A Question For A Career

I have this nagging thought inside my brain that tell me I will never have a full-fledged career. Sure, I have no doubt that I will be successful, and that I will work hard for the duration of my life. The problem lies in what to make of a career. 

From the time that I was brought up, I was taught to get an education, and from an education, I would get a great job. A job that would give me a salary, and insurance. With said job, my wife could live at home, and be content bearing, and raising children. The older I have gotten, bear in mind that I am only 23, the more I see that as a great fallacy. Perhaps only to push people into lofty goals of educational, and professional grandeur. 

Life as it seems, is more then just education and careers. It is determined by struggle and affliction. At the time of education, we are to take great risks and stretch beyond the limits of an education. We are to reach out and ennoble our selves into the great task beyond that of learning, but living. Living is more then reading and writing, but growing into a greater person. Thus, upon graduation, and entering into a profession, we do not work, but continue to labor and to grow more. If we do not, we have nothing to gain, and are no greater then the ants that slave all day only to stay alive.

So, as to a full-fledged career, I think that life will take me in a slighter different path. I hope that it is a journey, from one place to the next. Growing, learning, and adapting from one outlet to the next. Whether it be in tech, film, business, consulting or anything, life is a journey… So dig it.

Trunk or Treating

Well, tonight Melissa and I headed over to the church building for some good old fasioned trunk or treating. It was fun to see some of the folks from the ward, and their cute kids. If you can’t tell, we tried to go as iPod ads. We got some funny looks from some people. To help out some of the older folks from the ward, I took my laptop, and put on loop one of the iPod ads. It was pretty fun.

Hello All


This is the start of the blog for Jake and Melissa. We will use this site to post updates about the our lives, and allow us the chance to keep in better touch with our family. As it stands now, Melissa is about done with school, and we are excited about what the next few months will bring. Hopefully we (Melissa) can make it through school without to many problems.

New Apple Media Center

This was taken from a post in Macworld online. It looks as if there will be a new Media Center for living room, and it doesn’t have a 20 Inch screen.

First: The reason for the silent Mac mini update is because it doesn’t matter until it is upgraded to G5.

Second: The article refers to an Apple Media Center that would include the features of the new iMac, with Front Row and Photo Booth. Ssshhh… it’s coming. Modeled as a set top version of the XServe, the Apple Media Center will be a Dual processor, Intel dual core system (yes, that’s right – quad speed) with two 500 GB internal drives. It will plug into your existing DVI monitor (or adapter will connect to most televisions manufactured in the last year). HD ready with Remote Control. There is also an iPod dock built into the top on the left side. These are just a few of the cool things being discussed.


http://66.134.41.67/~ron/apple/index4.html

http://66.134.41.67/~ron/apple/index3.html

Management

Planning, organizing, leading and controlling. The four ideals of persuasive management. Do managers really earn money for business or do they just cost money? Are these ideals effectively taught and practiced in business, or are they sidelined for radical ideas that destroy trust between employees and management? Without the right training for management there can be no real accountability to those that they supervise. So what must be done? We will rely upon these four traits of good leaders throughout the course of this paper, and it will be my effort to show that when using these, productivity, along with morale is improved.

Planning. An important lesson in planning can be learned from the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. As Alice looked for a way out of Wonderland, she came to a fork in the road. “Which road should I take?” she asked the Cheshire Cat. “Where are you going?” the cat responded. Alice said she didn’t know. The smiling cat gave her this reply, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” Ken Blanchard, author of the One-Minute Manager series says that an important way to motivate your people is to make sure they know where they are going. It is important to see that each persons goals are clearly defined and he or she knows what good performance looks like. This will give them a clear focus for their energy and put them on the road to becoming high performing, empowered producers.

Organizing. The great minster of positive thinking Norman Peale offered this suggestion for organizing. At his ninetieth birthday party, shared a story about a man that he had met on a plane. The man looked worried so Norman decided to engage in a conversation. “What’s wrong?” he asked. After some coaxing, the man shared that he had just received a promotion, but had doubts about whether he had what it would take to be able to the job. “Yes you do!” stated Dr. Peale. “How do you know?” the man replied. “You do if you think you do.’ Then he encouraged the man to start each day by chanting “Think big! Act big! Be big!” By the time they landed the man was in a different frame of mind. It is important as we work to lead others by effectively planning, we have to have to be our own best friend, and believe in ourself. Then we can have the esteem to organize well.

Leading. If you are not sure how much direction to give others for a certain task, it is always better to over-supervise then to under-supervise. Why? Because if you find your people are better than you thought, and you loosen up, they will like you, and respond in a positive way. It also helps as you seek to communicate your growing respect for the quality of work your people are producing.

