Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We don't need no education

One of the things I do to help keep me busy (because with 3 kids I can't think of a thing to do with my time fiddle-dee-dee) - [read in Southern American drawl and picture a Southern Belle sitting on her porch in her swing chair with a little white fan fanning herself], is lecturing.  The privilege of  molding young minds is quite an awesome task. I lecture three marketing and one business subject throughout the year.  

I must say that I kind of like the idea of lecturing, it is similar to acting but with the added benefit that the group of people who you are talking to, are not allowed to leave if they don't like your performance!  Even though I give the students a hard time and I am super-strict on attendance and timekeeping (last year I made one of the students cry because I asked her to leave when she arrived 5 minutes late - just do that once and then everyone's on time) we do have a lot of fun. 

When I first started lecturing I was concerned that I was not up-to-date on technology so I dived into learning all about social media and gadgets that the "youngsters" would be into.  But I have quickly realized that they have little to no knowledge about any of these subjects.  I like to give loads of examples to explain the concepts and the student need to relate.  Just this week however an example got me into a bit of hot water......

In marketing it is beneficial to your product if it has trialability.  This means that the consumer can try out the product, like a sample shampoo sachet in a magazine or a pack of tissues handed out at the robot. But the example I chose was an iPhone (to keep current).  I happily explained that "Even with cell phones, you can test them out before you buy them.  Just go into any iStore and ask the computer geek behind the counter to whip his out and show it to you........" now even though I knew that sounded bad, my sleep-deprived brain did not totally comprehend what I had just said so I finished with, "...and he'll let you play with it for a while."  There was a few seconds of deathly silence and then the class exploded into laughter. Needless to say I looked like I belonged to the beetroot family and am waiting for some new-age parent to come with a sexual harassment charge!  But I think everyone is going to remember trialability.

This week has been particularly entertaining.  As I was warming up to start the lecture after the break, I was chatting to one of the students and sarcastically asked "tell me something I don't know" and she responded with "Hitler only had one testicle!" okeedokey, thanks for that!

Then I was giving an example of cell phone networks in my business lecture, explaining that there are new entrants into the market e.g. Virgin Mobile. Virgin has been in the market for a while now so what have they become?  A little dude from the back shouts out "Whores!"  *deathly silence*  "Do you get it Ma'm?  They started out as virgins and they......" YES. Thank you. I got it.

Then a student asks me a question "What is the difference between a private company and a public company?"  So I diligently explain it like this, verbatim - "One difference is that a private company does not need to make their financials, wait for it......public like a public company does.  A private company can keep theirs....... wait for it......yes I am doing your studying for you .... private."  I thought that was perfectly executed and an easy way to remember the difference but nooo, what does the student respond?  "So M'am you're saying that a good way of remembering that is that I keep my privates private?"  Yes Einstein that's EXACTLY what I said! Hoo boy!

Lastly, I was handing out the assignment to the marketing students.  This is their 8th lecture of the year and I thought this assignment would be quite fun. They have to get into groups, choose a brand and decide which consumers to target with the brand and how they would reach them e.g. TV, magazines etc. So I read through the 2 page document explaining target markets and different media that they could use, I basically went through 4 examples - Coke, Smarties, Nandos and Nike, spoon-feeding them the answers that they need to give me back to get 100% for this super-easy task.  After about 10 minutes of explaining I finish off by asking if there are any questions.  And the question is................ "What is a brand?"  

Ah yes, the molding of young minds. Only problem is, nobody told me that some of these young minds are about as pliable as play dough that's been left in the sun for 3 days!!

Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thank You for the Music

A few years ago after watching the movie "The Bucket List" I sat down with hubby and we both wrote our own Bucket Lists.  Nothing was off limits so his includes things like taking a jaunt through space and being the first person to walk on the moon (yes I know what you're thinking, what about Neil Armstrong but hubby is a bit of a conspiracy theorist so according to him the whole moon landing took place in a Hollywood studio but that is another story for another day) and mine included things like flying over the Grand Canyon.

