There is an “I” in TEAM

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford

Thought I’d begin my post with some words of wisdom from someone who had the personal skills and leadership to change the world.  How did he do it?  He worked and he learned.  He envisioned and he succeeded.

For us more ordinary mortals, who are not destined to make changes in the world that would make news, it is still possible to make a mark.  Nobody ever said the mark had to be really big but I believe it should matter.  Every team member’s effort matters because whatever it is, it affects the entire team.

I am a chronic autodidact. I want to learn stuff.  I suppose it came from my dad always telling me to look things up when I ask him questions. This learning style has enabled me to pick up skills in all sorts of things from crafts, cooking, gardening, computers, history, etc.  If I see something that perks my interest,  I want to learn it.  I mention this not because I want to talk about myself but because from learning comes personal skills.

To me, it doesn’t matter what the skill is – as long as you learn it the best you can.  I admire how the garbage collectors in Chinatown NY tackle their job.   Since the streets are tight, they just can’t park the truck and conveniently use the “claw” to pick up trash cans.  So they created a technique of collecting heavy bags with a certain choreography. (Discovery Channel: Dirty Jobs)

Nobody is born already having skills.  Maybe a predisposition to being good at certain things but certainly not skills.  Skills are not just important for self-improvement but also in teamwork.  Skills are assets. The good news is skills can be learned. Utilizing the tips for success such as organization, time management, reading, and communication will enable any individual to tackle any learning environment.

We’ve heard of the saying “There is no I in Team.” Well, in reality there is.  Every single “I” (individual) is crucial. In any group situation, everyone has to bring something to the table.  So if you don’t have skills, learn some.  If you have no suggestions, think of some. Don’t be the person who comes to the pot-luck bringing the plastic cups.

Dr. Haycock’s lecture on teamwork is very thorough and addressed every aspect of teamwork.  The best thing I learned from his lecture is the idea of bringing everything to the table.  If someone doesn’t know how to do something, be honest.  Either learn it or offer another skill that would help the team.  Establish ground rules.  Drop the attitudes.  Seems simple enough to rational people.

But, guess what – we are not always rational.  I have my cuckoo moments myself!  Being online, we don’t have the best opportunity to get to know one another.  So I suppose honesty is really important.  Like Dr. Haycock said, trust is crucial.  I think once trust is achieved through honesty, the team can work at keeping together to finish a common goal.

 dream team would have members who are honest, punctual and determined to produce work that is not just finished but done well.  Can we do it?  Of course, we can. Think Nike – just do it!

Back to the Blog

I’m ashamed that I left my blogs unattended all year.  But a lot has happened in the last 13 months.  The day after my last post, my coworker was murdered for reasons yet unknown.  His absence thrust me into a full-time position at work which left very little time to do anything else until I eased into my new responsibilities.  We have a very friendly atmosphere at work and thanks to the support, we all managed to smooth things out in due time.

Having just mentioned that I have less time, it seems curious that I would decide to go back to school.  But I did just that.  Two days ago I started my graduate degree in Library and Information Science at San José State University.  I have to do everything online, of course, since SJSU is in California and I live in Virginia.

Since I graduated from college in 1987, I haven’t gone to school formally, although I dabbled with different things and earned certificates in  medical transcription and  novel writing.  I worked as a substitute teacher for 7 years and I considered getting a teaching degree but the thought of teaching the same thing over and over again didn’t appeal to me.  I didn’t feel like going back and getting a refresher in Architecture but I know I wanted to get a master’s degree.

Getting a job as a library assistant set me on my educational path at last.  I’ve always loved libraries and I enjoy working at ECPI University.  The integration of technology with library science is just what I am looking for  my geek/nerd self.   It wasn’t easy at first.  Customer service is part of the job and we all know how that can be.

As time went by though, it felt very fulfilling to help people find information, and heartwarming to hear their gratitude.  So it wasn’t really hard to make the decision to make this a lifetime career choice.

It has been a year of changes and opportunities and I’ve been crossing out things on my bucket.  I finally plunked the money and went not only to Rome but all over Italy on a whirlwind pilgrimage to about a dozen and a half churches.  My precious dog nearly died but $7000 worth of emergency treatment on four different occasions saved her and she’s with me still.

It’s been a tough year but I have a lot to be thankful for.  And I’m looking forward.  I suppose that is my life’s motto:  Always look forward.

With that said, visitors on my blog can look forward to my musings on a more regular basis.  Till next time!

Graduation Aural Torture!

My son graduated last Monday and although I was expecting the onslaught of uncouth behavior from most of the audience, I wasn’t prepared for the woman who sat one seat away from me.  No more than 5 feet tall and round as a ball, she spoke with a gentle voice as she made her way to her seat.  But when the graduates started to march in, she stood up and that woman must have some kind of diaphragm power because she yelled so loud that my left ear started ringing.

