A Thank You for RTP

thank you note addressed to RTP

thank you note addressed to RTP

I feel fortunate to be a beneficiary of the Research Triangle Park.

In total, I’ve worked with three companies (IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Cardinal Health) that have facilities in RTP and have worked with one company (SAS) that has its headquarters close by the park.

Why do I consider myself to be a beneficiary of RTP?

I could list my exposure to some of the world’s greatest technologies and corporate infrastructures, but I won’t.  Instead, I’ll tell you that I have benefitted the most from the relationships that I’ve formed through working in RTP with individuals from all over the world.

If I close my eyes, I can think back over my working years and instantly see IBM coworkers from India, Mexico, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Scotland, Ireland, Egypt, France, Spain, Australia, Russia, China, Japan, and Canada.  I can also easily recall my coworker friends from England and Venezuela who I had the pleasure of working with at GlaxoSmithKline’s RTP facilities.  I can see all of their faces, and I can remember many of their accent-laden words.

Through my acquaintance with all of these individuals, I’ve been exposed to the many different cultures of the world.  For example, my former Scottish coworkers at IBM got me to taste-test haggis, while a British director at GlaxoSmithKline educated me about “real football,” or soccer, that is.  Ironically, I was first shown the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi by a Japanese coworker at IBM, and I learned how fresh fruit is often served as dessert in El Salvador by a dynamo global customer services manager at IBM who hailed from there.

More important than learning about the foods and sports games that were popular in the native countries of my RTP coworkers, over the years, I’ve also learned about my global coworkers’ beliefs and world views, many of which have been alternative to mine.  Yes, through my interactions with my non-U.S. native colleagues, I’ve broadened my knowledge of the world, and I could not have done so without the existence of RTP.

Those who know me from my childhood might ask: how could a girl like you, from a small eastern N.C. town, end up married to a Spaniard who grew up in South America?  On the other hand, those who know me from my working days in RTP probably won’t question the likelihood of such a pairing.

This post is my small thank you to RTP.  Thank you, RTP, for broadening my outlook.  Thank you for introducing me to the different peoples of the world.  And, most of all, thank you for allowing me to experience so much of the world without having to leave the Tarheel state that I love.

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Are You Hooked?

hook image

hook image

While working on the IBM PC Company’s pilot internal SAP implementation project back in the 1995 timeframe, I was invited by some coworkers to attend a Blues Traveler concert that was occurring at a local outdoor concert pavilion.

Blues Traveler had released a song that year that everyone seemed to be hooked on.  By chance do you remember the title of the song?  Hook is the answer.

As the Wikipedia definition for the song states:  “The song’s title refers to a hook in music terminology: the catchy element or phrase of a song which makes it distinctive and memorable.”

Do you have any favorite musical hooks?  And, has a song ever hooked you with its first lyric?

Here are eight examples of first lyrics that always seem to lure me into listening (you’ll see the associated song title and artist called out in parentheses):

  • “He said I’ll love you ‘til I die.”  (He Stopped Loving Her Today; George Jones)
  • “I made it through the wilderness.”  (Like a Virgin; Madonna)
  • “Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad.”  (Hey, Jude; The Beatles)
  • “Last night all alone in a bar room, I met a girl with a drink in her hand.”  (Almost Persuaded; David Houston)
  • “You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht.” (You’re So Vain; Carly Simon)
  • “This one goes out to the one I love.” (The One I Love; R.E.M.)
  • “Amarillo by morning, up from San Antoine.” (Amarillo By Morning; George Strait)
  • “Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely.” (Crazy; Patsy Kline)

Now, let’s forget about songs.  Which people, places or things have immediately grabbed your attention in the past few weeks or months, and how soon did you become hooked?

More importantly, which of your hooked on habits or associations do you need to break?

A Second Hand Post

Handwritten Blog Post

Handwritten Blog Post

Note:  This blog post was originally handwritten.

The January 9 and 16, 2012 issue of Newsweek featured an article by Sharon Begley on how to raise your IQ along with “31 Ways to Get Smarter in 2012.” One suggested way to increase your smarts was to write by hand.  The article suggested that handwriting “engages more sections of your brain than typing” and that you can recall ideas more easily after writing them down.The suggestion made me think and wonder:  beyond the obligatory, occasional thank you notes penned on monogrammed stationery or the checks written for specific personal purchases or bills payments, how often do I handwrite in this increasingly digital world?

When considering my history when it comes to handwriting, I still remember the thrill of being allowed to write in cursive form in the third grade during the early ’70s.  I also remember that my father ,who practiced law in the ’70s, had a secretary who knew how to write in shorthand.  And, I remember the fun of writing in “Pig Latin” with early childhood friends.

I remember the excitement of receiving handwritten “love notes” from classmates in middle and junior high school as well as discovering the art of poetry writing.  And, I can’t forget how “exotic” it felt to communicate via handwritten letters with a French Pen Pal during my ninth grade year.  Such a global communication is so commonplace now, as we live in a world with global Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers.

I can recall handwriting my high school valedictory speech, the verbal delivery of which was preserved in a VHS tape, and how could I forget the countless notes hand-drafted during my college courses or those two-hour hand-written college exam essays?

Though I learned to type in high school, my transition from routine handwriting to the online digital world began with a Brother brand word processor in the early ’90s.  I became fully entrenched in online technology and endeavors when I began working as a communications specialist on the former IBM PC Company division’s internal SAP software implementation.  From that point, my online typing overtook my handwriting efforts.

Over time, many of my most treasured keepsakes are hand-written cards, poems and letters from family, friends and loved ones. I own journals and boxes to store the memorable words that carry so much meaning.

What about you?  What have been your most significant personal writings?  How have you maintained or honored those words?  And, how often do you handwrite today?

Maybe you should write your answers to those questions down.  According to the Newsweek article and author Begley, your brain may appreciate your doing so.

Bonjour, tout le monde!

Welcome to my new blog site, ruthdobsontorres: weekly notes from the SheCave!

What’s a SheCave you may ask?  A SheCave is a wonderfully personal place for the lady of the house — a place of solitude, for thoughts-gathering, for reading, for phoning friends and family, and, for blogging!

Though I’ve maintained another personal blog site for a few years now, I’ve decided to “amp things up a bit” with this new site.  The commanding words that a former IBM manager of mine shared with me more than 10 years ago (“I know you enjoy marketing, Ruth, but, remember, you can write”) have been harkening back to me lately.  I’ve come to realize that, though there are millions of individuals out here in the blogosphere, I’ve got a unique voice and perspective to share.

I’m not promising earth-shattering truths, just the truth “according to Ruth.”  In each of my posts, I want to remind the world of the people, ideas and things that I love and that spark a passion in me.

On that note, one of my favorite things is the French language.  Another is writing. Now is the time for me to write.  Maintenant, c’est le temps vivre!

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