All Articles Tagged "learning"
I am rarely ever opposed to being vocal about how selfish I believe my younger brother to be. His attitude is self-preservation above all else. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll do the occasional favor or two, but at the end of the day it is all about his wants, his needs, his pleasure, his car, and his girlfriend. But can you really blame him? That seems to be all most guys care about at 19 years old. I on the other hand am the exact opposite. I am always putting others before myself. I live, eat, and breathe with a favor or two, or three on my to-do list. People call on me for all kinds of favors from babysitting to borrowing money and somehow no matter how hectic my life may be at the moment I find it in me to muster up a yes.
But, lately I’ve been pondering why my response is always yes when the majority of the time the person inside of me is screaming “HELL NO!” While I believe my little brother’s selfishness to be a tad obnoxious, I can’t help but to admit that I secretly admire his ability to say no. On any given week, I can list at least three to five things that I’ve agreed to do, which I have absolutely no desire to carry out. I often find myself walking away after agreeing to do something asking myself, “Why in the world did I just agree to that?” I mean is it really that difficult to utter one of the shortest words in the English language? It has gotten to the point where I am starting to believe that people have learned to play on my inability to say no. While some would say that I need to just get a backbone and learn to pass on some things, I can’t help but to believe that there’s more to it than that. As time progresses, I am slowly realizing that my inability to say no is unhealthy. It’s very stressful, and of course, enough stress can make you ill. How productive can I actually be to the commitments of my own life when I am constantly carrying out tasks and doing favors assigned (not even “asked” mind you) by others?
After much deliberation, research, and a close analysis of my personal interactions, I have come to realize that my struggle with the word no comes from my desire to not deal with the consequences that could arise after I release my “no” into the atmosphere. I’d much rather inconvenience myself than to disappoint, hurt someone’s feelings, or cause confrontation. Let’s just call it what it is: I’m a people pleaser.
For example, at this very moment that I’m writing this piece, I’m facing the struggle of trying to meet several deadlines for school, six to be exact. At the same time that I am juggling multiple homework assignments from six different classes, I am also babysitting my four-year-old godson. I have an aunt on one line asking if I can babysit my little cousin for a few hours this weekend, a sister on the other line asking if I can keep my niece overnight, another family member asking if I will accompany them to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a few requests from several members of my church, and a cooky cousin clogging my voicemail box asking if I can help her create a Facebook page for the family reunion that she’s planning. *Sighs*
In the midst of my frustrations, I can’t help but to think that my brother would never have this problem. That carefree individual would’ve simply declined and been on his merry way. Actually, people would have known not to ask him for a favor in the first place. I can’t even place the blame on those around me for the millions of favors that I am asked to do on a daily basis. It is my own fault for not being stern enough to say no, and while I don’t believe they’d love me any less if I declined, it still doesn’t take away my desire to refrain from disappointing them.
I find it ironic that as I am facing my demons with the word “no” by writing this article, I am also being brought to a crossroads in my personal life. I can either go left or I can go right. I can appease all of the people around me by granting the requests they’ve made and possibly lose my mind AND miss my school deadlines at the same time, or I can find a no from deep within and put myself first as I should have done a long time ago.
Are you someone who is always doing for others and doesn’t know when and how to say no?
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Last Tuesday, while most folks were distracted by all the election day coverage, the School District of Philadelphia quietly announced its plan to restructure the city’s public school system, including closing 64 schools in the next five years.
Calling the plan an attempt to right size a district, which has been bleeding both seats and money, while making it competitive by offering parents more choices, Chief Recovery Officer Thomas Knudsen said that 40 schools would close by next year and six additional schools would be closed every year thereafter until 2017. The remaining schools would get distributed into “achievement networks” where public or private groups compete to manage them while the Central District headquarters would be reduced to a skeleton crew of about 200. The District chief also said that the ultimate goal is to have about 40 percent of students in Philly’s public school system moved to charter school management by 2017.
