Archive for the ‘All About Jenn’ Category
Five days ago, I wrote this post – White House Petition to Make Lunar New Year a Recognized Federal Holiday in Schools – responding to someone who started a White House petition to… well, you can read that post title yourself. In it, I expressed reservations about making Lunar New Year a federal holiday, but argued instead that the sentiment of the petition was best served through action at the local or state-wide level.
The petition and its topic have been making its rounds of the Asian American blogosphere, and yesterday, Grace Hwang Lynch posted her own support of the petition and its goal to BlogHer. In it, she cited Sina.com, a major Chinese news site, whose English language version had also posted an article critical of the petition. Grace quoted Sina as saying:
One could argue that Easter, Passover, and even Ramadan are often recognized by school districts, and that the first two reflect a strong Judeo-Christian bias in the holidays school districts observe. And they would be true. Certainly, there is room for argument that school districts with high East Asian populations should reflect that constituency by observing Lunar New Year and not penalizing their students for taking those days off. But that is an issue to take to a local school board, not the desk of the president.
…. except that was me. All of those words – all of them — were written by me. This is my original post, and the paragraph in question is fourth from the bottom. When I checked out the source article from Sina, I found that my entire post, including title and header image, were lifted word-for-word from my blog, but then attributed to Sina and/or “Agencies”. More gallingly, it was a sloppy plagiarism job. My post ends with a link to the White House petition; Sina chose to edit that out. But, instead of replacing that final sentence clause with something that, y’know, completes the sentence, they chose to delete the petition link, and leave the article hanging with a half a sentence closer.
(Incidentally, my post was published on February 4th at 3:49 GMT. Sina’s post has a timestamp saying it was published on February 5th at 3:57 GMT.)
Now, don’t get me twisted. This is the Internet, and plagiarism is rampant. Hell, I didn’t exactly take that header picture of the dragon that features so prominently on the post; I grabbed it from a quick Google image search. I didn’t exactly post it sourced.
But that being said, there’s something a little disturbing to me about being so thoroughly and unabashedly plagiarized. I mean, I wrote that stuff. All those shares that Sina got for that article? Shouldn’t those be mine?
On the other hand, I guess I’m also a little flattered. Don’t they say that imitation is the highest form of flattery? Doesn’t this imply that the stuff I’m writing is, I dunno, “plagiarism-worthy”? I guess this now puts me in the same boat of other people who have their content unabashedly stolen by the Internets. And, if that includes the awesome creator of The Oatmeal, than I guess I’m in good company.
Folks with more blogosphere/litigation savvy, any thoughts? Because, I’m guessing that the best I’m going to get out of this whole thing is the (admittedly kind of fun) chance to say I was plagiarized… by China.
Update: Thanks to Grace for updating her BlogHer post!
This is me. Every single day.
Somebody at CNBC has their head so far up their own arse they can see daylight from the other end. They have just published the most inane and poorly researched “Top 10″ list of 2013. And it’s January 4th.
Based on interviews with Tony Lee of Careercast.com, CNBC has ranked ten job positions based on whether or not they are stressful, whether or not people are control of their day, and whether or not there is physical risk associated with the job.
And clearly this interview was conducted while Tony Lee (above) was still hung over from New Year’s Eve reveling.
The first clue that this “Top 10″ list is bogus? Least stressful job #10 is “drill press operator”. Because operating heavy machinery on a busy factory line is clearly a low stress, low physical risk, kind of job.
Because no one every lost a limb doing this.
Moving on, Lee asserts that Laboratory Technician is #5 least stressful job. Why?
Due to the critical importance of getting the analyses of these tests right, there isn’t a lot of pressure.
“They’re given the latitude to do the job at their own pace because it’s important that they get it right,” Lee said.
Wait, what? I was a lab tech before I went to grad school. And yes, there’s a lot of importance placed on getting lab experiments right. But there’s also a lot of importance placed on getting lab experiments done. Which is where the pressure comes in: you have to get those important experiments right as fast as you possibly can. And you get blamed when they go wrong (even if they went wrong because the machine the lab bought is a piece of junk bought on the scientific-equivalent of Craigslist).
