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Women Make 79 Cents To The Dollar!

Watching the crowd’s reaction to one of my student’s artistic political message was both humbling and inspiring to me. 

Nathan Decena meticulously painted a dollar bill, but instead of putting George Washington’s face in the center of the bill, he placed Martha Washington’s, his wife’s image.  Then, instead of placing a “1,” he placed “79” – to show that women make .79 cents to the dollar that men make.  He wanted to symbolize society’s historical disparagement of women.  Wow! 

Nathan was just 17 years old when he painted this.  He has vision and wisdom that I wish our current administration would have.  I love the fact that he is a young man with such respect for women (has great parents!) and he uses his art to send poignant messages to the world.

Nathan is launching his inspirational website with a gallery of his art collection.  Can’t wait to see what he produces next!

What If Every Student Did An Independent Project?

How our youth can solve climate change

It’s not surprising to see the mudslinging between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials.  After all, who’s to blame for the insidious state of affairs that have developed over the decades?  Is it the selfish and indulgent Boomer who made tons of money on real estate (when it was nearly impossible not make huge financial gains buying houses in the ‘70s and ‘80s) or the entitled lack-luster Millennial who is strife with student debt, housing crises, and low-paying jobs? I’m not going to enter this contentious arena, but instead offer a solution that may bring everyone together – and could possibly save human civilization.

We need people who are not part of a government that has fired the scientists in our EPA and stripped funding from all climate-related research. We need people who aren’t controlled by special-interest groups whose hidden agenda is to make colossal profits and creates environmental degradation.  We need people who realize that we need to drastically reduce carbon emissions NOW and are willing to do the research, make personal changes, and promote community action. 

To do this, WE NEED OUR YOUTH!  Yup, it is going to be the Millennials who are going to bare the brunt of climate disasters and they are the ones who will pull us out – and yes, save the Boomers.  But the beauty here is that the Boomers are going to support the Millennials with their knowledge, experience, and funding, and the Millennials are going to do the work, spread the word, and ultimately save us all. 

Here’s how:

  1. Every high school and college student needs to do a project.
  2. Projects can be as simple as promoting alternative transportation or as involved as building energy systems or carbon sequestration solutions.
  3. Retired professionals will mentor the students as they complete each phase of the projects.
  4. Other Boomers will fund these projects and support/buy the products when they’re rolled out.

When 4 million students enter high school every year in the United States, just imagine how many problems they can solve before they graduate. Besides, these projects will help them get into top colleges/grad schools and win scholarship dollars! To learn more about how to do projects, check out ProjectMERIT. I’ve also written Beat the College Admissions Game: Do a Project! to guide students through the entire process of doing a project. 

So, let’s encourage our youth to find innovative solutions to climate change by supporting and guiding them through the process.  Stop the name calling and start working together. It’s going to take the Millennials to lead the 99% to save human civilization. 

Through The Looking Glass From A Millennial's Point Of View

Normally, I charge into the new year, pretty much the way I closed the previous year, with exhilaration, hope, and determination.  But this year, I’m worried about our future generations.

Ever since the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century, we have “improved” our lifestyle by making things go faster, easier, and cheaper – and we have reaped the benefits of becoming an incredibly efficient and wealthy society.  Our children, however, are now facing financial uncertainty and the pressing question of how human civilization is going to survive the positive feedback loops caused by too much CO2 in our atmosphere – among other things.

Did you know that millennials…

… have 300% more student debt than their parents?

… tend to live with their parents rather than roommates?

… are delaying marriage longer than any previous generation?

… are half as likely to own a home as people their age in the 1970’s?

… are delaying having children longer than any generation in history?

… (20%) are currently living in poverty?

… will probably not be able to retire until they’re 75 years old?

Hey, if you’re not a millennial, don’t pat yourself on the back and look the other way.  And, don’t blame them for their predicament.  We need to support our youth as they venture into careers that will solve our social, environmental, medical, and economic problems. Unless we help fix these problems and get our future generations back on their feet, all of the above will become the future America, and then we’ll all be in trouble!

