Letter from the Editor
This month marks 1 year since the NCWorks Office in Smithfield has relocated our new Clayton location, and somehow it’s still standing! We didn’t do anything to celebrate the occasion; after all, we just had our grand opening in this past March. When we first opened the office, we didn’t quite have all the materials we have today such as the monitors, dividers for the Computer Resource Center, NCWorks signage and plants. In the year we’ve been here, I feel it’s come a long way towards feeling like a fantastic NCWorks Career Center.
It’s very hard to believe that this is my next-to-last column for this program year’s newsletter. Time is passing much too quickly! It’s seems like this year’s AmeriCorps Members just arrived. How can that be? I find that as I get older, time passes more and more quickly. Is that because our days are so filled, so many deadlines, so many things to get done, so many vacations to plan? Or is it because our lifeline is getting shorter? Perhaps as Zachary Scott said: “As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.” Life is short, it really is. We are not promised tomorrow. All that is true. However, I find it important to remain present to the here and now, to enjoy every little minute of every day. I also don’t want to live with regrets, so allow for plenty of fun and adventure time. There is also a way to do that with your work hours: do what you love. I love my position as Program Manager to this team. This year’s team will be a hard act to follow. I’m not sure I’m ready to let them go . . .
Adjective Name: Daring Deborah
Hometown: Levittown, PA
What led you to your role with the AmeriCorps Access Workforce Development program?
We moved to Raleigh NC two years ago; my husband has family roots in NC many generations back. I was seeking a position that would feed my desire to be of service and also could take advantage of my past experience: project management, leading teams, and experience working with vulnerable populations. Program Manager of AmeriCorps Access Workforce Development fit those requirements exactly!
What has been the most rewarding part of your role?
I love seeing our Members thrive in their year of service. Although there are some challenges, most of our team Members learn a lot during their year of service: about serving in a professional environment, about serving those in need, and about themselves.
What word comes to mind when you think of the current (2015-2016) AmeriCorps team?
If you had $1,000,000 and had to donate it to one charity, which would you choose and why?
Plan International. They work with children around the world empowering them through education and economic resiliency. Children are our future. I’ve sponsored children through Plan International for a number of years. Another organization very close to my heart is the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). AVP works nationally (in prisons, where I’ve facilitated this work for 10 years) and internationally (mostly in the community) to build community using an experiential methodology, to have participants learn new skills that lead to positive conflict resolution, and have fun while doing it. I’m hoping AVP Int’l. And Plan International will work together one day.
Who or what motivates you when you’re having a rough day or going through hard times?
What motivates me is my passion to be fully present to life, no matter what it brings. Being kind is really important to me, kind to others and kind to myself. My husband, John, motivates me every day to be the best person I can be.
A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
He is here to remind me that two of my favorite places I’ve visited are Alaska (just back from a two week vacation there) and Mexico (we visit Cabo San Lucas frequently). He says, “Where are you headed next?” Hmmm . . . Nepal, Australia, New Zealand???
Mike’s Muse: 25 Facts
- President Jimmy Carter once told a joke during a speech to a Japanese audience which caused the audience to erupt in laughter. Impressed, he asked how the interpreter managed to get such a laugh. The interpreter admitted that he had said, “President Carter told a funny story. Everyone must laugh”
- Google sought out to make the most efficient teams by studying their employees. Named ‘Project Aristotle’ the research found Psychological Safety to be the most important factor in a successful team. That is an ability to take risk without fear of judgment from peers.
- The reason Top 40 has specifically forty singles is because standard jukebox machines held 40 songs at that time.
- Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, is not allowed to bike to work because his safety is too important to Nintendo.
- When a crow dies, the other crows investigate if there’s a threat where the death occurred, so they can avoid it in the future.
- They Might Be Giants (the band) used to dress up in disguise and
pretend to be a cover band of themselves called Sapphire Bullets and would open for themselves.
- An episode of Peppa Pig (a children’s TV show) had to be banned in Australia because it showed Peppa being friendly to spiders, which was not considered safe for kids due to the toxicity of many Australian species.
