. I don’t roll it up because I believe my journey is never ending.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Finding Meaning in the Mundane

Today was gorgeous! I arose with the idea that I would go sledding. Why not? I was entitled to some fun, even in the snow! I arrived at my house in Reading to find that the driveway was a sheet of ice. The sun was shining on part of the driveway and I could see a thin layer of water underneath the ice. It probably wouldn’t be difficult to remove it. I grabbed a metal shovel and started chipping away. My method was to get underneath the ice and shovel it up. Slowly, I realized that this looked a lot easier than I thought it would be. “Sure, a bit of ice, what could be difficult about it?” was my idea. While I slid around on the black ice, putting all my weight on the shovel trying to get up the thick sheets of ice, I thought and thought. Do you ever think about nothing at all? It was at this moment that an idea struck me. With a loud thud I dropped the shovel with some force onto the top of the ice.
 To my surprise the ice shattered in half and then in pieces. This made it extremely easy to shovel off, like shoveling light snow dusting the ground. Some of the ice was too thick to cut through no matter how much force I put into it. So I resumed shoveling from underneath. I chipped slowly, tediously away at the large ice, until it became smaller and more manageable. After some time I looked up and was able to see the chip, more like chunk that I took out of the larger scale. The driveway was finally starting to look like a driveway again. At this point, my arms were suggesting that I call it a day, but knowing that I could potentially get the whole driveway clear was urging me to keep going. Besides, I wouldn’t have to worry about doing it tomorrow, or slipping on the ice at 2 a.m.
I brushed the chopped snow off of the other ice, and noticed that this was also breaking up some of the ice. Imagine that, progress by happenstance. At this point my nose was running down my face, probably freezing on my legs. They were starting to get that burning sensation, or the feeling of being slapped continuously. Regardless of my situation I worked through it because I could see the results of my work. Often I will work harder when I see my progress. I threw my shovel down, echoing a loud clash like a gunshot ricocheting off the mountains. I felt like I should scream out, announcing my accomplishment, just for effect. Instead I meandered over to the snow. I noticed a strong glare from the sunset bouncing off the top, catching my eye. More ice! I wasn’t even considering shoveling the ice off the top of the snow, what an undertaking that would be. I can guarantee I wouldn’t be writing this right now if I somehow felt compelled to rid my entire property of ice. Everyone needs to know when to stop.
I cautiously placed one foot, then the other onto the snow and found to my amusement that I was standing on at least a foot of snow! After I achieve something, I like a reward. It was time to go sledding. I yanked the sled out of the back corner of our tool shed. Clumsily I stuffed myself onto the 2x4 pink plastic sheet that someone called a sled, and when I was 10 probably would’ve passed for one.  I was uncertain whether I should keep my legs out or try to take it Indian-style. I considered the unfortunate possibilities of limbs hanging out of a moving….object and decided tucking them in was best. I lifted my hand off of the ice that I was gripping onto and without even a push I was flying down the “hill” in my backyard. Without the ice a 5 year old wouldn’t have gotten any speed. I’m amused with the ability to have fun with a sheet of plastic and ice until I approach a wall of ice the plow made when clearing our driveway. Once I noticed my impending doom I screamed until hitting the wall. If it wasn’t for that ice pyramid I might’ve made it down the driveway, across the road and onto my neighbor’s roof. Would’ve been a wild ride, maybe tomorrow!
After a few more slides in the snow, I decided that I needed to thaw out my legs, probably take a hot bath and eat dinner.  I’ll do it all stress-free realizing that I put one project behind me. Regardless of what the task is, taking it on and going piece by piece is the best way. You might come across new strategies and ideas to ease the process! Whatever the task may be, do it with joy and see what wonders come from it. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Schindler's Jews remind me of my purpose

After watching Spielburg’s Schindler’s list I felt and thought so many things. I felt sorrow for the millions who lost their lives in the hands of others. How can it be that the differences of others can determine whether they live or die? How can we learn from the acts of Schindler?
My grandmother lived in Germany during the Nazi regime. It’s striking to think that I might not be here today if she were not German. I thought of this while watching the end showing all the descendants of the Schindler Jews. That is an achievement that results from doing what he knew was right, while risking his life. It was moving when Schindler regretted that he didn’t help more people. He is recognized for his selfless acts, and understandably could not save everyone.     
When I watch movies about this horrible time I can’t help but feel a personal connection to what happened. I look at my grandmother and see a strength that I will probably never have in my lifetime. While she was not subject to the treatment of the Jews, she was a product of living in that world of terror. Just like Schindler, she was affected by the war. She talked with me about this time in her life. Much like everyone else, I’m sure she wants to put it behind her. Regardless, you are defined by the experiences of life.
I know that she witnessed things that she might never speak of. It’s painful to watch her remember them because I can feel the pain.  If you can help just one person to not have to wear the burden of that then you’re working toward peace.
Today millions of people are enduring similar pain in various parts of the world. This continues to grow, and while not Nazi Germany, people’s lives are being taken from them and destroyed at the expense of greed and hatred.
Schindler was able to help the Jews in the way he did because he was wealthy and powerful. There were situations where he might’ve been shut down if he didn’t have friends in high places. This is unfortunate but true still today. With money and power, great things can be achieved. Fortunately Schindler was a good hearted man that chose to help people. There might be more people like him than ever now, but with many evil people comes many problems.  
I was not born in a war torn country. I am not suffering. I am not rich, or powerful. I am grateful to have many opportunities in my life. I am grateful to be alive. Is it just luck? Or is there a greater power out there that is in control of the hand each person is dealt. I believe so. God provides us with guidance. No matter what we’re born into we have the opportunity to find God and help others, and that is the sole purpose of our life here. I am starting to awaken to this purpose and feel that my life won’t be complete without following the examples of people like Oscar Schindler. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Parenting in a Working Generation

