Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Wordstock".....a Portland, Oregon Literary Event!

It's October and time for "Wordstock" a yearly event of books, authors, writing, and related events in Portlan, OR........known to some as PDX!

Wordstock is Portland's Book & Literary Festival

Wordstock is an annual festival of books, writers, and storytelling in Portland, Oregon. To date it has hosted over 550 writers, who have read and performed for nearly 55,000 people at past festivals. Wordstock features ten author stages, a book fair with over 150 exhibitors, a special children’s area and children’s literature stage, a series of workshops for writers and for K-12 teachers, a special broadcast of Live Wire!, the popular public radio variety show, featuring writers from the festival, and more. Although it only began in 2005, Wordstock is already the largest celebration of literature and literacy in the Pacific Northwest, and is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the nation.

Wordstock is also a nonprofit that works to promote writing in the classroom. Wordstock for Teachers is a professional development program for K-12 teachers that seeks to improve student writing performance by training and supporting teachers of writing. In other words, it helps kids become better writers by making writers of their teachers. The board, staff, and volunteers who stage Wordstock are honored to help such an important and effective program make a difference in the education of thousands of children.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Great Investment....Me!

I have always worked, taken most any job to survive, feed my family, and pay bills on time. I have been a CEO of two small corporations, a college instructor, and a business analyst for a major software company (see profile). At age 45 I went back to Grad School to work on a M Ed in Instructional Design and a MBA in Management. At age 57 I was laid off from the software company (job went to India). I took a part time job in a bookstore to attempt to make ends meet. It didn't work.....and at age 59, I became homeless and unemployed for over a year, eating in soup kitchens and living in doorways. Even with a Master's Degree, help from vocational rehab, & a few non-profits, I have not had a job interview since 2006 (the book store), so in effect, I have not had a "professional job interview" since the software company in 1999!

Yet, I have not entirely given up. I have many creative skills occluding design, writing, educational software, and organizational research. I however, need a few things to make it all work together....hence the INVESTMENT.

I have a old Dell computer with a 15" monitor, donated by an ad in Craig's List! However, a few disabilities make it very difficult to design anything on a 15" CRT monitor. So if folks were able to invest in ME (even $1 helps), I would like to get the following:

1. a 20" - 23" LCD monitor
2. a graphics tablet and pen
3. a larger hard drive (current one is 8 GB)
4. additional software

I will use the new hardware to desing graphics, write educational courses, and perhaps on-line classes. With much luck, may even get paid for it.

Thank you for reading thisappeal, and any help you may be inclined to give. comments and suggestions also welcome!

Friday, September 25, 2009

"2012 - The War for Souls"

I just finished "2012 - The War for Souls" by Whitley Strieber. One word can sum up the entire book, disappointment! I had previously read and enjoyed "Communion", "The Greys", and "Majestic", and was interested in his view of the 2012 event. While my imagination can arrive at a wide range of scenarios, parallel worlds inhabited by intelligent reptiles, wanting to terraform our Earth and use humans as slaves...well I never would go there.

I do believe there is probably some ancient explanation for various world wide legends, and folks tales, but this probably isn't it. The parallel world characters were interesting; a few good twists in the plot kept my attention, and I kept reading until the end. I can imagine a film version, with copious special effects, would even be entertaining.

Monday, September 21, 2009

2012 Reading List

OK, I am on a "2012" makes Three years and Three months" until 12-21-12, known as "The End".

I just read "The Rapture" by Liz Jensen and "Apocalypse 2012" by Gary Jennings. My current read is "2012-The War for Souls" by Whitely Strieber. Each presents a different view of the cause and results of that date, which makes the books more interesting, at least for me!

At my "Library Thing" or "Good Reads" page a full list of my last two years of reading contains many similar and connected titles. I just updated both sites. They are listed under my "nom de plume" of G.M.Makela

Sunday, September 13, 2009

MBA Degree - Is it worth it?

I'll be the first to admit, "I m not the Poster Boy" for higher eduction. I have successfully completed over 300 semester credit hours of undergraduate and graduate couses in business, construction managemnt, education, and engineering. I have a BA, and completed a M Ed with emphasis on Instructional Design. While in Gradute School, I worked on an MBA in Management and lack 4 course to complete. I hve 3.0 GPA in my BA and a 4.0 GPA in Grad School. I hve never been asked for a college transcript for any job, nor been given credit for the degrees with any employer. I am dubious for the need for college education, period!

