In the midst of the chaos I call life these days, I find that I frequently desire to lose myself in the pages of a good book. I have recently discovered a nugget of gold. This book has a way of reaching out and connecting to its readers through a series of compelling short stories. The author, Deborah Levine, is a phenomenal communicator of real life lessons through deep personal accounts of challenges that leave you wanting more. I was entertained as well as academically stimulated and felt as if I was experiencing a larger part of the world.
Have you ever stopped to explore what drives your life? What about your family history has prepared you for the work you feel most passionate about? In Inspire Your Inner Global Leader, Deborah Levine shares what it is about her Jewish American heritage that has made her the natural advocate, director and trainer of diversity that she is today. Her many stories are catalysts to illustrate and educate, but ultimately to inspire the reader to fulfill his or her potential as a diversity pro. By sharing her own story, Levine hopes the reader will come away with a new appreciation for storytelling as a tool for self-discovery and the enlightenment of others alike.
Waterbaby—a term I’d never heard before reading Deborah Levine’s book, Inspire Your Inner Global Leader. The word sits right there, on the first page of real text, next to its diverse dictionary definitions. I couldn’t get past it at first—I kept repeating it, over and over in my head. Waterbaby. Waterbaby. I read on, in hopes that I would soon understand. It wasn’t long before I realized that her book is an ocean of honest tales, mixed in with rich, personal history. I wanted to know more about what it meant to master diversity, and I really wanted to know what a waterbaby was. After taking an eager breath, I dove right in, and trust me, it was well worth it.
I recently came across an article titled “Millionth Child Flees Syria” on Yahoo News. The picture under the headline was one of a young girl, with dark circles under her eyes, staring hauntingly at the camera. She’s pretty, too, with curly brown hair that many people try to imitate using hair gel. In the West—perhaps in Canada—she would be going to school in a few years, wearing nice clothes and hanging out with friends. She might meet even meet a guy.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I share with you my five most admired American women. Dynamic and diverse, my fab five are versatile females who defied convention and sidestepped traditional boundaries. From the outspoken survivor, to the fashionista turned politician, to a daughter carrying on her father’s legacy, these courageous women exemplify the American role model. Gutsy, generous, innovative, and graceful under pressure, Molly, Margaret, Odetta, Millicent, and Marlo inspire me. With accomplishments spanning over eighty years, each one is determined and driven, feisty and fabulous, colorful and full of character.
Cultures all over the world have individual artistic expressions that set them apart. One of these unique gifts that varies between people groups is the art of dance. African tribal dances began to shape and define their culture long before it transferred to America. Modern day African American dance has been revolutionized into a creative expression of talent and movement. These exceptional stylistic qualities can be seen in specialized dance companies like that of Alvin Ailey. The heart and soul that comes out through their artistic talents compels generations everywhere.
In the 1956 film “Good-bye My Lady,” Walter Brennan says to a fellow Southerner: “Had a tourist here once – a Yankee that got bit by a snake. Snake died.” It must have been fate that compelled me to watch this outdated, random movie on a Saturday morning while preparing to write this article. “Good-bye My Lady” contains several such jabs that made me laugh even though it is not a comedy and not even about Yankees. I hear quips like this every day from people who don’t realize that I’m a Northern transplant and not native to the South. So, after sixteen years in Chattanooga TN, and ten years previously in Atlanta, I would like to offer my top five tips for a successful transition into Southern living. By the way, to Southerners, a Yankee is anyone not from the South, not necessarily someone from the Northeast.
How much do grades actually matter in the real world? A letter doesn’t say much about what a person can do. A percentage doesn’t tell you how to do it better. In the real life, we are not graded. Life is too complicated to sum it up with a single letter. That’s why colleges and universities all over the world have revamped their grading policies.