Monday, September 28, 2015

Rite of passage

Image result for images of ca missions

Not growing up in California I had a lot of different experiences than my friends who grew up here. I did not make a mission in the fourth grade.  I did not go to outdoor science camp in fifth.  The one thing we have in common is that we had to play an intstrument in the fourth grade. And now so do my children.

I remember being forced to pick an instrument I did not want to play because I had to play a lady-like instrument, which was not the drums, stand up bass or the sax, my orignal choices. I was allowed to play the flute. I ended up loving playing an instrument. I loved the feeling of accompishment, the creativity, the collaboration and the challenge. I ended up loving my flute. Especially when I watched my friends lugging their larger instruments. There was no way I could have lugged the bass around.

Image result for images flute player                                      

My daughter chose to play the flute because I had played it.  I pushed back and made her try a couple of other instruments before settling on the flute. I did not want her to start out feeling that the flute was not the instrument she wanted.

I hope she loves this experience and grow to love music and have a creative outlet she can cherish her whole life.  We're off to a good start; she spent the weekend learning how to make a sound with the mouthpiece.  She did not give up and powered through it.

I'd love to hear your school music stories or any creative outlets you cherish.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

As a writer and a lover of the English language...

As a writer and a lover of the English language my daily emails at work are like fingernails dragging painfully down a blackboard.

Here is an real life example of two emails I recieved.  I have changed the proper names to protect the offender.

From: joseph rubens
To: Human Resources
Subject: Job opportunity
Hello, my name is joseph rubens and i am writing this message because i am intrested in a position with wilco standards. i am a former welder for stuts out in the oil platforms. I became close friends with juan vasques and a couple of employees who encouraged me to appy for wilco. if you guys are hiring by any chance. Please give me and email message or a call on how can i apply. Thanx you..  


Thank you for your interest in a job opportunity with Wilco Standards.  Unfortunately there are no openings at this time.

Please take the time to read and apply these helpful pointers so that you will have better luck in your job search:
1)      Always attach a resume
2)      This is your first and only chance to impress the hiring manager- so work hard to impress them
a.       Use proper grammar (for example capitalization)
b.      No spelling mistakes
c.       No text short cuts, use the whole word spelled out properly.
3)      Always mention that you were referred by someone and spell their name correctly.  In this case you should mention all the employees who would give you a recommendation. More is better.

Your email is all bunched together and without the proper capitalizations it is harder to read.  You could easily have spent just a couple of more minutes and done a lot better on this email and made a much better first impression. 

I am not saying this to discourage you but to assist you in your job search.  I wish you good luck.

From: joseph rubens
I appreciate your help kathryn. Yes you are right, i should have double checked my grammer. I will keep trying. Thank you.

Don't you love this? Does he not see that he is thanking me and he should've double checked his "grammer" and then he does everything I have told him not to do in the email to me?  If he had shown that he could follow directions by at least captializing, the one thing everyone should know how to do, I would have saved his email for when we are hiring again. Had he attached a resume I would have saved it was well.  He did neither and his email was discarded, at work at least.

It found its way here because I have complained about the emails I receive, honestly this is one of the better ones, and the state of the English language only to be told that there is no way people are making those mistakes. So here is proof of a few of the most common mistakes I see. I don't think many of you would be able to read some of the emails I recieve.  It took my assistant months to learn to decipher them.

Does anyone have any examples of poor grammar that are their pet peeves.