Let Us Be Our Own Resource

encyclopediasThink of the wealth of information, knowledge, advice and experience that we can offer each other. Let’s make the Resources section of this website a place where we can share that often hard-won information with our classmates. Under the Resources section on this website, you’ll find two pages in the drop-down menu that you might not be expecting.

The concept of the Marketplace page should be familiar to anyone whose browsed through the back of the Alumnae Quarterly.  You know that place where various MHC clubs classes advertise their various fundraising products. Well what about a version of that just for resources and products from members of the Class of 1979? It doesn’t have to be college related, but it would be nice to focus largely on products for charitable and non-profit concerns. Are you involved with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in your area? Point us to it. We can all use another option for fresh, organic vegetables. Are you spearheading a big fundraiser for your city’s schools? Let us know, classmates in your area may want to get involved. Got a timeshare or vacation home and looking for a swap? Running a marathon to raise money for cancer research? Ask for sponsors. Have a book club and looking for members? Find recruits here.

The Miscellaneous Links page has the potential to grow into a very interesting resource. I’m seeing this as a forum for all kinds of knowledge and resources. Have you found certain resources that have been wonderfully helpful for a specific illness or condition? If you’ve done the research and you can vouch for them, let us know. Through the trial and error work of re-entering the workforce or making a career change, have you experienced resources that were particularly helpful? Many of your classmates could benefit from your legwork.

You tell me how to add value to this section. Send your ideas by filling out the Contact Us form accessed through the top menu on this site. You might add the word “Misc. Links” or “Marketplace” to the subject line, so I can quickly identify your submission.

Join the Class Flickr Group

Class of 1979 in 2009 reunion paradeHow many of you are on Flickr? For my money, it’s the best photo display and sharing site out there. Now it’s even better with our very own Class Flickr Group. Our class group page can be a convenient way to share pictures with each other. But let’s not reserve the group just for our reunion pictures. Upload any pictures of you and your activities. Especially if you’ve contributed an article idea or announcement for this website, the Flickr group page will be a convenient way for us to access your pictures so that we can resize them, optimize them for the web and include them in this site. You’ll have to ask permission to join the group, but that can be done with a few clicks. Don’t forget to add tags and a caption to your photos so we know what we are looking at. And if you have a Flickr “handle” as I do (I’m doglington on Flickr) be sure to identify who you are so your classmates recognize you.

Share Your Travel Tales

elephants in africaHave you read President Lynn Pasquerella’s blog account of her recent trip to Kenya? She went as part of her involvement with The Kenya Project. The Kenya Project uses interdisciplinary, inter-institutional research teams, in collaboration with the Africa Center for Social Solutions (ACESS), to provide clean water, sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship for women in Kenya’s West Lake District. As much good as Pasquerella’s involvement may do for Kenyan women, the experience clearly enriched her as well.

That got me wondering what inspiring travel-related tales my fellow classmates could tell. I’d love for this site to become a resource for us to share details of our various travels. Maybe you, too, have been involved with a volunteer or service-oriented trek. Please share it with us.

But let’s not be limited to only high-minded travel. Do you know the perfect B&B Hide-away on that special Caribbean island? Can you add to the experience by telling us where you found the best secluded beach and the most delicious conch stew? I think we’d all trust your recommendation over Yelp any day.

Have any of you climbed Everest or Kilimanjaro? Stayed at an Indian Ashram? Trekked to Macchu Pichu? Here’s the place to brag, share and inspire.

And why confine yourself to travels outside your own backyard. Are you a Memphis resident who can steer us to the best barbecue in town? A Dakotan who can guide us beyond Mount Rushmore to discover the real North Plains? A Texan who knows the best Blues venues in Austin? Do you have a unique spin on your particular city or area that can help the rest of us find undiscovered gems? For instance, I can outline a great tour of Sonoma’s wineries. But can any of my fellow Northern Californians put together “The Teetotaler’s Guide to Napa Valley”?

To start sharing, leave a comment on this post with a brief blurb about your recent travel. Or, if you are shy, drop your suggestions in the Contact Us form through the main menu above. If you’ve got a good travel yarn, give me a shout and I’ll be in touch.

Building a Better Blogroll

Lucy the Smooth Fox Terrier surfs the web.We’re trying to build the definitive blogroll for the Class of 1979. We’re not looking for the website of the place where you work. What we want to see are your personal blogs or the websites that you’ve built and currently maintain that reflect you, your politics or your interests. We’re starting with three categories: Community/Volunteer Websites and Blogs, Personal Blogs, and Service/Professional Blogs. Remember, what we’re looking for are blogs and websites that showcase a frequent dose of your writing and your voices. You can access the Class of 1979 Blogroll from the top menu of this site. Check back frequently because we’ll be adding new sites just as fast as we receive them.

Let your classmates know where they can get a daily Internet dose of you. To contribute your blog or website, fill out the short form you’ll find at the Contact Us page accessed through this website’s menu. Type “For Blogroll” in the Subject Line. Then send us your URL along with a brief blurb telling us what your site is about. Let me know which category your blog/website belongs to. Or suggest a new category. (Don’t forget to include the name we knew you by back at MHC if yours has changed.)

Addendum: Just in case you are wondering, that’s my Smooth Fox Terrier, Lucy, proving the famous saying: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Back to Work After Two Decades

coffee cupAt a time when some of us are thinking about retirement or career change, our classmate Amy Beckett is re-entering the workforce after nearly two decades as a stay-at-home-mom. (If you didn’t catch The Washington Post article last April that featured Amy, check it out here.)

Amy never planned it this way, especially since she’d loved her days as a lawyer in Chicago. But Life intervened for 17 years. Now here she is back interviewing, job seeking and struggling with the esteem punishment that goes with it. And she’s right to feel intimidated. She faces formidable odds, as the Post article points out:

With the nation’s jobless rate near 10 percent, long-term unemployment among women ages 45 to 64 has more than doubled in the past year, to 888,000 in February, according to the U.S. Labor Department. And the job market for lawyers is especially difficult, with the National Association for Law Placement reporting the lowest-ever rate of job offers to summer associates, and law firms delaying new hires’ start dates for the first time.

The Post article chronicles the many difficulties Amy faced returning to the workforce, even as a highly trained professional. There is also some good advice for making yourself a more attractive candidate in a highly competitive job market. But yes, Amy did finally land that job.

How many of you are going through or have gone through a similar journey? Leave a comment and tell us how you finally succeeded. Or changed course.

NOTE: There are some great pictures of Amy Beckett in the on-line version of the article. But were so well protected from “poachers” that I couldn’t include one here.