One of the greatest things I have attained from growing up in the Bronx is a great understanding of multiple different cultures. Since the United States is called a melting pot, New York City should be characterized as the area with the most flavor. Many people who have only seen the Bronx on television may not know what this borough is like, but I as a life long resident, can attest that the Bronx is much more diverse than what is shown on television. What I loved about growing up in the Bronx, was being able to meet and mingle with people of many different cultures and share our inherent similarities in peace. This weekend I was privileged enough to attended, and be a part of two weddings of a couple of friends that I have known for quite some time. The weddings I attended this weekend reminded of the diversity of the Bronx. One of the weddings was an Italian wedding, and the other wedding was a Dominican wedding. Both weddings had traditional American wedding elements, and both even shared some of the same rituals, but where they differed the most was the receptions. While I had a blast at each wedding, I was intrigued by how small differences in culture, can make a seemingly generic wedding much more unique. This weekend was emotional, fun, and very tiring, weddings are stressful events but overall they are probably one of the most awarding of life’s many achievements. I love a good wedding, and I am grateful that I was able to be part of two of them in one weekend, hopefully my wedding can be just as fun for the guests, and memorable for myself and my future bride.
Today, I had an interview with a growing startup company in New York, and since this was not my first interview with a startup, I was able to noticed great similarities in how these companies operate. Everyone is aware of the Internet beast that is Google, and how they treat their employees, but many are unaware of just how many companies try to emulate the “culture” of Google. In a startup company, culture is everything, and that basically starts with who you are. These companies are looking to hire people who they can be friends with outside of work, as well as people who will work well with the team. Aside from culture, history is a big part of getting to know a startup, the employees of these companies have usually grown within the company and watched the company grow. Whenever I asked an interviewer about their time with the company and its changes, they seemed to answer the question with the same vigor and affection one would use when describing their childhood puppy. It is easy to see that the employees of these companies love where they work, and they are intent on making sure everyone who walks into those doors will fit into the family that they have become. I am confident that I did well in the interview, but for those who may have an upcoming interview with a startup, I will leave a few nuggets of advice. The first thing needed to ace an interview is to do your research, this should be a given with any interview, but delve a bit deeper with startup research. The HR managers are looking for someone who fits, and is capable of loving the company as much as they do, so the new hire should at least care enough to check out the company blog. The next bit of advice goes along with researching the company, and it can go a long way in your ability to nail the job, that is to know how to dress for the interview. The best advice I can give is to ask the recruiter or hiring contact what you should wear, there is really no shame in doing so, and you will usually be told to go with a corporate casual or casual look. I understand that common procedure dictates wearing a nice suit or business attire, but many managers may give negative marks for not knowing the culture of the company, purely based on clothing. The best and final advice I can give anyone applying for a startup job is to be yourself. As long as you are genuine and excited to be part of what a company is building, they will generally be glad to allow you to join their work family.
Cinco de Mayo is an important day in Mexican history, it is celebrated in some provinces of Mexico and in the United States as a day to revel in Mexican heritage, but in all actuality many Americans do not know what the day is about. To be completely honest, even I, in my infinite search for knowledge, never took the time to learn what the day was actually about until pretty recently. Cinco de Mayo is actually a celebration of the Mexican army’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla, where they were heavily outmanned and outgunned. Celebrations of this day originated from the reactions of Mexican nationals working in California, they broke into singing patriotic songs after learning about the big win. Cinco de Mayo is often referred to as Mexican Independence Day, however that is just a common misconception due to the popularity of this date here in America and its connection to Mexican culture. I love Cinco de Mayo, it seems like the only day that I can find people who love nachos as much as I do, but I have to admit, some of the celebrations go too far. Cinco de Mayo suffers from the same affliction as St. Patrick’s Day when it comes to common beliefs about the day, both days are misunderstood, and have become wild college party days. I know that once a tradition has been set, it is hard to change an approach to a celebration, but I hope people can take the time to understand the significance of each holiday before jumping to celebration.
I have to begin by stating how excited I am about my Duke Blue Devils winning the Men’s Basketball National Championship, not only did they win, but they won with the exact score that I predicted in yesterday’s post. Congratulations Blue Devils, let’s make it two years in a row!
Today I decided to visit the New York International Car Show, it is a showcase of some of the auto industry’s most magnificent works. I am generally not a car person, but this show got me pretty excited for next year’s vehicles. The international car show is like a zoo for cars and a playground for grown men, as we get to sit in and play with vehicles we dream about owning, or plan to buy someday. I had some favorites in the show, but of all of the makes available, I was most interested in seeing next year’s edition of the Audis. I love the engineering and style of Audi vehicles, but seeing the showcase of brilliant automotive technology today has me questioning my prime choice of vehicle. I stated earlier that I am not a car person so rather that trying to describe the cars I saw, I will leave you with a few photos of my favorite cars from the event.
Today is Easter, it is the most significant day of the year for Christians. Some people may think that Christians are a judgmental bunch, but that is just an extreme generalization. I am a Christian who does not fit the mold of what many people think Christians are, I respect all individuals and know that loving one another is the most important thing. I dislike that all Christians are generalized to be a certain way, when most of us are completely opposite of what the media portrays. I celebrate Easter because it is essentially the birth of my faith, faith is something that goes far beyond opinion and intellect, and that is why it can not really be effectively argued. Faith is seen by some as irrational, because it is the full belief in something that you can not rationally understand. In my opinion you have to have faith to really believe anything, without it you have no beliefs, and without beliefs, it is impossible to think beyond what you are told. Easter, to a Christian, is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which is the start of and central belief of Christianity. We believe Jesus’ death and resurrection is an example of what true love really is, as he died for those he loved, and came back to show he was who he said he was. I strive to show love and respect to everyone, and yes I fail at times, but that’s part of the journey called life, and part of myself that I work to change. My job here is not to change people, but to show them who I believe in, and through my actions get them to want to know who he is. I will spend this day reflecting on what Jesus did, and do my best to be the best person I can be, and share the love that was given to me.
