Erin’s Reading List Week 2

Hey there! So as I shared last week, I have set myself a summer reading goal: I’m reading a book a week for 15 weeks. I started 4 weeks (and 4 books!) ago and will go through to the first week of September.

On my second week of this challenge, I finished When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins. I was recommended this book by someone as a counterpoint to some really dumb things said by Fox News about women in the workplace. So I headed to my local library and hunkered down for some good girl power history lessons.

I have to admit, after a couple weeks to think it over, I have somewhat mixed feelings about this book.

Part of me (the lady empowerment part) was in awe of the tireless efforts of generations of women in securing our current position in society. This book detailed a the stark contrast of today’s ladies with a woman in the 50s whose post-high school options were mostly limited to finishing school in the guise of college, marriage or (oftentimes) a career as a secretary or teacher. The equal rights movement, which continues today, was furthered by these remarkable women.

Another part of me (the self-focused Gen X’er part) felt pretty guilty. Comparing my current situation to those of the women who are only a few generations removed from me, I have life pretty cushy. It’s never occurred to me that I might not be able to have a career AND a family. In my work, I’ve never felt direct or overt sexism. I take it for granted that gender plays no role in how seriously my work is taken (though I do often think about the role of age in being taken seriously in today’s workplace). Sure, I probably have it easier than some, being in a more female dominated industry, in the happy bubble that is the Pacific Northwest.

And finally, a tiny sliver of myself (perhaps the long-suffering journalism major part) had a hard time with the structure of this book. This book relied heavily on anecdotal examples to make its point. While these stories and individuals did make for a more engaging read – and humanized a movement that, in my perspective, seemed so much larger than my comprehension- it also felt at times like one person’s point of view, backed up by her friend’s collaborations. Direct quotes from women were given, but the context and background of these women was never explained in a way that quite satisfied me. I was sometimes left wondering who this woman was, and why I should listen to her opinion (something that I can so clearly picture the commentators on Fox saying that I am cringing at myself).

Overall, however, I loved this lesson in women’s lib. It sparked interest and conversation with my fellow ladies, and has given me a new appreciation and understanding of the world my mother and her mother may have lived in- and how different their worlds were from my own.

For a more thorough (and helpful!) review of this book, I enjoyed the NY Times article.

Happy reading!

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Lessons learned in one year as a marketing specialist

This week I celebrated one year in my position as a marketing specialist with a locally based nonprofit. In that time, I have:
…seen my position go from part time to full time.
…moved offices. Twice!
…underwent my first acquisition by a larger nonprofit.
…moved from a local, Oregon focused company of 7 to a national company of 170+
…been part of a team essentially starting the marketing department from the ground up.
…developed branding, run webinars, written articles, developed social media campaigns, built countless pieces of collateral and mapped out nearly every health care facility in the state. Whew!

Okay, so this post is coming a few days later...

Okay, so this post is coming a few days later…

And as I think back and marvel at how quickly time flies, I also feel inclined to put lessons to my last year as a marketer. Sure, I’ve learned how to manage projects better and more efficiently. I’ve learned new systems and tricks of the trade- and I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way as well!

I guess my biggest lesson learned in the last year is that you can’t edit a blank page. 

I came across this idea at some point in the last few months, and something in my brain seemed to click. I’ve been working my butt off on projects- for work, for fun, for freelance- and receiving allllll sorts of feedback. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re handed back a page full of red marks.

But hey! It’s a start. At least you’ve provided the beginnings of something that can be made great- and that’s quite an accomplishment. Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting out that first draft- and knowing it’s not going to be perfect.

So rather than think of this as one year over, I’m going to think of this last year as my blank page- it’s a start. And from this start, there is just so much more I know I can do.

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Manic Monday

Hello there and Happy Monday!

I’m following this last weekend of sun and fun with what is looking like some rain and hard work! My transitioning to a new work schedule and routine has turned out to be a bit of a challenge; as someone who lives and breathes by routines, I have a tough time finding my most productive time when everything is jumbled up by change.

But! Change is a good thing. Change is how we grow and improve. It’s how we’re exposed to new things, people and experiences. And it’s how we stay dynamic, nimble people who are open to whatever may be thrown our way.

In that vein, here are some fun new links from the past week that have brought me a new perspective, shown me something I otherwise would not know, or just tickled me in some way that I want to share.

  • This 8Tracks mix from Breanna Rose is the perfect mix of ambient rhythms, dreamy vocals and techno elements for background working music.
  • Looking at these maps showing the different areas of accented speaking makes me think maybe I need to get out a little more in this country and really expose myself to the differences between crawfish, crayfish and crawdad.
  • These Gmail hacks are very useful- to save time, communicate better and more beautifully, and convince you that you’re still being productive by spending time exploring Google Labs instead of getting your work done.
  • I love how eclectic this couple is! Eminé and Nathan share their incredibly unique home with Apartment Therapy, complete with a taxidermy menagerie.
  • Portland shop Frances May has been highlighted on quite a few of my favorite blogs lately! Here they are on Unruly Things–how wonderful are those silvery booties in the last pic?
  • This Pinterest Board (found via East Side Bride) is hilarious: My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter. These little girls can work it! Even if they look slightly over-styled by some overly enthusiastic stylists. Her imaginary name, Quinoa. So funny.
  • These tips from Naomi are wonderful, whether you’re a parent or not: Photographing my Children. She has such a great way of capturing real moments, without the pretension or excessive posing.

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What I’ve been reading lately.

Hey there!

(Oh hey heeeey)

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this on the blog yet, but I have set myself a summer reading goal! I’m reading a book a week for 15 weeks. I started 3 weeks (and 3 books!) ago and am going through to the first week of September.

Why? Because I love to read, I have a rediscovered love of the library, and the time I commute via bus is more than enough time to get some pages in. That’s an hour a day of reading time! And did I mention I happen to be one of those lucky fast readers? That isn’t to say that I am one of those readers who actually retains the information they read, however….

That’s why I’m going to also start sharing what books I’ve read, and what I thought of them, if nothing else so that I can remember! Your first installment this week is my first book I finished: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

This book is actually one my Berk Clerb picked for some lighter summer reading (compared to the books we chose prior to this; Slaughterhouse Five and The Portable Dorothy Parker, which, while both very good, were also pretty depressing).

It fit several of our preferred book categories for a quick summer read: Young Adult Fiction, and Queer Coming of Age Stories. It chronicles the intersecting lives of two teenaged boys who happen to have the same name- and is written by two authors in an intersecting, every-other-chapter fashion. Apparently, the authors didn’t coordinate their stories except at the points in which they overlap, and it’s amazing the commonalities in themes that seem to pull through for each Will Grayson.

Overall, this was a fast read, hilarious, and really spoke to issues about growing up in a digital age, growing up queer, and just plain old growing up.

Happy reading!

Manic Monday

Hey there! This Monday comes on the heels of a very restful, lazy weekend. Here are some of the highlights:

  • I read a great amount.
  • I did a bit of sewing.
  • I celebrated dads! Thanks for being the coolest, Scott Davis!
  • We saw Spring Breakers, which…really. Just wow.
  • We made grocery lists:photo (5)
  • We had back yard fun times:photo (4)

And here are some links to start out your week!

Happy happy Monday!