The announcement of basically the dissolution of the School District of Philadelphia, a city that’s the fifth largest city in the nation, has received minimum attention in the mainstream media. Even as the city of brotherly love becomes the latest city to weaken under the prospects of trying to balance budgets, while working with decreasing amounts of funding, meet the standards of federal No Child Left Behind guidelines and compete with the sudden rise in charter schools, which continues to pull necessary monies and resources from the already battered school districts. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, “across Pennsylvania, school boards are finding it increasingly difficult to manage tax dollars responsibly as the pressure to open more charter and cyber-charter schools builds, even as these schools show little evidence of performing better than regular public schools.” And it is not just Pennsylvania.
In Detroit, which last year announced plans to close half of that city’s schools and increase high school class sizes to 60 students, the city has also embraced charter schools as the cornerstone of its “Renaissance 2012″ plan even as the performance of the district’s 14 authorized charters so far has been less than impressive. In New York City, which has undergone a similar style restructuring plan similar in kind to Philadelphia, has too not seen the success as promised through its reduction of publicly held schools in favor of privately managed charter schools.
According to Diane Ravitch, former Secretary of Education under George H.W. Bush, New York City has not gotten the remarkable results it promised. She writes, “The city’s proficiency rates, which seemed to be flying up by leaps and bounds every year, got deflated in 2010 when the State Education Department admitted lowering the cut scores on state examinations. Overnight, the New York City miracle disappeared, as the percentage of students who reached proficiency fell to levels near where they had been years earlier. And the achievement gap was as large as it had been in 2002, when the mayor took charge.”
This might sound like an oxymoron, but there are true benefits to being in an entry-level position (no, really!). Starting off in a new company, fresh out of college with no real experience level under your belt or beginning in a completely new field way after college could seem like a step back professionally, as you envision endless days of rushing to get coffee, make copies, answer phone calls and doing very little significant work.
Don’t fret in your position just yet. Working your way up the corporate ladder comes with its difficult times, but it is imperative to look at the bright side to being a little lower on the company totem pole. Seize the opportunity of being an entry-level professional to your advantage, and keep in mind these perks you will come out of it with:
Being an entry-level employee is all about the learning experience you receive while being a beginner in the field or company. This experience is invaluable because many mid and upper-level executives have years of professional knowledge, which could make for good examples of what and what not to do in your industry, and a great opportunity to make contacts and network.
The experience of learning from seasoned professionals in your field (while also getting paid!) is one that you do not want to ignore and resent just because you are a little lower on the totem pole at work. Many other executives do not have the chance to sit back and learn while on the job, so take this aspect of your position as having an upper-hand.
The Option to Explore Other Opportunities
One of the most useful benefits of being an entry-level employee is the time and space you get to explore opportunities in and outside your company. This could be preparing for another career path or choosing to pursue a higher education in order to increase your overall market worth in your field. Just beginning in your field, you have the option to explore other paths and possibilities before anything is truly set in stone for you. Take your time as an employee to explore options you might want to look further into before you are solidified in your field. It might prove difficult to change your career path completely after 10 or so years in the same field.
In the latest issue of O Magazine, Oprah pens an open letter to her younger self. She also appeared on the cover with an adorable picture of the 20 something year old version of herself. While Oprah is full of wisdom, she’s not the only one. We know our readers and followers have some insight too. We know this because they have enough sense to read Madame Noire. So we asked them, if you could say anything to the younger version of yourself what would it be?
Check out a sampling of the responses below:
@tendeRoni1023: I’d say Dear Veronica, your Dad is right. Boys all want one thing & grown men want it too. Grown men just do more to get it.
@Dmarielle22: Dear Younger Self, Slow down, smell the flowers, LISTEN TO MOM, love yourself first, & give love to ALL. NEVER give up!
