December 23, 2011
8:43 pm cst
At bedtime, my son's routine consists of a bedtime story (which of course is followed by MANY delays, including trips to
the bathroom, water requests, kisses and hugs...most parents know the routine). In the spirit of Christmas, I've been telling
him some of my own favorite Christmas memories as a child. This story is one of my (and now my son's!) favorite stories:
While visiting my grandparents over the holidays, my twin brother and I woke up early to race downstairs and see if
Santa had delivered his goodies. Grandpa met us at the tree, telling us of this burglar who broke in during the night, wearing
a big red coat and had a great big white beard.
(Our five-year-old minds were alarmed by this hauntingly similar description
to Santa.) He continued to tell us that he wrestled with the man, kicked him out the door and told him "to NEVER come
back to this house!" (OK, we were now FREAKING out.) And then the kicker: he told us he even pulled out some of his hair
and extended out his hand. Yes, to our shocked eyes we saw...(gulp)...a clump of snowy white hair laying peacefully in his
"GRANDPA! THAT WAS SANTA CLAUS! HOW COULD YOU?!?" With twins, everything is doubled, so our distraught
was twice what Grandpa had expected. We were mortified, disgusted and embarrassed by our Grandpa's behavior, let alone mourning
the fact this was to be our last Christmas since Santa was now banned from the house. It took quite a bit of comforting and
convincing for Grandpa to show he was only teasing ("Look, it's only cotton in my hands - it's not hair!") The good
news: Santa did come back the next year and many more after that! Whew!
December 22, 2011
Yesterday, the Chamber staff (which consists of 4 women, thus explaining the title!) held a year-end meeting and gift exchange.
All of the gifts were unique and thoughtful, which made us ask the obvious question: "Where did you find this?"
The good news is the answer was right here in our hometown of Hays! The even better news was that we all shared that 95% (or
higher) of our entire Christmas shopping was done in Hays.
9:18 am cst
We at the Chamber understand we need to set the example
of supporting our local member businesses. We also understand not everything is available here in our town, but the effort
to consider purchasing local should be in the foremost in all citizens minds. In my opinion, keeping even 95% of our holiday
spending local is a great achievement! Whether you live in Hays or not, what percentage of your shopping is spent locally?
Do you financially support the community in which you live, work and play?
December 21, 2011
The very last project I assign my Marketing Class students is to answer 3 questions about class: what were the 3 most impacting
marketing items learned; what were the 3 most thought-provoking activities; what were the 3 least important items.
5:19 pm cst
When I first received this feedback two years ago, I was confused by the conflicting results. What one student found life-changing,
another was bored by the project. Now after four semesters of tabulating these findings, I have narrowed down to a few significant
From the marketing perspective: I have a far better respect and understanding for making decisions based
on long-term trends and not on specifics or knee-jerk reactions. One person may LOVE a product, but if the majority isn't
buying it, the product needs to be discontinued. Or specifically to the Chamber world: if someone writes on a survey they
HATE cheesecake served at the annual banquet, doesn't necessary mean we need to start serving pudding parfaits.
the teaching perspective: students learn differently. What may impact one will be lost on another. It's important for me to
keep providing variety to the activities I offer as well as the method of my presentations.
December 20, 2011
Another class down...
The past few days (weeks!) have been a blur. On top of the typical chaos of pre-holiday events and shopping, I also "enjoyed" grading
30 twenty-page papers from my Marketing Class students followed by a few days home with the flu. Fun indeed!
9:25 am cst
papers were the product of a semester-long journey with each student applying marketing principles to promoting him/herself
as the "product." This project went beyond the standard resume/cover letter assignment and required students to
implore deeply into their personal dreams and professional goals. Students had to complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, threats) analysis regarding their own talents and skills, similar to how a CEO would analyze a business.
After four semesters of teaching this class, I continue to be amazed at this generations' depth of character. What
I have found is most students are juggling complicated personal lives and/or intense emotional baggage while pursuing a college
degree. Whether the student travelled 10 minutes to attend college or moved half-way around the globe, students of all shapes
and sizes experience extreme pressure to succeed.
As I shared with the class on the day of their final, based
on the 100-plus papers I've read so far, I feel confident that our future is in good hands - their hands!