Armed with a Degree and a Smile…the Job Hunt Begins.


The final countdown.  With just over two weeks left in the semester students are racing to complete projects and cramming for final exams. For those who are graduating, resumes are being fine tuned, references gathered, and ears are to the pavement on any and all job leads.  It’s an exciting and nervous time as two years of training culminates in a triumphant entry into the workforce.  For some this is the first real job they have ever had, for others it represents some sort of career change.  Young graduates can’t help but pick up on to the dismal tone of the older generation, when it comes to job prospects. They have to be worried they will be among the statistics of unemployed graduates, or will they stand out in the sea of job seekers?  I would love to advise you on the tips and tricks for landing your dream job, but as a person who has been on both sides of the hiring table…there are few hard and fast rules. I have never had a good answer to the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  I just learned that they do not want to hear the ever ambitious, “I’m want to have your job.” I have always fallen into the trap of “Tell me your strengths and weaknesses.” It seems interviewers have not appreciated by philosophical approach of “My strengths are my weakness and my weaknesses are my strengths” It doesn’t matter if it’s true that my sense of humor both helps and hinders me, and therefore is both a stench and weakness.  It seemed when I was on a hiring committee similar anecdotal answers were not well received.  For example a lady answered that she would give kids cookies for a snack at her last job, and since that was not allowed at the school we worked for…she was out. Another lady was not hired because she “looked like she wouldn’t want to get dirty.” Looking too nice for the job interview seems an odd arbitrary consideration, but this is often the case.  The problem is every company is looking for something different, and it nearly impossible to predict what qualities they want in an employee.  Certainly you can mold your personality to fit the expectation…but will the job be the right fit for you in that case? The older I get, the more I wonder if being yourself, and finding a job that truly respects all your candid answers,  is mission impossible.  However, imagine the job satisfaction you could have if you found that one perfect fit.  When they seek all your weaknesses as strengths, and have respect for your goal of getting their job in five years. If you can find that one job that knows exactly who you are and love you for it…then it will make all the hard work worthwhile. Good luck! Happy hunting.

Our Perfectly Imperfect World


“Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.” Tom Robbins. In our age of political correctness we have the tendency to overcompensate in the name of equality.  We stifle our own  preferences, turn a blind eye to differences, and make one size fits all solution to every problem.  In the interest of being fair we have stopped treating  people as individuals. It certainly seems like no harm can come from passing laws with the good intention of making things fair for everyone. The problem is, you cannot rid the world of hate and inequality by passing laws. All you succeed in doing is making it invisible.


The government seems intent on passing more laws. Tougher gun laws will certainly stop crime. Problem being, criminals do not follow the law, so more likely the result will be less law abiding citizens with guns. Our nation is unhealthy and overweight. so, the government responds with  heavy taxes on cigarettes and tax penalties, for going without health insurance. Surely hitting people in their wallet will encourage  them to do the “right” thing. There is no chance its just going to succeed in making the poor people poorer. Our nation is in a war against obesity, so they try to pass laws to ban happy meal toys and super-sized fries and drinks. Clearly Americans need the governments intervention in order to  make good choices.  


Lois Lowry creates a world where it is considered impolite to point out peoples differences, in her young adult novel, “The Giver”.  The book shows the benefits and sacrifices of a world of “sameness.”  The government makes all the choices for the residents, to be certain no one makes a mistake. What is left is a Utopian society without crime, acclimate weather, or even pain. Even the people all look the same, because differences in color have been eliminated.  Granted, this is with the good intention of ending discrimination, but it seems a  few steps too far. This book portrays a possible future if we continue to allow the government to limit our freedom of choice, under the guise of doing whats best for us.


 I’m not saying that the concept of a world without hunger and disease, natural disasters, and hate, isn’t worth striving for. But I am saying it is simply not possible to legislate morality. I may think its bad to smoke, eat fast food, and own guns, but that doesn’t mean I want to infringe upon other peoples rights. Further, I am not willing to trade my freedom of choice for someone else’s idea of right and wrong. Maybe you could care less about these issues, but the next rights that the government wants to infringe on might be something that is important to you.


The point is, there is not a one sized fits all answer to our problems. Complex problems require complex solutions. I think instead of trying to solve the world by looking around, we look within. Instead of trying to change everybody else, work on changing yourself. Don’t look at the fast food on your neighbors plate, and judge…look at your own, and be thankful there is something on it. Don’t look with jealously on the good fortunes of others; I’m sure, you honestly wouldn’t want to take it away. Know that fate smiles on us all at different times, in different ways, and soon you will see the gifts you have been bestowed. Soon, you will realize you do not want the same life as everyone else. You want a life as rare and wonderful as the person in charge of it…YOU.

