The Alumni Blog
How can Marketing and Design improve collaboration and create “out of this world products?” Last week we started the conversation by asking Market Researchers (How Marketing Researchers See Design, October 31st), now it is Design’s turn.
Recently, I published a piece in our local Walnut Creek Patch..it was a piece about gratitude just in time for Thanksgiving and, while it certainly focuses on a large number of friends in our community, it also speaks to the love and support I have received from innumberable members of the Stanford community...and for this, I'd like to reprint this piece here - as a special thank you to the Cardinal folk whose friendship and kindness have kept me buoyant during the last year...Here goes...
Exactly one year ago, my husband and two sons and I were landing in the Newark airport to visit my husband’s family for the Thanksgiving holidays. As any parent knows, a cross-country flight with children can have its obstacles. We were duly armed to the teeth with Wimpy Kid books, Chex mix, and fully-charged iPhones. Once there, we enjoyed a beautif...
Remember those stories starting with “It was a dark and stormy night?” Indeed it was, that first night of our weekend trip with my four-year-old. We were standing the middle of a deserted parking lot, a few miles past the Yosemite National Park entrance. My friend handed my son the lantern, which cast a soothing glow into the coal black darkness. She was itching for a short hike to the falls, but Alex knew he’d have none of it. We’d driven through rain all the way from San Francisco to Yosemite, and he didn’t care to poke around looking for waterfalls at night. It was only six o’ clock, and the temperature was 40 degrees, dropping further. I understood his fear; I’ve felt it myself, but somehow the woods are reassuring to me, even in the pitch black of night, even with the sound of nearby cars reminding us of civilization.
I love being a mother, but I miss this part of my life in the age BC – before children came...
In a word: busy. We're closing in on Thanksgiving break and hearing from my college senior is an occasional text, a random phone call and maybe a quick email. That's all fine and good but a visual was really helpful. What seems to be common amongst seniors is that they are very focused on fulfilling all requirements, whether it's distribution requirements or reqs. for their major. They are meeting pretty regularly with their advisor.They are socializing alot, attending their "last"... full moon on the Quad, Big Game Gaieties, Big Game, water polo event, soccer game...They have brushed up their resumes, attended the "career fair" and have been going through various stages of interviews with various companies, feeling the agony of defeat when they don't make the final round or they don't get the job. Or feel positively elated when they land the job! Especially in this economy when so many of the companies that used to recruit on campus no longer come. They are truly burning the can...
When the CEO Pioneers Profitable Design and practice top-level strategic design implementation.
Sustainability and Behavioral Change - Questioning our everyday individual and collective unsustainable behaviorsMore >>
Recent events around the world have once again demonstrated the extreme importance of corporate governance and risk management to our future well-being, and the need for training of effective board members.
I founded The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI) as a grass-roots, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the improvement of corporate governance in Japan through simple training and information sharing - the most effective and underutilized methods. Our mission is to help revitalize Japan, raise awareness of governance, and promote the domestic and cross-border dialogues which at the end of the day will be the primary drivers of ESG (environmental, social and governance) advances in Japan and elsewhere. The world has a lot of work to do, if we are to make governance work for a more sustainable world.
BDTI has been certified as a rare "public-interest organization" by the Japanese government, and its founders and advisors are ...
What an amazing time for geeks! First, Stanford is ranked as the 2nd nerdiest college in the United States by Localicious (http://www.local-icious.com/blog/10-nerdiest-american-colleges/). Then, this week I was introduced to a new term which will forever be cemented into the lexicon of my geeky life: "Adorkable." Seriously? Adorkable? How have I missed this? Or rather, how did I not coin this phrase years ago? Regardless, whatever FOX intern/producer/writer coined the phrase to describe Zooey Deschanel's character on the new sitcom New Girl is my new hero.
For anyone who has watched the pilot and 2nd episode of New Girl, you'll totally get what I'm talking about here. Zooey's character is quirky, smart, geeky, prone to spilling and, well, simply adorkable. With her glasses askew and a proclivity for singing her own theme song ("It's Jess!"), Zooey's role captures all that I love about geeks, dorks and nerds - the ability to be completely self-effac...
Few and far between are the moments when a mother gets to be a fly on the wall. Seems like we’re either in it or out of it. We’re either in the room, covered in spit-up and dirty diapers and that toothless grin that makes you melt, or we’re hearing about the horrible thing that so-and-so said on the playground and wishing we were there to squeeze that kid’s face till his cheeks deflate. But rarely are we there, behind the scenes, able to watch our children navigate through life without them knowing we’re there. If your children are like mine, they can smell me a mile away. (Hopefully I smell like White Linen and Ivory Soap and fresh-made snickerdoodles....but I fear I smell like a mixture of burnt toast, Pine-Sol and cheese sticks.)
It’s as if my sons have a radar built in their very souls that beeps when I’m near. They can spot me from a mile away – still with a big wave and a smile, thank God.