Before the ceremony, the school principal already requested that silence be observed since it was a formal occasion but most of the people did not listen.  This woman, among others, were calling out during the speech of the school superintendent.  She kept calling from someone named “Pigletto” or something that sounds like it.

This is not the first time I’ve observed this behavior.  When my daughter graduated two years ago, it was the same thing.  And my kids went to different schools.  When I graduated, it was very formal, parents dressed up and clapped when appropriate.  But the things people were wearing to this ceremony was verging on beach wear. Sure it was warm but is there no boundary anymore between leisure and special occasions?  People talked on their phones and one man was even wondering why there were no snack vendors.  Hello, it’s not a sporting event.  There were even bull horns!

Well, this woman wasn’t done with the screaming.  At one point, she was stomping on the bleacher floor and I was afraid she’d break a hole in it.  The faculty was looking at her and her companions were telling her to quit it already but she just kept at it until “Pigletto” walked down from the stage and poor boy was embarrassed as hell.

And it doesn’t get better with the college crowd.  I have worked in a university for 4 years and attended graduation only once and never again.  It was just as bad.  A woman even brought loud plastic clappers, like the noise-makers for New Year’s.  I think when people can’t hear the name of the graduate anymore, they should just stop the ceremony.  Or I wish security would take these people out.  This is just using exuberance as an excuse to behave crudely in public.

Sometimes I wonder if the movie “Idiocy” is a vision of the future.  Are we devolving?  Try and sit in an elementary school cafeteria for a few minutes and tell me what you think.

The People of Walmart

Yesterday, I saw from Oddee, one of my RSS Feeds, Another 15 Craziest Walmart Shoppers.  I don’t know if these strange people are unique to Walmart but what I find disturbing is that there are an awful lot of them.

Luckily, my local Walmarts only get an occasional weirdo.  I remember years ago that I heard a deep male voice talking in a feminine manner and when I turned around, I was surprised by a middle-aged man with full makeup and long blonde hair wearing cutoff shorts and a spaghetti strap tank top and heels.  He had a beer belly and hair on his legs.  It scared my 9-year old so much that she hid in a clothes rack.

But really, what’s up with these people?  Are they on drugs, drunk, or just plain whacked out?  Do they want to be photographed so they can be on the web?  It’s just so bizarre.  I don’t see people like these in Kmart or Target.  I’m sure Walmart does not appreciate it.  And I thought there was a law on indecent exposure.  Why aren’t they being arrested? 


If you have a weak stomach I wouldn’t suggest you visit the People of Walmart website.  It’s like viewing a train wreck.  You just can’t look away.  Now that summer is approaching, it’s going to be pretty scary.  

Cheers to Kate and William!

It’s finally over. Just a few more weeks of people prying into their lives and then they’ll get some peace. Maybe.

I didn’t seem to be excited about this royal wedding like I was when Lady Diana was to marry Prince Charles. Maybe because I was then a girl of sixteen who still dreamt of romance. I thought Kate was a lovely bride but there was something about Diana that I don’t find in her. Or maybe I just so inundated with the publicity to the point of ad nauseum.

Kate’s gown was a bit of a disappointment to me because it didn’t look extraordinary. And the bodice looked so stiff, especially the breast area and it wasn’t flattering. There was no oohs and aahs for me there. She looked beautiful if not a little too made up, maybe for photographs. She was very composed and regal, though. She is an asset to the royal family.

Prince William obviously inherited his mother’s shy demeanor and at one point in the wedding, he was slouching and looking rather sleepy. But during the parade, he and Prince Harry gave such smart salutes, it was awesome. I feel bad that he is losing his hair at such a young age.

The best part of the wedding for me was the sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr. Rowan Williams rocks! Best wedding sermon I’ve heard in a while. I’m his newest fan. People need to be reminded what marriage is all about. It’s not easy. I just celebrated my 22nd. The only tip I can share is don’t give up so easily.

My most memorable moment was after the balcony viewing, as William was leading Kate indoors, she looked over her shoulder at the crowd and had the most beautiful smile on her face. I hope someone caught that on camera.

I felt a bit nostalgic, watching these two get married. I still remember when Diana came out of the hospital holding William. She was so young. I wish she was there to witness this event.

The Brits turned out full force, always a pleasure to see. They are the masters of pomp and circumstance and never disappoint!

I watched this all on YouTube courtesy of the BBC. I suspect BBC got special access to areas because I saw scenes where no other news cameras where in. Cheers!

Well, here’s to wishing the couple the best of luck. May their lives be blessed.

