TEDxMcGill: Redefining Reality

Yesterday I was thrilled to attend TEDxMcGill 2011. I’ve always been a huge fan of the TED community, and being able to go to the conference in my city two years in a row has been an an amazing experience. If you have an “X” conference where you live, I couldn’t encourage you more to take the opportunity to go and discover all the great ideas that your community is spreading and soaking up.

I would try and convince you to go, but I’ll hold back from telling you why it’s worth it. Hopefully by not desperately trying to convince you, it’ll ensure that those who do go are 100% enthusiastic and committed to the TED experience and are more than happy to donate their money and their whole day to the cause.

If you’re not familiar with the world of TED, get familiar! (This intro video for TEDxAmsterdam is pretty amazing too.)

The tagline of the organization is “ideas worth spreading”, and I’ve never failed to be either inspired, intrigued, informed or opened up after watching any of the talks. The “x” means “independently organized event”, and they’re held all over the world. The most creative and innovative people come together – people from art, science, philanthropy, engineering, healthcare – and share their ideas, and I find that process one of the most inspiring there is. What could be more beautiful than the sharing of ideas? It’s what makes us human.

Yesterday’s event was no different from my past experiences with TED. This year’s theme was redefining reality, and the speakers team really did an amazing job of organizing the talks into 3 sessions that mirror the process of how we can go about redefining our reality. While I enjoyed every single one of the talks, I want to focus on the ones that left the greatest impression so that I can keep this short and sweet! You can check out the rest of the speakers & their ideas here.

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Food For Thought: Killing Us Softly

Photo thanks to syafira2191

Hey y’all! I am currently 4 days into NaNoWriMo, and it’s really challenging! Last night, making myself write 1,600 words was like forcing a three year old to eat their vegetables. But to have 11 pages of a novel written? What a great feeling. I’m going to keep pushing through, and report back soon. Anyone who is participating, best of luck! I hope you’re doing well. Please chime in a comment about what gets you through! :)

As I’m heading toward the weekend, I wanted to stop in and share some “food for thought”. I’m taking a sociology of gender class this semester, and it has really opened my eyes to the world. A few weeks ago, our teacher shared a film with us: “Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women”. The filmmaker, Jean Kilbourne, has been making these films for several years. In them, she explores the way that the media portrays women, and investigates how these images affect the treatment of women in our society.

I truly believe these films should be “required watching” for everyone. Even if you’re not compelled to take action after watching, at least you’ll be examining advertising with a more critical lens.

I couldn’t find a copy of Killing Us Softly 4 online, but Documentary Heaven hosts Killing Us Softly 3, a version (still relevant!) made in the early 90’s. I watched about half of this one, and much of the material was identical to that in #4. I would encourage you to watch this version in the absence of a copy of #4 because it explores the same issues!

And here is the trailer for #4:

I hope you find these perspectives interesting, and thought-provoking. I certainly did. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Have a very happy weekend everyone!


New Year’s Resolutions Update

Check out my New Year’s Resolutions Quarterly Report to see the progress I’ve made since March!

It’s August 15, which means we are 8 months into 2011, just slightly under 3/4 of the way through this year! As a reminder to myself, I wanted to outline my progress on my resolutions, so that I don’t forget them as I head back to school. Maybe this post can serve as a hint to you too: have you made progress on your resolutions!? How about your goals, wishes, desires, dreams, ideas? If yes: congratulations, I am very proud of you! If no, you still have 3.5 months to go, so get crack-a-lackin’! I know that this post is going to be a kick in my pants, for sure. :)

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How To Get A Summer Job, Part 2

You can find Part 1 of this miniseries here.

Photo thanks to Andy B Goode

I was talking about summer employment the other day with a few friends, and it got me thinking about my first article on the subject. I thought I’d made most of the appropriate points, but it occurred to me that I very much wrote it from the point of view of my upbringing and my inbred knowledge about how one is supposed to go about these things.

Bad move, sista! Clearly, not everyone had “professionalism” drilled into them from birth – not everyone applied at the grocery store in grade 9 wearing a little skirt suit. This is clear to me, because now that I have a full-time job, I see the hoards of people “cold-calling” our store to ask for work. And guess what honey? They ain’t all prepared.

So just in case you’re in any way unsure about the teensy details of how to approach your job hunt, look no further! Let’s go back to basics.

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