- The Honeyguide bird can (and does) guide African tribes to beehives after exchanging whistles with them. Once the humans have removed the honey, the bird can feed on the remaining beeswax and larvae.
- In 1898 Nikola Tesla once tricked an entire crowd into believing they could control a toy boat by shouting commands – he had in fact invented Radio Control and was piloting the boat himself.
- From 1993 to 2008, the same DNA was discovered at 40 different crime scenes in Europe, leading to the investigation of the “Phantom of Heilbronn”, which turned out to be a woman working in a cotton swab factory who inadvertently contaminated the swabs with her own DNA.
- A Florida-based beer company created fully edible 6-pack rings from brewing byproducts such as wheat and barley; the rings are just as strong as the plastic variety, yet completely digestible and biodegradable.
- Mr. Rogers always kept these words from a social worker in his pocket: “Frankly, there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.”
- Leonard Nimoy appeared in public as Spock only once. After needing police rescue from thousands seeking autographs, he did not repeat the experience.
- Cristiano Ronaldo funded the education of a 7 y.o. survivor of the horrific 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. The boy was found 21 days after the disaster, alone and wearing a Portuguese national football team jersey. The boy grew up to be a football player and was signed by Sporting Lisbon last year.
- The Italian words widely used in New Jersey differ greatly from mainstream Italian today not because of bad “copying” but because the words came from people speaking an Italian dialect that subsequently died out in Italy.
- An octopus named Inky escaped into the ocean from New Zealand’s Nat’l Aquarium. He slipped out of his enclosure via a small opening, slid across the floor during the night and squeezed his body through a pipe leading to the ocean.
- The city of Sao Paolo passed a “Clean City Law” a decade ago banning outdoor advertisements. Over 300,000 ostentatious business signs, billboards, posters, bus and taxi ads were taken down. Removing ads revealed civic issues, including hidden slums previously masked by adverts.
- The countries Slovakia and Slovenia are mistakenly thought to be each other so often they meet once a month to exchange wrongly addressed mail.
- An airplane crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945. Among other damage,
plane parts severed the cables for an elevator and the woman inside fell over 70 stories. She lived and holds the world record for the longest survived elevator fall.
- Isaac Asimov contracted HIV from a blood transfusion received during his bypass operation in 1983. His physicians advised him against going public, warning that the anti-AIDS prejudice would likely extend to his family members. He died from HIV complications in 1992.
- Goosebumps author RL Stine never included things like divorce, drug use, abuse in his books because he didn’t want to terrify kids. He wanted kids to be sure that his stories were fantasies that could never actually happen.
- When Apple was buying land in NC for their data center, a couple refused to let them buy their 1 acre plot of land. Apple continued to give offers and, after the couple rejected them all, they asked them to set their own price. Apple then ended up paying $1.7 million for one acre of land.
- A disgruntled employee attempted to hijack and crash a FedEx flight using hammers and a spear gun. Despite their traumatic head injuries, one pilot flew the plane upside down while the other grappled with the assailant until he was subdued. Both pilots lived and managed to land the plane safely.
- Winston Churchill received a prescription for alcohol when he visited the United States during prohibition, his Doctor writing, “The quantity [prescribed] is naturally indefinite”.
- Physicists proved that shooting “granny style” is the absolute best technique to consistently score points on the line, but NBA players refuse to do it because it looks stupid.
And as an apology for this article’s absence last month, here are an extra ten.
- It’s illegal in Queensland (Australia) to own a pet rabbit unless you can prove that you’re a magician.
- Auschwitz prisoner Kazimierz Piechowski, along with 3 others, was able to escape the camp by simply dressing up as Nazi Officers & commandeering the Deputy Führer’s car. When they arrived at the gate they simply barked orders to the guards who let them out no questions asked.
- Texting and driving is about 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated.
- In 1993 Pepsi ran a contest in the Philippines in which it promised 1 million pesos, roughly $40,000, to the person who found the number 349 inside his bottle cap. Pepsi went on to mistakenly print 800,000 winning caps, leading to outrage and death threats to Pepsi executives.
