Brazilianized English in a Commercial

It isn’t often that I share a straght-up commercial on this blog, and by no means have I been provided any compensation for this one, but I thought it was funny. The video below is apparently part of a series featuring Joel Santana speaking “Brazilianized” English, promoting Head & Shoulders shampoo. As a former EFL/ESL teacher (my wife and daughter are now both in that profession), I found this particularly humorous.

IQs Are Actually Up

It’s hard to believe, but modern IQs in the West are actually higher now than a couple of generations ago. Abstract thinking has improved, and people are taking the hypothetical seriously. On the other hand, concrete knowledge appears to be diminished.

Take 18 minutes and do yourself a favor by watching moral philosopher James Flynn talk about this in great detail. Aside from the great content of his talk, his voice reminds me of a 1950s TV narrator.

If You’re a World-Traveler, Skip the United States

Niels Gerson Lohman is a writer, designer and musician from The Netherlands, but none of that helped him when confronted by immigration officials on a train at the U.S.-Canada border. Mr. Lohman just wanted to pay the country a visit, but instead he got questioned, searched, questioned some more, and searched again. He was taken from the train he’d been traveling on to a vehicle and then on to a compound. Held for a few hours, when we was finally released he was returned to Canada.

This story is appalling. I’m sure there will be some who say we’d be upset if officials let a “terrorist” through, but that doesn’t justify to my way of thinking this despicable behavior.

At the same time, I’d like to remind readers that it’s a big world, and there are plenty of interesting places to visit besides the United States. Based on Mr. Lohman’s experience, it seems to me that people with very many stamps in their passport should skip the U.S.

Click here for the full story.

Scholastic CEO Talks to WSJ

In the video below, Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson talks about seeking to hire people who understand schools. While what he says makes sense, I’m thinking he’s talking about a different part of the company than where I am. Currently I’m a Senior Technical Product Manager in the Tech Services division of the company. Although I have experience as an ESL/EFL teacher, it didn’t come up in my interview for the job. In any case, he also notes this is by no means a requirement.

LG Disaster Prank

LG is trying to get across the idea that its HD TVs give a very realistic image, so much so that set up as a window in an office they pass unnoticed. I can’t be certain the interviewees in the video below aren’t actors, but I know if this prank were pulled on me I’d be furious…unless I were immediately offered a sweet job for my participation.

How I Became a Project Manager

“Have you thought about eventually transitioning into project management?”

That was a question put to me in my third interview for a web producer role at Condé Nast a few years ago. My answer was “no.” The fact is that at that time I had only a vague notion of what the profession involves, even though I had managed a few projects already by that time. Shortly after I was hired, there was a reorganization that made the producers group into a formal PMO. Three new men came on to lead the department, all with “PMP” following their names on LinkedIn and in email signatures. It was still a mystery to me.
Over the course of my time with Condé Nast I learned the ropes of project management more fully, working with top brands like Allure, Glamour, Lucky & Self before being promoted to Associate Project Manager and assigned to as the brand’s first active project manager (at least since it was acquired from Lycos). I went on to become a certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and before moving on from Condé Nast obtained PMP certification. More recently I also obtained foundation-level ITIL certification.
My transition into this profession was unexpected. 10 years ago I was in Christian ministry, having served as a missionary and then moving on to serve a local congregation in New Mexico. When I moved my family to New Jersey and left full-time ministry, I spent about a year doing something I’d done while in Brazil: teaching English. Although I’m a certified EFL/ESL teacher, it’s not really something I’ve felt passionate about. It also doesn’t generally pay well. I moved on from that job to managing major business and government accounts for Cingular, which later was renamed to AT&T Mobility.
My nearly three years at Cingular/AT&T gave me technical knowledge and business experience that proved invaluable when I moved on to a startup called ZepInvest. The two or so years at the startup were some of my best in terms of technical learning, and that’s where I really became a web producer. I curated content, did QA, managed small projects, set up and ran the social media program for the company and handled other odd jobs. When the New York staff was laid off and operations transferred to Boston, I found my way to Condé Nast, which is where this blog post began.
Years ago, while at AT&T, I thought I’d become a system administrator. I have taught myself basic BASH scripting and know my way around Linux distros, but then after ZepInvest thought I’d be better off as a developer. The knowledge I gained by experimenting with both fields contributed to my ability to handle a range of IT projects.
Currently employed at Scholastic as a Senior Technical Product Manager, I see projects through from initiation through completion, looking for the best technical solutions for the various business units of the company.
This is a field I’m glad to be in, and I look forward to pursuing further certifications in years to come, and aim in particular to seek an MBA in project management as time and finances permit.