the conspiracy - week one

When we were kids, we had the best Advent calendar ever. My mom made it - it was white felt with 24 pockets. Each pocket had a little design glued onto it - a tree, a santa, a present. We had morning prayer every day growing up - we all met in the living room before getting ready for school and said our prayers. Advent was my favorite time for morning prayers, because we got to light the candle(s) and get the candy out of the pocket.

I don't really have an Advent tradition anymore and I miss it, so when I came across the Advent Conspiracy, it really spoke to me.

[Worship Fully]

[Spend Less]

[Give More]

[Love All]

I'm going to be in on the conspiracy this year. So if you were hoping that I was going to buy you a bunch of meaningless crap this year, sorry to burst your bubble. But I will mention your name when I say the Advent prayers I just found.

Week one:

As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world. It symbolizes our longing, our desire, our hope. Three "advents" or "comings" shape our desire. We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death. We want to experience his coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose. And we want to prepare for his coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.


dia de la gracias (Is that how you would say Thanksgiving in Spanish?)

It probably won't come as a surprise that I'm on the Employee committee that plans all of the "social" events. This isn't something that I actually volunteered to do, but I have that slight aversion to saying "NO" when somebody asks me to do something, so it is what it is. We had our Thanksgiving lunch on Monday and we asked people to send us an email with things they are thankful for. A powerpoint was created with all of the submissions - and before you get all, "How cheesy!" - it was actually really nice. I decided that it was a given that I am thankful for my family and friends. (Love ya!) So I went with the trusty old e-mail chain favorite. This was my submission:

Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.
Be thankful for the mess you clean up after a party, because it means you have been surrounded by friends.
Be thankful for the taxes you pay, because it means you're employed.

Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because
it means you have a home.
Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.

Be thankful for the laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.
Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means you can walk.
Be thankful for the lady who sings off-key behind you in church, because it
means you can hear.
Be thankful when people complain about the government, because it means we
have freedom of speech.
Be thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it
means you're alive.
~ Taken from Ann Landers’ column

So, as my favorite blog Cake Wrecks reminds us:
"But only one. Times are tough these days." Ha!

Hope you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving!


it is done

I did it - I tattled.

I consulted one of my former classmates that is now in the PhD program who will be a professor one day. I asked him since he kind of has the perspective of an instructor. He said all the same things that you guys did. So the way I see it, you can all start putting "PhD" after your name if you want.

This is what I wrote:

Dr. A -

After much thought and counsel with others, I have decided that I really need to tell you that I am almost 100% sure that one of my classmates has been plagiarizing some of her question responses. You may already be aware of the situation, but just for the sake of the integrity of the program I feel the need to speak up.

The only reason I noticed is because one of her responses made absolutely no sense. It was not written in complete sentences - it was almost as if it was just a bunch of bulleted statements copied and pasted together. Well, I copied and pasted her response into google and discovered that it had indeed been bulleted statements from the City of Pasadena's HR website.

She is a group member in another one of my classes and I am very familiar with her style of writing, so when I read another of her responses this past module, I felt sure that she had done it again. She had.

If you would like more specific information (such as her name and examples), please let me know. I really hesitated with whether or not to "tattle" on her, but at the end of the day, I feel that what she is doing is unethical and wrong. I know how hard you work and the thoughtfulness that went into the creation of this program, and I think her actions are an insult to everything it stands for.


I'll let you know if I hear back!



I got this in the mail the other day:
It made me a little sad for the children of today. I appreciate the effort.... I mean, a whole magazine about toys that is delivered to your mailbox? Seems like a great idea. Oh, wait. This has been done before:

Except it was done WAY BETTER. Who among you did not spend HOURS poring over the Sears Wish Book? I mean, that thing was huge. It had everything. Barbies? Check. Play kitchen utensils? Check. Clothes? Check. Riding lawn mowers? Check. It even had jewelry, which Sarah and I loved. We would cut out the diamond rings and tape them to our fingers. I also had a pair of diamond earrings that must have been at least 4 carats. You cut them out, tape them to your earlobes, and voila! Instant rich kid.