An MBA or a Master’s in Business Administration is a degree that is granted after one or two years of graduate level education. The degree prepares students in the theory and practice of business management. Graduating with an MBA implies that you are competent in all managerial roles found in organizations and businesses today. An MBA program largely deals with general management topics but some degrees also offer a more specialized curriculum.

There are many combinations and specializations involved with an MBA degree. Some of the popular disciplines are accounting, business management, e-commerce, economics, finance, human resources, marketing, risk management, entrepreneurship, operations management, and technology management. However, since the applications of an MBA are relevant to a wide range of sectors, it will always remain valuable irrespective of the final career path chosen.

Over the past few years, there has been an exponential increase in the number of online MBA programs offered by the Colleges and Universities. Graduating with an online MBA degree has gained popularity especially with more mature students and those who still need to work and earn their degree at the same time. Students who have opted for online education appreciate the flexibility it affords them as compared to programs offered by traditional schools and colleges. While the curriculum of online degree programs and campus-based one’s rarely differ, online students have to manage their own time and study independently. Of course there are online tutorials, lectures, assignments and even one-on-one meetings that students can take part in. But all this can be fit around your own schedule and time.

Graduating with an Accredited online degree from a College or University that is accredited by a recognized Accreditation Body considered by U.S. Department of Education should not raise any problems when applying for jobs and competing for various positions. An online MBA will also give you the option to accelerate your progress and possibly even graduate ahead of schedule. This would depend on how much time and effort you put in but it is possible. Enrolling in an online MBA program is not a decision to be taken lightly. There is a lot of hard work and discipline involved but if you stick with it, an online MBA could be your ticket to the next stop in the world of business.

One of the main reasons to opt for an MBA degree is to increase your salary earning potential and advance your career. When applying for certain jobs, you will soon realize that an MBA is a necessity. Some employers might not even consider you eligible without one. An MBA degree helps you acquire a range of management and people skills and prepares you for positions of leadership. By virtue of the curriculum, training and research involved in an MBA program, your educational horizons expand and your overall vision remains longsighted. This is exactly what employers are looking for when they choose an MBA graduate over another applicant.

An MBA will also help with personality development, leadership skills, and domain expertise. For example, if your area of specialization is marketing, you will learn all the nuances of the marketing world and how to excel in it. As an MBA you will also learn the intricacies of planning, goal setting, and interpersonal skills (being a team player). It is, in fact, due to these personality traits and skills apart from your academics that will place you in good stead in today’s competitive job markets.

Armed with the technical knowledge of business practices, MBA graduates are prepared to run a company. Leadership skills are honed and the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship are instilled in all students. Anyone who has completed their MBA degree speaks of the growth of confidence and self-esteem and the sense of achievement of completing one of the more competitive and high demand degree programs available today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reading eBooks......Do you?

I like the idea of reading eBooks, having tons of information in a small package like a Kindle or Sony Reader. Access to information, maps, dictionaries, and others would save time. In conjunction with a laptop, eBooks would enhance a writer's ability to work anyplace they desired.

The only current drawback is cost. I guess the concept is limited to the affluent or those with a large charge card "open to buy". As eBooks become more popular, costs will decrease, and will provoke competition!

Many eBooks are free. Project Gutenberg has almost 30,000 Public Domain books available, the "Classics! There are many other sites.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What do you read?

I like fiction, as entertainment and escape. while in college and even high school, I was saturated with "classic literature". I bet I read "Plato's Republic" five times for five different classes! After 300 credit hours, I do not read "classics" any longer!

When younger, my favorite books were science fiction, a choice which prompted me to go into Aerospace Engineering in college. I still read sci-fi, but about 20 years ago, discovered mysteries. I've read all the Ed McBain series, Micky Spillane, James Patterson, Tony Hillerman, and many others as fast as they could write them!

I also enjoy the genre of "Thrillers", involving conspiracies, biblical and religious secret cults, nuclear war, terrorism, biological contagions, etc.

I also went through a "western" period for about five years, and still enjoy a good one, now and then.

I have my last 18 months worth of reading listed on "Library Thing" and "Good Reads" under my pen name G M Makela.

What do you like to read?