Monday night I’m in the dressing room getting ready for a dance class. I am talking to a woman who seems around my age. She mentions that she lives behind the Medical center, so immediately I think that she is a medical student. No, she tells me that her husband is studying there. When I ask what she does she tells me, with little enthusiasm, homemaker. To that the woman next to us answers, not just a homemaker though, with a laugh. She goes on to say that she takes care of their 10 month old. So, she is a full time mother.
                What brought my attention to the matter was the woman who felt it necessary to say that she was not just a homemaker, as if there is something seriously wrong with this title.  I started thinking what exactly it means to be a homemaker. When I think of this I think of a woman not employed to raise children. Raising children is a full time job and should be taken seriously. So why do we label these women as homemakers? Why shy around an important job? If a woman is raising children, when asked if they have a job why not say, I’m raising my children? 20 years ago being a homemaker was an acceptable role in society.  For our generation this is no longer the case.
There is already a title for someone who takes care of a house, it’s called a maid. I don’t know of any woman who is unemployed to stay home and perform the duties of a maid. The entry for homemaker on states: “a person who manages the household of his or her own family, esp. as a principal occupation.” This implies nothing of raising children.
I do not aspire to be a mother as a full time job. I have met women who do, and I’ll admit that I have thought negatively toward them for their decision. With the number of college grads growing I know I’m not the only person who holds those same feelings. But why? I was raised to get an education and have a career, not a family. Priorities have changed, roles reversed and now many family structures are changing.
The conversation I had the other night gave me a glimpse into a different perspective. I wonder what it must be like to be the minority as a full time mother. Is it difficult to gain the respect of others, even mothers that work? Nowadays being a full time mother isn’t an option for many. It is difficult to support yourself on one income. This creates an expectation that both parents will work. If not, they might be judged and unable to identify with the new generation. I believe that children need to be nurtured at a young age and it is difficult to give them the attention and instruction that they need when each parent works. I also believe that a family is lucky if one parent is able to stay home and perform that job.
I’ve realized that just because being a full time mother isn’t the right path for me doesn’t mean that it’s any less important of a job than people who work outside the home. I’ve seen that the confidence of raising a child is difficult to maintain when many people frown upon it. I would like to see parents who are raising children full time be able to say, “I’m raising my children,” with as much confidence as someone who says, “I’m running a business.” They deserve an equal amount of respect.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's your role?

Our society does not promote women to be leaders; women are not taught like men. They sit in the same classrooms as men, but they are treated differently. That treatment follows women through grade school, college and the work environment. As a woman growing up in the public school system I learned to follow the rules and instructions of my superiors, and not speak out. As a child I was very timid and lacked confidence to stand out among my peers. Often I found myself knowing the answer, but not raising my hand, only to find a man answering it instead. Men are taught to take charge. I can’t tell you how often I had a group project where a man was leading.
Because women are taught to be submissive, they often fail to get ahead. Those that learn to do what they’re told, rarely become the ones giving the orders. Women often play by the rules, whereas men see how they can overstep the rules and end up coming out on top. Men are naturally more competitive. They leap at any opportunity to show off or impress people. It’s instinctual. Just like women having and taking care of children. I have encountered many situations like the one Sandberg mentioned. Overall women lack a certain confidence required to take that step from being submissive to in control. In my women’s studies class I learned that women ask more questions. They might say, “It’s in Europe, right?” There is often an uncertainty and that is detrimental to their growth. Women often apologize more and publicly put themselves down. I worked with an intern who when I asked her to provide me with information she did, but said, “sorry I couldn’t be more help.”
For so many years gender roles have indicated what is required of men and women to be accepted and liked in society. If a women has strong convictions, opinions and objectives than she’s usually disliked and called inappropriate things. Why are women with traits similar to men such a big turn-off? Are they threatening the social order of things? People often dislike what’s different or out of character. When people challenge typical views on gender roles then it can make others uncomfortable.
I think that there is a lack of respect for women in the workplace. I’ve found it difficult to be taken seriously as a young woman; you really have to prove yourself. This is especially true in male-dominated fields. I worked on a few movies as a production assistant and found that I was not ranked the same as my male peers. I faced sexist remarks like when I asked a man if he needed help and he told me to stand there and look pretty. Even getting the opportunity to prove yourself is difficult. There are judgments that women don’t belong on set unless they’re in costumes or makeup. Even now, working in an office I still encounter similar situations. Roles are still very gender specific; executive assistants are female, and the majority of window offices are occupied by men. Women have come a long way from the home to the working world. We still have a long way to go. In this fast-paced ever progressing society it is sad to think that we have lower salaries because of our gender. Even females that hold C-status jobs are paid less, and unfortunately those numbers are low.
I am fortunate to live in a society where these injustices are being brought into light. The first step is awareness, and from there the possibilities are endless. I am confident that these differences can be reduced in the future. I know that I  will be among the percentage of women leaders, will you join me?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thank you for visiting!


I decided to title my blog "balance is brilliance" because from my experience with yoga I've grown to realize just how important balance is. As I step to the top of my mat at some point in my practice I ground myself with both feet. Like second nature, but what if all I had was one foot, could I still stand tall? Grounding down through the right, I bring my left up to my inner thigh of the right leg. When taking that first leap into the unknown, I waver. Then switching to the left I find that this side is easier. Each time I go for the balance it's a new experience. I might stand like stone one day, fall to the floor the next or close my eyes and go inside. The last named being most difficult for me. That is where my journey starts.

Each day is a journey and I welcome you to join me!