My whole natural “awakening” was by accident truthfully. My sisters were natural, I had friends who had been natural for years, but me, I did whatever to my hair, whenever, however after a while. In all honesty, I wasn’t a fan of the naturalistas who were overly aggressive and acted like you didn’t love yourself with chemical in your hair, so for years, I was pretty defiant. But after going a long time with stalling hair growth, I stopped trying to make my shoulder length hair work and started chopping it off in college. Mushroom cut for a while, cut it again. Long top short sides for a while, cut it off again. I had no problem with people going natural, but at the time, it just wasn’t for me.
I had a texturizer that I adored about a year and a half ago. But getting to the adoration part of it was a struggle. When I got it, they literally had to give me a bald fade for it to work, so I went through an “Am I pretty?” struggle for weeks. Once it started growing out, I was certain it was fabulous. Almost six months later it became this big, curly, uneven fro. I refused to go through the same process to have another texturizer treatment done, so I thought, maybe if I can even this unexpected fro out, I can still rock a texturizer but keep all the hair I had grown (a wealth of new growth popped up by six months–Nigerian hair for you).
So when I took that texturizer to the man at my dad’s barbershop, with the help of the overzealous barber, I found myself unexpectedly natural. There I was, in the barbershop with an eerily perfect spherical and kinky fro with no more of the fake, silky curl I had an hour before when I walked into the barbershop (it was on the floor). I thought to myself, “Oh snap! Am I natural?”
While I could have chosen to go back down the same route and try for a relaxer again, it occurred to me that my TWA wasn’t all that teeny after all. So I went to the store, bought a few products and started my natural journey. It has been a year since I made the decision to stick with my natural hair, and I can’t say how glad I am that I did it. After a lot of ups and downs, some braids, a dry winter, and a sad trim or two at the salon (“I’m not draping anymore!” I thought), I, like most people have learned a lot about my hair, have grown proud of it, and actually plan to get locs this weekend (woo-hoo!). I’m sure what I’ve learned you can relate to if you’re growing with your natural hair as well, so yes, let’s share.
If other inner-city school districts are anything like the one I witness several days out of the week, it’s understandable why many parents are opting out of the education system completely for an opportunity to educate their children a variety of curriculum in the safety of their own home. More students are in the hallways than in the classroom nowadays (and that’s if they even bother coming to school at all). Political power plays leave educators and supporting staff who are actually invested in students unmotivated, powerless and in the worst case, jobless. Confusion and competition at the top of the education chain leads to a chaotic learning environment where students often fall at the losing end.
In my own childhood I had the chance to be both a student of a catholic school for 10 years (grades Pre-K to eight) and a high school student at a small magnet school in Philadelphia whose curriculum focused on college preparation and world relations. I often take for granted the advantage that having a solid, well-rounded basic education gave me. As a parent, you’d like to believe that everyday you’re sending your child to a place where for seven to eight hours a day they’re gaining the skills necessary to be critical thinkers and competitive players in the real world. Unfortunately, with all of the stories of sexual assault and molestation, violence and bullying, I often wonder how much learning is actually being achieved. We all know that children thrive on routine and structure, so I’m also troubled by the idea that many children who are already coming from unstable family situations can no longer find security and safety in the “typical school day.”
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Anyone with good sense will tell you that you should date around before you decide to give up your
freedom…singleness and settle down with Prince Charming. While it’s good to learn what you do and don’t want in a relationship, we know from experience, that the process isn’t always nice and smooth. Here are the men that we’ve all run into a time or two during the course of our dating lives. If you see yourself in this list, feel free to share your story in the comments section.
The School Girl Crush
Aww young love! Don’t you remember how you felt the first time a little prepubescent boy showed you some attention? Your life became consumed with honeyed thoughts of your shared affection, declaring to anyone within earshot that you had a boyfriend and the awkward first conversations and kisses. It was grand, absolutely lovely. Nobody could tell you that it wasn‘t love. You just knew that you would be with this manchild forever. And then, you realized he was just…boring. Your conversations consisted of nothing more than the school day’s happenings. Dang. “We can still be friends, right?”
Lesson Learned: Infatuation is not, I repeat, is not love.
