What’s a Reince Priebus?

Well, Michael Steele is out as chair of the Republican Party.  This is big news because after just one term as RNC chair (one that included a number of disappointments for the Republican Party), he is being replaced by someone who it seems most people have never heard of – Reince Priebus.

Check out this hilarious video from The Colbert Report.  According to Steven Colbert, “hopefully, Reince Priebus will run with Senator Saxby Chambliss as part of the Chambliss/Priebus ticket.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Sarah Palin’s Responsibility for the Term “Blood Libel”

Sarah Palin recently released a video reaction to the shooting targeting Gabrielle Giffords.  I actually thought she had a number of good points in her video and appreciate most of the sentiment.  However, Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” is shocking and offensive.  One can only hope that if she understand the history of the term and how relevant it is to Congresswoman Giffords that she would have chosen another way to represent her thoughts.  If she meant what she said, I really do have some concern.

I encourage you to watch Sarah Palin’s video.

Afterwards, I encourage you to think about the following:

  1. Why did Sarah Palin release such a video?  What was her motive?
  2. Did she mean “blood libel” as has been interpreted?
  3. Importantly for the recent situation: Are law breakers singularly responsible for what happens?  Are we not all influenced by our environments and communities?

Winter Quarter Class Summary

I’ve now completed my first week of Winter Quarter and am getting ready for the second week.  This quarter may be my most difficult yet.  There will certainly be a lot of reading/work.  Work at CME is also keeping me busy.  This quarter, we have the Diversity & Unity Retreat and Voices of Discovery, two programs I am planning with Thomas.  I am also doing a lot of work for the Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence (big expansion this year, held in May) with Johanna.

I am taking four classes this quarter.  Here they are with some initial thoughts:

Strategic Cost Management

This class has an interesting topic that I’ve never really though about before.  I’m hoping to get a more integrative understanding of managerial accounting.  My professor is a nice old guy who clearly knows the material.  However, I’ve already been lost in class and there is a ton of work for this class, most of which has to be done with a partner.  Luckily, I have a good one.

Ethics for the 21st Century Professional

This class is very interesting and multidisciplinary.  It covers leadership, management, law, public policy, etc.  I like my professor a lot.  It has a good amount of work and effectively utilizes Blackboard by dividing up readings, discussion boards, and quizzes into “learning modules”.  I know a lot of the people in this class so that makes it a lot of fun as well.

Strategic Management

My Professor is extremely knowledgeable and has great experience.  We will be covering a lot of material and fast.  It will be a lot of work, but I think I will really enjoy it.  We have several team case analyses and I have a good group with people I know.

Law and Public Policy

I’ve always been interested in this topic and now I get to take a class that also relates it to business.  A good fit.  We have a lot of reading for this one too and several longer papers/presentations on different cases.  My professor seems to be a nice guy.

Farewell Debbie Friedman

I like many of Debbie Friedman’s songs.  They were a major part of my camp days and still are prevalent at Hillel.

Debbie Friedman, Jewish songwriter and performer, dies

(JTA) — Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music, has died.

Friedman died Sunday after being hospitalized in Southern California for several days with pneumonia. She was in her late 50s.

“Debbie influenced and enriched contemporary Jewish music in a profound way,” read a statement published Sunday on the website of the Union for Reform Judaism. “Her music crossed generational and denominational lines and carved a powerful legacy of authentic Jewish spirituality into our daily lives.”

Friedman brought a more folksy, sing-along style to American congregations. In 2007 she was appointed to the faculty of the Reform movement’s cantorial school in a sign that her style had gained mainstream acceptance.

She is best known for her composition “Mi Shebeirach,” a prayer for healing that is sung in many North American congregations.

Friedman released more than 20 albums and performed in sold-out concerts around the world at synagogues, churches, schools and prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall. She received dozens of awards and was lauded by critics worldwide.

“Debbie Friedman was an extraordinary treasure of our movement and an individual of great influence,” said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism. “Twenty-five years ago, North American Jews had forgotten how to sing. Debbie reminded us how to sing, she taught us how to sing. She gave us the vehicles that enabled us to sing. Then she impacted our youth and our camps and, ultimately, from there she impacted our synagogues.