Death, Marriage, and Taxes.


As a GCC blogger, I have the daunting task of choosing a topic on which to blog. Often times I stare at the blank screen and its blinking courser with dread, as my shoulders feel the weight of my luxurious burden.  So, what should I write about today? Death, Marriage, Taxes? Clearly I like to stick to the classics.  An internal chuckle is felt when as think of the similarities of these options from my topic pool.  As a woman who has been married for nearly 18 years, I can testify that there is a mourning and loss associated with the giant leap into holy matrimony. Amidst the obvious euphoria associated with finding the person who completes you, there is a part of yourself that is forever changed. The supposed finality of it all is somewhat frightening. The words “till death do you part.” feel pretty ominous. Who among us can really comprehend “forever?” The concept of death is even more abstract, and depending on your views, it’s grasp on us extends beyond forever into eternity. If there is one thing more dreaded then death (and public speaking) that would probably be taxes.  The government’s yearly invasion of our privacy, and in many cases our wallets, is fast approaching. Death and Taxes are universally thought of as the great equalizer, as they are unavoidable. Consider also, the ceremonies that surround these three life events.  We have the receiving line at the wedding, the funeral procession, and on tax day the line around the block at the post office.

At least marriage is done at the participant’s option, at least, for those of us who have that option. I for one see no need to discriminate in regard to whom is allowed to marry. The way I see it, they have just as much right to be miserable, as anybody else. The tax consequences of marriage, divorce and death are just as mind boggling as the events themselves. As a tax preparer, I relish in the joy of explaining to newly-weds that they cannot file as single anymore, and the several thousand dollar refund they each once received, will now be split between them.  Then the haunting tax consequences of lingering spouses that re-enter your life at tax time, claiming the children that you were suppose to claim. The glorious act of marriage that you thought was combining two souls into one, comes with it baggage in the form of low credit scores and IRS debt. I read that modern youth are getting wise to the importance of these factors when choosing a mate. The 60’s mantra of “what’s your sign” has been replaced with “what’s your credit score.”  When you marry someone you marry their entire family, and end up with all the joy and heartache that comes along with that. You will need a huge walk in closet to house the bulk of you and your spouse’s skeletons.  For all intents and purpose Marriage should be entered into with more preparation, trepidation, and seriousness than both death and taxes.  With that I wish you all a healthy and happy tax day, (April 15th) and I wish my husband a happy anniversary. (Also April 15th)

Self Defeating Ideology- The Pitfalls and Remedies of Common College Personalities


The Perfectionist-Procrastinator– “I cannot be the best- so why try?” Ironic as it seems, a perfectionist desire to be perfect makes them their own worst enemy.  They are more likely to do nothing, then risk failing. This personality type procrastinates the starting of projects until the final hour and often turn things in late or not at all. They make up excuses like, “I work better under pressure”.  They have trouble getting started on an assignment due to a feeling of being inadequate.

Remedy- Start the assignment immediately after it is assigned, before there is time for self doubt to creep in.  If you start early, chances are you will finish early as well.  Once you experience the freedom of the project no longer hanging over your head, you will be motivated to change your procrastinating ways.  Trust enough in your ability that you will not fail, while accepting the fact that failing is okay.  That concept isn’t an easy one to accept, and seems contradictory at first.  If you understand that learning is a process, you will be more accepting if the highs and lows. The only real failure – is failure to try.

The Crammer-Hoper “I hope the class is cancelled.”  “I hope the teacher grades on a curve.” In the minutes before the test this typical college personality frantically grabs a text book and proceeds to dump and cram as much information as their brain will hold. Bits of knowledge races around in their head bumping into each other. Their head literally explodes and test answers fall through the art like snowflakes…melting before they reach the test.   Realizing these efforts were in vain, they rely on their ability to BS the way through the test, as they have done in the past. Then the promises come, “Next time I will study more.” Of course, The next test is just a repeat of this same vicious cycle.

Remedy- Cramming has never been an effective way to study; it does little more than elevate your blood pressure. Further, a reliance on hope or BS will not get you very far in life, as both can run out. Study to learn the information- not for the test.  Long ago, someone came up with the brilliant ideas that knowledge must be tested, to be certain that it is possessed. This inevitably shifted the focus from gaining the education, to passing the test. This could be a fatal mistake in a person’s educational pursuits. Think about it, do you want the doctor that squeaked by with passing grades, or the one who had such a thirst and passion for the subject that they absorbed every bit of knowledge, and sought out more? You are only cheating yourself (and future clients) by taking your opportunity to be educated for granted.

