#technology, A day in the life..., Brooklyn

Positively Prickly

Hello!  It’s been a while since I’ve been here.  A lot has happened – too much to catch you up on, but the main thing is I’m back in NJ/NYC!

Living in NJ working in Brooklyn – doing what I’ve wanted to do for years!  I’m loving it, but holy mackerel!  What a week!  Professors are all bombarding me because it was the first week of school, it’s the first time in 2 years they’ve had an Instructional Technologist to go to, and for many of them it’s the first time they’re using the new LMS.  I survived the week by doing things like starting out with a cold caramel macchiato, getting banana pudding for dessert and focusing on the positive (a professor invited me to observe her photography course for 6 weeks!).  When I got home last night I started thinking about how my training room and office needed some sprucing up and feng shui. (Def stuff only white people say.)

Luckily someone didn’t show up for their training so I got to escape and run to a flower shop in the neighborhood.  Since my research started last night, I knew a couple shops that were walking distance from work.

This morning it was 55 degrees.  I kept thinking about how I missed this transition last year and how good the crisp air felt.  By the time it was lunch time, it had gotten to 70 degrees but still felt brisk walking to the flower shop.  I walked past the cacti and thought to myself how pretty they look, but I’ve had enough cacti in my life for a while so I kept looking around.  After a while I realized how indecisive I was being, I walked up to the florist and told him I wanted a plant or two or three or four for my office and training room.  He asked me if I have windows – I said yes – so he highly recommended – you guessed it – the cacti.

Well, even though cacti remind me of being homesick, I didn’t want to seem close minded and discriminate, so I whipped out my phone and Googled to see if there are benefits to having a cactus in the office.

I found that cactus spines catch negative energy radiated by computer screens and they are used to shift a stressful energetic experience to something more comfortable – seems perfect for a room filled with technology, training, and panicky professors!  Here’s to a new school year filled with less panicky professors and more positive energy in my work environment!




I wonder if during the days when phones were first invented, if people felt that face to face, personal communication was a little lost.  Ya know, like how many of us are feeling now that texting/emailing has become a main form of communication.  I’m kind of sad that we’re losing that piece of real conversation connection and it needs to be forced in order for a phone call to happen.

In my ideal world, a decade from now (or less) researchers, experts and doctors are going to start scaring people into using their phones less.  Like they did with cigarettes!  And then there will be a “technology” or “no technology” section of restaurants… and eventually all restaurants will be considered a “tech free zone”.  If you want to use technology, you must step out of the restaurant.  I really was hopeful that this would happen until I was walking through the airport last month and I noticed that bars and restaurants had iPads at every seat.  It was the saddest thing to see.  My dream of no technology in restaurants was crushed.


So the other day I was thinking, maybe I should do a Facebook detox.  Now that I have interceptionary – any time I need to share something, I’ll just use interceptionary.  So I attempted it.  Last night, I deactivated.

Then this morning, I realized that if I get people to join this new clothing delivery service that I started using, Stitch Fix, that I would get credit towards my next purchase.  I need Facebook to spread the word!  So I went on and shared the link (with the perks of doing it – I’ll make a post about it tomorrow!)  Then a little while later, I got a message from my friend, Kristin about her twin boys’ birthday party.  I would’ve missed it had I still be deactivated.  I also got to say Happy 109th Birthday to Nonno in heaven which was nice.  Later this evening, while I was at the store when I took a quick peak and saw that I had gotten an invitation to join an event.  I looked it over real quick.  All I saw was Alison McCarthy – Meghan McCarthy… yada yada yada – I thought to myself awesome!  I haven’t seen Meghan in a while – I assumed my friend Meghan was having a party thrown for her by her sister, Alison.

I couldn’t be more wrong.  The event, A Day for Alison wasn’t a birthday party.  It was a request to join as they raise funds for my friend Meghan’s sister, Alison.  She is dying of brain cancer.  She had a seizure 5 days after she gave birth to her first child, and a cat scan revealed that her brain had a very aggressive form of cancer developing.  The first month after she gave birth, after having the seizure she underwent 3 brain separate surgeries.  Immediately after I read through the event I went onto Meghan’s Facebook page to see what was going on.  I was so sad that I didn’t know this was happening.  Although it’s been a couple years since I’ve seen Meghan – when we did see each other last she spoke about her sister and how she was trying to have a baby.  I couldn’t believe the baby was finally born and now that this was the struggle her family was facing.  Her words, “It’s kind of the worst imaginable situation.”  I then went onto Meghan’s brother in law’s blog and read more to find out exactly what state her sister is currently in.  Having a sister, I don’t know how I would deal with something like this.  I just keep thinking that no one should ever have to go through this.  No one should have to watch their child dying.  No one should have to spend their first Christmas as a mom and dad in the hospital wondering if they’ll be there to be a parent the next day.  I feel horrible, but at least now that I know about it, I can try to give some support by sharing their YouCaring page and details of the upcoming event.

So I guess Facebook is a huge form of communication.  And unplugging from it would be like unplugging your phone in 1985.  No one would even think of doing that.  Yes, of course there’s the people who say “if she was such a good friend – you would’ve found out some other way.”  Well, we lost touch the past of couple years – it happens.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to help her in any way I can.

So in my quest to “unplug” yesterday I took a bath and was reading through this book I bought called, Unplug Every Day.  (Kinda funny that I just noticed on Amazon they sell the Kindle version.  Guess if you’re reading it on your kindle you haven’t completely unplugged.)  It got me inspired to do some unpluggy kinda things even if I don’t completely deactivate my Facebook account.  One thing that I thought to do even before I thought of unplugging was make a list of people that I’d like to send a birthday, anniversary, etc card to this year – buy all the cards, write them, and have them ready to be sent.  As I was picking out the cards, feeling so proactive about preparing these greeting cards – I thought to myself, that even though this is a great gesture – I’m not being present.  Yes, planning for the future is good but I am expecting that everyone that I want to be around on their birthday will actually be there.  I bought $94 worth of birthday/anniversary cards and came home to the news that my friend may no longer have a sister soon.  Instead of waiting until everyone’s birthday, I think I’ll make a list of people I want to call each week.  You never know when the last time you’ll talk to someone is.  It would be much better if that conversation in person or on the phone.