International Women’s Day

Yesterday, Friday, March 8, was International Women’s Day. All across the world, not only the achievements of remarkable women are celebrated on International Women’s Day, a celebration that started a few years ago, in 1911, but yesterday also focuses on all the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender parity across the globe.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day was “Balance For Better” which encapsulates the concept and idea that in a world that’s gender-balanced, everyone will benefit both economically and socially. Now, it is up to all of the world’s people, both women and men, to make this happen.

Statistics show that there are still significant differences in the sorts of inequality that women face all across the world. From domestic burdens, cultural representation, and child marriage, to unequal financial compensation, more difficulties to move up on the corporate ladder, to right out abuse and slavery, women across the globe are faced with unequal treatment and abuse.

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Great Schedules For Single Moms Wanting To Get Back To Work

Have you ever sat down and thought about what would be the perfect work schedule for you as a single mom? Probably not, like most of us you probably just want a job that will pay the bills and you’ll juggle and stress and maneuver so that you can manage whatever schedule you’re given.

Take a moment and think about what would be the best schedule for your life. Do you have young children who aren’t in school yet? If you work evening hours maybe a family member could babysit and save you some money on daycare.

If you have school-age children do you want to spend the evenings with them? Maybe your kids go their dad on the weekends and you’d be happy to work while they are gone.

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Several Ways to Climb a Mountain

Back in the fall, before the snow fell, Boy 12, Boy 7 and their 7-year-old cousin hiked up into the hills near our home. (It’s a mountain range, really, not just a hill. But since they weren’t going far, “hill” gives a truer impression.) Their destination was “the tree house,” which is not a tree house at all, but a pair of rope swings—how the spot got its name I’ll never know. Kids are liars, all.

There are two rope swings tied to a large Cottonwood tree. You sit or hang on the stick tied to the end of the rope and then swing out over the steep trail you just hiked to get there. The tree is on a relatively level spot on an otherwise steep hill, so when you swing out, you’re a good 10 meters from the ground at the apex. Boys, being boys, love it. Even I love it, and I get scared on a Ferris wheel. So the rope swing is a true test of my outer limits. This cheap thrill can be yours for the cost of a steep 20-minute hike up the mountain.

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Losing Your Identity After Having a Child

Anyone ever feels like they’re having an identity crisis after becoming a parent? It has crossed my mind on several occasions so I’m just going to talk about t openly.. nothing to be ashamed of here, just pure honest feelings about life.

There comes a time in many mothers’ and fathers’ lives when they sit there and think to themselves, what happened to the person I used to be? Granted, you have a child(or children) now so obviously you’re a different person but do you ever find that you don’t do the things you used to enjoy?

What happens when you come to realize that you are an entirely different person. For instance, I was always a full-time college student and full-time worker in retail. I loved taking road trips, nature, hiking, playing cello (for 13 years), going to classical music concerts, NYC and every now and then I’d read a book if I put the time into it. Once I got married and had children, I became a wife, a mother and a homemaker. That’s it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mother. I get no greater joy than watching my children grow and learn new things each day, but it gets exhausting when you have no sense of self! I guess this blog is all me, but sometimes it’s a chore to even find time to do it. Everything is husband-this, baby-that, dog-this, housework-that.

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Social Media in China 3

The unique implication for Chinese social media
Social media in China is considered a place for a user of the Internet to speak their minds and generally feel free. This is very different compared to the West, where liberation on the internet does not appear distinct compared to everyday interaction. Of course, the big difference in with Social Media in China comes from political constraints created by the government.

As Chinese a user of the Internet are looking for ways to express and describe their freedom on the internet, social media campaigns should cater for this by placing opinions and ideas at the heart of their message. Whether this means having a user of the Internet as ‘Brand Ambassadors’ or whether you employ a reward scheme that favors expression and creativity, or broadcasts a netizen’s idea to the community- it has to promote freedom.

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The Given Name of a Child is Serious Business (Seriously)

I’ve always been quite fascinated with names and the first thing I think of when I know a new baby has been born, apart from “Is he or she healthy?”, is “What’d they call him/her? God, I hope it doesn’t suck.” And if I know the person well or the information has been made public prior to birth, I want to know; I need to know. I can’t help it; I’m a bit of a name snob.

