Monday, December 26, 2011

Taking Tests is Fun...

OK, so I'm a little odd that way. 
When I was in grade school one of my classmates taught me a lesson about test-taking that has stuck with me through the years. His name was Dean Boettcher and one day when we were going to take a test and I was worried that I would do badly, he said "It's just a game".  "What?" says I.  "Taking a test is like playing a game." Dean said.  "It's a game to see how much you know."

In that spirit, I try to teach my sons the same thing and I hope it is making an impression on them, too.

In preparing for the SAT and ACT tests... the all- important gatekeepers to a college education, I get a practice test question everyday in my email. The boys sometimes try them, but I have gotten to the point where I look forward to taking the quiz everyday. It automatically tells you if you are right or wrong and can even keep score for you over the days.

So, here is today's question of the day:

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E. 

The Bear Gulch Limestone Formation  in  Montana is
a sequence of bedded limestone layers  up to  90
feet thick  and  approximately 8 miles  across .  No 
  C   D   E  
A.  click to choose answer A   (A)
B.  click to choose answer B   (B)
C.  click to choose answer C   (C)
D.  click to choose answer D   (D)
E.  click to choose answer E   (E)
I don't think you will get the automatic answer, so I will give it to you....
The correct answer is E
That one was too easy for you writers out there.  But, how about the next one.

As we all know, my math skills could not get me a job at McDonald's and were it not for calculators on cell phones, I would still be using my fingers.
But, using the "game" theory on the following question... I got it RIGHT!
You try it and see how you do, then read on and I will tell you why I ace'd it.

Read the following SAT test question and then click on a button to select your answer. 

math image

The function y = function f of x, defined fornegative 1.5 less than x less than 1.5, is graphed above. For how many different values of x is function f of x = 0.2?
A.  click to choose answer A   None
B.  click to choose answer B   One
C.  click to choose answer C   Two
D.  click to choose answer D   Three
E.  click to choose answer E   Four
The correct answer is E, Four.

I got it right because I GUESSED. They tell you in test prep, to go with your first instinct and don't really give it too much thought.  So, I didn't.  I looked at the picture, saw 4 points where the wavy line crossed the horizontal like... figured that the 0 in the middle didn't count... and guessed.
TTaking tests are like playing a game... go with you gut, take a big swing and if you screw up, come back another day and play again while learning from your mistakes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to write a story...

A couple of years ago, my sons and I visited a vice president at 20th Century Fox so they could pitch their idea for a new movie. This was a terrific opportunity for them and Mitsy Wilson, the VP and another VP for script development sat with them for over an hour!
Bottom line, they did not sell the script, but were strongly encouraged to keep working on it and re-submit it when they were finished.  They were a little too young to really appreciate the opportunity, but they did take away one big lesson... stay in school!!

They were also given a gift of a DVD set by Robert McKee who teaches script writing in Hollywood and runs seminars all over the world. At the time, we did not listen to the DVD's, being busy with middle school, high school and work. But, just this week we began to listen to them while riding in the car. #1 son and I listened to it on our way to see the movie "The Immortals" and after watching the film, came to the same conclusion... nice special effects and computer graphics... not much story.

The good part is, he is thinking about writing again and may go back to that script "Dinoville" that he started so long a go and pitched to FOX. And, not only that, but I am inspired to get out those scripts I wrote in college and while doing TV news and take another swing at them.

You may finally see our stuff on the screen! Stay tuned!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

How I fell in love with a voice...

In the 1970's and thereabouts, Ron Cuzner was on the radio late at night with his show The Dark Side.
Duane Dudek just added some of the audio from his shows to the JSOnline website and it took me back to some late nights I spent alone, in the semi- darkness with Ron's voice.

He had a style all his own and a rhythm to his patter that made you relax and want to crawl through the radio and join him in the studio.

I was editing a special for WTMJ called the Christmas Tree Ship.  It was the story of the Rouse Simmons that sank on its way to Chicago with all hands lost and tons of Christmas trees sent to the bottom of Lake Michigan during a November storm.  I worked on the documentary after my regular shift for Channel 4. That meant that I started editing at about 10:30pm and worked until dawn... and all that time, Ron's voice was with me.

