Friday, January 27, 2012

12 Dozen Places To Educate Yourself Online For Free

This link contains a comprehensive listing of open courses (OCW), web casts, and other online learning resources you can access across several subjects, including science and health, business and money, humanities, mathematics, engineering, law, and foreign language. This is a cool list that any student, educator, and professional should bookmark among their favorites.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Unemployed in Chicago Line Up for Chance to Work for Ford Motor Company

NSFW: You may want to mute the audio due to profanity spoken in the background.

This is ridiculous. Ford Motor Company announced it is hiring and people are desperate for stable employment. In Chicago, the line literally extends over six blocks as people stood and waited outside in bone-chilling 10'F weather. I post this video because people need to wake up and realize that the REAL America is suffering in this bad economy. For the past five years, the Great Recession has disproportionately affected poor, middle-class, and minority populations. CNN, FOX News, and other local television news stations won't broadcast these stories because powerful elite forces don't want us to know the truth: the high cost of poverty and long-term unemployment on families' well-being. It will take grassroots reporters like this video to spread the word that enough is enough.

Friday, January 20, 2012

First U.S. Patent Satellite Branch Will Open in Detroit

The Alexandria, VA-based U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced this week that it will create its first satellite branch in Detroit. It is expected to be operational by July and help expedite the patent process. Good for Detroit and Great Lakes Region where innovation and engineering has a rich history!
The choice of Detroit as the site for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's first satellite facility has both strategic and symbolic value.

It makes sense to locate a patent office in a region with a strong tradition of engineering, manufacturing and design innovation. Despite the American auto industry's challenges of the past decade, Detroit remains the Motor City, where products are constantly being invented, improved and redesigned.

Opening a first-of-its-kind satellite office will expedite the process of applying for patents, which we hope will translate into the creation of new jobs.

Beyond the practicality of having a satellite patent office in Motown, it is symbolic that the federal government recognizes that Michigan, among the most economically battered of states, still retains a talented and creative work force that will play a key role in developing an inventive new economy for the future. In addition to automotive-related technology, the state also is moving forward in areas such as clean energy, agriculture and advanced batteries, all of which hold promise for new innovations.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement in Higher Education

Policymakers and university leaders demand a greater emphasis on civic learning and democratic engagement in higher education. While students learn about American history and civics in the classroom, many don't learn how to apply these lessons in real-life situations, such as voter turnout, town hall meetings, and public service. Furthermore, many students do not know the key difference between debate and deliberation.
That report, "A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future," prepared by the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, is being released today and makes the case for an elevated level of civic knowledge and democratic engagement among college students. As part of this push to make democratic engagement a national goal, the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter will join other Obama administration officials and higher education luminaries at the White House today to make the case that an engaged citizenry will bolster the country’s democracy and economy.

The report lays out what it calls a new vision for civic learning: familiarity with democratic principles and political structures, knowledge of political systems, cultures and religions in the United States and other parts of the world. "Knowledge is important, but it is equally important to work on public problems that help democracy,” said Carol Schneider, the AAC&U president, who was one of 11 members on the national task force that helped shaped the report. It calls on colleges and universities to build partnerships with nonprofits, governmental agencies, and business. "...civic learning needs to be an integral component of every level of education, from grammar school through graduate school, across all fields of study," the report concludes.

How do you feel about civic engagement in higher education?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Princeton Occupy Wall-Street Group Disrupts JP-Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs Sessions

I have to give kudos to these Princeton students. They had the confidence to stand up and voice their outrage over growing income inequality in front of JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs representatives last month. You can watch the videos below:

“Princeton’s motto is: in the nation’s service, and in the service of all nations,” the students recited, to the clear surprise and discomfort of a handful of recruiters. “JP Morgan, your actions violate our motto. Your predatory lending practices helped crash our economy. We bailed out your executives’ bonuses. You evict struggling homeowners while taking their tax money. You support mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia, which destroys our ecological future. In light of these actions, we protest the campus culture that whitewashes the crooked dealings of Wall Street as a prestigious career path. We are here today as a voice for the 99 percent, shut out by a system that punishes them just for being born without privilege. What we need is not a university for the 1 percent, but a university in the nation’s service, and in the service of all nations.”