The Low Self Esteem-Excuse Maker– “Everyone who gets good grades, is just smarter than I am.”  “I can’t learn this!”  “I do not have time to study.”  If this typical college personality spent half as much time studying, as they do making excuses for why they didn’t, then they would be one of the “smart” people they complain about.

Remedy- Be smart enough to study. You are capable of learning anything that you put your mind to. Learn some study techniques. (I wrote a blog about it.) Avoid distractions like Face book, You tube, and Twitter. These waste time, and although you can claim you are multi-tasking but you are really just dragging your feet. Take responsibility for your own actions and do not compare yourself to those around you. You are not in a competition against them Your job is to be the best you, that you can be.

Almost makes you look forward to the Zombie Apocalypse


Ok, so Zombies are the hip new thing with you young people. My daughter drags my lifeless corpse to the comedy movie “Warm Bodies”, and I came alive!  This quaint story of a young zombie that falls in love with a human girl, is laugh out loud funny! Get ready to fall in love with a new kind of monster movie. These are definitely not your father’s zombie movies! With my recent Netflix subscription I have also been introduced to the AMC show about the Zombie apocalypse. “The Walking Dead” centers on a Sheriff who is shot and is unconscious when the zombies take over the planet destroying most of mankind. He wakes up and goes looking for his wife and son who had been rescued by his friend and co-worker. The Sherriff realizes his family left in a hurry, and wanders in a dazed state, doomed for certain death at the teeth of a “walker”. He’s rescued and brought up to speed by a man and his son whom are hankered down in an abandoned house.   After making an agreement to stay in contact, the two part ways, and the Sherriff looks for his family. He goes to the city to find shelter, only to find it has been taken over by zombies. The Sherriff comes to a “dead end” when zombies trap him inside an abandoned Army Tank. He is contacted on the CB by a young Korean man who, after insulting his intellect, helps him escape. The sheriff joins a motley crew of survivors, who are not pleased that he has now put all their lives in peril.  Quickly he earns the respect of the group by handcuffing the racist redneck bully of the group to a pipe. He launches an escape plan that involves smearing themselves with zombie guts. (How cool it that?) The group makes their way back to camp, where the Sherriff is reunited with his wife and son.  They were still in the care of his co-worker, whom had left him for dead, and now was in a secret relationship with his wife.  The Walking Dead may not be the most original premise for a series, but it is extremely well written and the effects are spectacular!  I jump out of my seat from the action and the suspense is enough that my legs shake uncontrollably. (Yes, my family looks at me like I’m insane.) This is my family’s new addiction. I recommend it to anyone who liked Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roswell, or anything cool and zombie-like.

Don’t just pursue happiness, Own it!


It is hard to believe we are half way through February of 2013 already.  So far I give 2013 two thumbs up. New Years is naturally a time to simultaneously time reflect on the past and look with renewed hope to the future.  2012 for me it was one of triumph through struggles. It seems that “life happens”: it never puts itself on hold while you complete you’re to do list. It is tempting to turn around and run for the hills, when an obstacle appears between us and our goals. Most of us put off our dreams until later. We imagine that someday there will be we will have more time or less challenges. The fact is we will never have the ideal time that we envision. We even often put off being happy until some unspecified date in the future. Usually there is a specific goal that needs to be obtained for the happiness to be realized. I will be happy if I get my dream job, lose 20 pounds, and get an A on the test. It is great to set goals, or resolutions for change, and even better to work towards them. The destructive behavior is to put conditions on happiness. When you place a condition on happiness, you are choosing not to be happy with the person you are now. The truth is this moment is all we will ever have,  and they slip away in the blink of an eye. Happiness is not some mysterious white night on a horse to be waited for. It is not this unobtainable prize placed just out of reach. Happiness is already inside each of us, if we choose to recognize and bask in it glow. When I was younger and more cynical about life I would often  think that people who seemed very happy all the time must be of below average intellect. How can they see all the horrors of the world and walk around with a dumb smile on their face. Really, that was me: Age 18. I was a riot at parties. Of course, in reality many of the happiest people are also the smartest. I further thought that if someone were happy all the time, they must have a perfect life. Then I worked with a woman who by all accounts had the most turmoil-ridden, poverty-stricken, abused life…and she made me laugh until it hurt. She was ten years older than I was and she taught me how to be a kid for the first time.  I can’t say for certain that she was truly happy, or she was a clown to hide the pain. What I do know is happiness can be thought of as a learned behavior. It takes practice, and a certain amount of “faking it” until you make it might be in order. Start by squashing the negative thoughts about yourself and life in general as soon as they enter your brain. Choose to hang around with people who put a positive spin on life. I know it seems like fun to gather round and commiserate with your co-workers, classmates, and family about the evils in the world, but it’s not a healthy behavior. It just feeds the negativity, until there is nothing left but to wallow in your own misery. That does not mean you will never be unhappy. “If you were happy every day of your life, you wouldn’t be a human being. You’d be a game show host.” (Heathers)  I’m just saying realize this: Your life is not as bad as you think. If you can learn to smile through the tears when life isn’t going your way, then when things do work out the joy will be untarnished. Again, if you do not “own” your happiness, then you will be too paralyzed with fear of something going wrong, to really enjoy happy times. Most unhappiness is caused by fear of the unknown. If you are ready to be happy come hell or high-water, then you will not have your blissful moments spoiled by uncertainty. I write this as much as a reminder for myself, as I do for the readers. To all of you who are in pursuit of your happiness in 2013. I hope you catch it!

