Thursday, October 01, 2015

Why we don't scream at each other

Jeff and I went to a family counselor a few months ago. I was very proud that coming from a culture where corporal punishment for kids was the norm, I would never raise a hand against my child ... but I found myself raising my voice. And, research upon research shows that yelling has the same effect on a kid's psyche as hitting. So, I dragged Jeff and myself to a professional to gain insight into ways to deal with a headstrong child without losing it every time.

Then, I started reading articles like this:

And, I realized it's not just about yelling at the child, it's also about yeling in the household. So, Jeff and I decided we would NOT yell at each other in front of Oli. Why that distinction? We know we shouldn't yell at each other at all ... however, we are human and sometimes we fail. But, we don't want to fail in that capacity in front of him.

Now, don't get me wrong. We disagree in front of him, we have our discussions. There is no way I want him to think a marriage is all roses and sunshine. There are compromises, there are disagreements, there are disappointments. What there isn't is disrespect, what there isn't is name calling, what there isn't is inequality between the partners. We treat each other as equals who decided to join each other in creating a life together and then bringing another life into being. We re responsible for this new life together and while we might not always agree on ways to deal with his headstrong life form, we do not disrespect each other's opinions and ideas.

Trust me, we infuriate each other all the time. What we don't do is insult each other or each other's opinions. We don't show Oli that it's ok to attack your partner verbally in any sort of agreement. What we don't teach our child is that it's ok to disrespect or insult the one person you've chosen to live the rest of your life with, with the words you chose or actions you make.

What we do or say in front of our children make a deeper impact than we might think in our daily lives. That single harsh word at our partner for loading the dishwasher wrong or the hands thrown up with an intake of breath because I don't like how the bed was made - that kid watches and learns and takes it with him to his future relationships.

Bottom line, I like, love and respect the man I've chosen to live my life with and raise a child with. If I didn't, I wouldn't stay with him. We've needed professional counseling a couple times, no shame in admitting that we are HUMAN, but we're going strong and hopefully showing Oli what a strong, cohesive relationship looks like, whenever he's ready in about 50 years to look for a partner for himself ;-)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Why I serve ...

I saved this from our Intranet site ... I submitted this a while ago, it just got published recently. I didn't even know, somebody in my office just told me yesterday :-D. Sorry, it's an image, so it might not be the easiest to read.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sex and priorities in the U.S.

I believe the Duggars have worse problems than marital infidelity to worry about. I think it just shows again how weird the things we worry about it the U.S. are, that suddenly the fact that his email address showed up on a dating site for married people took over the fact that he abused his sisters, in the news. I mean seriously? Sex between consenting adults who obviously signed up on a site knowing everyone else who's signed up on there is married as well, versus abuse of minor females who've been raised to believe their self worth is pretty much nothing because they are just females.

Think about it. Which do you want to be outraged over at all? Not more. Just at all. Because for the married thing? It's nobody else's business but the cheater's spouse's.

Oh and btw, there are apparently websites you can go plug your email in to see if the database the hackers exposed has your email address in it ... Google it ;-)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Who's thinking of the users?

This post is a result of the article that was published in the Washington Post regarding the new United States Digital Services coming out of the Obama Administration ( It's a great idea. It's a noble idea. I am personally working with some members of that team. They are wonderful, talented, amazing leaders in their fields. But when the lead architect/developer referes to usability testing as 508 testing and another member of the team whose background is a dual degree in coding and management mentions that their product teams have some people called UX researchers they call to conduct usability testing after their product is designed ... that makes me, as one of those pesky UX researcher people, worry.

You see, as one of those UX researchers, I wholeheartedly believe that in this quest to innovate and move our old slowmoving technology into the modern world, we are leaving the most important variable behind. Our user. We are not Google. We are not Facebook. Our users come to us to apply for services that we cannot afford for them to not understand. I have read the backgrounds of the brilliant minds who've been hired to move us into the 20th century of technology that's eluded us in the Federal government (due to funding, policy and other concerns that don't hound the private industry). I don't see anybody who's putting the user in the center and saying keep him in mind. As one of those UX researcher people, I believe the user needs to be involved in the entire process. Because for some things, the user doesn't care for flashiness. A social media platform can be flashy. A disability application needs to be easy to fill, easy to read, easy to navigate, easy to know what's going to happen afterwards ... But I could be wrong. What do I know? I am not the user! We can change the code, we can change the database, we can change the colors ... if you don't ask the people who are going to interact with it in the end while we are making those changes, it could still fail at the end.

It costs pennies to make a change at the blueprint stage, dollars to knowck down walls at the framing stage and millions after you're conducting the final walkthrough of a house. So, when would you rather ask a homebuilder what changes they want?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why does it matter?

All over social media, people are posting photos of Freddy Gray's criminal history in order to justify his death.

You know why it matters?

Because he's a human being.

By saying that his death shouldn't matter, you are stating that the people in power have the ultimate decision making poweer over your life.

What happens tomorrow when they decide that list of criminal activities only has to be 5 long for you to be killed in the back of a van?

Or only 1 long?

Or just enough parking tickets?

When there are no checks and balances for those in power, that power gets corrupted.

It does not mean all people in power are corrupt.

It does not mean all those with a record deserve to die.

I have a record. Sealed. What happens when somebody decides that my immigrant status and my sealed record makes me a disposable human being?

Will y'all sit around and talk about how I deserved it?

I saw a meme today that is perfect for this:

Not every colored person is a criminal
Not every cop is a racist asshole

Some people of every color are assholes and criminals

We all need to be human, and attack it as humans, devoid of color, race, ethnicity ... can we do it in our lifetime or do I have to worry about my kid growing up in a divisive, racist, anti-humanistic society?