Sarah Glenn

Never stop exploring

The Battle of the Organizer Agrigators

Written By: admin - Sep• 17•12

A few months ago I installed Mingly, a Chrome extension that is supposed to streamline your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn info all into one e-mail widget. Nice idea huh?

Epic fail.

The little bug doesn’t like Gmail and crashed my inbox frequently. It also didn’t give me much more than access to messages in those three communications platforms. Maybe a birthday reminder here and there, but always a day late. In the instant world of social media information, minutes late is unacceptable.

So let’s try a new one here. Sunrise claims to do the same thing, aggregate all your appointments into one daily time budget delivered to your inbox every morning. Twitter isn’t part of the equation on this one.

So since it’s free, I signed up. For those who set up appointments on lots of different platforms, the service is great. But I generally copy all my appointments into Google Calendar anyway when I make them. The program also isn’t a Chrome extension, meaning my e-mail hasn’t crashed in days. Hallelujah!

What do you think? Is this program only for the scatter brained, or might it make a splash?

What do you look like online?

Written By: admin - Sep• 06•12

This handy little app is just made my day and I had to share.

We spread ourselves kinda thin over the internet. We Tweet our followers, Facebook our friends, blog our details, Foursquare our locations, Pin fun ideas, Instagram what we see, “LinkIn” to colleagues and Tumblr all the rest.

It’s slightly exhausting.

Well stuff all that information into a nice-looking little package and you can show the world, and yourself, what you look like online.

Here is my Vizify profile. Creating one yourself takes maybe five minutes. You might be interested to see what you are saying …

 

Adapt or Die

Written By: admin - Aug• 27•12

“… In the past five years, U.S. newspapers have eliminated almost 40,000 jobs, or more than 11% of total industry employment, according to Paper Cuts, the recognized industry source on newspaper layoffs and consolidations.”

With this startling news published in the Huffington Post earlier in August, maybe it is time to think critically about industry reinvention?

My Newsprint Resume

Written By: admin - Aug• 03•12

This has been a lot of fun to do. I love thinking through creative ways to present accurate information!

FunResume

Wordle Your Resume

Written By: admin - Aug• 03•12

As I have recently reconsidered my resume and improving it, I ran the document through this fun little program.

The words that appear more often are larger, giving someone a visual representation of the person’s strengths.

Needless to say, a rewrite emphasizing my skills is forthcoming.

You can do your own by clicking this link. 

Thinking Through ObamaCare

Written By: admin - Jul• 29•12

ObamaCare needs to be repealed. Not because universal healthcare is wrong. But because it’s basic implementation is flawed.

More people with access to healthcare means a greater demand on doctors. However, the law did little to increase the supply of doctors. Demand will simply outpace supply and in basic economic terms that makes the prices go up, unless the marketplace is strategically manipulated.

Increased demand also means that quality will decrease. Do you feel comfortable having a man or woman functioning on 2 hours of sleep making decisions about your health? We need to train more doctors before glutting the system.

This article in the New York Times explains the situation very well, using the hospital area we will be in as its case study.

“In the Inland Empire, encompassing the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, the shortage of doctors is already severe,” the article states. “The population of Riverside County swelled 42 percent in the 2000s, gaining more than 644,000 people. It has continued to grow despite the collapse of one of the country’s biggest property bubbles and a jobless rate of 11.8 percent in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area.”

This shortage means that doctors literally can’t accept new Medicare patients. Across the country, fewer than half of primary care physicians are accepting new patients. There are just not enough hours in the day. So those who need care the most still end up getting the shaft.

Finally, the article points out that a third of the doctors in the U.S. are 55 or older, nearing retirement and leaving a void that will be hard to fill quickly.

I would suggest reading the article and sharing your own thoughts on the future of health care in the U.S.

 

Objectivity: Does it really matter?

Written By: admin - Jul• 25•12

Oh how I loved keeping my political opinions a sacred secret!

The battle cry of election year coverage was “attack!” regardless of what side the quotes and gaffes and policy came from. We ripped through to the truth on both sides. I carefully watched myself to make sure that the ripping on one side was balanced by equal scrutiny on the other. It was an exhilarating balancing act that forced me to empathize with opinions that I otherwise never would.

It was mentally exhausting and probably pointless.

Do people still use the news as a lens to challenge their existing views? More likely they seek out news that conforms to their opinion, not conflicts with it. Today we have a media smorgasbord after all where you really can have it your way.

A piece this morning on NPR cites research that supports this thesis.

Being idealist about news consumption has helped me personally refine my political opinions. But the idealist in me might be running into a rough professional reality.

 

Great oratory, greater ideals

Written By: admin - May• 05•12

In high school, I remember reading a book of great oratory. Cicero, Churchill, Antony    and Lincoln inspired and enlightened as their words jumped off the page.

I was reminded in an e-mail forum that this coming week marks the anniversary of another great speech, given by Gen. Douglas MacArthur at West Point in 1962.

While his delivery is nothing less than an art form, his message also interested me. We seem to struggle with the same issues today as we did then.

“Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government; whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing, indulged in too long by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as thorough and complete as they should be.”

