Pokéfans and the Not-so-Sleepy Nieces

Just a couple of fun pictures from a recent family party. The lighting was pretty awful, but I thought these captured the essence of these particular boys and girls anyhow.

Playing Pokémon on the DSI
Do we have to go to bed?

Charter School Drama

Anyone who knows me knows I -love- my kids’ school. I’ve blogged about some of the amazing things they do. I am super heartbroken, though, about all the politics and drama. Several excellent teachers were recently let go without warning or explanation. Now it feels like we’ve got two camps battling each other: the business/leadership end of the school, and the teachers and founding parents. The parents who are most involved in the leadership and grown-up meetings appear to support the terminations. The parents who spent most of their time working with the teachers, naturally support the teachers. The founding parents who put their blood, sweat, and tears into this are extremely concerned, and the parents (like me) who haven’t spent as much time at the school this year are confused and wondering whether it’s worth the drama.

I heard many comments at last night’s board meeting (and I was extremely proud of my son for deciding to comment himself!) but one of them I heard at a meeting-before-the-meeting rather surprised me. Something along the lines of, “If we do that, then they win.” And I thought, “Who are THEY? What are THEY?” — yeah, so on the rare occasion when I do think in words, it apparently comes in the form of song lyrics, thank you Jem! Whatever. Anyway, what ever happened to “WE” as a whole?

It feels like each group has been handed 250 jigsaw pieces when in fact the whole puzzle needs all 1000 pieces. A successful charter school needs good teachers, a good administration, wise board leadership, and willing parents, who can all take a step back and see that the big picture: it is all about the kids. We’d work better as a team, and you don’t even have to take my word for it.

The new resumé is up.

My last post detailed the problems I found with my old resumé, so I’m hoping this new one addresses them sufficiently. This is what I was after:

1) Job Titles don’t match experience: If the title doesn’t match, name the departments instead; the goal is to provide more meaning in fewer words.

2) Layout issues: With less content, I was able to add more space. I might still tweak fonts and spacing, but what I’ve got is actually based roughly on golden ratios in hopes for a more pleasing look.

3) Concerns about Education: Combined freelance work, volunteer work, and education into one section.

4) Too wordy: chopped out most of the content and replaced it with simple phrases stating what I did at various companies.

5) Communication: I tried to communicate at the top just what my value would be. I don’t know if I’ve got the words right, but I want to say right up front that my best feature is my wide range of experience.

And the new resume is here; the old one there. Let me know what you think.

Rethinking my Resumé

I haven’t really updated my resume since 2002 when a professional writer wrote some descriptions for me in exchange for some work. At that time, I didn’t feel like the “action phrases” really portrayed the value I would bring a company. They sounded fairly bombastic to me, but necessary anyway as far as I knew.

So I added a column and threw in some client comments thinking that would give a clearer message about who I am. It worked well. In fact, the other night when I was out with my UPHPU friends talking about my work situation, one of them suggested that technique saying they’d seen it on a friend’s resumé. I certainly wouldn’t claim I’m the only person in the world to think of that, but the idea was original to me when I did it.

Truth be told, I’d probably just throw in another line of experience if I could find the original file, but it’s nowhere to be found on the computers or disks I have here, and for some reason I can’t even copy and paste the text from this PDF. So I have to redo it somehow, and re-typing all of those words has me rethinking whether I need them all in the first place. Plus I’m wondering what other original ideas might help communicate my value to prospective employers, particularly since I consider my ability to creatively solve problems the most valuable of all my skills.

I’m finding as I do this, by the way, that my biggest weakness is letting a quest for perfection keep me from progressing! So I’m taking a bit of my own advice by setting some parameters as far as time limits and goals go, and aiming to do my best within those bounds. I want to have this done by Wednesday morning. Given that Monday is mostly gone and I have a full day Tuesday, I’m going to have to focus. Here’s what I don’t like about my current resumé:

1) My experience is far more broad than deep, so none of my job titles accurately portray what I’ve done at different companies.
2) The layout is not very attractive, given that I will most likely apply for positions that involve some design work.
3) I should mention something about education. However, the fact that I’m still in school is no doubt somewhat unattractive to the type of employer I’d like.
4) No one is going to read all of the way through it. Just try reading through it out loud. I stop about halfway through the second paragraph. Less is more.
5) I suppose a resumé is supposed to make me sound smart, hence the big pretentious words and phrases used here, but just how smart do I really sound if I’m unable to communicate who I am and what I can do for you?

So whether the end result is perfect or not, I would like a version of my resumé that solves these problems, done before Wednesday morning. Think I can do it?

Blender box redesign

So I’m realizing there are many, many design projects I’ve done but not posted for one reason or another. In this case, it’s because we had to make a few tweaks to the box design, but this was a fun project nonetheless. I actually don’t have my originals here since those were Blendtec’s, but I did catch a picture or two of a printed prototype. We needed a more shelf-friendly box that also reinforced the Blendtec brand value:

Prototype of the new package design for the Total Blender

There were many, many, many revisions to this design prior to this test print, and many still to go, but this is the general direction. Hoping I’ll see this on a shelf soon!

Can’t take the sky from me

I don’t remember who told me that real photographers don’t shoot sunsets because they’re too common. It’s true that all it takes is an appreciative eye and a camera — I’m not the real artist. But so it goes for most of the photos I take, and I love the sky especially. Particularly after my lovely little walk last night. Enjoy.

Sunset over the neighborhood pond
Sunset over the neighborhood pond

(Oh, and yes of course, the title here is from Firefly’s theme song.)

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