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Please join me in supporting the 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s! My 77-year-old dad suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s. This Saturday, September 27th, at 8 a.m., my friends and family will be walking for the cure at the Sparks Marina.
If you are not able to walk with us, feel free to donate and sponsor us along this journey.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t have a cure…yet. Every dollar you donate goes towards research to find a way to combat this incredibly sad disease that has slowly taken away a part of my father’s identity.
First it started with noticing more “senior moments” from Dad. Then came the neurologist visits and the brain scan that showed actual damage. In his day, my dad was a structural engineer. I attended an engineering college fair today and thought of him and the engineering seals he used to use that are now collecting dust in the garage alongside the blueprints we kept.
As the disease progressed, we noticed more changes. It was no longer advisable for him to drive, so now I drive the 98 Honda Accord he used to love to zip to work and back, all those long hours, day after day. Engineers take deadlines very seriously, and I think I inherited Dad’s Japanese work ethic.
Two years ago Dad landed in the ER with a severe cold, and that illness escalated into something the doctors couldn’t identify. He ended up in the ICU, under medications that made him agitated and addled to the point that we couldn’t understand what he was saying. My mom, sister, and I took turns sitting at his bedside. Unfortunately unfamiliar environments such as hospitals aggravated my dad’s Alzheimer’s and he was so restless that he had to be restrained. It was heartbreaking to have him ask us over an over to be untied, but all we could say was that we couldn’t because we didn’t want him to fall getting out of bed. Luckily, he remembers nothing from that ordeal. After some time in a nursing home to do physical therapy to regain his strength and steadiness, by some miracle Dad pulled through. Today, under my mom’s loving care taking, Dad is walking taller and stronger than ever.
In fact, he walks so well that last year, at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s he mistook the event for one of the marathons he used to run when my sister and I were little. He actually started jogging. Before I could get the words, “Dad, slow down,” out of my mouth, he fell forward. When a 2-year-old child falls in front of you, that’s one thing, but when a 77-year-old man falls, the consequences can be far worse. The paramedics examined him and thankfully he came away with a few scrapes and bruises.
Each year, at the walk, pinwheel flowers are handed out to the walkers. Each pinwheel color represents a different circumstance. Although there’s a color for “I suffer from Alzheimer’s,” Dad chose the color for “I support the cause.” Indeed he does. My dad always took good care of me, and so today, the least I can do is support the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!
I invite you to join the A team and support the cause with us!
With great appreciation,
If you’re looking for ways to overcome those nervous jitters before your next big job interview, consider a few tips from Elizabeth Cassidy, Patagonia’s HR Manager. Elizabeth spoke to college students and staff on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno as part of a 30 Minute Success series offered by the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association (NNHRA) on April 10, 2014.
Here are eight key tips to help you prepare for a job interview:
- Preparation is key. Visit the company’s website and get a sense of the company culture. If the CEO has written a book, read it. Job candidates often fail to do enough research prior to an interview and can be taken off guard when they are asked why they chose to interview for a particular position at a company. It may be helpful to contact the recruiter or HR contact ahead of time and ask what kind of attire is appropriate for the interview. For example, at Patagonia, it may not be necessary to wear a suit to the interview, but the hiring manager may be interested to know if you use Patagonia’s products and participate in outdoor activities. Even if attire is informal, don’t be too laid back during the interview.
- Practice. Job hunting websites list many interview questions. Behavioral questions are common. For example, “How have you handled a difficult problem in your past jobs?” Be ready to give specific answers. Other questions might pertain to experience: “Tell me about a dysfunctional team you were on. What role did you play? Did you make the deadline?” Scenario questions are also common: “How would you handle an angry customer?” It is helpful to practice your answers out loud or rehearse with a friend prior to the interview. UNR also offers free practice web interviews at http://business.unr.interviewstream.com.
- Everyone is interviewing you. Be aware that your interview begins as soon as you come into view, so make a good impression on the receptionist. Elizabeth said that she asks her receptionist to mark “smiley faces” on resumes of candidates who are personable and who make a good first impression as soon as they walk in the door.
- Be on time. It is helpful to allow enough time to find the interview location, park, and collect yourself before the interview. If you have questions about timing and location, contact the recruiter in advance. Candidates who arrive late may throw off the interview schedule and may not even be given a chance to interview.
- Tell the truth. If you have had a challenging boss in the past, be truthful about it in your interview, but don’t provide excessive detail. Highlight what you learned from the experience and don’t focus too much on negative experiences.
- Pay attention not only to what you are saying, but to your body language. Many hiring managers make their decision within the first few minutes of meeting you. Although you may be nervous, don’t stare at your lap. At the same time, don’t get into a staring match with your interviewer, either.
- Answer the questions directly. If you are unsure about a question, it is acceptable to ask the interviewer to repeat it; however don’t ask for continuous repeats. Demonstrate that you are listening and don’t ramble.
- Bring good questions for your interviewers. Interviewers like to tell their success stories, so it is acceptable to ask about how he or she came to work for the company and what role he or she plays there. Who would you work with? How did the position become open? If you have questions about pay and benefits, run them by the recruiter; don’t ask the interviewer. Pay can be discussed later if you are offered the job.
If all goes well, reiterate how much you admire the company and think you would do well working there.
Gina Akao is the owner of Writing and Editing Today, and provides social media management and builds WordPress websites and blogs for authors and small business owners. To learn more about her products and services, please visit www.WritingandEditingToday.com.
I’m excited to announce that my very talented friend, Lucinda Curran, will be interviewing me on her blog talk radio show, Change Your Life, during this April’s focus topic: Get Your Life Back on Track.
Check out this video about the event and mark your calendar. Lucinda will be interviewing me Friday, April 11th at 9 p.m. PST. The title of my episode is “Get Your Life Back on Track: Navigating Academia with Gina Akao.”
Be sure to tune in. You won’t want to miss it!
I am proud to announce that my virtual book tour travels to the website of Connie Dunn, an enthusiastic writer and publishing maven. Check out the full article by clicking the title, “How to Hone Your Writing with a Critique Group.”
The article covers:
- The benefits of joining a critique group
- What to avoid in a critique group
- Action steps to follow after your critique group meeting
Also, don’t forget to Like my book’s fan page, “Tales of a Law School Dropout” on Facebook! Please leave a comment. I’d appreciate your feedback and ideas for future articles.