I don't know that I ever got a single item that I had circled or dog-eared in the wish book. But that isn't what I remember - what I remember is the actual event of sitting there with that giant magazine. Ahhhhh - childhood.


goodie two shoes

Background: For one of my grad classes, we have to write at least 250
words and answer 4 questions by each Wednesday. Then we have to respond
in at least 200 words to a classmate's posting. Not any big deal, but
there are times when I have to work my butt off to get the appropriate
number of words and get them submitted by the deadline. But, it IS
graduate school, so I should be working my butt off, right?

Well, I am really struggling on whether or not I should tattle on a
classmate. She plagiarizes all sorts of stuff and I guess the professor
hasn't caught on. For example, when asked: "What is the role of HRD
professionals in the expressed ideal of many multinational organizations
to move toward equitable, sustainable, and responsible global
citizenship," her response in part was:

The major barriers that have inhibited the employment, development,
retention, and promotion of diverse groups in the workplace can be
categorized into two types. The first type of barrier is organizational
in nature and comes from the workplace environment. The second type of
barrier is individual and comes from the employees themselves. By
looking at the organization socially, environmentally and

Please copy and paste the above into google. I'll wait.

Huh. Imagine that. She had the EXACT same thing to say as

But wait. That isn't even the best example. My favorite was when she
copied bulleted statements and didn't even bother to revise them and
make them into complete sentences. The question was "How do career
development and OD connect?" Her response:

Create programs and solutions that are linked to specific assessed
business needs and core organizational competencies. Design and
implement strategic interventions through effective delivery systems
that enhance organizational performance. Provide career coaching,
planning, and development actions for individuals and groups to maximize
their professional development and value to the organization. Build
valuable works skills and enhance performance, which provide a learning
experience that will hone day-to-day professional skills, and for
supervisors to create an environment for success.Diversity training was
designed to foster better relations between the various ethnic groups
and genders. Coaching and facilitation to the business front line
management team on an individual and group basis..... (it goes on, but
I've abbreviated it)

This was the post that gave me the first clue that she was just copying
and pasting directly off of someplace else. I mean, this is GIBBERISH.
Well, that would be because the place it came from,
http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/HumanResources/OrgDevTraining/ , has it
listed out in bullet points.

So do I say anything? Is there a way to do it anonymously? Should I
just send her a “nice” email letting her know that she should cite
her work? Or do I just mind my own business and suck it up?



1. My last haircut was funny you should ask.... it was this afternoon!

2. My most daring hair moment was um. Hmmm. I'm not so "daring" with my hair. Maybe when I got the "Rachel" haircut and had a zillion layers? Does that count as daring?

3. A hairstyle I'd never be brave enough to try is I have to go with the author of this ditty and say a pixie. My face is a little (okay, a lot) chubby for that.

4. I've always dreamt of being a (blonde, brunette or red-head) I would settle for being a natural blonde! ;)

5. My go-to hair do is pony-tail. Duh.

6. My biggest hair disaster was well, probably when I used to highlight it myself when I was in high school. It was supposed to be blonde, but it usually turned out more "orange." Oh well.

7. A hairstyle I am dying to try is a REAL poufy pony-tail. I've looked at tutorials and may or may not have bought a "bumpit", but I just can't get it right.

8. My best hair day was anytime my stylist does it. Or at Sarah's wedding. I loved my updo that day.

9. The worst hairstyle I ever had was oh my. If only I had my baby book handy. Remember I grew up when perms were fashionable. That is all I have to say about that.

10. My hair is just like any other woman's hair. Some days I love it, some days I don't.

Side note related to this topic: My whole life, my hair has grown really slowly. I would have to go 6 months between haircuts just to see it reach my chin. But - surprise, surprise... getting it cut regularly has helped it grow. And now it is even a little past my shoulders. The other day at work, we were doing one of those dorky "whoever has the longest hair in the room goes first" things, and I was the one with the longest hair. That was weird.