“What happens in the synagogues of Reform Judaism today — the voices of song — are in large measure due to the insight, brilliance and influence of Debbie Friedman.”

Currently Listening To…

Mumford and Sons.  I heard briefly about this English group when I was in the UK.  I then saw them on both Amazon and iTunes.  They seem to be gaining in popularity.  Their song “Little Lion Man” is currently one of my favorite songs.

End of Winter Break, Beginning of a New Year

[This post was written while on board a plane from St. Louis to Denver]

I am sitting on a plane again.  This time for domestic travel.  I’m on the way back to Denver from St. Louis for the beginning of Winter Quarter.  I’m also heading back to Denver at the end of my last winter break – and I have to say, I’m not a big fan of that one.  I cannot believe that winter break is over.  Simultaneously, I feel like winter break just began and has been going on for quite some time.  Of course, winter break has been about six weeks long and I have been to the other side of the world and back again – literally.

I have no regrets about this winter break.  While I would have liked to have had more time in St. Louis to spend with people, I had some amazing experiences that I would not have wanted to pass up.  In my time at home, I spent a lot of time with family – something I am very happy about.  As well, I got to catch up with friends all over St. Louis.  I traveled to Israel where I saw new and old sights, reconnected with old friends and made some new ones, and attended an amazing wedding.  I traveled to England where I traveled the country with a friend and saw some of the most amazing (and old) places I have ever been to.  I was able to experience England and what it has to offer.  I spent time looking for and Interviewing for jobs (hopefully with some results soon).  I did a bit of reading and time to reflect and prepare for the new quarter.

The past few weeks have taught my several things.  I can rely on my instincts.  I know more that I realize sometimes.  It can be okay to go with the flow.  While planning is necessary, some adjustments may be necessary.  Change is okay and can be a good thing.  Relationships may change and morph.  We have to be okay with this.  Friends and family are important.  Treat them as such.

I graduate from the University of Denver with a BA and a MBA at the beginning of June.  This June.  With two degrees.  Wow!  I cannot believe that 2011 is here; 2010 just flew by!  The first half of this year will be filled with what promise to be the most difficult classes I have taken in college.  This new challenge should prove to be of benefit to me and I plan to rise to the challenge and exceed all goals and expectations.

This year will also contain a major decision that will likely affect the rest of my life (the next few years, at a minimum): what job to take and what city to live in – the two are linked.  Everything I have done these past 23 years was effectively preparing me for this moment.  This year I will need to make a decision based on my past education and work experiences that will set me up for my future – work, friends, family, etc.  I do not take this situation lightly and I hope to make the right/best decision possible.  I pray that will indeed be the case.

Other than what I have written here, I do not really have any new resolutions for 2011.   I generally have the same goals for each year that will hopefully lead me to being a better person:

  • Try my best to understand people – i.e. increase my empathy and open-mindedness
  • Rely on my values
  • Do my best
  • Learn
  • Talk less about people behind their backs
  • Do what I can to make the world a better place
  • Be the best friend and family member that I can be and trust my friends and family
  • Be happy and healthy

I have no doubt that 2011 will be my best year yet.  They each get better and better.  Every year also seems to go by faster.  I hope that I will be able to create new memories and relationships and value and retain them all.

Happy 2011!

Graduation Video

To celebrate Undergraduate Graduation this past June, me and four friends had a party at Hillel for our families.  Leslie made a video slideshow that has now been posted on YouTube.  It is quite good and brings back many memories.

Here’s to good times, great memories, and wonderful people:

2010 in Review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 7,200 times in 2010. That’s about 17 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 160 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 161 posts. There were 53 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was May 10th with 172 views. The most popular post that day was Three Jews and Six Catholics Walked Into The Supreme Court.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, healthfitnesstherapy.com, slashingtongue.com, and digg.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for pat martchink, how private is facebook, school newspaper articles, carillon, and joel portman.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Three Jews and Six Catholics Walked Into The Supreme Court May 2010
4 comments

2

Welcome! May 2010

3

OneRepublic @ DU May 2010
1 comment

4

As Our Lives Change, Come Whatever, We Will Still Be Friends Forever May 2010
2 comments

5

How Private is Facebook? May 2010