Yes, I was on Your TV


Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a glamorous movie or television star? Recently, I got a small taste of fame with my Television Commercial Debut. I cannot say I’m getting Warhol’s promised fifteen minutes of fame, but if you watch Fox or Buffalo stations, you might see my thirty seconds in the lights.
It all started when in a late night lapse in judgment; I answered a vague Craigslist posting looking for a “real Mom” to be in a commercial for a retail store. After about a day of paranoia that I had just given the “Craigslist killer” personal information about myself, I get the call from a studio executive. I’m told a few details about the project and I’m asked to upload a short video about my family and shopping habits. Enough time passes for me to decide that I wasn’t chosen when another mysterious call comes in.
I was one of two Moms who were invited to shop our local grocery store and then compare those items with the prices at the major retailer. I was briefed on a long list of legalities, rules, and a banned clothing list that eliminated nearly every item in my wardrobe. I am also told a ridiculous tale of shopping horror stories, so I knew what not to do. Tuesday morning at 7:45 came early, as I met the company officials and 2nd Mom at a donut shop. After some inevitable getting lost and an embarrassing display of my inability to work a smart phone type gadget, we arrive at the grocery store.
The initial shopping trip begins. I chose my forty items, being careful to stay within the guidelines, while getting an accurate snap shot of a typical shopping trip. It was just like a normal shopping trip with my family except I didn’t have my family throwing random junk food in the cart, and the executive actually helped load groceries on the cart and carried the bags. The company was kind enough to purchase these groceries, as they would be critical during this next stage.
We arrive at the major retail store where I’m greeted by store managers, film crew, make-up artist, and the star of the commercial. After a tour of the store, the results are revealed…drumroll…. I was chosen to be in the commercial! With a handshake, Mom #2 leaves, and I am sat down in a make-up chair. For perhaps the first time in twenty years, my hair is “done.” My face is layered with concealer, powder, and I’m introduced to a medieval torture device called an eyelash curler. The nice lady warns, “Do not move or you will lose all your eyelashes.” The move magic continues, as microphones are taped inside my shirt and attached to the back of my pants.
The first location is the produce section, where I strike a pose for a photo shoot, as onlookers select their fruits and veggies. We film a short clip outside, where my eyes water from the cold in the winter air. Next, we film the first product comparison. I have no lines or rehearsal, but instead, I’m instructed to listen to what the host tells me to react. Take One…Take Two. I quickly become aware of the time restrictions as the host is instructed to change his wording or pace. Logic tells me I also do not have time to recite a soliloquy. We continue in this manner for the other products, as I laugh at the quirky host and marvel the price differences between the two stores. Each step of the way there are legal concerns to consider, which I find of particular interest as a paralegal major.
Bystanders gawk, and wonder out loud what we are doing, even asking who I am. A staff member quips, “Don’t you know her? She’s a famous star!” I felt like a real celebrity as the make-up lady touched up my hair and make-up between every take. We break for lunch, but I can hardly eat from all the excitement. By the time the video shot rapped around 4:00, I was exhausted, but they still had questions for a radio spot.
When I was finally done for the day, I come to GCC for my night class. I get the first look at myself in the mirror, and use water and paper towels to wipe off as much gunk as I could. It was good to relax and return to life among the “normal” people. Apparently, being myself, is the toughest acting job I’ve ever imagined.
Within two days, My Facebook lit up with friends asking if that was me they saw on TV. Co-workers were calling asking for the famous “Rhonda Parker” and family was stopping me in the store, asking for my autograph. I was one of the last one to see the finished product. My husband and started watching TV just to see the commercials. My face becomes the last thing I’d see before bed, and the first thing I woke up to in the morning. I was unavoidable, just like the crew promised I would be.
Overall, this was a fantastic experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It gave me, yet again, a more objective view on the Hollywood lifestyle. A lot more work goes into every aspect of making a movie, or commercial in this case, then you would ever home to imagine. I found out a few things I might never have known about myself. First of all, I’d rather sleep in than have to start my day several hours before the crack of dawn. I’d rather be the one behind the camera, or better yet behind the computer monitor. Most importantly, I do not want to ever be within fifty feet of an eyelash curling device ever again! I’m still having post-traumatic stress syndrome from that evil little beauty aid!

