Tag Archives: Accomplishments

Happy “Old” Year: Almost Gone But Never Forgotten 2013!

28 Dec

Happy Old YearWithout fail, as each year draws to a close, I hear several people exclaim that they either cannot wait for the year to be over or for the new one to begin so they can have a fresh start. Many of us come up with resolutions for the new year, vow to do away with a bad habit or to start a good one, but how many of us reflect on the happy moments and achievements of the “old” year? We often let the negativity, misfortune or mishaps cast a dark shadow on all of the wonderful moments we’ve experienced. I refuse to fall into this trap. No matter how large or small the experience, I would like to shout with enthusiasm, “Happy Old Year!”

Thanks 2013; you’ve been extremely good to me. Just to highlight a few moments, I had a healthy, beautiful baby girl and celebrated my second anniversary with my awesome husband. In such a short duration of time, I’ve learned so much from motherhood and am able to apply it to many aspects of my life. The experience has also brought my husband and me even closer together and further strengthened the foundation of our marriage. Thanks for giving me more time with my family so that I may have an even greater appreciation for them. I am grateful for you giving me the opportunity to develop bonds with new friends while giving me the strength to let go of those whose season has passed. After five years of hard work, I’ve achieved tenure as an assistant professor and had two invigorating semesters where I was able to make a positive impact on my students.

Dearest 2013, though I am looking forward to 2014 and the years to come, you will always have a happy, memorable place in my heart.

All the best,

Tanya

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The Power of Three Wonderful Years of Blogging!

7 Dec

ThreeClick your heels three times!  You have been granted three wishes! Three is the magic number!  Today is my third anniversary of blogging. Though my journey has just begun, I am happy with the progress I’ve made.  It feels wonderful to have connected with fellow bloggers and people who simply have an interest in my musings and epiphanies; hopefully I have made a positive impact as well. Here’s to many more years of to come with discovering me through blogging.

All the best,

Tanya

It’s Hard Out Here for a Mom!

2 Nov

2013-10-26 09.24.14I cannot believe my baby girl will be six months tomorrow.  This past half year has been full of excitement, and I am truly embracing motherhood.  Prior to even becoming pregnant, some people would say with sarcastic tones in their voices , “Wait until you become a mother!” or ask, “Are you sure you want to be a mother?”  Though I thrive on being positive and have never questioned whether or not I made the right decision becoming a mother, there is no denying that it can be hard out here for a mom!  I think about how blessed I am to have a flexible teaching schedule  that allows me to spend most of the week with my daughter.  It saddens me to know that many mothers do not have that luxury.  In order to provide for their children, some mothers must work from very early in the morning until late in the evening only seeing their children for dinner, bath and bedtime, sometimes not even for those daily routines.

Having the support of my husband and extended family makes me have an even greater admiration for mothers who are raising their children alone and doing everything in their power to make it work.  Something that always amazes me is how some single mothers make raising children look so easy and almost effortless.  Kudos to you all, and keep putting in that hard work!  I am sure you will reap what you sow within your children 😉

All the best,

Tanya

6(000) Degrees of Separation and counting…

22 Sep

Tanya Harris FranklinYesterday, I noticed that I was close to 6000 views on my blog and was amused this morning to see that I am at 6000 views exactly.  I started this blog a few years ago, so 6000 may not seem like a lot, but it is to me.  It feels good to know that I am connecting with others and hopefully putting out some positive energy and information people want to read about or just merely peruse.

Something that is awesome is how I can view my statistics and see not just how many people have viewed my blog posts but from where in the world they reside.  Most recently, the post receiving views almost everyday from places all around the globe such as Malaysia, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, India, the Netherlands, Italy and a few others is my Profound Hip Hop Quote post on A Tribe Called Quest.  It seems that I am not the only one who is hoping they will go on a tour and longing to see Q-Tip and Phife back on stage together.

Who knows, maybe I will reach 10,000 views by the end of the year, but even if I do not receive one more view from this point forward, I am honored that 6000 people, some who I may know and others I may never physically come in contact with or met personally, stopped by to have a glimpse at my daily musings.

