Pros and Cons of Living in the Technology Age

The Technology Age really kicked into high gear about three years ago in 2012. You started seeing more companies come out with mobile apps and then shortly thereafter, Google introduced the algorithm that made it a requirement to be mobile friendly. However, there are not pros and cons to living in the technology age. I rarely write negative reviews about a company, and I am going to do my darndest to be very nice about this company.

This weekend I was presented with the opportunity to assist the Joshua Center with their annual fundraiser. This year it was based on Camelot and the decorations were beautiful. We held it in the Camelot Ballroom in Overland Park. There was a silent auction, as well as a live auction and balloon pop. This fundraiser helps kids attend Summer Camp, as well as receive services for their neurological disorders that are not available anywhere else in the metro.


Continue reading “Pros and Cons of Living in the Technology Age”

Making coding fun

One of the best things about children is they are willing to do things if they look fun. This is true even if they are learning massive amounts of information. For example, look at CodeCombat. Kids learn how to code while playing games! It is incredibly fun, even though it is not completely free.

There are things that are free that are fun, but sometimes they are easier when you work in a teaching environment. One such site is Scratch. I have just finished a course through Coursera on learning how in depth Scratch truly is. I have really enjoyed it and look forward to really pushing myself on creating different programs.

However, as I have mentioned before, I am very active with the KC Women in Technology group and this month was their monthly CoderDoJoKC and Coding & Cupcakes. CoderDoJo sells out EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH! Which is absolutely AWESOME. We had a lot of kids there doing scratch, as well as some doing Command Blocks in Minecraft (my son), HTML sites, and building their portfolio. We had other kids just practicing with CodeAcademy. I got to help mentor one child who was building their own PacMan game in Scratch. The theme this month was to create a program or site that taught us mentors something (even if it was how to make a peanut butter sandwich). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stay to watch the presentations because I had to pick up my daughter from her high school, but I heard they were awesome presentations! Continue reading “Making coding fun”

Side Bar – Talk About Suicide

I put a side bar up there in the title because depression is not something I generally talk about on this forum. I decided to separate my personal life from my business for a reason. I have a tendency to put my everything into my work, especially when I am feeling particularly stressed. However, this month is Suicide Prevention Month, and I am participating in a very important walk at the beginning of next month. While the walk is actually in October, I am doing my fundraising during this month.

Depression affected me in a way that I never imagined. It is a very dark force and makes you believe a lot of things that are not true. Even to this day, I still battle some of those fears, but I have to remind myself that I know who I am. Depression feeds off my anxiety, so I feel that supporting the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is important enough to interject one blog post onto this site.

You can read much more about my fundraising goals on my Living in Acronym Hell blog, but here are the high lights.

  1. I have a donation site set up through the Out of the Darkness organization to raise money for the walk in KC on October 3, 2015.
  2. I am working with 2 lovely ladies to throw a fundraising party with Perfectly Posh, Thirty-One, and Scentsy. Part of the proceeds will go towards the walk, and only the Scentsy site will require you to designate Out of the Darkness upon checkout.
  3. All donations are 100% tax deductible!

Again, please visit my other blog for more information on my fight with depression, as well as how to follow these organizations. If you have are battling with suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800- 273-TALK (8255) immediately! You are not alone!

Mentoring helps girls feel comfortable in STEM

It is not an unknown fact that girls are not as strong in the STEM careers. STEM, for those who do not know, stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. I have been asked many times why I think it is that girls are not in those areas. I can tell you it isn’t because we aren’t smart enough. It is often because of what we are exposed to.

For example, let’s take the huge uproar that Target caused when they decided they would take the names off their aisles that said “girl toys” and “boy toys.” People couldn’t figure out why it mattered. Here’s what many people aren’t thinking about. Parents aren’t usually the issue … directly. When you go to baby showers, you purchase pink clothing for girls and boys get blue. You don’t think anything of it. However, from a very beginning, you are subconsciously telling children that if they like the other color, then they are not normal. As they get older, boys are teased if they like the color pink. Girls can be called names if they wear clothing that is designed for boys. You don’t find panties in department stores for toddlers that have super heroes on it. You find Disney princesses, Dora, Doc McStuffins, Minnie Mouse (no Mickey Mouse), and My Little Ponies.

From a very young age, girls are exposed to shows that display girls who are unable to do things without the help of others. They are often viewed as ditzy. If they are smart or up for exploring, they are caring for others … not building things. This is filling a memory bank. Continue reading “Mentoring helps girls feel comfortable in STEM”

Going back to school

I decided to go back to school after 13 years to get an actual degree. I attended K-State from 1998 to 2002 and majored in Animal Science & Industries. I started out in the Pre-Vet program, but quickly switched to Companion Animal Management after I realized that I was not going to hack all of the medical classes. However, I left school before I graduated because I fell in love. I had a great business and was not smart enough to research to make sure that business would make the transition with me. When I moved to Kansas City, I quickly learned that the big city requires licenses, degrees, insurance, bonding, and so much more.

In the end, it didn’t matter, because I got pregnant right after marrying the love of my life in 2002. Four kids and 13 years later, I am finally at a point in my life where I can look at school again. However, my interests have changed quite a bit. I have always loved computers, technology, coding, typing, etc. While I still love animals and companion animal management, it is not where I see myself.

Growing up, I always loved to decode puzzles and even today I am a huge fan of Sudoku and Cryptograms. I love crosswords, word finds, and pretty much anything else that you can find in Dell/PennyPress Magazines. I knew I loved working with JavaScript and HTML, and Python has become EXTREMELY interesting. I decided that the best course of action was to grow this business by going back and getting a Computer Engineering degree with an emphasis in web development.

However … as I completed week one of school with my computer concepts class and Microsoft Business Software class … I realized that maybe I need to push it past a simple Associate’s Degree. So now I am stuck. I learned how to read binary this week and that was GREAT. It was decoding! I am such a numbers freak. So … the question I will have to ask myself and answer over the next few years is do I stick with an Associates in Computer Engineering … OR do I go the distance and get a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering and become a full-blown programmer.