Controlling. As the saying goes, anything worth doing does not have to be done perfectly–at first. Managers should recognize that good performance, both their own, and others, is a journey, not a destination. Everyone learns by doing. It takes time and practice to achieve specific goals.

So we see that when attention is paid to the specific details of leadership, namely here:planning, organizing, leading and controlling, management can be productive, and create a harmony between themselves, and leadership.

Cheering is a Jump and Tumble Life

By Laura Hancock

Deseret Morning News

OREM — In a gymnasium at Utah Valley State College on a Wednesday night, the air is stale from the sweat of young men playing basketball. As they run the court, the squeak of shoes echoes off the large gym’s walls. And the basketballs — bam! bam! bam! — smack against the hardwood.

But in a corner of the gym behind some bleachers, about 20 men and women work on skills in another just-as-tough sport.The teammates move in sync with a woman’s voice. She counts, “One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight. One-two-three . . . ” These athletes gyrate, tumble, flip, lift and tuck. Quick as cats, they climb into a human pyramid, then dismantle with similar ease, each body dropping from formation, flipping and twisting downward until landing — feet first — on the floor.

      The UVSC cheer squad is preparing a routine to perform at halftime during a basketball game on Saturday. Earlier this month, the squad traveled to Las Vegas for a major competition, the 2005 USA Collegiate Nationals. UVSC nabbed sixth place in the large school-coed category — beating several Pac 10 schools. Other Utah colleges and universities also picked up trophies at the competition. Brigham Young University, Salt Lake Community College, Dixie College and Weber State University also won awards in various dance and cheer categories at the national contest. “Dance. Stunts. Tumbling. That’s what makes up a routine,” said Jake Spurlock, a member of UVSC’s cheer squad who majors in accounting. The routine they are doing for the game is the same one they did at the Las Vegas competition. This year, the UVSC squad was bumped into a more competitive category, against other four-year colleges with coed teams, said coach Jeannette DeGraffenried.

      Routines can be physically draining. Sometimes during practice the squad refrains from difficult stunts to prevent exhaustion. “I think strength-wise, it’s more on the guys. For the girls, it’s leg work,” said DeGraffenried, a former UVSC cheerleader who made the team coed when she became coach five years ago. When a woman is lifted, she must squeeze every muscle in her body tight — and hold still. If she’s sloppy and relaxed, it feels like “she weighs 500 pounds more than she really does,” DeGraffenried said. Her cheer partner is trained to use his arms and legs to absorb her landing. Men use their legs in throwing and catching the women, too. “I tell the girls anytime they fall, to keep their arms straight in the air or straight down so they don’t elbow anyone,” DeGraffenried said. The physicality of performing on a cheer squads could make it a blood sport.

      Members of UVSC’s squad have suffered split lips, concussions, shoulders pulled out of sockets, sprained ankles and broken feet. DeGraffenried begins to partner teammates during the first practice based on ability to work well together. She cannot pinpoint what qualities make good partners, however. “I don’t know. It’s ingrained. The guys know their job. The girls know their job,” she said. Members of the UVSC cheer squad are selected in a tryout process. If they win spots on the team, they receive partial college scholarships. In return, they practice seven hours a week and cheer at up to three games a week, beginning with volleyball. Many members go to the gym on their own time to lift weights or practice stunts, DeGraffenried said. “What’s nice about it is, in the college ranks you don’t have to baby-sit them,” DeGraffenried said. “They’re here because they want to be here. Not for the short skirt or name or cliques.”

      Carissa Deason, who’s been on the UVSC squad for three years, wants to be a Utah Jazz Dancer. And she loves cheering for the fleeting moments when she’s “flying.” “I love to try scary things that make the crowd go, ‘Ahh,’ ” she said.

Aaron Samudio, 20, said he taught himself how to tumble and flip off walls. “It’s addicting to be up in the air, to be weightless,” he said. “I like how unique and how challenging it is. There’s not many people who can do it,” said Aaron Lattin, who is a team captain with Deason.

      Spurlock got into cheering at Skyline High School because “I didn’t make the baseball team in ninth grade,” he said. Competition drives him. “It’s the competitive atmosphere against each other. You want to get better,” he said. “You work with your partner to become better.”