The students then promptly picked up and walked out, leaving about half the classroom desks empty.

Lastly, I also hope everyone takes this time to reflect on how the late Martin Luther King, Jr. would say about the Occupy Wall Street movement on his National Birthday (January 16, 2012). He also fought for equal rights, world peace, and economic security for all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Princeton Review Career Quiz Results

Recently, I took the Princeton Review Career Quiz out of curiosity. The career assessment quiz is based on the Birkman Model, an advanced psychometric tool that measures human characteristics and behavior. More specifically, it measures what motivates you, how you deal with stress, and how well you work with others. It identifies a person's career interests and work style using four colors: Red (expediting; production-centered), Green (communicating; people-centered), Yellow (administrating; procedure-centered), and Blue (planning; idea-centered). It is NOT a personality test. It is also closely related to the Keirsey assessment (which I will post in the near future).
People with blue Interests like job responsibilities and occupations that involve creative, humanistic, thoughtful, and quiet types of activities. Blue Interests include abstracting, theorizing, designing, writing, reflecting, and originating, which often lead to work in editing, teaching, composing, inventing, mediating, clergy, and writing.

People with yellow styles perform their job responsibilities in a manner that is orderly and planned to meet a known schedule. They prefer to work where things get done with a minimum of interpretation and unexpected change. People with a yellow style tend to be orderly, cautious, structured, loyal, systematic, solitary, methodical, and organized, and usually thrive in a research-oriented, predictable, established, controlled, measurable, orderly environment. You will want to choose a work environment or career path in which your style is welcomed and produces results.

Careers Linked to 'Blue' Interests: Anthropologist, Book Publishing Professional, Career Counselor, College Administrator, City Planner, Consultant, Curator, Editor, Human Resources Manager, Journalist, Librarian, Mediator, Paralegal, Political Scientist, Product Designer, Professor, Psychologist, Public Health Administrator, Public Relations, Researcher, School Administrator, Secretary, Small Business Owner, Social Worker, Sociologist, Teacher, Travel Agent, Website Designer, Web Editor, Writer.

It sounds like I am heading down the right path!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Review: Careers for Good Samaritans and Other Humanitarian Types (2006)

Careers for Good Samaritans and Other Humanitarian Types (2006) by Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler, is a comprehensive vocational book about social change careers. It defines what is a Good Samaritan(someone concerned about the homeless, illiterate, drug addicts, working poor, hungry, refugees, pollution, or endangered species) and an overview of careers based on social value and altruism. It contains seven seven chapters plus three appendices on agencies, organizations and state offices of volunteerism and community service.

Occupations listed in this book include social service and community organizations, local and federal government, the health professions, religious groups, and volunteerism. Each chapter covers the history, educational options, job qualifications, and working conditions in each field. The authors also include numerous real-life career profiles of people working in these organizations. Good Samaritans and humanitarians can also find valuable work at foundations or work as teachers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. The authors also explain how you can find a humanitarian job through your college placement office, United Way office, Internet classifieds, and nonprofit-oriented periodicals. Most importantly, many jobs are never advertised so networking is key.

Overall, the authors provide good advice in four ways: 1) which specific profession is best for you; 2) how to make the right choices the first time around; 3) how to begin your job search focused and confident; and 4) how to present yourself as a knowledgeable, serious job candidate. I thought this book did an excellent job providing information about humanitarian and social service careers in different sectors (public, non-profit, and NGOs). There is also an equal balance of career profiles in domestic and international organizations. I recommend this book to college students and recent graduates who want to make a difference in the world but are not sure where to begin.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year -- Over 8,500 Hits!

Welcome to a new year (2012)! Michigan Girl's Cafe reached over 8,500 hits. This is fantastic news because my blog is becoming more popular. As I stated previously, this blog will cover topics in social work, higher education, and sociology. I also hope to return to graduate school in the fall. Stay tuned for more academic coverage and reviews soon.