What Do GCC Students Want to be When They Grow Up?


Do you ever look around you in class and wonder if you are the exception, or the rule? Are you on the road less traveled, or surrounded by your peers? Since I tend to look at things from a statistical standpoint, these are questions I quietly ask as I look at the faces around me. Did you know, there is statistical data on the GCC website under institutional research and assessment? It contains some interesting data that further confirms some of my suspicions about which majors appeal to older students, and which majors are chosen more by young students. There is also information on which classes are predominately female and which have higher percentages of male enrollment. I want to preface this blog with a disclaimer. I am looking at this chart as a novice and just for fun, so none of my estimations are guaranteed accurate.
With total enrollment from 2008 to 2011 being predominately female by a ratio of nearly 2 to 1; it is surprising that there are any majors where the men outnumber the women. Communication and Media Arts Majors tend to be boys, however girls are closing the gap, if trends continue. Business Administration classes are where the boys are, as the chart indicates there are about 20 percent more males in that major. Criminal Justice is 2 to 1 in favor of men, also. Computer Information Systems is the most male dominated with a 4 to 1 ratio. Men are also found in the Physical Education major about three times as often as women.
Teaching has been dominated by females, so the 4 to 1 ratio from 2008 to 2010 is no surprise, but in 2011 the gap narrowed with a 3 to 1. It is also no surprise that more females go into Nursing than males. Interestingly, over the four year span, enrollment has been increasing, and the female to male ratio has narrowed from 10 to 1 to 5 to 1. Fashion Merchandising Management, Tourism and Hospitality, and Medical Administrative Assistant also largely appeal to woman.
As far as the returning students are concerned, they seem to choose very specific career minded professions. Teaching Assistants, Customer Relationship Manager and Respiratory Care degrees appeal to students with an average age of 33. Next in line are Accounting and Administrating Assistants whom were 32, on average. We round out the 30 somethings with degrees in Human Services, Paralegal and Nursing.
Students who are fresh out of high school are more likely to choose degrees that are a bit more abstract and flexible, perhaps even artistic. The youngest average age of 19 was found in Fashion Merchandising Management. Other majors that appeal to those in their early 20’s include Theater Tech, Digital Art, Criminal Justice, Physical Education, and Communications/Media Arts.
As you can see, your mom was right when she said you can be anything when you grow up. The career choices people make depend on a lot of factors that are specific to that individual’s preferences and abilities as well as the employment opportunities in the area. The chart does seem to show a definite shift in these choices as a person approaches late twenties and into the thirties. It seems that the question “What do you want to be when you grow up,” changes over time. Let it inspire hope in young people who are following their dreams, that there are second chances in life. If your original dream does not work out, do not dispair. Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars! Go back to school.

Saving money on Textbooks 101


First week of class, and I’m seeing a lot of intense faces around campus. Some people are still scrambling last minute to get the books and supplies they need for college. I have been giving out some money saving advice around campus, and I thought I might blog about some of my tricks of the trade.

#1 Used Books- It’s no secret, wherever you buy the book you will save 50% buying it used. They tend to be in good to like new condition from reputable sellers. I bought most of mine from Amazon It’s easy to search and they list merchants with that book and choose the best price and/or reputation. Some are filled by Amazon and qualify for free supersaver shipping. Amazon was great to work with for a return when I changed my mind and they will buy back the books when you are done. I actually made a profit on one book last semester. (Shop around on buy backs- it is a supply and demand system- so prices differ from place to place and day to day. In fact that goes for the price of buying used books also.)