So last year I turned the big 4-0, yes I know I don't look a day over 30, I've got so much energy and bubble that nobody would ever believe it (so my friends have told me and those that didn't tell me are no longer friends).  So earlier last year, my good friend Katy and I were chatting and The Bucket List came up and I suggested that she and her hubby write one.  She was very keen so she wanted to know what was on my list and I was battling to remember but after "seeing the 7wonders" I also mentioned that I'd like to "record my own CD".  So the sneaky little thing went out and found a recording studio and booked me an hour to record any songs I'd like in a professional way and gave this to me as my 40th birthday present.  What an awesome gift!!  I was so excited.  

The gift voucher was valid for 6 months so I had plenty of time to decide what I wanted to sing and practice, excitement excitement fun fun fun.  So I started singing in the shower again..... but then I started working harder and trying to finalize everything before I had Lettuce and THEN the baby shower and THEN I gave birth unexpectedly and there was a bit of drama surrounding that and THEN hubby had to have minor but emergency surgery while I was still on bed rest and THEN it was hubby's birthday and THEN it was Christmas and my brother and sister arrived from overseas with their families and it was shopping and eating and visiting and THEN New Year arrived and THEN the family holiday and THEN uniform shopping for Tomato who started big school and THEN it was first day at big school and THEN I started working again and THEN Katy called.........!  Oh-oh my voucher had one week left before expiry!!

Pure terror has now replaced excitement and I am often reminded of the saying "be careful what you ask for because you just might get it!."  So I frantically put out the word on Facebook - "I need song ideas" and my friends rushed forth with ideas (this question even raised 2 friends from the "Facebook dead" they were so keen to give their choices).  But how do you pick one song??  I quickly emailed to activate my gift voucher which was done, scaring me silly and I have decided on 3 songs which I just emailed off to the studio today to see if they have the backing music.  I can't believe how freaked I am about this and I have no idea why, it's not like I'm going on Idols (cos I don't look like an idol).

Anyway by this time next week I may have actually bitten the bullet and done it eeeeeekk!!  I keep thinking so what if it's really bad, does it matter but yes it darn well matters, how can I get a Bucket List opportunity and fluff it?  10 Deep breaths and hopefully the vein in my head will stop throbbing.  Wish me luck.............


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Losing My Religion

I've always stuck to the notion that you answer children's questions as honestly as possible, but at a level that they can understand.  This philosophy has gotten me into hot water on a few occasions as I stumble over what to say and not to say, frantically assessing in my mind whether this will lead to more questions, what these could possibly be and theorizing whether my children will be scarred for life if I approach death and sex questions too honestly.

Today in the car (usually difficult questions are asked in the car, thank goodness so I can pretend I'm concentrating on driving if the questions are too hard) Tomato starts "Does everyone have a mommy?" [hmm this can go 2 ways, either she's going to get me on orphans or there is a pregnancy question coming]
I say "yes Sweetie everyone has a mommy" she responds "what about God?" [huh?? do I go the Jesus has Mary route or are we talking God God?].  I respond slowly worried about where this is leading "No because God is not a human so he doesn't have a mommy" Tomato gives this some thought and then says 
"Oh so God is like Santa, he doesn't have a mommy either" [aaaaaagggghhh I suddenly remember that I told her over Christmas time that Santa doesn't have a mother, caught out! No wait......that wasn't a question, I think that was a statement........*pause*...... yes I think that was just a statement - phew!]
"Mommy......." [oh uh]  "the first person on earth doesn't have a Mommy do they?" [Ah yes, time for good old Adam and Eve] 
 "Well God created the first man and called him Adam.  Adam lived in a beautiful garden but he was lonely, so God took one of his ribs [as the words were coming out of my mouth I was regretting them] and made Eve, his wife and they had children and their children had children and [maybe if I ramble she'll be distracted by the rib issue] .... that's why everyone now has a mommy".  *silence* 
"Mommy.... [wait for it] is God a Doctor?"  [Ummmm]  "No, God is God"
"Well then how did he get the rib out?" *speechless*
"Did Adam have a big scar? Did Eve only have one rib? Why did God need a rib to make Eve if he made Adam without a rib?