I am one of those people who loves to travel, but I am not really the biggest fan of sightseeing. When I travel I am more interested in interacting with the people of whatever region or country I am visiting, because they are actually the most interesting attraction of the region. I know that sounds weird but, have you ever realized how quickly things change in only a few years? In this technological era you could visit a country twice in as short as five years and find that you are experiencing completely different things, and seeing very different sights from what you observed on your first trip. The museums and ancient artifacts of different cultures have lasted for centuries, but each individual who lives and has seen the changes in their country only lasts about 90 years, and has a story that only they can really tell. When I travel, I like to get a sense of the heart of a country, and people are the element that makes any society move. Next time you travel, try and get to know some of the “townies,” not only do they know the best foods, but you can also learn some interesting things about the location you are visiting.
In honor of today, I was just going to leave this blank, but where is the fun in that?
April Fools is a day taken once a year to make a fool of one another by playing generally harmless pranks. The idea behind April Fools’ Day is actually an old one, as many cultures, over many centuries, have had a day in which they fooled their fellow man for whatever reason, but has the “foolishness” of this day gone too far? I have seen many pranks today, from the seemingly harmless “I’m pregnant” jokes down to the cruel burning bag of dog feces pranks, and I just wonder where do we leave the realm of harmless joke and fall into the field of ruthless bullying. Jokes these days have become extremely elaborate and in some cases extremely dangerous, as many try to reach new heights of annoyance with their coworkers and significant others. The pranks many are pulling today can easily be interpreted as crazy, mean, or even hateful to an outside observer. I don’t want to be too serious in post about April Fools, since I would be fooling myself, but I hope people use today wisely. Make sure you keep all of your jokes clean and friendly, because April 2nd can quickly be April breakups or firing day. Here are some pictures of my top four favorite breeds of dogs, consider it my uninspired April Fools’ Day gift to you, the reader, Happy April Fools’ Day.
I was thinking today that I haven’t read any good poetry in a very long time, perhaps I am just looking in the wrong places or maybe poetry isn’t as popular as it once was, but I really used to enjoy it and I would love to find some good poetry books. There are many famous poets that have helped shape the landscape of literature but there is one in which I remember fondly, and a poem I could never forget. That author is Robert Frost and the poem is “The Road Not Taken.”
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I read this poem a long time ago, possibly over 15 years ago, and it makes more sense to me now as an adult. Not to say it was a confusing poem as a child, but that I didn’t have the life experience to fully understand it. In this poem the narrator is unsure of which path to take, and when he decides which one to take, he is pleased with his final decision. The line in this poem that strikes me most is the final one, I am of the school of thought that believes everything will turn out fine, if you are able to fight through the difficulty. The final line of this poem makes it seem as though traveling the less traveled path was the modifier in the narrator’s life, when it may have actually just been another event or plot on the line graph that is life. Many people would disagree with my reading of the poem, but that is why I love poetry. Poetry can be read and understood in many different ways, but one thing is true, no matter what the author decided the poem would be about, it is ultimately the reader who makes their own interpretation of the work that brings it to life.
Media of today is changing rapidly, and it is something I welcome for the most part, but it is drawing the ire of many long time fans of effected series. When I say media, I am generally referring to recent adaptations of old television shows, movies, comic books, and in some cases literary books. If you walk over to a comic book stand you may notice something different about Thor and Spider-Man, which is that there are different versions of these famous characters gracing the covers of their respective publication. In the case of Thor you may notice there is now a female Thor, and for Spider-Man you will see an African American teenager portraying the hero. Many long time fans of these comics would immediately have an issue with the changes, but given the trajectory of our culture, these small changes are necessary to maintain relevancy. In recent years it seems the world has become increasingly divided by the notion that change is always bad, and while change isn’t always pleasant, it is almost always necessary to make progress. These new look characters are not being developed for the long time fans of the past, they are being developed for the child who looks like the new character, so all children can see themselves as this character in the future. Marvel, the company behind these comics, has created multiple comic book universes in order to facilitate both the old and the new versions of the characters, and while both comics are still sold, new reports have shown that the female Thor is outselling her more traditional counterpart by 30 percent. The fact that these comic books are selling shows that it is important for media to change, at least a little bit, with the times. It is impossible to please every fan, and with social media the audience displeasure will be extremely loud and clear, but it is better to appeal to the audience who will help you thrive in the future, than to die in the past.
Laughter is extremely important to the wellbeing of humanity. Did you know laughter is the only language that every human being speaks, it is also the first language a baby learns. Babies laugh early and often, they even understand using laughter as a method of bringing levity to a situation. Laughter is a response that humans and some primates have to a humorous situation, or to external stimuli such as tickling. The act of laughing has actually been shown to relieve stress and in some instances even strengthen the immune system. There is a common phrase that states “laughter is the best medicine,” and while it may not actually be a medicine, it has beneficial effects that can reduce the need for medicine and help maintain good health. Laughter goes deeper than just a showing of amusement, laughter and humor may actually be genetic, while I personally have met people who are totally different in humor than their parents there are always cases of variance when talking about genetics. Often times my parents don’t fully understand my humor, but when it comes to sarcasm I am fully confident that we share the same “humor gene.” Laughter is necessary, if everyone took time out in the day to laugh with one another, rather than at one another, I am sure the world would be a much more peaceful and enjoyable place.