When I took breaks from the miles of film (yes, we were still using film then) and relaxed for a few minutes, Ron's beautiful voice and the jazz he played were both relaxing and energizing.  Sometimes I talked back to the radio.  I had long, deep conversations with Ron that he never knew about.

The best way to listen to Ron Cuzner was in the dark... late at night... alone... or maybe not.

Thank you, Ron for making my Dark Side, bright.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, John-Brooks~~ He was 19 on November 20.  I hope he continues to grow into being a good MAN... 
These thoughts courtesy of Terry Bertha White on facebook...
 Boys play house. Men build homes!!! Boys shack up. Men get married!!! Boys make babies. Men raise children!!! A boy won't raise his own children. A man will raise his and someone else's!!! Boys invent excuses for failure. Men produce strategies for success!!! Boys look for somebody to take care of them. Men look for someone to take care of!!! Boys seek popularity. Men demand respect and know how to give it!!! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hey blog buddies... here is a series of really funny (and very true) observations about the Badger state.  thank you Julia
Wisconsin, according to Jeff Foxworthy: If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you may live in Wisconsin. If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't even work there, you may live in Wisconsin. If you've worn shorts and a jacket at the same time, you may live in Wisconsin.... If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a............... wrong ...number, you may live in Wisconsin. If "vacation" means going anywhere North of Milwaukee for the weekend, you may live in Wisconsin. If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Wisconsin. If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Wisconsin. If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again, you may live in Wisconsin. If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you may live in Wisconsin. If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both doors unlocked, you may live in Wisconsin. If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Wisconsin. If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you may live in Wisconsin. If the speed limit on the highway is 70 mph -you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you may live in Wisconsin. If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you may live in Wisconsin. If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you may live in Wisconsin. If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you may live in Wisconsin. If you find 10 degrees "a little chilly", you may live in Wisconsin. If you actually understand these jokes, repost this so all of your Wisconsin friends and others can see, you definitely do live - or have lived - in Wisconsin.
Remember, winter builds character and we have plenty of characters in Wisconsin!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day, 2011.
I salute all the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces and the thousands who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Their service should never be forgotten.

But, every Veteran's Day, I remember my father. He was always a patriot. He said he did not consider himself an African American, but simply an American. However, he was born at the wrong time, or the right time depending on your philosophical point of view.

John Joseph Williams was born in 1906, and so was too young to enlist for World War I and when World War II came around... he was too old. He was in the "between the wars" generation. But, he always wanted to join the military and support his country. He knew history and he was well aware of the treatment Black Americans recieved at home and oversees and fought for all of his adult life for equally and respect.  But he never got to do what he thought was the right thing to do... fight FOR his country.

So, for my Daddy and all of those who stayed behind and supported the troops before, during and all the years after the battles, here is my salute on Veteran's Day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The last questions are the answers.

For too long, education has been run by folks who believe only THEY know the way to teach. That old insult, "those who can't do - teach" should be turned around to "those who HAVE DONE - teach". We need to get the thousands of out-of-work "experts" in all fields into our schools. The teaching should come from the bankers and business executives and administrative assistants and marketers and other professions who can share priceless experience and knowledge with our children and their teachers.

Kids learn by example and we have too few examples of  the many occupations and intelligences ( did I just make up a word there?) adults possess that are not being demonstrated.

Teachers have a critical role in "educating" our children.  But "education" can come from many different sources.  Education is sharing what you know with others and opening the door for them to learn more on their own.

Don't just 'move the chair'... open the front door and let education, in.

Monday, November 7, 2011

 Hi there blog fans... here is a blog I posted several months ago when I was at the beginning of my "transition", "re-careering", job search.  It is from the Finding Work Initiative website where you can also find the tab for the JOBS program.  I am producing segments for that program through December.

This blog post is in response to Rich Longabauh's post about adjusting to being suddenly, out of work.

Please leave your thoughts at the end, I would like to hear what's on your mind.



