I hate shots.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I hate shots.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Since I knew so little about the many-armed gods who watch over me while I eat samosas and saag paneer at my favorite Indian restaurants, I decided to do a little reading. And here is my first mind-bender:
Hinduism is monotheistic. Well, it's monotheistic and polytheistic. "How can this be?" you ask skeptically.
Consult the Bhagavad Gita, one book of the Mahabharata, an epic poem eight times longer than The Odyssey and The Iliad combined. In the Gita, Krishna (God in human form) speaks directly to a warrior who is in the middle of an existential crisis. Krishna tells him that regardless of who or what people worship, they worship one true god:
However men try to reach me,In case it isn't evident from this short snippet, I have happened on a poetic and moving translation of the Gita by Stephen Mitchell, who describes the text as "...a love song to reality, a hymn in praise of everything excellent and beautiful and brave, the core from which all the glories and horrors of the universe unfold" (23).
I return their love with my love;
whatever path they may travel,
it leads to me in the end (73).
With lyricism that could hypnotize an atheist, Mitchell translates God's description of himself:
I am the beginning and the end,There's still a lot I don't know about the Hindu faith. Those pictures of gods with animal heads and rainbow complexions may still vex me for now, but I feel like they're less important than the universal beauty I've seen at the heart of the Bhagavad Gita.
origin and dissolution,
refuge, home, true lover,
womb and imperishable seed.
I am the heat of the sun,
I hold back the rain and release it;
I am death and the deathless,
and all that is or is not (116, 117).
Mitchell, Steven. Bhagavad Gita. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000.
Friday, May 2, 2008
These rumble tumble eggs, I read, can be "of questionable origin or age." Nevermind that they're the funnest thing on the menu.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
For anyone interested in how the application process works, here's a brief timeline of what's happened so far:
March 26: I filled out an application online at http://www.newdirections.pearson.com/. I also checked the "Current Opportunities" under the "Jobs & People" link and found the Development Editor position posted there, which sounded like an excellent fit for my skills, experience and future work-life goals. The posting had an email contact for the New Directions human resources representative in Inda, so I contacted Ranjani Sridhar to express my interest in the position.
March 27: I heard back from Ranjani Sridhar and supplied him more information such as my work history and a statement of why I was interested in the position and how I felt the exchange would be mutually beneficial.
March 28: Karen Harbrow, Management Development, Pearson plc. emailed the HR representative for my branch of Pearson to get HR approval.
April 21: Heard back from Ranjani!
Srinivas (our publishing Manager Higher Education Books, and copied in
this mail)thinks you could do some development work for us based in Delhi and for some of our projects in Chandigarh (our Content Development center in the neighboring state Haryana).
At this point, I contacted my own manager (with whom I'd already had discussions about my desire to participate in the New Directions program) and the HR champion for New Directions in Iowa.
April 30: Met with local HR rep to fill her in on what had been done so far and discuss next steps. She is now working with London to complete an estimation of the total cost of the work assignment and a formal assignment letter detailing specifics like length of assignment, when it will begin, international healthcare, lodging, etc. HR advises me that the process for determining and documenting the details is well-documented and supported by the New Directions team in London. It can be completed in as little as four weeks.
So I've got to talk myself into getting the necessary innoculations soon.
I hate needles.
New Directions is a program sponsored out of Pearson headquarters in London wherein employees accept short-term international work assignments with the purpose of increasing communication across disparate Pearson businesses (from South Africa to Hong Kong to India) and developing Pearson's people. Priority is placed on moving from established markets like those in the UK and US to the emerging markets in the places I mention above.
You can learn more about the program at: http://www.newdirections.pearson.com/
After hearing Marjorie Scardino discuss New Directions at a talk she gave in Iowa on March 26th, I hurriedly and enthusiastically sought out the website and filled out an application.
Just about a month later, I have accepted a three-month assignment as a development editor in New Delhi, India, and the proverbial ball is rolling through the many tasks that have to be completed in order to make this assignment happen.
I'm working with HR in Iowa, HR in New Delhi and the New Directions representatives from London. This is truly a global experience even before it officially begins.
I have much to read about India, much to do to get ready and, I'm sure, much more to say. So stay tuned to learn more about how this amazing program works and to share my Indian adventure.