All the best,

Tanya

P.S.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Habits to Factor

14 Sep

HabitWhen a person says, “I got a habit,” most automatically associate it with something negative?  “Habit Factor” by Martin Grunburg did an excellent job touching on how habits can be negative or positive in relation to achieving goals.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve always set forth goals to achieve.  A major reason I started this blog is actually to have a place to discuss my journey and share some of my musings and goals.  In an effort to live my best life while hopefully impacting the lives of others in a positive way, I decided to become more cognizant of my actions and daily routines. This allows me to make sure my actions (or habits) are in alignment with my goals and the person I claim to be.

For instance, one of my most recent goals was not just to reclaim my pre-pregnancy body (I just had a baby on May 3, 2013) but to have a healthy lifestyle.  So I first determined what habits would put me on the right path and began tracking how consistent I was. Rather than saying, I am not going to eat junk food, I thought about what I was going to do, such as meditating, drinking a minimum of eight cups of water a day, eating a minimum of seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and walking and exercising five to six days a week.

I can be quite competitive, especially with myself, so tracking my habits makes me want to push myself even further.  If I see that I had seven servings of fruits and vegetables all last week, I will try to make it eight for the following week.  Also, the accountability is there. Sometimes we all get so busy and do not realize how much time has passed since we have last worked out after we set forth the goal.  Logging the information gives me the data I need to have tangible evidence on why I have or have not achieved my goal.

Since I started tracking my habits with my healthy lifestyle back in July of this year, I lost 16 1/2 pounds, putting me about three pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight and lost a total of 18 inches from my waist, hips, thighs and arms. I feel more energized and am motivated to keep up these good habits.

Many of us question why our lives have or have not taken certain courses but do not always look at our habits (actions) to determine how significant they are in why we are where we are.  Even though there are instances where circumstances arise that are out of our control, our habits are not.  We typically control those.  The next time you question why you are struggling to reach your goal, consider your habits.  They truly can reveal a lot and certainly did for me.

All the best,

Tanya 

Baby I’m Back!!! Well Sort of…

7 Sep
Tanya H. Franklin & Quinn Franklin

First Day Back to Work

Four months ago I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Quinn, but about a year ago when I found out I was pregnant, I already planned to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight by the start of the fall 2013 semester when I returned to work.  The semester just started, and I made my goal!  I had about 35 pounds to lose and about 15 inches, give or take to shed from my waistline, so how did I do it?  Before I got pregnant I was already in good shape and worked out regularly even while pregnant, but I believe these tips that worked for me can apply to anyone:

Tanya H. Franklin

Me at Eight Months Pregnant

1. Dispel the myths and statistics: Though losing that pregnancy weight along with that jelly belly can be difficult,  do not buy into those notions of it being impossible or highly unlikely that you will return to your pre-pregnancy weight.  Be aware of but disregard the statistics about most women struggling to lose the last ten or five pounds.  Refuse to accept the statistics as absolute.  Listening and accepting the myths and statistics will give you an excuse for not shedding the pounds.

2. Believe:  You must believe that you are capable of losing the weight regardless of what anyone else says. Believing starts in the mind, heart and through your actions as well. As you believe, you must stay motivated.

3. Be an idealist and go for what’s not realistic: Of course, you want to be safe about it, but go for the unrealistic goal! People may say give yourself at least a year or two, but why?  Once you give yourself that timeline, you just might use it as an excuse for why your weight hasn’t budged much since you gave birth.

4.  Exercise: It is obvious that exercise is needed, but it is essential to find exercises that include the baby to avoid additional stress of trying to find time or a sitter in order to work out.  My baby and I do the “Happy Baby Work Out,” go for walks, with her in the stroller, everyday, unless it is raining, and she does patiently watch as I do my “Hip Hop Abs” workouts. She seems to really like some of the exercise routines.  I also, find that it is best to workout in the morning if possible.  It gets the heart pumping and metabolism kicked into high gear.

Happy Baby Workout Lunges: Tanya H. Franklin

Happy Baby Workout Lunges

5. Eat Healthy: This is another one that is a no brainer, but the trick is not to simply avoid junk food but to introduce more healthy foods.  For instance, I eat a minimum of seven servings a day of fruits and vegetables.  After meeting or exceeding that goal, there is not much room left for the junk. Also, I am always thinking of healthy alternatives.  Did you know that maple syrup has about 220 calories per serving, but the sugar free version only has about 20 calories? My husband even admitted that he cannot taste the difference.

