time is not the deepest of times;
it is an unslept hour of breaking light
stirring lazily after a spent night
of copulation with its denseness
gloom, in visitation of hope
for the crescent moon to have tilted
sideways up into a smile, half
concealed by the veils of frothing
clouds speculating its revelation.
Continue reading This time – Poem by Sheikha A.
Drape me in the purdahs of your being
as I cave into hundred thousand deaths
per night; relentlessly I lodge my spirit
in the empty taverns of your existence
wishing to grow a flower, not very red
like shimmering rubies found in Mahals
of kings richly adorned of any despair,
but a plant common that you colour,
I hope, with the red of your blood warm.
Like a nomad groping towards an oasis,
I had disciplined myself to survive you
through these very nights, manifesting
sanity to stubborn senility; from lover
to patient, to broken as is what became
of a once curated heart.
Antonio Velásquez, my immigrant father, who came to this country (legally , you have to say that these days) with nothing, not knowing the language, serving this great country in the military and then eventually, with the GI bill, graduating from college (at age 32) recently passed away. My father lived to see me go to college and graduate, earning a BA and MBA from two great schools, and watched me marry a fabulous woman and have three wonderful children together and start my own firm – The Diversity Training Group. DTG has thrived for nearly 15 years.
Continue reading What My Father Taught Me About Diversity and Inclusion — by Mauricio Velásquez
I think many people are tired of the diversity issues percolating and re-circulating in the workplace, marketplace, and society-at-large, but way too many people just don’t realize that these diversity and inclusion issues are going unacknowledged, unresolved and “will come back over and over again.” The question is not should we fear diversity fatigue but why are so many people so fatigued?
Continue reading Why Diversity Fatigue — by Mauricio Velásquez
I started to write this article while I was waiting to board a plane to Germany, my native country. My topic is helpfulness. I want to define the cultural differences around giving assistance between members of different nations. I want to share a few experiences here in the United States. They show a level of caring that’s really new to me.
Continue reading Storm Volunteers Highlight Cultural Differences — by Beate Ziehres
My grandmother Hilda passed away when she was 95 years old. Her funeral was one of the most impressive events I‘ve ever joined. According to my feeling, all the citizens of her and my hometown had come to the cemetery. She was born and she died at the same small town in Northern Bavaria, Germany, which might have been one reason for her fame. She had never left her hometown longer than for a day trip. Another occasion could have been the way she decided to spend her time and live her life.
Continue reading My German Grandma’s Busy Life for her Church – by Beate Ziehres
Members of the European culture usually have a settled way of life. In their eyes, Americans are admirable models of mobility. If in Germany, where I come from, a person becomes unemployed, he will look for a new job in his ancestral city first. Only when that is unsuccessful will reach out to other parts of Germany to look for a new career. Or not, it depends on lots of circumstances. People are ingrained in their communities. Visiting is easier than moving and nobody has to take an airplane to visit friends and family. To cross Germany by car even at its widest point will take you nine hours.
Continue reading Bavarian in the US Southeast – by Beate Ziehres
As a German, I never thought deeply about the things that American people value. I heard about their preference for comfortable footwear and that they love burgers. When I moved to Chattanooga, I realized it’s true. Lots of folks wear tennis-shoes, no matter if it is with jeans, slacks or skirts. And as an almost vegetarian, I learned to value juicy grilled beef. I’m sure I will miss that back in Germany. After two years living in the US, I notice more differences between the attitudes of American and German people than I had imagined
Continue reading A German’s Thoughts on American Values – by Beate Ziehres
If you are a mono-lingual American, it can be helpful to know how native speakers of other languages often pronounce English, so you can understand them more easily. China is a huge country, and Mandarin is spoken differently in various parts of China. For some people, Mandarin is actually their second language, not their first. People in India speak somewhere between 780 and 1683 different languages, although reportedly only 21 are officially recognized.
Continue reading American English Pronunciation Challenges – by Katie Schwartz
Have you ever had difficulty understanding someone’s pronunciation, even if he or she knows how to speak English? It can be very frustrating for both the speaker and the listener.
Continue reading Common Pronunciation Errors in American English – by Katie Schwartz