"On Losing Your Job”

  1. Avatar April 12th, 2011 at 1:59 pm Joanne Williams Says: So, I’m reading Richard Longabaugh’s blog here on the “Finding Work Initiative” website and I think to myself… am I following his steps? Hmmm, let me see ( and share my thoughts with you).
    Right now I’m taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity here at MPTV… working for the JOBS program, telling stories about people who have been or are still looking for work. But in the first few weeks of my being a “free agent looking for a new team”, I had to step back and take quite a few deep breaths.
    Telling the family that I was looking for a new job was not as hard as telling former colleagues and co- workers. More on that in future blogs… stay tuned.
    Richard suggests joining a support or networking group. Sounds like that would get the word out that I am “in the market”. So, I keep my facebook page updated, use Twitter regularly and check my Linkedin account every day. I have also continued to attend the meetings of the board and organizations that I am part of in Milwaukee.
    Modify my lifestyle? OK, that’s easier said than done. You have to look at eveything you pay for… from the mortgage to the groceries and decide: what do I NEED, what do I WANT and what can I live WITHOUT. I have not figured all that out yet, but time is tight with the funds available and I better get out the calculator and do some figuring in the next few days.
    This may take longer than it did when I last looked for a job?! Oh boy, that is scary! Of course, the last time I had to show someone my resume, Jimmy Carter was president.
    Richard says we should “consider the state of your emotional, physical and spiritual health”. I guess still playing tennis and sort of learning to swim would qualify. Right? the spiritual side is hard to define. Maybe Richard will have some insights in his next blog.
    Do you think I am on the right track?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oh, what a night!
The Milwaukee Press Club honored me with induction into the Hall of Fame, last night and I could not be prouder.  People get lots of awards in their careers, but to be selected by my peers was one of the highlights.

I thank my family, Pat and Wendy for attending.  My tennis buddies, Burnette, Essie and Doris and most of all, the very best "stories" I have produced, my sons J-B and Christopher.

I also salute the other 2011 inductees: Lance Herdegen, whom I have known since he worked at UPI; Willie Davis, whom I admire for making such a successful career change; E.C. Reynolds, with whom I never had the chance to work on stories ( but never say never!) and Mike Miller, who is the only Milwaukee TV journalist to have worked at 3 stations, and lived to tell about it.

Speaking of Mike (Murph, as he is sometimes called), he used to have the desk in front of mine in the WITI newsroom. He kept many of us laughing when we were supposed to be working and was a joy to anchor with. He brought along an old newspaper ad of the two of us to the HOF dinner, last night and boy, did we look like kids!  Mike, of course, never ages even though he is a grandfather now and about to welcome two more grandchildren. Mary Ann has been the lucky "better half" of Mike all these years and he is lucky to have such a patient and understanding BFF.

Also honored posthumously, were Packer photographer Vernon Biever and reporter and PR director Roger Jaynes.

OK, this is getting a little sappy now, but graditude and humility are qualities I am working hard to perfect.
Besides, Mike and E.C. did all the sniffling last night, so I did not have to!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blue skies, golden leaves, purple flowers... it was Homecoming at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois!

I was anxious but a little apprehensive about seeing friends from the class of 1971 (yes, do the math...) but when I got back on campus, it was like coming home.
From the fantastic seminar on branding your business to the football game against Penn State (of course N.U. lost 24-34, but who cares?)it was a glorious weekend.

I met a lot of current students who actually listened to what the "71ders" had to say about Northwestern history and their futures... and a woman from the class of '75 who lived in the same dorm room at Hobart Hall that I had occupied in '70 & '71!

Some people don't like to attend high school or college reunions, but I love them because you get to renew friendships and find out how everyone's life has unfolded.

One of my classmates called us "elders". We threatened to throw things at him. But in the larger picture, I guess he is correct. We are the ones with grey in our hair, if we have any hair left, who look at the pictures in the yearbook and laugh.

They say high school and college are the best years of our lives.  We don't believe "them" when we are living those years, but when you can look back and compare them with all that has happened since, those other "elders" were right.

Go Wildcats!

Friday, October 7, 2011

I have his solution!!!


Helen Kelly, vice-president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, believes Alasdair Thompson should resign. 

(Joanne does not think he should quit, just take another look at the available workforce... see below!)