6. Make it fun and your actual lifestyle: It’s not about going on a crash diet, completely denying yourself all guilty pleasures and dreading having to exercise, especially if you are breastfeeding, but it is about a lifestyle improvement. Getting back in shape has multiple benefits.  It of course makes you look and feel good, but it gives you that extra energy to be there for your baby who you will soon be chasing after when she or he learns to crawl and walk.

I hope these tips prove to be helpful, and that you will be back..well sort of back to your pre-pregnancy weight before you know it.  I say “sort of back” because I’ve decided not to stop there and plan to be in even better shape!  Maybe you will do the same once you meet your goal ; -)

All the best,

Tanya

Baby I Got This: Watch Me Handle My Goals!

17 Aug

Quinn V. Franklin

“Sometimes you’ve got to think outside of the box,” people say.  This especially applies to achieving difficult, new or what seems to be unattainable goals that require a steadfast approach, but many of us do not actually apply this concept.  Is this because the ability to “think outside of the box” is innate; either you are adept in this area or not?

Watching my baby girl Quinn tackle one of her first goals of getting her pacifier back in her mouth is what got me pondering about this.  Though she is three and a half months now (15 weeks and one day to be exact), rather than just put the pacifier in her mouth when she cries and screams for it, I will guide her hand to put it in her mouth or put her hand on the pacifier while it is in her mouth to hold it there, which is something I observed her doing for the first time when she was just a little over a month old.  I will say, “You hold” or “Use your hand” to help her make the association with words. The idea is to give her a chance to figure it out on her own and to see what she is capable of doing.

Quinn V. Franklin

Quinn holding in her pacifier all by herself

However, in the past few weeks, I noticed that Quinn was not simply using her hand to retrieve the pacifier, but she was using her bib or receiving blanket to assist her with pushing it back in her mouth, which is something she has been doing more and more frequently on our morning stroller walks.  How creative is that!?  If I automatically just put the pacifier back in her mouth, I would not have witnessed Quinn’s innate ability to “think outside of the box.”    No one taught her this technique she uses to retrieve the pacifier, and she certainly did not see another baby do it.  She just reached a point where she either did not want to wait patiently for someone else to put it back in, was acting out of frustration or just said, you know what, let me see if I can do this on my own.

When it comes to achieving goals, regardless of how small or large, I typically follow what I was taught to do.  Even though this is not necessarily a bad thing, I wonder how much more successful I would be at achieving my goals if I went more with instincts and what comes natural?  There truly are some benefits to being new to the world and seeing everything with fresh eyes.  Come to think of it, babies do not have to think outside of the box because they do not even know that this “box” exists!  Thanks so much baby Quinn for helping me consider new, innovative ways to achieve my goals!  I just had to share this epiphany with others and hope this idea has you (potential readers of this entry) thinking outside of the box too!

Best,

Tanya

The Tale of Too Many Goals

8 Sep

Tanya H. FranklinIs there such a thing as having too many goals?  Every year, I contemplate over what I would like to accomplish and what steps I will take to get there, but most recently I’ve started wondering if I have too much on my plate.  Is it best to focus on one goal exclusively or to have a few going on simultaneously that could potentially coincide with one another.  Last year, I found this wonderful app “Habit Factor,” and it focuses on how in order to reach goals in life, you must develop good habits that are in alignment with those goals.

For instance, I want to become fluent in Spanish, so I have been completing Rosetta Stone lessons, listening and repeating the audio on my drive to work or wherever, playing the games, even reading “Love Poems” by Pablo Neruda which has the Spanish on one side and the English on the other along with watching a few shows or movies in Spanish and conversing in Spanish when possible.

Learning Spanish is just one of my goals.  In improving my writing skills I have enrolled in an MFA Creative Writing Program which I just started, and it is certainly intense to say the least.  However, I know I will reap the benefits of blossoming as a writer by the end of the program.  Staying in shape is always at the forefront which involves more than just exercising but eating healthy, meditating regularly and channeling positive energy.

