Monday, June 27, 2011

Traditional Marriage

I hate the phrase "traditional marriage." I think if you're going to use it, you need to clarify traditional as compared to what? 1950? 1920s? 1800s? Middle Ages? Biblical times?

Marriage is an institution that has evolved and will continue to evolve both culturally and legally. Marriage today looks different than it did 50 or 100 or a 1000 years ago. Not just in regards to societal expectations but also in regards to a woman's legal status and rights as a person.

Marriage in biblical times sometimes meant that a husband took multiple wives, or perhaps one wife but with many concubines (which was not hidden or frowned upon) or that teenage girls were married off to much older men. Also, most marriages were arranged and treated like a transaction, which involved a dowry. Heterosexual monogamy where one chooses his/her spouse is a relatively new normal standard if we're comparing it to as far back as we have records regarding marriage.

Good sources for more information on this include The History of the Wife, anything by Stephanie Coontz (author/history & family studies professor), or the Bible. I'm sure there's many more as well that I'm not aware of.

I get really exasperated when people act like marriage has looked one specific way since the history of time because that is clearly not the case.

Thoughts on College

I've read a lot of articles recently about how higher education is the next "bubble" that's going to burst, arguing against formal education and arguing that many students have unrealistic expectations and end up drowning financially due to college loan debt.

This article provides a counter argument, and I tend to agree that in the long run, college is and will continue to be a good investment for a lot of (though not all) people - with a few caveats:

I think college and especially taking on student loans in this economy needs to be thought through carefully, and those who choose that path should proceed with caution. i.e don't go to a private school you can't afford when you can go to a state school, consider community college for 2 years, be wary of non-accredited for-profit schools, consider work programs on or off campus, and by all means do everything in your power to finish. As the article stated, 50% of people who enter 4 year programs don't finish, and sadly that does take a financial toll & the benefits of going (statistically speaking, not talking about Bill Gates here) drop dramatically if you don't finish.

I think it's unfair to expect 18 year olds to know what they want to do in 10 years, but it's important to at least think about early on. You can chase your dream, but it's important to have realistic expectations too. Maybe it's not a great idea to take on 100K debt to go to a prestigious art school for 4 years if there's not a great demand for jobs that require 4 year art degrees, and the jobs that are out there pay 20K a year.

I'm not such a pessimist that I would tell a kid "college is a waste of money; you'll end up being a barista with an 80K loan weighing you down till you retire" but I would advise to proceed with caution & especially so with anything that legitimately does require six figure loans (med school or law school). If you're going to law or med school you better be damn sure.

The number one piece of advice I would give though to anyone considering college is to finish. This isn't meant to make anyone feel bad who didn't finish because I get that life happens, but if you decide to go to college, you should go with the intention of finishing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Note to Self (and Internet)

Do not sign up for any webinars unless you want to receive a gazillion unsolicited phone calls and emails.

For businesses, the notion that deep discounting is the way to acquire loyal customers is equally dangerous. Competing on price doesn’t get you love; delivering high quality products and services, engaging with your customers and creating unique experiences does. The best customers buy experiences, not price.

Tech Crunch

Dream

I had the weirdest/funniest dream ever, and I need to write it down.

For some reason I was traveling to London by myself, but I was having issues with security in the US because my passport still had my maiden name on it (In real life I would have taken care of this if I knew I was going on a trip; it actually does still have my maiden name on it though).

So they take me into the back room and to prove I was American, they had me recite a Bible verse. Any Bible verse. I chose John 3:16, probably the only one I could recite from memory. Any ways, knowing John 3:16 was sufficient enough for them to know that I was truly an American...but then here's the funnier part.

This is a dream of course...but in order for other agents to realize that I was an American, they made me rub my hands in a mixture of mayonnaise and ham & cheese crumbs so that I would "smell American." I just about died laughing when I woke up.

Also part of the dream but not as funny was that I ended up packing Greg's clothes by accident instead of mine (again, would never happen in real life).

I wonder what it all means?!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Katie Couric - NOT Like Oprah

Katie Couric thinks her new daytime talk show will be "like Oprah" HAHAHA! Oh Katie, no one will be "like Oprah." NO ONE.

Poor Katie. Everyone had such high expectations for you, being the first solo lady news anchor on a major network and all. And then your ratings sucked, and everyone gave you a hard time. No one pointed out that all the other ratings on major networks also sucked. But that is besides the point. The point is that it is not your fault that no one watches the news on major TV networks unless they are older than age 55.

I do not blame you, Katie! I still think you are a respectable, smart and personable lady. But you will probably not be successful in your daytime talk show endeavor. Most people aren't. Except for obviously Oprah and maybe Ellen. I don't think you can be like Ellen either. Although you do have blond hair and are personable, I doubt you are as funny or as cool as Ellen.

Plus your comeback story wouldn't be as awesome, and man do we love our comeback stories! Sure, you're not on the news anymore, but you were successful for awhile and people generally like you.

You did not get shunned for being the first gay woman to come out on television and have everyone in Hollywood hate you AND THEN have everyone in Hollywood love you because being gay is cool and awesome now. Thank to Ellen. Seriously, thanks to Ellen. Cast of Glee, Eric Stonestreet, Oscar from the Office - send Ellen some cookies.

Anyway, back to Katie. Not Like Ellen. Unless maybe you have awesome dance moves like Ellen, maybe then you will stand a chance. But I doubt it...

I don't know what you should do, Katie! You're pretty famous and all so it's not like you can get a job folding pants at The Gap.

Maybe you can have a speaking career, and just go around giving advice to young women. I hear you have given some pretty good speeches, including one at Princeton in 2009 in which you said something that I think is very wise.

I'm sure you are all graduating with big career goals. You may also have a dream of being married and having a family, and at some point the career may take a backseat. There is no more challenging, rewarding or important job than being a mom. I just want to say this--sometimes dreams of domestic bliss are interrupted by reality. People get divorced. People die. You need to protect yourself. I was very happily married to a wonderful man. He was diagnosed with colon cancer and nine months later, he was gone. I was a single mom with two very young children. This was not part of the plan. Luckily, I had a career and therefore the financial independence to support my children. Many women in my situation are not nearly as fortunate. And while I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, I want you all to be prepared for the unexpected and approach some of the big life decisions you'll be making with your eyes wide open.


You are so wise, Katie! But you are not being wise about this daytime talk show thing. Sorry.