Oh my word! Frantically thinking ahead in the story I realised that the talking snake was going to be opening a new can of worms  that I was not prepared for.  

Hoo boy trying to satisfy the 5 year old's questioning mind is a task I'm obviously not equipped for.......

Monday, February 20, 2012

The training wheels are off....

Well looks like I'm blogging solo now.....

I must say I'm rather amused with this blogging thing.  I have put up one post and have had 32 views, majority from here (I 'm assuming some Facebook friends checked it out after my post) but I've had a few from the US and one from Germany!!  Wow how did they get hold of this?  Were they randomly searching blogspot for a BLT and got me?  Hey Germany and US if you come back and read this please let me know, I'm curious.

Tonight I watched another episode of a TV show called "Not Going Out" it is a British comedy but it is so funny I have to keep hitting the pause button to finish laughing before I can keep watching!  I love laughing it is the best feeling ever! I love it when my kids laugh, especially that deep laugh that comes from their tummy and little Lettuce is only starting to giggle now especially when I wash him in his neck, and it melts my heart. It even makes waking up in the night worthwhile to get a little chuckle.

Now for all of you out there that don't get along very well with your moms and mom-in-laws, here's one for the record books.....

A friend of mine's son turned 3 and he had a lovely little party with all his friends and family there to celebrate with him. Now my friend's mom is a bit of a thrifty chick and I knew trouble was brewing last week already when she told Natalie that she had discovered a thrift shop (any thrifty 60-something's dream). She was so impressed with her new discovery that she had "gone wild" (big warning sign!!) and bought a whole lot of gifts, some of which she gave to her grandchildren last week  Great gesture, she gave them 5 animated movies, how thoughtful.......on VHS!!  So I waited with baited breath for the birthday gift and boy did I get my fill on my laugh-o-meter, the gift to her only grandson was a wonderful sticker book, but guess what....... all the stickers had already been stuck in the book, that's why it was on sale at the thrift shop!!  

If there weren't weird family members we wouldn't get nearly as many laughs :-)

Lesson for today - you can't pick your family but you can pick your nose!!

My First Blog Post

Wow this is my virgin voyage into the world of blogging! 

What's My Purpose of Blogging?
My purpose for blogging is to keep a record of the often unbelievable events that occur in my life which are otherwise lost in the busy-ness of the day and quickly forgotten. Hopefully this will make you smile and realize that you shouldn't take your own life so seriously.

My intention is for this blog to be positive and fun.  If there's nothing to post I'm not going to post and being the A-type personality that I am, I am going to try not to put too much pressure on myself to post more often than I have time to. 

Why the Title?
I"m sure you're wondering why I called this blog at home with my BLT - I am a home-based Marketing Consultant and Marketing Lecturer. I am also the proud mother of 3 mostly delightful children. So basically most of my life revolves around being at home apart from going to meetings and lectures and fetching and carrying my offspring. 

Who's Who
B is my second-born little girl aged 3½, L is my newest arrival, he's only 4 months old and T my oldest little girl is 5½ and can't wait to be 6. I am going to refer to them by their "food name" in my posts to keep their anonymity.  So the title is "at home with my kids" but just in a cute way and I'm also a foodie so "at home with a bacon, lettuce and tomato sarmie" also sounds good to me :-)

Well seeing as it's really late (actually very early in the morning) I'm going to hit the sack because Lettuce is going to want to see my sleep-deprived face for "dummy patrol" at around 3am, 4.30am and then finally when he gets breakfast between 5.30 and 6.30am. Yes I do ask myself who is the dummy in this scenario?  I don't want him to suck his thumb like Tomato because she's still sucking it, whereas Bacon used a dummy (pacifier) and has stopped completely after I told her that Father Christmas phoned and asked if she would give them to his reindeer, which she kindly did. So it's my own fault, apparently.  Zzzzzz