When your kids are little, you work hard to establish ‘home rules.’ You know, things like, “Remember to flush the toilet” or “This is a family, so everyone has to pitch in and do chores.” Garbage day is Monday, the cat needs to be fed every day, if you can’t see your floor, it’s time to clean your room, etc.
Then, the day comes – more quickly than you can imagine – when your kid heads off to college. You (and your student) discover that there are now NEW rules…dorm rules, dining hall rules, new rules for friends, RA’s, professors. Suddenly, ‘home rules’ are obsolete.
But here’s the big secret: The real difference between Home Rules and School Rules is that at college there are NO rules.
No one to wake your kid up in the morning to make sure she gets to class. No one to oversee what or when he eats (or doesn’t eat). No one to check whether homework gets...
Has anyone ever asked you what you hope your children will be like when they grow up, and you reply, “It doesn’t matter, as long as they’re happy.” It sounds good to say, and heck, you probably mean it when you say it. I mean it when I say it, at least I think I do.
But then, I end up spending most of my time grooming them to be “the right kind of people” when they grow up and not a lot of time focused on making my kids happy. I’ve put a lot of effort into making them smart, healthy, athletic, attractive, savvy, and polite. I guess I always expected ‘happy’ to be a by-product of the rest. As if being the straight-A student will make my son happy. Or getting to the next level in ballet class will make my daughter happy. Hearing the grandparents tell them how good they are with their “please and thank yous” makes them happy.
It does to some degree because chil...
Wow, Cameron is now a junior in high school. You know what that means, right?
[Cue the ominous music, like the theme from Jaws or something....]
It's time to start thinking about where to go to college - aaack!!
Sure, all of my Stanford friends just say, "Um, Stanford is pretty much perfect for everyone, so why would you even bother to look anywhere else?" Even though part of me agrees with that, I have to remember that it's not me going off to college in a couple years, it's him. As great as I think Stanford is, I do think it's very important to find a place that's the right fit for him.
What does "the right fit" look like? Heck if I know. Heck if he knows, either. So we're encouraging Cameron to take some time, starting now, to do his research. There is time now, and we don't want this whole process to turn into a mad, last-minute scramble. He did pretty well on the PSAT last fall, so he gets a fairly steady stream of m...
Focusing on wealth only, leads to perverse behaviors and results in strongly reduced happiness
Having been fortunate enough to be hired for an art party for a sweet little girl’s birthday, I gathered my big box of tricks and was off to a beautiful home in Orinda. The project for the day was to create a piece called “Six Dresses” in which the children would cut out, from a variety of patterned paper, dresses to place on a large piece of frameable posterboard. I arrived armed with buttons and enough paper to choke a goat and settled in for a festive and fun afternoon. The girls had a ball creating all manner of dresses: short-sleeved and strapless…some with belts…some with sashes and some with buttons all down their backs. I wanted the girls to work within a “color scheme” – to make sure that each dress had one little thing in common with the others, whether it was a particular shade of blue or a shared pattern.
The girls’ creations were just lovely – all so wonderfully individual and, much lik...
If you answered, “Huh?,” we have one word of advice for you: Head over to Stanford Alumni on Facebook and click “Like” right now so you won’t miss out on the next opportunity to win free swag like this fabulous vintage postcard of (a very full) Lake Lag.
In the meantime, here’s a quick lowdown on books alums have enjoyed this past summer. Please share your comments on the books on this list, add your own recommendations, and enjoy this little sampling of the literary penchants of your fellow...
Last week, Cameron got his learner's permit, a few days after turning 16. Unlike in my day, kids (at least where we live) aren't excessively eager to get their driver's licenses. It's easy enough for them to get around town on their own without a car, so why bother?
The process today is a lot different than it was back then, which seems like a good thing. I may be a little off, but I think all we had to do was take Driver's Ed (in school!), then take a written test to get our permit at age 15-1/2, then take a driving test once we turned 16. Nowadays, kids have a much more structured process to go through, including logging specific numbers of hours with both a private driving school and with us. We let Cameron figure it all out, since it will be him who gets the license, not us.
Now that he has his permit, he has to sign up for a session (or two? How would I know?) with a professional driving school. Once he's done that, it will be time to get in the car with him ...
It seems all the interesting things happen to me either during a Stanford football game or after. In college, sleeping out the night before the Oregon State game led to my first long-term boyfriend, I once fell down the stairs at Big Game, landing in the lap of an irate Cal fan, my in-laws met my family for the first time over the din of a Notre Dame/Stanford game..and then there was the infamous ex sighting.
My husband Bram and I were having pizza in Palo Alto with my dear friend Peter and his fabulous girlfriend (now fabulous wife). And there, amid the smell of pepperoni and tales of motherhood, I looked up from my imported beer and saw "the ex": the man who, on his birthday, told me I smelled like onions..the one in college who told me the way I looked at him with love in my eyes was, “downright irritating.”
Now, I am a married woman. I adore my husband. I have two sons, a great job writing and creating artwork and teaching art to childre...
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