I’ve been married for a year now, and my husband and I moved into our new home a few months ago, and there are several DIY projects I want to tackle.  Starting a family is one of those projects.

Is this all too much while I am in my fifth and last year on the tenure track at my college preparing my portfolio and letter to be presented to the board?  Some people say, “I don’t know how you do it” or “When do you relax?”  I’m not sure if I am taking on too many goals, but I do it all not just for me but my family too, and I am excited about where these goals will take me in life.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

All the best,

Tanya

My Life Resume: The Career Journey Decade Three (From Age 21 – 30)

13 Oct

What do you think about as your birthday approaches?  Do you think about getting one year older?  Do you think about all of the hopes and dreams you have yet to accomplish.  Yes, I’m guilty of having those thoughts, but I also think about all that I have accomplished and the wisdom that I have attained as a result of getting older.  Presently, I am an English professor, and I enjoy teaching and playing a role in the successful careers of my students.  Also, I take pleasure in writing poetry and short short stories.  One day, I actually hope to publish a book and even a memoir.  So I thought why not use my birthday week to review my life resume by exploring where  I have been on my journey thus far?  

Tanya Harris FranklinThe Career Journey: Decade Three

Sears Credit Card:  I learned so much about the importance of credit from working for Sears.  Also, I became even better at being patient with people as a result of being promoted to a customer relations manager where I only received escalated calls from mainly irate customers.  I worked at Sears Credit for a good portion of my undergraduate academic career.

Maximum Advertising:  After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in English, I was hired for what I thought was my dream job.  I’m sure this company is either going by a different name or no longer in existence.  According to this company, I would have been a millionaire after working for them for a year–that is only after I contributed a portion of my earnings, which were next to nothing, back into the company.  I can’t believe I fail for that scam, but they certainly did teach me a valuable lesson about researching the legitimacy of a company as well as reinforcing the old adage, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

Careers USA:  I am so grateful to this temp agency.  They kept me working after I graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree and had to quite working for Maximum Advertising after they swindled me out of most of my graduation money I received from family and friends.  What would we do without temp agencies???

Rosemont College:  It surely was a blessing to come full-circle and work for the college that I graduated from.  Being an administrative assistant for the Assistant Academic Dean after receiving my degree was a humbling experience.  I was expecting to jump out into the workforce and land a job in my field immediately.  Nevertheless, I am glad that I took this route.  I met some wonderful people and built some long-lasting rapports and was given the opportunity to pursue my master’s degree in English and Publishing at Rosemont while I was working there which saved me a bundle of money in potential student loans..

TV Guide:  While hoping to transition into publications, I took a part-time call center job at TV Guide while still working full-time and taking classes full-time at Rosemont.  Even though I worked as a customer service rep, I enjoyed my experience and later realize the significance to working at this establishment, albeit for a short period of time.  My manager was actually the son of one of my favorite high school teachers, and a few years after working at TV Guide, I taught a former co worker in an English Composition I course.

School District of Philadelphia:  Finally, I was going to be working with at risk youth who needed individualized tutoring at a local middle school!  Little did I know that I was going to be thrusted in front of the classroom without formal academic training for handling eighth graders with several behavior problems and learning disabilities.  I truly wanted to make a difference, but the time and place was not right for me.  This experience truly caused me to reevaluate my desire to teach.  Teaching has always been my niche, but extreme behavior problems  with lack of support from the administration or parents was too arduous of a task to undertake.

Pindar: After choosing to shift gears with teaching, I landed a position that was going to get my foot in the door with publications as a proofreader with the chance for advancement!  Even though the work could be rather mundane, it was a breath of fresh air which I certainly needed to prepare me for my next position.

Rosemont College:  Thank God for Rosemont!  They gave me my first opportunity to teach a college level course while working second shift at Pindar.  I wonder if they know the role that they have played in my present success???

CCP: Proofreading was just not paying off, and I still had teaching in my hear, so I went on to work as an administrator at a college hoping to transition to teaching.  While working at CCP, a local community college, I met some wonderful people and also some people who may not have been wonderful but helped direct where I am today.  As a fairly young administrator, there were some fund days in the beginning, but there were several days where the stress became unbearable.  Interestingly, I’m glad that it became unbearable because it caused me to step out on faith and leave a secure full-time job for a part time job that would have an integral role in where I am now.