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) says the head of the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) should resign, after he suggested one reason women are paid less than men is because they take "sick days" once a month.
Responding to a Green Party bill seeking to require employers to record the gender of their employees along with pay levels, EMA chief executive Alasdair Thompson today admitted there was a gender pay gap -- 12 per cent according to figures -- but said women took the most sick days.
"Why? Because once a month they have sick problems. Not all women, but some do, they have children they have to take time off to go home and take leave," he told NewstalkZB.
Therefore their productivity was lower.
"I don't like saying these things because it sounds like I'm sexist, but it's a fact of life."

Dear Mr. Thompson,

I have the perfect solution to your conumdrum... hire women over 50!!!

That monthly thing is all over, although without some hormone imbalance tend to get cranky, but hey, so do men. (ever hear of male menopause??).

Got to leave work to take care of the kids... naaahh... they are all old enough to take care of themselves (and go out and get their own job, hint, hint).

Of course, women of a certain age will take no guff from sexist- over- the- hill- bureaucrates like you, but the work will get done... on time... with high quality..

You will also be reminded to wipe your feet, wash your hands and hang up your coat when you are in the office..



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An amazing summer education

What do you say to a middle-aged, toothless woman who wants you to look after her half-dozen little children while she takes a refreshing ride down a waterslide?
If you are the lifeguard at a Milwaukee County pool, you say with authority, "I'm sorry Ma'am, I cannot leave my post because I have to watch all the people in the pool to keep them safe".

That is one of the surprising lessons my son is learning this summer.

He is coming home with eyebrow-raising stories of what goes on at the pool.  For instance, the two "large ladies" as he described them, who got into a fight and used their children as weapons, throwing the the kids at each other! The adult man who was fooling around on the deck (the pavement around the pool) whom he had to tell three times to stop, then had to order him to sit on the side until he could follow the rules. He did it! (my son is only 17, but has developed a commanding "lifeguard" voice. Of course the megaphone helps)

And, the best experience he has had in only his first two weeks, is saving a kid from drowning. He saw him struggling in the pool and went in to bring him out of the water.  He said that changed HIS life.

And, don't get me started on the items the lifeguards fish out of the pool when cleaning... that's a whole different post!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hello? Oh, No...

Sometimes I feel sorry for telemarketers.  They cold- call hundreds of unsuspecting Americans everyday and probably in many cases, get rudely rejected by people who are just answering their phones. Telemarketers have a tough job.  But... sometimes you get called by one who knows how to make a phone call work and close a sale or prospect.

 That was the case of a woman who called me a week or so ago and kept me on the line for several minutes. She began with a smile in her voice and a friendly "how are you" to me by name.  We chatted about the weather for about 30- seconds, then she got down to the reason for the call... health insurance. I was willing to listen, since she was nice to me. I did not follow through to the next step in the telemarketing system, but had a nice chat. Do telemarketers get paid by the number of calls that get answered? By the number they transfer to the next person who tries to make the sale? I don't know... actually, I don't care.

But today, I got a call from one of the rudest telemarketers, ever. Not only did she end the conversation when I said I was not interested, but kept the line open long enough to sneeze, cough and gripe to the caller probably sitting next to her, about not convincing me to buy.

A word to all telemarketers from a person very experienced with talking to people with electronic equipment: every mic = a live mic.  Be careful what you say when you think nobody can hear you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

hot, hot, hot

Yes, it is hot today and promises to be hot tomorrow... and I love it!

On the Williams Weather scale today gets a "10".

Why do I love hot weather since I was born and raised in Milwaukee where we have only two seasons: winter and construction?? My theory is because I was born in April and the first months of my life were spent enjoying warm, warmer and finally hot weather. ( I would post a photograph of me to prove this, but I have not figured- out how to do that on a blog, yet.  I will have to consult my 18 & 17 year old sons.... stay tuned) I have a theory: the season in which you were born is the one that you enjoy most the rest of your life.

Therefore, I am a spring/summer lover. Fall is pretty and the first week in October is always fantastic with highs in the 70's (watch what happens this autumn and see if I'm not right). Winter is nice to look at and features several holidays to make the weather more bearable, but I don't go out into it unless forced.

But, when spring/summer come around... look out! I am out there!

Join me!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The class of 2011

It happens every spring... but this spring, it happened to me.