Even the most liberal limb of me has to admit that there are some great perks associated with being a woman, and even more when you’re a woman with a man. If I haven’t offended you yet, allow me to explain. While I still encourage independence, self- sufficiency and to be treated as equals, double-standards don’t bother me nearly as much when I am on the side of the freeway looking at my car do the “shoulder-lean” as the air slowly deflates from my tire. I surely don’t mind being a damsel in distress when I see a spider that has basically seized my entryway with his web basically making me a prisoner in my own home.
Like the show tune says, “I enjoy being a girl.”
At the same time, when the going gets rough and you find yourself without a guy to get going, sometimes you have to “man-up” and take care of business. It’s these times when you have to toss your fragile femininity on the shelf and get down and dirty. After mastering the following situations, you may even be able to teach these pretty boys a thing or two:
About The Episode
For “Weave Wisdom”, our mini-series on how to install and maintain a fabulous hair weave, we tapped the award-winning hair stylist Anthony Cherry to host. In this second installment of our series, Cherry finishes the installment of a hair weave on a client, demonstrating the proper use of a mesh cap in the weaving process and discusses “adjustment rows” to keep your weave looking tight.
Check it out and let us know what you think!
About Anthony Cherry
You only need to look at Anthony Cherry’s celebrity client list to understand just how good he is at his craft. Having worked with with the likes of Lala Vasquez-Anthony, Evelyn Lozada, Claudia Jordan and Paris Hilton, the St. Louis-bred, Los Angeles-based stylist has been working his hair magic for over 10 years. Along with his celebrity weave styling duties, Cherry also works as an ambassador to the packaged hair company, Sensasionell.
Want more Madame Noire Hair Videos….check out links below:
- Noire Naturals – The Natural Twist Out
- Noire Naturals – Maintaining Your Twist-Out Style
- Noire Naturals – Creating A Sophisticated Elegance
- Noire Naturals – Accessorizing a Sophisticated Updo
- Relaxed & Real – From Daytime To Evening
- Relaxed & Real – How To Prep Your Hair Before A Relaxer
- Relaxed & Real – Protective Styles For Working Out
- Weave Wisdom – How To Prepare For A Good Weave
- Weave Wisdom – How To Install A Hair Weave
- Weave Wisdom – How To Maintain A Hair Weave
Hello, Madame Noire. I am celebrity hairstylist, Anthony Cherry and I’m back for part two of our Weave Wisdom series. If you missed part one, I talked about a few things that you might need before installing a weave, such as straightening the hair before braiding, and using products to make sure the hair is not dry.
In this episode, I’m going to focus on installing the weave, and of course, let you in on a few of my secrets. Let’s get started by emphasizing the importance of using a net. Here are three reasons why a net is definitely essential. Number one: A net is used to make a weave last longer, as well as give a full coverage to place extensions anywhere you want to.
Number two: A net protects your hair by relieving tension. Finally, it helps achieve our main goal, which is to make a weave flatter. So now we’re going to apply the Mesh-Net cap. Model, can I get your particular Patient please. One finger like a hook please. Right there. Okay. We’ll take this. Have him grab that.
A little pressure. And it goes right over the head. Head back a little bit. Just bring it from above the eye, move this out of your way. And there we go. The next step is actually sewing the net down. Okay. We have a needle, which is very, very imperative to doing any weave. So I’ve already pre-threaded my strands and my needles.
I actually like my needles very long ’cause the longer I can make my thread, the longer I can keep on sewing. So what I’m gonna do, I would like to start first right on the inside, not the outside, the inside because I wanna cut along this way to leave that braid nice and free. I want to actually start on the inside of the braid.
Sometime if you go and you start sewing on the outside of the braid, sometime you create a little bit too much clumpiness, so we don’t wanna do that ’cause that will stop your weave of having the flow of being tucked directly up under. So, you just basically sew on the perimeter. And I never really create knots.