Peirce College:  This college took a chance on me when I had limited teaching experience on the college level.  Also, they kept me working when I decided to leave CCP.

DCCC:  Here I am!  This local community college took a chance on me and not only gave me part-time work but gave me temporary full-time work after only being there for one year.  Now, I am in my fourth year on the tenure track and am absolutely ecstatic.  I truly do love what I’m doing!

In my third decade, something that I already knew was confirmed: hard work and diligence will pay off in the end.  There were times when my faith wavered a bit, and I was not sure if I was headed in the right direction for my career to blossom. But through it all, I always tried to keep a smile on my face and remain positive because I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Any job we have and our performance on the job, regardless of how big or small, dictates where we are headed in the future.  I must say, I like where I am headed!  Do you ever think about how you ended up where you presently are?  Give it some thought. Please feel free to share.
Best regards,  Tanya H. Franklin

My Life Resume: The Career Journey Decade Two (From Age 11 – 20)

12 Oct

What do you think about as your birthday approaches?  Do you think about getting one year older?  Do you think about all of the hopes and dreams you have yet to accomplish.  Yes, I’m guilty of having those thoughts, but I also think about all that I have accomplished and the wisdom that I have attained as a result of getting older.  Presently, I am an English professor, and I enjoy teaching and playing a role in the successful careers of my students.  Also, I take pleasure in writing poetry and short short stories.  One day, I actually hope to publish a book and even a memoir.  So I thought why not use my birthday week to review my life resume by exploring where  I have been on my journey thus far?  

The Career Journey: Decade Two

Tanya H. Franklin

Phila-Job Summers: From eighth through twelfth grade, I participated in a summer job program for youth in Philadelphia, PA called Phila-Jobs.  One of the positions just involved going to Temple University to learn about different careers, the importance of an education and responsibility.  In another position, I cleaned different neighborhoods throughout North Philadelphia by removing graffiti and debris from local parks and recreational facilities.  In my last position, I actually tutored Korean and Vietnamese children in English at a non-profit organization.  As a result of my work, I was selected as the top Phila-Job employee for my neighborhood and attended a ceremony where I was presented with an plaque for my achievements.  I still have that plaque today.

Northeast Boys and Girls Club: Upon graduating from high school, I spent my summer working as a volunteer camp counselor.  It was a memorable experience working with children from as young as six up to thirteen years old.  I was on my way to being a teacher!

Roy Roger’s Restaurant: This was technically my first real job out of high school and one of the most memorable – not for a good reason unfortunately!  This was the first job where I experienced blatant racism and was treated harshly by some of the customers and even some of the people working at the establishment.  It allowed me to see that some people are just filled with hate but not all people.  As a result of enduring such hate, I find that I work harder to build rapports with people and look at each person individually rather that let stereotypes dictate my interactions.

Children’s Village: Not only did I complete my course practicums at Children’s Village, a local Philadelphia preschool, but they also took a chance on me by hiring me as a substitute teacher.  Throughout a good portion of my college career, I worked as a substitute teacher and learned a lot about early childhood education.

McDonald’s: Unlike most people who have worked at McDonald’s I rather enjoyed my experience and looked forward to going to work.  Working the drive thru was my favorite duty because the customers often remarked on how clear my voice was.  Some even thought I was a prerecorded message.

Sneaker Stadium:  I’ll never forget the time I sold sneakers to a cheerleading squad and one time to several Saint Joe’s basketball players.  That was great commission!  But I also had the opportunity to interact with people from all different age groups, ethnicities and nationalities which I really enjoyed.

In my second decade, I had an opportunity to explore and learn from and about different people and professions in fast food, child care and even retail.  They may seem different; nevertheless, the commonality they all share is the interaction and customer service components.  These positions were polishing me for interacting with students as well as colleagues from multiple backgrounds.  Who would have ever thought it???Do you ever think about how you ended up where you presently are?  Give it some thought. Please feel free to share.
Best regards,  Tanya H. Franklin