It has been a while since I last blogged but with school and work and everything in between I just haven’t been able to make time for it. But not to worry adoring fans, I have something from the way back machine to bring you. During my senior year I wrote this editorial for the Bentley Vanguard. You see, at Bentley, having a long email signature seemed to be the cool thing to do for a few months. People were including things that no one cared about, all in the name of self promotion. Here was my response.
There comes a time in everyone’s Bentley career when you feel like the number of e-mails you are sending out, and your obvious importance, requires you to take a few shortcuts and permanently affix a signature to the bottom of each e-mail that comes from your “midas-esque” fingers.
The thing about signatures, though, is that they should be exactly that, a signature.
A brief scan through almost anyone’s in-box will prove that this is far from what is happening, with most signatures straying away from pithy sign off to boastful resume.
In some cases, an e-mail signature has morphed into more of a phallic size comparison for some than a time-saving sign off.
Here is a challenge for readers: Go through your in-box and find some of the longer e-mail signatures you can find. A brief scan of The Vanguard e-mail account rendered one gem of a signature, listing everything from former membership in organizations to former jobs held. In total, the signature was 11 lines long.
This has got to stop. We understand you are important, we understand we should be careful with what we send to such a well-connected leader and we understand that you used to work as a clerk at CVS, but really, do you need to send it to everyone?
Are you really providing vital information to those whom you e-mail, or is this just another way to send out your resume?
It has become an increasing trend for people to put former positions held as well, including everything from “Former President and Founding Member of Club X,” to “Former Intramural B-League Basketball Captain.”
We skimmed through our collective lives and thought of some of the former positions we have held. “Former Las Vegas Day School 5th Grade Class Secretary” or “Former Middle School Student of the Week (10 times).” How about former jobs we have had; “Former Subway Sandwich Artist,” or “Former Babysitter, Grades 6th – 8th, for Tommy and Johnny.”
And what if we got into future goals and aspirations? “Future Father to Michael, Juliette and Gwyneth,” one could read.
It is not far-fetched to assume that some students have their future so planned out.
“Future Husband of the Year,” said one dreamer. “Future Inmate 23345691,” pondered another.
“Future CEO,” “Future CPA,” “Future POTUS,” these are all aspirations of some and if your former positions on campus are important, why aren’t your future aspirations?
Where does it stop? Where do we draw the line to ludicrous signatures?
E-mail is a revolutionary means of communication and something that has totally changed the way we do business.
What e-mail was not meant for was to let the world (or those who read your e-mails) know of how important you are or what positions you used to hold.
It is one thing to give people a sense of who you are and what you do, but it is another thing completely to dispense your resume with every click of send.
We all collectively have information that we would like everyone to know, but show a little discretion and remove the items of minor importance.
It is an ego-cutting measure, we understand, but it takes a big person to realize they aren’t as important as they think.
It seems like there is a holiday for anything and everything you could think of. Well, for all of you get nostalgic for your younger years, when pillow fighting was allowed, today is your day. Little did anyone know, but April 2nd is International Pillow Fight Day, and a number of Washingtonians decided to celebrate — by holding a pillow fight on the Mall.
For more, check out Chandler Clay’s post at TBD.com.
For the last three months I have been the Executive Producer of Intern Edition at NPR and all that work will be realized in our broadcast Not Quite There: The stories of young professionals redefining adulthood.
Stories will vary from a reflection on how being young has changed over the years to an in-depth look at how youth unemployment led to political instability in Egypt.
There will be more to come, but take a look at this poster for more information.
Washington DC is facing a budget shortfall of 320 million dollars, forcing the city to consider cutting community programs. Paso Nuevo is one of those programs — a group that has already been rejected for outside foundation funding and fears the mayor will cut money for summer youth programs, too.
Quique Aviles, a Salvadoran poet and activist heads up the program. Aviles says that art saved him from his drug addiction and is the reason why he believes a program like Paso Nuevo is critical to a cities well-being. He believes so strongly in this program that even if funding is cut, Aviles will continue to work with these kids and help them find an outlet in acting.
Here is my report.
A CNN Research poll released now shows that the Tea Party is losing popularity — and fast.
Thirty-two percent of people polled said they had a favorable view of the Tea Party in March. While that number is nearly exactly equal to the Democrats and Republicans, the Tea Party numbers are down dramatically over the last year. A year ago, 53 percent of people said they had a favorable view of the group, a decline of 21 points.
The Tea Party, however, is not going anywhere. There are more representatives that identify with the party than ever; they even have their own congressional caucus. A number of presidential candidates — Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and others — are already trying to court the groups somewhat unfocused support. And fundraising is already coming in to groups like American Crossroads and the Tea Party Express.
The Tea Party is not dying, not by any stretch of the imagination. But their popularity is shrinking and the ramifications will loom large in the 2012 election. It seems there are two possibilities on what could transpire in the lead up to the presidential election.
Mimicking what happened in the lead up to the 2010 midterms, the Tea Party could ramp up and begin to organize their many groups around the country. The most likely way this would happen is if the Tea Party feels that one of theirs is on the ticket — either as the GOP nominee or possibly as the parties own nominee.
In a recent USA Today article, the possibility of both of those situations was analyzed.
The fact that there is no clear front-runner in the race provides an opportunity for a Tea Party candidate to secure the nomination outright, said Frank Donatelli, a Republican political consultant who worked for President Reagan.
And there are some candidates who look ready to catch the Tea Party mantle and run with it. Michele Bachman says she wanted to be part of the conversation, which most political pundits say means she is going to get in the race. Even Donald Trump could carry the banner. The businessman has been banging the “birther” drum of the last few weeks and is grabbing headlines for it. If this trend continues, Trump could be hired by the Tea Party.
The list of possible Tea Party candidates goes on too — Palin, Huckabee, Cain and the like.
The NY Times Thomas Friedman also says a third-party candidate is a possibility. His argument, however, is that the third-party candidate could come from the middle, not the center.
We need a third party on the stage of the next presidential debate to look Americans in the eye and say: “These two parties are lying to you. They can’t tell you the truth because they are each trapped in decades of special interests. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. I am going to tell you what you need to hear if we want to be the world’s leaders, not the new Romans.”
If Friedman is right and a third-party comes from the middle, the second scenario, with the Tea Party running their own candidate would be less likely to happen. If there is a push for middle of the road candidate, the GOP would nominate someone like Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman, two Republicans who have not courted the Tea Party. Our system of government has been balanced by two parties for years now — it seems would could handle one-third party candidate for president, but not a fourth.
In politics, however, popularity is key. Without it, a politician becomes just another person with ideas. And you know what people say about ideas. For their sake, the Tea Party needs to be popular in 2012 — no matter who gets nominated.
Facing a 320 million dollar budget shortfall, DC mayor Vincent Gray is looking to his constituents for ideas on how to shore up DC’s nagging budget woes. Washingtonians who log onto the site are asked what areas of the budget they would like prioritized given the choice between education, transportation and others.
In talking to people on the street, one thing was clear — education is still a top priority.
Here is my report.