My 18-year old son graduated from high school. Of course, he is not alone. Hundreds of other seniors graduated with him on May 25th and thousands more will graduate between then and the end of June.

Just like so many other kids, his elementary, middle and high school years were a challenge. Classes and studying and tests and papers and projects were not a "piece of cake" for him, but he never gave up.  He did the work, learned the lessons and passed the tests.

Now,  the baby that I strapped into a car seat is reminding me to fasten my seat belt when I am the passenger in the car and he is driving. That little boy I held on my lap now helps me up from a chair.

What's next for him? Maybe college, maybe a job, but whatever he decides to do, I will be right behind him cheering.

I threatened to cry at the graduation from the time I read his name in the program to the minute he walked out of the hall.  His younger brother was in charge of the Kleenex.  Surprisingly, I did not cry ( well maybe a tear or two as he walked across the stage). I was focused on taking the video so we could see it over and over.

Congratulations, J-B!!! You did it!!!

BTW: I did finally cry. I am crying now as I write this.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Leaf Day!

For many years, I have conducted totally non-scientific research into the best sign of impending summer: Leaf Day.

What is that? You Ask!!

Every spring we have days of beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures. However, here in Milwaukee we don't have more than one of those kind of days in a row.  The next day, like today, it is back to highs in the 40's and 50's, gray skies with a threat of rain or worse and sometimes too much wind. But on those rare warm, sunny days the buds on the trees appear which signals that the leaves are not far behind.

However, since our "spring" weather is so inconsistent (read: lousy) the trees don't know exactly when to open those buds into leaves. It does happen, but you can never predict when and you usually don't realize the leaves have actually opened until after it happens. There is no fanfare for this, no warning sounds no official news release telling us what day and time to look up.

But, I'm getting closer and I believe that TODAY is Leaf Day!!!

Yes, the sun was out yesterday... the temperatures were great and the buds opened into leaves overnight. This does not happen to all trees at the same time. You are going to look at all the trees you pass today and say "ah ha! Joanne was wrong! There is a tree with only buds. There is a tree with no leaves at all."
I don't pretend to have this theory totally nailed- down and of course different species of different trees open at different times.  But take a look at the trees around you, today.  Leaves! Where they there last night?

From now on you too will be watching for Leaf Day. Let me know what your research uncovers.

Monday, May 23, 2011

There but for the Grace of God...

In the late 1970's I worked at WGN-TV in Chicago after having co-anchored the first full half- hour, early- morning newscast in Milwaukee called "The Morning Scene". At WGN I was a television/radio reporter, writer, radio producer and fill-in weather person for Harry Volkman.

A couple of life- changing events took place during that time. The biggest was my mother's diagnosis of lung cancer and my decision to take a leave of absence from WGN to come back to Milwaukee to care for her. Mind you, this was before the Family Medical Leave Act. When I told my news director I had to go home for my mother, he said " how long will you be gone?" I said, "as long as she needs me."

Caring for my dying mother was the hardest job I have ever had.  And you know me, I never say "ever". But, I would not have walked away from it for anything. It changed my life.

The other event that set a direction for my life during that time, was an interview I had with an executive of WLS-TV in Chicago. He may have heard about the Milwaukee morning show where I anchored, edited (film at the time), produced, did the weather and did interviews and generally filled time with a memorable man: Pete Wilson.

It was a lunch interview at a place in Evanston, Illinois. We talked about what I had done, what I thought of Chicago and the program for which he was interviewing young women.  It was a daily talk- show with some news tossed in. Since I worked in Chicago and went to college in Evanston (Northwestern U.- Go Wildcats!)
I was familiar with the city and how news operated there.

It sounded like a good show and I left the meeting hoping to be considered as the host. I did not get the job and came home to work for two- decades plus at WITI- TV6/ SIX IS NEWS/FOX 6.

The interview was for a show called "A.M. Chicago". The host they hired was another young woman from Milwaukee.  If I had gotten the job... who knows?

