Category Archives: Thoughts

Letter: To a Future Woman in Tech

Stacey Mulcahy, who is the lead developer at a Brooklyn-based digital creative agency Big Spaceship, wrote this letter when she received a phone call from her niece on her 8th birthday, telling her what she wanted to be when she grew up.

To a Future Woman in Tech: http://futurewomanintech.com/

“I hope that you find yourself as lucky as I, working with people who are respectful, encouraging and inspiring. Find people who want to raise you up, rather than keep you down.”

TechnoStress: 5 Quick Fixes to Give Your Brain a Break

TechnoStress

technostress

Main Entry: technostress
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a feeling of anxiety or mental pressure from overexposure or involvement with (computer) technology
Usage: computing

Dictionary.com, “technostress,” in Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon. Source location:Dictionary.com, LLC. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/technostress.Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: February 13, 2013.

1. Integrate the Old School

Written List

We rely so much on technology in our day-to-day life that we often lose sight of how valuable doing things manually can be. Something as simple as using a pen and paper to make lists, or picking up the telephone instead of writing another email can make a huge impact on shifting focus, and reducing brain strain.

2. Switch It Up

eCard_ProcrastinationTake a walk, stretch your legs, do something different! Changing your surroundings and atmosphere can help you re-gain focus and accomplish tasks more effectively. The brain like any muscle needs rest. Often times, you notice that great ideas can come to you when you’re least expecting it. When we expose ourselves to new surroundings or find a change of scenery for few minutes, we can access other parts of our brain that may have been lying dormant before.

3. Stay Hydrated

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Sound too easy? The link between water and stress reduction is well documented. All of our organs, including our brains, need water to function properly. If you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t running well — and that can lead to stress. more >

Like other muscles, eyes need water to stay hydrated in order to prevent strain, which can often lead to other annoying problems like headaches and fatigue, so do yourself a favor and keep a glass or jug of water by you all the time. Coffee addict? Make sure you’re alternating between water and caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated.

4. Want to Improve Focus? Look at Cute Baby Animals

SONY DSCIn a recent paper PLOS ONE published by researchers at the University of Hiroshima in Japan, it’s suggested that looking at pictures of baby animals could actually improve your concentration and focus. In three experiments, people who looked at pictures of cute baby animals outperformed people who looked at pictures of adult animals and people who looked at neutral objects. Researchers concluded that “viewing cute images has a positive effect on behavioral performance in tasks that require carefulness. The effect occurred not only in the motor domain but also in the perceptual domain.”

5. Have Fun

Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun. – Colleen C. Barrett

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Stress triggers are different for everyone, so find simple things that make your day that much more enjoyable. Find a fun motto that motivates you to crush tasks and see the bigger picture. My personal favourite and iPhone wallpaper…

Life Throat Punch

Want more? Check out 10 Cures for TechnoStress by Julie Carlson via Remodelista

2013?

I’m not one to take a sappy look back on the past before we ring in a new year, but 2012 has left me feeling a little sentimental, so…

2012 – the year of taking chances. Looking back on 2012, it was my year of transformation – deciding to leave behind the life I knew in a small town for the idea of something greater in the city. With no job, no prospects, and two of the greatest people I have ever met, I left the comforts and routine of the place that had seen my greatest highs and my greatest lows and made a decision to change my life.

Seeing the way it’s played out so far; I recognize the people and things I lost, but am so grateful for the new friends and family I’ve gained. I am thankful for the he exciting opportunities and experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise and the realization of how it’s all taught me so much about myself.

My vow, to 2013 does not involve any life-changing plans, crazy resolutions or promises to myself that I’m not sure I can keep. It does not include dwelling on past mistakes, or writing out a plan of things in my life I want to change or wish to be different. Quite simply, I vow to continue on the path I have started, to be adaptable and keep an open mind. I vow to enjoy each day, the highs and the lows, and enjoy the lessons I learn and people I meet along the way; and to take one minute each day to remind myself that these are the only real things that matter.

Cheers!

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Twenty something ways to know you’re twenty something

Via / Fries or Salad

1)      There is a nagging suspicion in your brain that there’s something missing. Not missing as in “Shit I lost my cell phone.” But missing as in, you wake up in the morning not really sure of your path in life, if this is really what you want to do, and if this perpetual hangover is really how life is supposed to feel.

2)      Your finances are constantly subject to new “budgeting” attempts, new excel spreadsheets, new financial plans, and yet never really seem to accumulate as quickly as your friends say theirs do.

3)      Your friends’ jobs are all better than yours

4)      Your friends’ apartments are all better than yours.

5)      If you’re single you are worried you’ll die alone, if you’re in a relationship you’re constantly worried if “this is the one” and otherwise you’re newly engaged and everyone else is jealous but you’re worried about becoming a divorce statistic. Really though, everyone just lives with each other.

6)      One night stands seem way less appealing than they did approximately 15 months ago and you’re not sure what changed (except your unexpected new devotion to hygiene).

7)      Your hangovers last 3 days, but you love dark and dingy bars. They make you feel artistic.

8)      Your hangovers are no longer just a headache but defined by ‘booze blues’ and ‘shameover’ symptoms (re: what am I doing with my life?!; oh my god why did I drink so much?;) and losing your wallet/phone/coat/pride no longer seems as funny as it did when you were 20. You find yourself staring teary-eyed into the mirror at your smudged eyeliner wondering if this is really what you should be doing with your time. Then you slowly, and quietly whispering, start singing yourself a Celine Dion song.