What I do, I just sew, I tuck, hold this under, this out and create like a little line that goes in. And I’ll do that all the way around the perimeter. But you can move very fastly. It doesn’t have to be totally perfect because you’re going actually go back and reinforce it. Once you start to actually putting the extension hair on.
Okay, so now we have the top, that is out. By this being mesh, it stretches. So what I’m going to do now, I’m going to connect the hole that is at the top of the mesh. And by it being mesh, it’s going to be very, very easy to grab and come back without causing extra stress. And we have created a full surface to where now you have the freedom to sew whatever you like.
So, I’m going to show you how to cut it off. Any excess strand or thread, just go right around, just nip them and cut them. How I like to do this; be very, very careful, not to cut your client or to cut their hair. So you want to lift this up. In one snap, see it’ll break away. Lift it up, then we can see exactly where the thread is, so we don’t have to cut the thread or the hair.
Lift up. And there you have it. The net is applied. And now we’re going to move on to the next step and that’s actually applying the extensions. We are beginning the method to the madness. We’re going from one extreme to another. Okay. By using our extensions, becoming “unbeweavable”, might I say.
Okay, so what I am going to do, I’m going to start to sew the weave and extensions on to the track. Okay. What you would like to do, is to actually get the track right up in here. Sometimes you can actually start to track up this far. But then sometimes when you start that far, you see how that projects and jumps out, we don’t like that.
We’re going to take this and pull it down to where we see where it falls, nice and natural. Where it can come down. So, we’re going to start just about right here, to sewing it on. We’re going to take this, tuck this under, and we want to get like, to balance it out, it should be like that on both sides, you want to take this, get the duck bill, and that’s lit up in there.
And cut this to about right there. Take this bad boy. Sit that there. Grab your pre-threaded needles. Which I actually like to use the nylon thread. Because the nylon thread is amazing. It’s slim, it’s fitting and it doesn’t get clogged up. Because you don’t want to get clogged up doing your sewing process because it will slow you down and cause a little bit of frustration.
Okay. So what I’m going to do. I’m gonna tuck this track right under the braid, okay? And what I’m going to do, I’m going to go to the bottom of the outside of the braid, okay? Take this, tuck that under, I created a little loop in the bottom of it and you just pull. And you pull. And you pull until you know that that is nice and tight, and you can see where your braid is being tucked under, by the pulling of the thread.
You should have that singed or that sits there for a second. You go back again to reinforce it, step away from it. Pull, give yourself a little bit of room to work with. Okay.
We’re going to do this again. Now that we have sewn in all of the hair. On the next and final episode, I will give you a few tips on how to style and properly maintain your weave. Well that’s it for today. Make sure you tune in to the next episode, to learn how to maintain your hair, and make all the hard work worthwhile.
If you have any questions for me, contact me @AnthonyCherry on Twitter. And if you want to see more videos like this one, please log on to madamenoire.com and follow them on twitter @madamenoire.
The LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) lifestyle and culture is on the road to normalcy in this country, which means parents should prepare themselves to do some explaining. With Disney’s The Suite Life on Deck including stereotypical, effeminate male characters and advocacy groups pressuring Nickelodeon to feature openly gay characters, it is something we have to choice but to address.
I remember being in the checkout line of the grocery store with my son, who was about 18 months at the time. There was a lady in front of me with her son, who appeared to be around four years old. In front of her, there was a man in a lavender woman’s blouse and fitted jeans. As we stood there waiting, I could see the little boy was a bit taken by the young man dressed in women’s clothing. After two minutes of careful observance, with his head curiously titled, he asked his mother, “Why is that man dressed like a girl?”
Oh, the benevolence of kiddie candor. I was tickled by his innocence.
His mother, on the other hand, was speechless—and mortified. She tugged at the boy’s arm and silently signaled him to hush. I thought to myself, I wouldn’t know what to say either. It was at that moment that I began mentally preparing myself for the day my son was old enough to ask similar questions.
What would I say when he asked why the man in front of us was wearing a dress? What would I say when he questioned why some of his classmates had two moms or two dads?