The other young woman's name is Oprah Winfrey.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"My" classrooms... memories of my schools

Only a few people know this... I am extremely sentimental. I'm not sure why... maybe it's because I love history and studying what happened "before" to understand what is happening now. Anyway, in talking to Bobby Tanzilo of "On" at the Press Club Newsmaker luncheon of the future of Milwaukee, we agreed that there is a lot of history in every MPS building that has yet to be explored.

My personal history in MPS was in Keefe Avenue School, E.L.Philipp and Rufus King High School. Learning was lots of fun to me. Every subject (except math) was interesting. Now, don't go thinking I was a bookworm or brainiac or one of the smart kids... NOT.

I was an ordinary student, with ordinary grades but I remember loving the places in which I learned.

Here is a random list of things I remember from my years in MPS classrooms:

Giant windows that let in lots of sunlight and warmth (if the teacher did not pull down the shades)
Pulling down the shades for the teacher.
Drafts that came in around the glass of those windows on winter days.
Creaky hardwood floors.
Desks that were bolted to the floor.
Always sitting in the back of the room because the teachers assigned our desks alphabetically and I was a "W".
Daydreaming about the pictures and maps the teachers put on the walls around the room.
A giant chart of the periodic table of elements that I never really learned, but thought it looked cool because you could list everything that made up the whole world in a chart.
Radiators that sometimes clanked
Milk sitting on radiators (need I say more?)
Going up the "up" stairs and down the "down" stairs in high school ( a rule that has been abandoned, but I believe should be revived!!)
The fireplace in the kindergarten room at Philipp (part of what made it an historic site)
The beauty of the old approach to Keefe Avenue School on a warm spring day.
The little park across the street from Keefe Avenue School where an ice rink was created in winter.
The Little Theatre (RKHS grads know what I mean)

Whew, that's a lot. But I felt my schools were more than places to learn the three "R's", they were a second home.  I really liked my school buildings after school, when the crowds had left and I could roam the halls alone and peek into rooms and even run without a hall monitor yelling.

So, when I hear about a school closing, I feel a personal loss (MPS closed Philipp and I cried). I know the fiscal reasons, but there is more to a school than dollars and cents. There are memories and sometimes, love.

If you have any memories, please share them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What IS the future of Milwaukee??

So, I'm sitting in one of Milwaukee's public libraries to write this (don't ask why, you don't want to know) and looking around the room.  It is filled with mostly middle and high school- aged kids fooling around on computers. But some have books and, of course, cell phones, and most of them seem to be reading and learning. 

Milwaukee kids want to learn. Even if they hate school or can't read on grade level, they want to learn things and use what they learn to make money so they can buy things (like more cell phones, iPads, laptops and athletic shoes).

So, it was good to hear Milwaukee's leaders at the Milwaukee Press Club's Newsmaker luncheon at Marquette University, this afternoon, all focus on education as the key to our future. Now all we have to figure out is how to get the "right" knowledge into kids heads, encourage them to look for ways to productively use that knowledge and convince the employers who need the workforce, that city kids CAN do the job. Even if the job in not in the City of Milwaukee.

Mayor Tom Barrett asked how do we "create hope in the lives of young people?" MPS superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton said the children are "listening, they are watching what we do".
Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee said Milwaukee has always been a city of innovation... from "buggy whips to solar water heaters".

The rest of the nation used to look to Milwaukee as the hotbed of educational innovation... now it just looks like educational/ governmental infighting.

Tim Sheehy of the MMAC said we need a city-wide common "report card" on all the kids in all the schools... public, private, choice and charter to show us how our students are measuring- up and where we need to put our educational resources.

And, brand- new Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele hit the nail on the head when he said we must believe we have a great community and find ways to collaborate and cooperate.

The future of Milwaukee is, and always has been, in the hands of its children. There are "leaders" out there waiting to be educated and encouraged.  Maybe I am looking at one or two right here in the library.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The "Bling" in Pewaukee

Volunteering is something I've done for years, but who wants to volunteer when you are out of work???
The folks at Waukesha County Technical College thought it was such a good idea, they had a day or workshops about it a couple weeks ago.

So, I went to see what I could learn, and made a new friend. 

I met Abby Lorenz who was organizing a spring fashion show, :"Spring Bling" at the Country Inn just off I-94.
Turns out we shared a history in broadcasting and she invited me to the luncheon and join the volunteer crew to put on the show. So, I went out early and helped with raffle tickets, banquet hall decoration and ended- up being a "greeter" of sorts, talking to lots of people who were loyal viewers.