#2 Renting- There are several sites that rent textbooks. I usually use They had the best rental prices for most items and if you search google for a coupon code you can save an extra 5-10% of 2 or more rentals. They pay shipping cost both ways. They have different costs for shorter rental periods too! Renting can work out better than buying used because often publishers come out with a new edition of the book, so you will be stuck with the old one.

#3 Borrowing- The Library has a selection of Textbooks  at the circulation desk. If you leave your ID badge, you can borrow the book  while in the library. This is great if the book is not needed all the time, you are unsure about staying in the class, or you are on campus a lot, like me. Also, you could borrow from of share with a classmate or friend.

#4 Free E-book trial- When you need a textbook in a hurry, try websites that offer free trials of E-books!   I tried where you can read the first chapter or so of the book and copy-paste all the notes so I did not fall behind waiting for books in the mail. (Of course you might like it, and e-textbooks are less pricey than new books also!) Some even give you a week free trial, so if you read fast, you might not need to buy the book at all!

#5 Cash Back- Rebates with “Ebates”. I shop online through a link and I get paid up to 25% cash back for purchases made at pretty much any store you can imagine, including Amazon and Bookrenter. I have made over $600.00 shopping online over the past few years. You even get a ten dollar gift card to join, so check it out.

I hope these tips are helpful to each of you as you get into the swing of things this semester. With the tight budgets of college students every few bucks you save means another mocha latte at the cafe’.  Until next time, I hope to see you around campus. I’ll be the one with their nose in a discount Textbook…but I always have time to look up and say “Hi.” to a friend!

A Loss For Words


There are so many feelings that flood my mind at the end of the semester that I am at a loss for words to effectively convey my emotions. The relief that I’m done with my classes mixed with the heartbreak of leaving treasured new friends. Bittersweet does not seem strong enough or accurate enough to tell the full story. As a writer, it’s tough to admit the English language oftentimes falls short of having the perfect word to express an exact emotion. For example, “Love” can mean so many different things to different people, at different times…and yet we have only four letters trying to say it all.

In most cultures, people have many words to describe what is important to them. Eskimos have over twenty words for snow and the French have endless descriptions for wine.  What words are important to Americans? Pizza? Couch? Internet? I’m almost afraid to ask.  The book “The meaning of Tingo” by Adam Jacot de Boinod is more daring than I. It explores interesting words from around the world, and their often very precise meanings. It tended to make me jealous of the beauty of other languages.

Even a senior moment is fun in Hawaiian. Just say, “pana po’o”, which means to scratch your head to remember something you have forgotten.  Goofing off sounds just as fun in Japanese; “bosabosa”. I can see myself being a “neko-neko” in Indonesian. That is one who has a creative idea which only makes things worse.  I would blush as the social consequences of a Turkish “fart”, which means talking nonsense.

The words to describe specific people are some of the most hysterical. In Japanese a “bakkushan” is a woman who appears pretty from behind, but not from the front.  In Yiddish they call someone who interferes with unwanted advice  a “kibitzer: but I just call her “Mom”. In the Congo they say “Iilunga” to describe one who is ready to forgive any abuse the first time, tolerate it a second time, but never a third. Maybe that is where we get three strikes and you’re out.  German words are always quite descriptive, like this one that just sounds like my husband looks.  A “Krawattenmuffel” is one who doesn’t like wearing ties.

America is such a melting pot that our language is derived from nearly all others.  It makes sense that oftentimes there is a familiar ring to words from other languages.  At GCC we are fortunate to have a diverse population of cultures. It can be very interesting to bridge the language barrier to learn new words from Japan, Mexico, or Hawaii.  Or perhaps, you could be of assistance in teaching someone new to our country the connotations of English words or slang phrases.  I did not know “pop” was another word for “soda”, and I only moved to New York from Virginia. Just my age prevents me from fully comprehending conversations from young people that are essentially English, or what passes for it these days.

Finally, I hope that this semester comes to a productive and pleasant end for my fellow students and esteemed teachers.  May the upcoming holidays and New Year bring hope and joy into each of your lives..  With the wisdom of a fortune cookie I wish “mingmu” for all.  That is Chinese for “to die without regret.” Suckle every drop of sweet necker your lives have to offer, for the breath of life will all too soon come to its bittersweet end.