Jake Spurlock

Ethics –Doing what is right to accomplish what is good. This is a funny topic, because my ethics can vary in great deal to your ethics. Namely if it is my ethical best interest to kick puppies because it gives me a great deal of intrinsic joy, it may vary from your ethical position to not kick puppies. (Even if there is a great deal of intrinsic worth in doing so.) Where are my ethics derived, why do they motivate action within me, and will they change? An existential attitude would hold that I should take every opportunity, and grasp each day, and shape my own destiny. This idea in its fullness I feel quite disheartening. Life is to be filled with all that can be enjoyed, and then all that you can do to help others. I like to call my own decreed philosophy of life Entrastentialism. In life we must never forget all that stand in our own personal hierarchy of needs, but after those needs are met, we must turn away from our own wants, and face the needs of others.

Where was this philosophy derived? I like to think that the atmosphere that I was raised in gave me the foundation for this philosophy. It was a Christian home and the attitude of giving and sharing was always the foundation of our family values. It was an attitude where it was granted that we didn’t have much, but what we did have, a little could be there to help the needs of others.

How does this translate to living here in Utah, being a student, working part-time and having a fiancée? As a young student, I pay nearly $1400 a semester to go to school. What should school be to me? A chance to meet other people, have new experiences, and enjoy four years of my life as I slip, fall, and otherwise stumble through my academics? It is a time where all of those things at the beginning of my list can entail. But, I have to force the academics upon my self, not just so I have a diploma at the end of four years, but when a job is offered, and the time to perform is at hand. I may be ready to perform the task that is placed before me with the knowledge that my education has not only given me, but that I have found and worked for my self. Referring back to Entrastentialism, an education is not only gained through class work and lectures, but by the associations that we hold with other people. After your basic needs are met, then you must reach out to fellow class men and community to help feel their needs. Whether this is through service clubs, student government, team sports, or other methods, there are plenty of opportunities for students in high school, or college.

The basis of my code of ethics could be related around this series of Entrastentialism, or a method of living your life in a way to fulfill the needs of your person, and then to trying to make the world that you live in a place of peace and unity for others. This philosophy is not only to be carried through a school career, but into the workforce and family relationships. Imagine a world were people not only seek there own best interest, but earnestly seek the good and welfare of there neighbor. When this new harmonium is found it will bridge the gaps that are found within our society and create serenity.

Profit Motive

How can society depend on capitalism, or an unregulated market system? Adam Smith replies with two laws of this market. The first is the desire for wealth that permeates all human activity. Therefore, self-interest, or profit, motivates people to perform necessary tasks for which society is willing to pay. As Smith writes, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from our regard to their self-interest.” Thus, the first law of the market is self-interest, or the profit motive.

  But how can the individual’s selfish desires benefit society? What stops greed from overwhelming the public, resulting in ruthless exploitation by profiteers? Smith second answer that the individual, in the process of providing for his personal interests, unintentionally contributes to the economic well being of society. Therefore, the second law of the market is competition. The individual who overcharges for products soon learns that competitors will take away business by offering more reasonable prices. If wages are too small, workers will hire out to another employer who will pay more for their services. Thus, selfish motives are tempered by interaction, resulting in social harmony. How does this economic theory effectively explain the basis of my actions? Do I really fit into this, or some other theory of work and profit?

As a student here in Utah Valley, I had to battle to find a good part time job that would pay for school, gas, and for some of the finer accouterments for my new fiancee. Today, Friday, February 18, I had to work hard. I have a job as a security consultant with Apex Alarm. I work from a leads database to call and create sales over the phone. This is a difficult, because people when called on any given day rarely have a need to spend a few thousand dollars on a new alarm system, or a few thousand more than that on video surveillance. Everyday I make a six dollars an hour, barely enough to put gas in my gar to get me to work and school. So, I have to survive, and keep my fiancee happy, so I have to make more than minimum wage. Lucky for me, commission is not included in my hourly salary. When I sell a new alarm system, I make $200. So, in my desire for $200, permeating from me in my selling techniques is the desire to protect my own self interest. It is what motivates me to try and sell someone on a product that will cost them at least $42.99 a month and trap them in a three year agreement.

Today, as I was working, I spoke with a woman that I have been working with for a few days now named Ffjorren Purcell. She was interested in getting an alarm in her new home that she and her boyfriend were moving into in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As I have worked with her this week, she has been shopping around the internet looking for a good deal that would compete with ours. I wasn’t too surprised when she told me that she had found a company that was fairly similarly priced, put offered a little more equipment. As Smith wrote, the unintended consequence of a free market is that there is competition, and that a person has to be flexible in there goods and services to accommodate the general public. Because as noted, if it is to expensive at Apex, they will surely turn to protectamerica.com for their alarm service. I then had to deal with the competition of this competitor by adding some equipment.

We see then, with my job, I work that I can have wealth, the simplest of all human desires. But, I have to follow both rules of Smith, for the two laws of the market, self-interest and competition, react upon each other and form a balance, guaranteeing the survival of society.