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6 Careers That Pay Over $75,000 Without A Bachelor's Degree

Did you know that bachelor’s degrees in performing arts, cinematography, and anthropology have a median salary of under $25,000? Umm.  That’s a 4-year degree! Now consider other careers that pay well over $75,000 that only require an apprenticeship or Associate’s Degree:

Physician Assistant: $112,200 (associate of science)

Elevator constructor/mechanic:   $106,900      (Apprenticeship)

Elect and comm engineering tech:  $91,700     (Associate in Science)

Millwright (install/repair machines): $82,500   (Apprenticeship)

Heavy-equipment operator:   $81,000               (Apprenticeship)

Fire prevention/safety technician: $76,400       (Associate in Applied Science)

That said, the highest paying jobs are in engineering, health sciences, and business.  But, be careful when choosing your major/career.  Many majors focus on specific skills, knowledge, and training, which means that when that niche market changes – or disappears due to technological advances – so, too, may your job!  With the ever-changing technological fields, make sure you’re keeping up.  Do your homework to ensure that you are on top of your game!

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Who's Looking At Your DNA Test Results?

You’ve probably heard a lot of hype about people getting DNA tests to determine their ancestry, ethnicities, and potential hereditary health issues. I get a kick out seeing white supremacists who learn that they are not entirely white – and muse at the thought that this may be one of the best ways to stop discrimination and hate crimes. But, I have to admit, I’m curious to know if I have any health concerns so I can proactively change my lifestyle to ward them off.

Leave it to the oligarchy that runs this nation to take our genetic information and use it against us! ARGH! DNA kit companies make it easy to have tests sent to your home and ask you to sign what seems like a harmless form. But, for most of us, we don’t read the microscopic fine print that allows them to sell our very personal information to others.

Some of the worst culprits are life insurance companies. They can use this information to deny you coverage based on your DNA results. Employers can also use this information to make employment decisions based on your health.

In the future, the FBI worries that DNA will be used to target individuals or specific ethnicities using biological weapons. China is buying up U.S. genomics firms to get access to genetic databases. According to James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, genetically engineered bioweapons are one of the nation’s top security threats.

In light of this news, I’m holding off on doing any DNA testing. Privacy today seems to be invaded on so many fronts. When you can’t trust your government to protect you, you need to be wary yourself.

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Brown Got Rid Of Student Loans For All Students!

Did you know that in 2016, the average student owed more than $35,000 in student loans? GASP.

Starting next year (2018-2019), Brown will eliminate all student loans and instead issue scholarship, which don’t have to be paid back. Now this is what elite, higher education should be. Only the best get in regardless of their ability to pay.

Countries from Sri Lanka to Germany to Norway offer free college tuition. Maybe, it’s beginning to catch on here in the United States…

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After Xmas Party!

I made a castle out of pretzels and that became the centerpiece at our After-Christmas Party for toddlers. 

Yup, invited Merit alums, friends of my girls, and family friend's grandkids to make their own edible houses out of cookies, candies, and pretzels. 

Great way to end the holiday season!

What Every Parent Of A College Student Hopes To Hear

I don’t get many handwritten letters these days – with texts and emails offering quick messages with little effort. But last month, my daughter Nicole wrote a letter to Rob and me after she attended her 10-year reunion at Stanford that made me cry.

Mom and Dad

At my 10-year reunion, we all reminisced about our incredible shared experience at that incredible place. It also gave me the chance to reflect on the continued constant assistance that youve provided over the years, even after I left home. Knowing the tuition costs involved, I want to thank you. Thank you for the emotional and financial support.

It has afforded me great freedom from the worry and oppressive debt facing many others in my generation. I am just beginning to understand and appreciate what you did for me.

So, thank you again.

I love you both so much.

Humbly,

Nicole

To all parents of college students, they really do appreciate your sacrifice and dedication to giving them a college education – even if they don’t say or write it!   

Toxic Pollutants And Future Generations

Did you know that toxic pollutants can harm future, unexposed generations?

I’ve often wondered when our children will blame us for the environmental degradation that we have laid on them. Maybe that explains the X, Y, and millennial generations’ short-term view on their future.  SIGH. But now there are studies by the Environmental Working Group that shows how some toxic chemicals are passed from pregnant women to fetuses, and also to grandchildren and possibly great-grandchildren.  Yup – we’ve really screwed up and now it’s going to affect future generations, too.

How does this happen?  While a woman is pregnant, toxic chemicals are passed on to her fetus and to the fetus’s reproductive cells.  This process is called a “Transgenerational Effect.” Click here to learn more about epigenetics.

Isn’t it time for us to stop producing toxic chemicals that wreak havoc on our bodies, the foods we eat, and now our future generations? 

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