Who is our great orator today, and how will he or she enshrine our modern problems? Or has it all been said before …

Take a listen to the last minutes of MacArthur’s speech here. It is nine minutes that you won’t regret.

Transition and the toaster

Written By: admin - May• 05•12

We were moving in three weeks and items were slowly being sold off one by one. The first real, bittersweet casualty was the toaster. That magical device that gave our rushed mornings so many easy breakfasts and our bread a golden hue.

OK, maybe I am over-romanticizing the toaster. But being forced to fit your family’s life into four suitcases can do funny things to a person.

After two years studying abroad, it is time to return to the USA. For 730 days (give or take a holiday or two), my husband has been buried eyebrow deep in medical school at St. George’s University. It is not a U.S. medical school, meaning that the first two didactic years must be spent abroad. The next two years will hold all the real patient-centered fun, when he takes his book learning into the hospital for his clerkship years.

While he has carried on this all-consuming love affair with medical science, I have been freelancing, reporting, blogging, running a university organization, earning my Personal Fitness Trainer certification, learning and growing.

But life is a snow globe and once again, the hands of fate are shaking it up. The dust will settle in July when the school finally tells us where we are going. Yes, for the next two months my professional title will be “Freelancer who lives in her in-law’s basement.”

Exciting, huh?

Transition is hard for everyone. But a flying leap into the unknown lugging four suitcases is terrifying. When that flying leap is from a foreign country, the stress level gets bumped up a few notches and unanswerable questions start flooding your already overworked mind.

Will I be able to find a good job where we are going? Will food prices be higher than when I left? What will the neighborhoods be like? Will I fit in?

Suddenly the stability of having one toaster that you will keep for the rest of your life starts sounding pretty good.

Many of my cubicle-dwelling friends have expressed envy for our nomadic lifestyle. It must be liberating, right? Leaving all but the bare essentials behind for a life of discovery and progress. As those desk-dwellers come home at the end of their day, household items fade into the background as a dream of unfettered freedom beguiles their subconscious.

Freedom is great, but have you thought of what you would do with the toaster?

Unfortunately it is human nature to be fettered. Most of us are inexorably tangled into a dream of success. Americans want something, and whatever shape your dream might take, it will probably involve lugging around a little stuff with you. Once you decide on the life path of liberated travel, those household items don’t just fade into the background while your Marry Poppins bags pack themselves with everything you might need or want.

As we travel that road towards being a doctor or a writer or a rock star, or whatever we may dream, we will each acquire our own “toaster”  – that thing that tells us that we are home. Your piece of home might be that old, leather Lay Z Boy,  a beloved book collection or even the beautiful view of Mt. Rose. Whatever home means to you, don’t forget to appreciate the little things that give your life stability – such as the toaster.

 

 

Defining ‘U.S.’ from abroad

Written By: admin - May• 05•12

“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” — Moorish proverb.

We were standing in the parking lot of our Grenada apartment complex. As the Canadian couple next door put their little baby to sleep and the Iranian family two doors over came home from a long day of studying, a friend asked me a strange question.

“What is American culture?”

A pregnant pause followed. Do we 311 million Americans even know?

My friend was American, but our neighbors are not. The medical program my husband is attending attracts talent from the four corners of the Earth and our little apartment building is a it’s perfect microcosm. The British lady runs the office, the Canadian shrugs off the marijuana that the Trinidadian tourists are smoking while the Korean who married the Chinese girl chats pleasantly with everyone while waiting for the school’s shuttle. The smiling Iranian couple take their yappy Pomeranian puppy for a walk while the blonde Bosnian girl quietly takes out her trash. Then there are the Americans — us.

Not one of these people has asked me to define or explain American culture. It was only the girl from Kentucky who wondered.

Somehow in this globalized world, others have acquainted themselves with American culture while we have continued to fix our gaze inward.

What are the first things that come to your mind when you must quickly define American culture in a conversation? My immediate thoughts turned to the taglines of politicians.

“Equality!” Obama shouts.

“America is a land of success,” Romney declares from the campaign trail.

“There’s too much commercialism,” an exasperated mom says in the Walmart aisle as her child grabs for the latest toy.

“America isn’t what it should be,” Ron Paul insists.

Amid the ruckus that our own Americans are creating, I whisper, “I am proud of my America.”

Living two years outside the country teaches you a few things about what you are and what you are not.

As most foreigners will be quick to tell you, America is commercialistic. It is the land of convenience, Starbucks, drive-thru dining, iPhones, constant contact and workaholics.

It is also the place where every foreigner wants to end up. It is, more than anything, the land of the innovator and the pioneer. Why do you think we have the Starbucks, drive-thru dining, iPhones, constant contact and workaholics? It’s because Americans want something, so they and their ancestors came to a new land to get it — their own way. They want that pursuit of happiness they were promised centuries ago. Each of my neighbors in my little apartment melting pot will be practicing medicine in the United States one day.  They want to come because America will give them a chance.

How would you respond if asked, “What is American culture?”

I simply said, “Opportunity.”

It still had better be when we all return.

Sparks Tribune – Defining ‘US’ from abroad