Two colleagues of mine, Katrina and Miles were there from FOX6's "Real Milwaukee" show ( the same name I used, ironically for a series of features I did at FOX6 between medical and education reporting) and the new guy, Tony helped model some of the men's clothing.

The important part was that it was a fund-raiser for the Pewaukee Area Arts Council... supporting the arts in Waukesha County... and a way for several local businesses to showcase their products.

It also reminded me that volunteering can be fun and it helps you focus on what's really important... giving to others.

Too preachy?  Sorry, I just got in the mood!!!
Happy Saturday!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

We are not alone!!

I titled this blog page "The New 'Normal' " because a friend who is also looking for the next chapter in her career (aka: job) said that to me when we shared notes on how to navigate this period.

Since then, I've found that the phrase is being used all over the place and that it has different meanings for different circumstances.  For instance:

Sunday, Mar. 06, 2011

The new normal in higher ed

Two-year, technical schools have booming enrollment, busted budgets

 Or, how about this one...

The Job Seeker Blog

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Is job hopping the new normal? 


or even this one...

Market Developments

How can jewelers adapt to the 'new normal'?


or, this one... from the Well Rounded Mama

April 13, 2011

The First Day of the New Normal

Yesterday was the first day.  The first full day of Jason being back at work and me being home with the kiddos with nothing on the to-do list...

So, my new "normal" is not like others, but many of us are trying to negotiate the many changes in our worlds that are making us become people we didn't used to be. (whoa, was any of that grammatically correct??)

Anyway, I had one of my busiest days in my new "normal" on Thursday. I thought I was back at work, rushing from assignment to office to air... instead my calendar looked like this:

10:00 am- meeting of the 40+ job seekers discussion and support group. Lots of people with talent, experience and a work- ethic that can't be questioned just waiting for the phone to ring. Heard about an event today at Waukesha County Technical College on the value of volunteering while out of work, so...

12:30 pm -  took a ride to W.C.T.C. to check it out. Only one booth was set up and I met Abby Lorenz of the Pewaukee Area Arts Council. She convinced me to come to their fashion show/luncheon on May 5 and help out.  Why not?

2:00 pm - went to the bank to see how the reserves are holding-up.

6:00pm - attended the Willie D. Davis Scholarship Fund Dinner at the Hyatt. I was one of the judges for the 25 high school students who recieved $2,000 each.  This is the 20th year of the fund that has benefited hundreds of students who wanted to go to college. I saw lots of people I have not seen since the new "normal" began and had lots of nice chats.

10:00 pm - Got home to find that my son had not gotten the job he was looking forward to, so we talked about not giving- up on his search (and mine) and how to go out and look for something else.

This is my new "normal"... how about yours??

Monday, April 18, 2011

TODAY IN 3 WORDS: Not like college! (anymore)

OK,  that was more than 3 words.  Acutally is was just 3 words, I added the extra word for clarification.
So, I went to my alma mater, Northwestern University last week for a job fair.

I have stood on both sides of the recruiting booth, but this was the first time I was REALLY hoping to get some leads on a new job.It all felt pretty good, but a little scary. The representatives of the companies were friendly (they probably did not expect to see an alum in my demographic) and welcomed my resume. All the other job- seekers were college students are very recent grads looking for their first big break. My resume is two pages and I shortened it to make a quicker read.

The "cement ladies" were fun to talk with, the tennis-playing recruiter lamented the fact that there were no leagues to play with in his neighborhood (I told him to start one with the help of the USTA), and the digital consulting firms were all fired-up and ready to go with their technology... but they need people like me to write the content.

I also met another alum only 3 years my junior who was at the fair looking for a new position since her company had "downsized" her out of a job.We agreed that it is very tough out here looking for full-time work and that the new "normal" of work maybe a collection of contracts, assignments and part-time jobs strung together to create a new career. When they predicted that in the future everyone would work at 4 or 5 careers, I did not realize they meant... at the same time!

Anyway, that is the news from the job-search trail... from the free- agent looking for a new team!