Super low stress.
Y’know when a lab technician is enthusiastically grinning while pipetting? When they’re actually an underpaid model taking pictures for a stock photo website.
But the true kicker was the job that went to the top of the list: University Professor. Let’s check out the explanation that Lee gives in it’s full, epic glory:
And the winner of Least Stressful Job of 2013 is … university professor!
(Cue the commencement music.)
Professor is a newcomer to the list this year, and it shot straight to the top.
“If you look at the criteria for stressful jobs, things like working under deadlines, physical demands of the job, environmental conditions hazards, is your life at risk, are you responsible for the life of someone else, they rank like ‘zero’ on pretty much all of them!” Lee said.
Plus, they’re in total control. They teach as many classes as they want and what they want to teach. They tell the students what to do and reign over the classroom. They are the managers of their own stress level.
The most stressful thing about being a professor?
“Interacting with other professors!” Lee said.
You’ve got to be kidding me. University professors — and, I mean, recently hired, fresh-out-of-graduate-school, trying to earn tenure professors, are in the “least stressful” job of 2013? I mean, it’s true, professors aren’t typically at risk of being crushed by heavy machinery, but neither is an accountant.
This is the picture that was included with the entry for “university professor” on that top ten list. Because classrooms are always full of eager students, sitting at the front of the class enthusiastically vying to answer a question while a game-show host-looking professor grins and points at a chalkboard. It’s never a sparsely populated room of unruly, hungover teenagers texting in a corner if they bothered to show up at all.
Lee has apparently never actually spoken to a university professor in his life, if he’s completely unaware of the fact that class teaching load is not something that professors are in control of. Professors are told what classes they will be teaching, and recent hires are often given the most difficult, unruly, and time-consuming classes to teach. No professor is in “total control”, getting to “teach as many classes as they want” or “what they want to teach”. Someone has to teach the intellectually-stimulating introductory biology class, that has to be offered four times throughout the week just to accommodate the hundreds of students who have to take it every year. Guess who gets that course? The new professor.
Lee suggests that professors can waltz into a classroom and “reign” over students. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s the students who reign over teachers, hitting them with mid-semester and year-end evaluations that are the only measure by which professors are graded for their performance. And students, by-and-large, don’t evaluate professors based on their ability to teach and whether or not the course was challenging, but based on whether or not they grasped the material. These two are not the same things.
Oh, and while professors are teaching all those classes, they’re also under stress to publish articles as often as possible in order to keep their jobs. Because the awesome bonus of the university professor job position is that you have to teach a bunch of classes, but you’re not even given credit in your job performance review on whether or not you’re teaching all those classes (outside of whether or not your students liked you). You are judged based on how often you publish in the hours outside your teaching. You are judged based on how much data you were able to collect in lab. You are judged based on the amount of federal grant money you bring into the university.
And you have a piddly five years to prove it (one year of which is typically non-productive because you have to spend it setting up your new lab and hiring a technician).
(Update: Cayden also raised the stresses of being an adjunct professor in the comments section; the comment is worth quoting in full. “I mean “university professor” may also encompass a lot of different kinds of appointments. I’m an adjunct. I make ~$2500 a course a semester to teach 35-40 people something I don’t choose. If I lose one of my two classes, I lose my health insurance (which I still pay for). I could be randomly fired (er…sorry, non-renewed) for anything at all. I’m 25 and I’m going grey, and that’s no coincidence.”)
So, university professor as the “least stressful” job of 2013? I call bullshit. Massive, massive amounts of bullshit.
University professors (and all of us in academia, actually) do this job because we love it. Because we are passionate about our subject matter, and about teaching and mentoring students. But, none of us — not a single one — believes that this is an easy, low-stress job. There’s a really, really good reason why the physical sciences are hemorrhaging graduate students who are leaving academia for industry positions: there’s a growing sentiment among the younger generation that because of the competitiveness of the funding environment, the high pressure to publish, the lack of control over teaching load, and the relatively low salary, the stresses of doing the job of an academic professor are not worth the pay-off, any more.