I have my own definite taste and I know it’s not for everyone, so I obviously get that people have different ideas about what to call their kids. But some names should never, ever be given to a child. Ever. Or, at the very least, there should be some kind of spelling regulation. I have posted about this topic before, but I have a few new ‘gems’ from the unusually-spelled-names mine.

I’m not a name history buff so I’m not sure if there is a ripe history of coming up with one’s own ‘creative/kre8tiv’ spelling for fairly usual names, but it seems to be an increasing trend in various part of the English-speaking West. Here we might refer to unconventional alternative spellings as being ‘Bogan’/’Westie’, which is basically our version of ‘white trash’, except the color of one’s skin doesn’t matter.

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Social Media in China 2

Part 2 about Social Media in China. Contents:

-Government Control
-Entertainment Focused
-References

Government Control

Background
There has never been any doubt surrounding the government’s ability to censor and control the internet. With regular blocking of Google, continued blocking of Western SNS sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even Chinese SNS websites such as Fanfou.com.cn, the government have control of social media.

This control has become even more obvious in recent months, with the government developing internet legislation research departments, potentially enforcing website blocking via the Greendam Mandate, and even introducing new SNS regulation law. The latter point I will elaborate, as it involves the creation of a law allowing for the greater potential of Government buy-in within China’s SNS (this is in stark contrast to the West where government buy-in to SNS would meet with social uproar):

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Social Media in China

So how different is Social Media in China? Our team in China have put together a nice piece together (based on research, case studies and in-house insights from the Middle Kingdom’s social hotpot) to consider how it is different, identifying several key elements which underline and explain why media agencies/buyers and clients should consider China an extremely unique climate for social media marketing.

As well as describing the background facts and figures surrounding each featured element unique to China, we also provide possible implications into how they may better instruct future social media campaigns here and how it will affect the gender gap in China.

Contents
-A Huge Social Media Community
-The Netizen
-Social Anonymity & Avatars
-Archaic Social Media Prevails: BBS

A Huge Social Media Community

Background

BBS (Bulletin Board System) was launched in 1994, marking the beginning of the Chinese Internet Community. Today the Chinese internet population is the largest in the world with over 298 million users (Source, iResearch). Astonishingly this may only reflect an internet penetration within the country of 15-22% (Source, CNNIC). Figures suggest next year may see a massive increase yet again in internet population to over 389 million users (Source, BDA).

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Our House Selling Story Continues… Is Third Time the Charm?

I’d have to say we had one of the strangest closings, not that I’ve been to many, but it was definitely unbelievable! The buyers’ bank representative had to be on some sort of drugs because he was acting like he was on speed. As the buyers signed, they didn’t put the year for the date and when the banker noticed, he had a fit! He started talking under his breath and shaking his head and twitching like he has some serious OCD issues and one of the buyers and I were on the verge of saying something to him. He was a ticking time bomb.

Besides that, the bank had just moved into the office and there were barely any office supplies, so when it came time to make photocopies of documents, it took an hour for them to find copy paper! Our attorney was in disbelief of the whole situation as were we! We were thrilled when it was finally over. As we left the parking lot, we had such a sense of relief and elation even–that old door had finally closed and we were ready for the next to open! Almost a whole year of stress was finally over. Or was it..now we just had to secure a mortgage!

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Head Scarves Ban in France set off culture clash

Multiculturalism

Multicultural (or intercultural) education focuses on endeavors which deal with the rich diversity of cultures within the United States. According to the American Council on International Intercultural Education, we tend to approach multicultural education with a set of predispositions. There is an aspect of our nature that keeps diverse peoples from living in harmony.

Some attribute this to the limits of our comfort zone, our attraction toward the familiar, our fear of the unknown, family pressures, our lack of knowledge of others and limited opportunities to interact.

The intensified desire for peace and international understanding in this post-9/11 world has validated efforts to incorporate multicultural education in academia. Yet multicultural issues can be intensely personal, challenging and, in many ways, threatening to us as individuals and institutions. This topic clearly deserves attention and deliberation. Through this case study, students and educators will look critically at these issues and possible solutions.

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