Phenomenal Peeps

Image Courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Since Easter is just a few hours away, my thoughts turn to post-Easter candy sales. Although I did buy 3 boxes of Peeps at retail price, there’s nothing like hoarding a bunch of coma-inducing holiday sweets at 50% off.

But maybe not. Since my foot surgery 2 months ago, I haven’t been able to exercise and have taken solace in the company of my friends,Trolli, Haribo, and Albanese gummi bears (if you haven’t heard of the latter, they are delicious and comes in 12 real fruit flavors.)

Yet I am a weak sugar addict and I might still drift over toWalgreens and rummage through the bins come Monday. And if there are Peeps, well, they are coming home with me.

Which made me curious. Where do Peeps come from? It’s interesting to find out that Peeps is manufactured by an 87-year old family company. They are situated in Pennsylvania and the business was started by Sam Born, a Russian immigrant. He had a small candy shop in New York called “Just Born” and despite the Depression, his business grew and he moved to Bethlehem, PA.

In 1953, Mr. Born acquired the Rodda Candy Co. which made a popular Easter peep that was made by squeezing marshmallow through pastry tubes. Mr. Born’s son Bob, helped mechanized the making of Peeps, making their company the largest producer of novelty marshmallow treats. They also make other famous candies like Mike and Ike and Peanut Chews.

Eight hundred million Peeps are eaten during Easter alone and the company produces enough Peeps to go around the Earth’s circumference twice every year! So I am not alone in my love of this chewy, gooey treat.

So how do you eat your Peep? I eat mine head first because I like to hold on to the tail. And any exposed marshmallow gets dipped in the extra sugar in the box!

Yellow is still the most popular color, which happens to be my favorite. And they have 0% fat! Check out some other interesting facts about Peeps at the following website:

Valuable Marshmallow Peeps Facts You Never Knew

And people have come up with creative and practical uses for Peeps.

20 Creative Uses of Peeps Beyond the Easter Basket

15 Coolest Peeps Diorama

Think you know everything there is to know about Peeps? Go to and challenge yourself!

Image Courtesy of Tumblr



Image by Stephanie Stanley

Having spent all night trying to solve computer issues, my thoughts turned to other annoying things/persons that have lately been bothering me.  I don’t watch TV much because there are a lot of other interesting things to do but mainly because of bad programming.  But why is it that these people, despite my practically living under a rock, still invade my consciousness?  I’m sure to offend someone but I’ve decided to make a list of these omnipresent darlings of the masses.  They are in no particular order.

1.   Justin BieberI have to say that he is looking a bit better to me as he grows older but seriously, he’s not that special.  And I’m glad he changed his hairstyle.  He looked like a big head of cotton candy.

2. Snooki –  If you put a troll doll wig on her, she can easily pass off for one.  When I saw not one but two books of her/by her, I didn’t really care to know, in the bookstore, I nearly had a coronary.   What is there in her vapid life worth writing about?.

3.  The Kardashians – Why do people care about who they’re dating or if they’re pregnant?  What’s so special about them that their images are everywhere?

4.  Apple products – It’s amazing how people have flocked to this brand and how many of them think that they’re better than everybody else because of it.  Macintosh is robbing you blind, people!

5.  Teen Moms – It used to be that these are the girls who got sent away by their parents for a “vacation at Aunt Lily’s” but now they are glorified like some kind of role model.

6. The phrase “baby bump” – Why is it everyone’s business now if a celebrity is pregnant?  I’d hate to be the subject of speculation and scrutiny every time I get bloated.  I wish someone like Angelina would shout, “It’s just gas!”

7. The Olsen twins – They are always in the entertainment magazines but what have they done to entertain lately?  They look like mere husks of themselves and their outfits always lands them on OMG!

8. The price of gas –  Hey, I’ve been through the gas rationing years when oil was really scarce but nowadays, some potentate in the Middle East gets his knickers in a bunch and whoosh!  Up goes the gas prices.  I’ve literally gone down one street and come back 10 minutes in the opposite direction and see the gas station prices rise by 30 cents.  What happened between  that drive that I didn’t know about??  I don’t understand why gas, which was already in the storage tanks, suddenly become more expensive than their actual worth.

9. Text messaging – take note, not texting.  That’s a made-up word.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s already in the Oxford dictionary.  After all, they’ve included OMG, LOL, and WTF. It’s quite discouraging that language is degenerating.

10.  Prince William and Kate Middleton – For a country that threw of the yoke of  being ruled by monarchy, why are we so fascinated with these two?  Sure I watched Diana and Charles get married but the media frenzy Will and Kate are causing is just ridiculous.  They are just people who happened to inherit a lot of money, that was probably gained in not so scrupulous ways through the centuries.

Okay I feel a little better.  But please, enough already!