On the other hand, clearly, the least stressful job of 2013 is “Random Blogger Who Writes for Career Websites”. Because, apparently you can be completely unqualified, know absolutely nothing about your subject matter, and still get your steaming pile of horse dung published by a mainstream news outlet.
Tony Lee, I’m looking at you.
January 1st is the perfect time to make a resolution about the coming year. Here’s how to make a resolution that’ll stick.
Four years ago, I turned my health and fitness around, and it all started with a New Year’s Resolution (“no more McDonald’s”). Since January of 2009, I’ve completely overhauled my lifestyle.
As January 1, 2013 approaches, there will inevitably be folks out there who want to make their own healthy New Year’s resolutions. Here are 5 tips for making a great healthy New Year’s Resolution, and for making it stick.
1. Decide why you want to make a change.
Sure, everyone has ideas about the better person they’d like to be. But having an idea isn’t the same thing as having motivation. For a long time, I wanted to get skinnier, but it took truly understanding how my fitness level (or lack thereof) was impacting my health, and why I needed to make a change, to get me to actually dedicate to change. This January, don’t just wish you were healthier, decide that you want or need to be healthier, and what you might be missing out on if you’re not. This will also help you anticipate the reasons why you haven’t been pursuing a healthier lifestyle already, and what obstacles life might throw at you in the coming year.
I guarantee that this deep understanding of why you’re doing what you’re doing will get you through those days when the process of getting healthier just kinda sucks.
2. Set a specific goal.
While “getting healthy” or “losing weight” are great goals, they are non-specific, vague goals. Without parameters for success or failure, there’s no way to monitor progress to determine whether or not you’re actually getting healthier or losing weight, and no way to know when you’ve arrived. Without that feeling of progress, most people become discouraged and give up. So, rather than to set vague goals, set specific ones: goals with numbers are the best. Set a goal to lose 10 lbs, or better yet, set a functional goal: to run 1 mile in under 9 minutes, to bench press your body weight, or to do 10 pull-ups without stopping.
3. Set a single goal.
Swept up in the season, New Year’s Resolutioners tend to try and change everything, and all at once. For most people, this is an unsustainable amount of change. If you’ve spent the last year living one kind of lifestyle, it can be a shock to try and change your whole life in a day. Getting healthy is a marathon, not a sprint. Rather than to resolve to cut out all fast food, eat more veggies, exercise 45 minutes a day, AND bike to work, pick one of these resolutions and let yourself slide on the others (for now). For me, it was choosing to tackle my fast food habit; for you, it might be that, or to resolve to exercise regularly, or to eliminate desserts three times a week.
Even though it might feel like setting the bar lower, what you’re actually doing is training the mental discipline it takes to make a lifestyle change. Upon achieving your first goal, you’ll find that setting and achieving the second goal (without losing the progress you’ve made with your first goal) will be much easier because now you’re used to what it takes to change your life.
4. Keep it simple.
Most beginners overestimate their own fitness level and underestimate how difficult it is to get back in shape. So, don’t bite off more than you can chew; setting too lofty a goal is an easy way to get discouraged and give up. If you haven’t been active all year and would like to get back in shape, set a goal of going for a short walk after dinner 2x or 3x a week. If you eat cake every night after dinner, set a goal of having a piece of fruit for dessert instead 3x a week rather than quitting cold turkey. If you want to eat more veggies, set a goal of having salad twice a week for lunch, rather than to go vegan over-night. Setting simple goals, ones that aren’t too disruptive of your every day life, will help you integrate the new habits into your day-to-day activities without shocking your system. It also reduces the chances that you’ll fall off the wagon early and call it quits.
For me, I found that setting a concrete goal of eliminating McDonald’s from my diet — but not worrying about the rest of my diet yet — was the perfect “baby step” to getting me used to thinking about my diet and making conscious choices about it. Once I was used to thinking about, and saying no to, McDonald’s, it was simple to cut almost all fast food from my diet entirely.