- Michelin – a company which awards prestigious star ratings to restaurants – go to extraordinary lengths to maintain the anonymity of their restaurant inspectors, even advising them not to tell their parents about their line of work.
- The apples sown by Johnny Appleseed were largely sour and inedible, and were usually used to make hard cider rather than be baked in pies or eaten raw.
- A cat named Masha saved a baby’s life. The long-haired red tabby found an abandoned baby in a box in the snow and climbed in to keep the baby warm and meowed to get the attention of a passerby. The abandoned baby was rescued unharmed.
- When Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel into outer space, first landed his capsule back on Earth, a woman ran to his landing site and asked him if he had come from outer space, to which he responded, “As a matter of fact, I have!”
- A Jack Russell used to catch the bus to his favorite pub in York, UK all by himself. Jumping on the No.10 near his house, he would visit The Black Bull where he had his own water dish and a regular supply of sausages, before getting a lift home at closing time with one of the barmaids.
- In 2011 a Brazilian 71 year old retired bricklayer named Joao found a penguin
(Dindim) covered with oil and nearly dead on the beach. He worked feverishly to save its life and succeeded. Every year since, Dindim has swum 8,000KM (just under 5,000 miles) to meet and live with Joao in Brazil.
Clint’s Corner: Customer Service…
I come across so many job seekers as an AmeriCorps Member. Many of them I work with only once and I won’t see them again. I have some that come in every now and then and they mostly do their own thing. Then, I have those that will completely refuse to work with anybody else and won’t even lift a finger without me specifically telling them what to do.
I can say with complete confidence each of my other fellow AmeriCorps Members has had an encounter with a job seeker that somewhat exhibits disciple behavior. I could name a few. They’ll ask me what hours I’m in the office, what my email address is, if they can call me, and if they do happen to come by the office and I’m at an outreach they will completely scoff at the idea of working with the other staff members. I’ve even had a job seeker call the library I was doing outreach at because they forgot their password. Literally any other person at our centers can help with a password reset; they don’t even necessarily need an NCWorks staff member to reset their password.
Once a week, a particular customer will contact me either at the office or at one of my outreaches. I’m not sure if he entirely knows what my role is, but he will give me a very detailed report about how his week has gone at one of his jobs. At first, it was irritating because to him it wouldn’t matter if I was helping someone else or not; he would come to me and excuse himself and give me his reports. After a few times of this occurring, I had to let him know he needed to respect the fact that when I’m working with others I need to give the one that I’m working with my undivided attention and if it is an urgent need there are other people he can talk to. He understood, and now at least he waits until I’m free.
There has not be a week where I haven’t heard the phrases “I don’t know nothing about no computer” and “You have the patience of a saint” since I’ve been doing this service. Well, there is a customer that has the ability to test my patience to the absolute limit to the point where I think my mind might actually break. I don’t know why a person would come to seek help and then find a reason to reject all the advice given because of self-doubt and not even wanting to try. Each time I speak with her, it’s like everything resets to the beginning of our previous encounter. If I feel like I’m about to make a breakthrough to her, she won’t validate what I said. I’ve been working with her for a while, but I still believe she may one day take a step outside her comfort zone and go on to more of the things that she wants to do.
It’s great our job seekers have so much confidence in us; I just want the job seekers we work with to have that much confidence in themselves. It can be an overwhelming feeling. Obviously they have a drive to want more from the employment realm because they sought help in the first place. From there, I want to build job seekers up to be able to really take advantage of all we have to offer at our centers.
B’s Bakery FRENCH COCONUT PIE
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour
A Sweet, buttery, and crispy 6 servings a pie
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1 (9 inch) frozen or homemade pie shell
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a medium bowl, mix all the filling ingredients until well combined
pour into the pie shell.
Place pie on a cookie sheet
Bake for 1 hour.
Allow pie to set and cool completely before slicing.
Raleigh Rendezvous – July “It’s Hot in Raleigh” – Haikus about being hot