9)      Suddenly staying home with a bottle of cheap vino, a blanket, a tear jerker, and your cat seem a substantially better way to spend your Saturday nights then standing in line waiting to spend $100.

10)   Oh yah, now you stand in line because bouncers don’t find 20-somethings as attractive as just-turned-19’s.

11)   Your head suddenly feels crammed with numbers:

a)      Cell phone bills

b)      Student debt payments

c)       Monthly income

d)      Booze costs

e)      Coffee costs

f)       How many centuries it will take to afford a house

g)      Etc.,

12)   You remember a simpler time.  It included such heart-warming and moral shows as Breaker High, Saved by the Bell, Fresh Prince, CITY Guys, Wishbone, Ghost Writer, Captain Planet, and the Smoggies. A major part of you suspects that your morals and values were shaped by the lessons in these cartoons.  Another major part of you suspects the lack of morality in youth these days stems from their inability to watch the same programming you did.

13)   You have thoughts that start with, “Kids these days… When I was a teen… In my day…. When I was younger…” and other such statements you never thought would come out of your mouth.

14)   You start parenting your parents.

15)   You remember a time before the internet.  You remember when your family got its first computer. You remember, “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?,” “Encyclopedia Britannica on CD-ROM,” and the first Apple computer on the block.  You also remember the evolution of social media because you were there for it all.  BBS – ICQ – MSN – Yahoo Chat – Forums – Chatrooms – Email – Facebook – Perez – Twitter – Blogs – ?

16)   You find yourself sad sometimes because you actually feel like the Internet’s become a bad place.

17)   Everything is solved by brunch. 20-somethings love brunch. Post-break-up brunch, post-night-out brunch, before-flea-market brunch, before-shopping brunch, happy brunch, birthday brunch, gossip brunch, ‘wanna go to brunch and catch up’ brunch?

18)   Time goes by quicker than ever before, for an unknown reason, and the more you try to slow it down the faster it goes.

19)   Going travelling versus paying off your student loan versus buying property is a serious legitimate conversation in your head. Backpacking is as legitimate a rite of passage as college/university.

20)   You have a niggling suspicion that someone lied to you and that your twenties are not the huge party previously assumed.

21)   You are also starting to suspect that the rumours going around about your thirties being the REAL party are just a ruse to get you through your twenties.

22)   You’re favorite saying is, “What am I going to do with my life?” This is usually followed by self-assuring statements that you’ve done a lot more than most people, you’ve got memories if not experience, and that’s really all that matters in the end because YOU won’t have regrets.

23)   You find yourself making lists more often because your forget more things: to-do lists are your new bible.

24)   There’s something about HBO shows, like unreal shows that seem real, and you HAVE to watch them every week.  This is especially true if the shows involve vampires, drug dealing moms, drug making teachers, doctors, or police/fire fighters.

25)  You suddenly understand what people meant by, “Generation Why.”

Growing Up and Liking It

“I think about all the questions I have that I would give anything to know his answer to: how to share my life with someone, how to get my dog to obey me, how to properly invest my money, etc. You never think those conversations mean anything until you can’t have them- that’s when you realize that they’re all you really want.”

If you’ve never read Frances Bridges Forbes blog, you should! http://onforb.es/TOhXwO

Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence

I am honoured to be a part of an organization that shines the spotlight on amazing Women such as the one’s listed as this year’s Top 25 Women of Influence.

In Diane Frances’ introduction article to the special issue of Women of Influence Magazine, she recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments that women in our world have made this year … “This year could be aptly dubbed the Year of the Female because women made high-profile gains in politics, business and sports. In the US election, an unprecedented 181 women ran for Congress, attempting to increase their ranks from 90 in the House of Representatives and 17 in the Senate. In Canada, four out of the country’s 13 Premiers were women: Alison Redford of Alberta; Christy Clark of BC; Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland and Labrador; and Eva Aariak of Nunavut.” read more

Each of the Top 25 Women of Influence™ have reached the top through their hard work and dedication to propelling themselves in their respective industries, and imprinting a path forward for women leaders of today. Each of the honorees has something that has set them apart from the rest, embraced and leveraged their strengths, and become someone that a new generation of women can aspire to become.

Also check out Women Of Influence Canada: Magazine Lists The Top 25 Women In The Country. via Huffington Post.

Embracing Technology in School, a Higher Standard?

I recently read an article, “English Teacher Rethinks Grammar Lessons” in which a teacher has created an app for students where they are asked a series of questions in quiz form and manipulate the text to correct grammatical errors. This got me thinking about my days in high school, and how much different the educational landscape is now than it was 10 years ago…

Mobile technology has grown exponentially within the past few years, and it seems more and more that we are hearing of ways in which traditional practices such as medicine or teaching have embraced these new ways of operating. At first I thought, it just seems wrong to have kids playing on phones or tablets in the classroom. Many conventionalists would agree, there is no room in the space of young minds for this kind of influence. As I’ve come to think more about it, we are in the era of technological transition. This is the time where the world is catching up with what science and technology provided us.

I think most people like to stick to traditional ways of doing things because let’s face it, change is scary. Advancements in technology that would have seemed like foreign concepts just a few years ago are now a reality. But isn’t this the way of evolution? That the very foundation of what we know slowly changes over time, only now it seems the speed of transition has been expedited. If we chose to embrace technology in classrooms and explore the ways in which it can make teaching more efficient or perhaps advanced, we may be able to revolutionize the way it is that we learn. Is this really such a bad thing?