5. Set a time frame and reassess.
For all resolutions, it can be helpful to set a time frame for how long you’re going to try your new resolution. If you’ve resolved to hit the gym 3x a week, commit to doing it for a month or two without cheating. Having a time frame will augment that sense of progress because every day that passes is a day that brings you closer to your goal.
Further, reaching your goal time frame isn’t an opportunity to fall off the wagon; it’s a pre-determined time to take a second look at your goals, reassess whether it’s too disruptive (or maybe not challenging enough) and to set a new set of goals. It might be that after a month, you’ll realize that going to the gym 3x a week isn’t sustainable given babysitting costs; this is a perfect time to modify your goals so that more of your workouts can take place at home with the kids. Or, you might find that you can handle 3x a week of going to the gym, and now you want to set a more challenging goal of spending 20 minutes of that time lifting weights. Setting a time frame when you start gives you the perfect chance to modify your goals after having spent some time trying your new lifestyle.
6. Write it down.
By this, I mean plan it all out. Write a letter or a note to yourself outlining what you want to do, how you plan on doing it, and what you hope to get out of this whole experience. This helps make the whole experience feel real, and will turn it into a commitment to yourself. You can choose to carry your resolution with you, or you can choose to leave it at the bottom of a pile of papers on your desk; the important part is writing it down.
There’s conflicting ideas out there about telling other folks about your resolutions (as opposed to keeping it to yourself). It can be helpful to tell folks because they can help support you in the process of changing your lifestyle (e.g. if you need your family to know you plan on hitting the gym more so they can watch your kids or something). On the other hand, for many people, the immediate reward of having other people praise you for making a resolution can undermine their interest in the praise they’ll receive for having actually achieved the reward, making it ultimately easier to cheat and/or give up.
Personally, I’ve found it easiest to let my family know about resolutions, but to not publicize to friends. I think this will vary from person to person. But, either way, the important thing is to make a promise yourself, not anyone else.
BONUS: 7. Make non-New Years’ Resolutions
New Years’ is a great time to make resolutions, but there’s no reason why it has to be the only time to change your life. As I wrote above, getting healthier is a marathon, not a sprint. Making a small change in January is only going to prepare you for the next step in February or March. Be prepared to be constantly in the cycle of assessing your life, resolving to change something, making a plan, and pursuing that goal. In other words, resolutions are a year-round thing. January 1st is just the first step.
So, this year, for Halloween, I went as Jubilee. I was so happy with this costume, I just needed to post pictures.
Full body Jubilee costume (minus the earrings)
I forgot my earrings when I went into work today, so here’s the full costume with the earrings included.
Pretend there's fireworks coming out of my hands.
Closeup of the accessories (also, I was told to pose, and I couldn’t think of something to do):
I LOVE these gloves.
… and, my trademark, tongue-sticking-out picture. People who know me know there always has to be one.
Jubes, rockin' out.
I am such a dork.
In June, I submitted my information to register as a bone marrow donor with “Be The Match” after discovering that my donor information wasn’t in the national registry (I registered as an undergraduate but never found out which registry I was with; I always assumed it was the national one). This morning, I received the following email.
Thank you for joining the Be The Match Registry®. You are now an official member of the registry, making you part of every patient’s search for a match.
You will receive your membership card by mail in about a month.
If you are a possible match for a patient, we will contact you with important next steps. Please be ready to respond if you are called!
New patient searches begin every day, so you could be a match for a patient soon or many years from now, or you may never be identified as a match for someone. About 1 in 540 members of the Be The Match Registry go on to donate to a patient.
Ways you can stay involved:
- Watch for your monthly e-newsletter for registry members offering information about the donation process, donor and patient stories and updates on our work.
- Update your contact information if it changes, so we can reach you quickly if you match a patient.
- Invite your friends to join the Be The Match Registry:
- Make a financial gift - Your gift will help patients with uninsured transplant costs, support transplant research and grow the Be The Match Registry: BeTheMatchFoundation.org/give
Jenn, welcome to a community of people passionate about saving lives through marrow donation.You are giving patients hope for a future.
Thank you for joining,
Be The Match