Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Say What? Pink Tax, Less Pay It’s All in a Day

By Cindy Pitts Gilbert Buford Weekly Illustrated 11/23/16
American’s are yelling foul.  The man who insulted and threatened their way of life is the most powerful man in the nation, with that comes fear. Has learned from mistakes? We can only hope. This isn’t a political article. It’s about women.  All women, who mother, want to mother, are in the workforce and those who stay at home.   

Women who stand up for themselves and are insulted, disrespected or called nasty names. Women who are meek and criticized for being  naive and trusting.  Women who are abused by men larger than them and you ponder, how can she stay, is she weak? Women who are raped and accused of asking for it or lying.  

This is about manipulation and the ignorance that shapes what we believe in this world. We need to see through the games, be confident, believe that we are worthy. We need self esteem we must help others to have self esteem as well.  This is a difficult road ahead of us since this election. Our task is no more difficult than the road our fore-mothers paved for the right to vote .
What was said about women during the campaign, women now have to explain to our daughters and sons. Who you voted for doesn’t matter now. What women believe about themselves does. 

Facts to consider; Women make 25% less than men for the similar jobs (usgovinfo.org.)  Women in heterosexual relationships still prepare most of the meals.  How often do we hear “Dad what’s for dinner?” Women complete  80% of the household and parental duties. Women spend more on the products and services, due to a pricing trend known as the pink or gender tax. On average women pay 7% more for similar products; shampoo, razors, blue jeans and deodorant that differ only in color, including pink toys.  Dry cleaning the same shirt costs more because of all the absurdities, the shirts do not fit on the press. Large retailers at (Forbes.com) show women’s pay more for senior care, baby care, health and hygiene. How do we be the change? Awareness is a start. 

Refuse to purchase gender specific items when possible.  If it seems the same it probably is.  Be the example. Work for gender equal companies.   Men your sons need to believe that you believe that women are worthy of respect. Your daughters need to believe they are worthwhile.  And ladies, if a man holds a door open for you don’t ignore the gesture. Accept the sign of respect and say thank you. Because you are worth it.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Players Guild Ends Year on Hilarious High Note with Holi-Daze

Play Review by Cindy Pitts Gilbert November 10, 2016
The Sugar Hill Players Guild began their last play of 2016 at the Buice School on Friday November 4.
In Holi-Daze, the Guild takes a step back in time to the golden age of radio. The 1930s and 40s were a simpler time, where people gathered around the radio to listen to their favorite programs. According to a 1947 C. E. Hooper survey, 82 out of 100 Americans were found to be radio listeners at the time.
Not unlike today’s television programming, live radio shows were complete with sponsors, a fancy word for commercials.  Often times the announcers would integrate commercials into the commentary by hosting recipe segments that promoted using Pet Milk or Kraft Cheese as ingredients. 
photo credit: Anne Mulligan 
The audience enjoyed a behind the scenes look at the entertainment of past generations. They had the chance to experience what it was like to be part of a live radio audience, complete with an “applause” light.  The costumes were era-accurate, from the tilted hats and wavy tresses down to the shiny, two-tone shoes of days gone by.
They enjoyed the melodramatic antics at the sound effects table by various actors, including Jennifer Lawler. Lawler, a seventh grader from Dacula Middle School, acted well beyond her age, adding hilarity while channeling Vanna White and Carol Merrill when displaying the sponsored products. The audience was left laughing at the corny commentary and ridiculous skits. 
Jennifer Lawler photo credit Anne Mulligan
The cast for Holi-Daze included; Mike Richardson, Lindsey Sutter, Richard Sutter, Michael Wright, Susan Briggs, Carol Counter, Joyce Cutchins, Steve Embry, and Abigall Hyma.  The play concluded with a Jack Benny rendition recreating the first time the poem, “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” was read on the airwaves, read here by Terry Mulligan.
The playbill featured an extra treat in the form of a sing-a-long insert of Christmas tunes that the audience was invited to join in on with the cast.  Music was provided by the Sugar Hill Broad Street Concert Band.
You can catch future showings of the play on November 11,12 and 13 at the Buice Auditorium in Sugar Hill, Georgia.
Their upcoming 2017 Season will begin with 12 Angry Men. Check out their website pgatsh.com for dates, upcoming shows, and auditions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

by Cindy Pitts Gilbert Buford Weekly November 2016

Conflict is inevitable in life. How  we deal with conflict and forgiveness either makes us healthier and happier or is toxic, make us miserable, and leads to disease.
What is your approach to conflict?  Are you a grudge holder or a get even vindicator? A bottler, avoider, or venter? Or perhaps you are the peacemaker. No matter which way you handle conflict there can be consequences for the actions we choose.  We all want to believe our way of handling a situation is the right way.  Everyone else is wrong  and we are justified in our anger. Maybe we feel justified when we feel we have been wronged, but it could be killing you.
How much time do we waste in our relationships living in a state of “un-forgiveness?” Who really gets punished more? Being angry at someone close to you is hard work. Not only do you feel angry for what they may have done to you, which is draining enough, but you then have to  contend with the loneliness of keeping up the good fight.
We sit around on our high horse of righteousness and, honestly, we miss a lot of joyful moments with the person who upset us. Let’s say you get angry with someone at work for repeating something you said in confidence. They tell someone else and you find out.  Do you have a right to be mad? Yes, of course. But how long do you stay mad and how many others have to suffer right along with you and the one who offended you.  They get to hear you complain but they also have to deal with the awkwardness of the situation.
I have a saying I use all the time: “Let the punishment fit the crime.”  How long or how loud does the punishment go?   Some people will hold a grudge for weeks for some simple offense while others will have their say and move on. We do feel justified when we are wronged, yet why do we feel justified until everyone around us is punished equally for our hard earned anger?  Do we get angry at work and take it out on family? How about the silent treatment for those who have offended? Are we so obvious in our grudge that we make others at work or home equally uncomfortable?
How about our  inner circle? Are they held more accountable for our feelings than those who may be just acquaintances?  People are human and we all make mistakes. We all learn what is right and wrong. I’m not talking the big betrayals, like cheating, lying or causing real harm, or those who keep hurting us over and over. I’m talking about the daily routine conflicts.  Aren’t we responsible for our own reaction to any given situation?
Science has proven that those who hold grudges or bottle their emotions are much more likely to die younger from the stress hormone Cortisol (the fight or flight hormone) than those who vent and release. When Cortisol is present in the body, the feel good hormone, Oxytocin, cannot exist.  Oxytocin is what mother’s feel when breast feeding and what a really good hug feels like. Those who cannot forgive and move past a situation hold onto Cortisol, causing inflammation to build up in the body.
Inflammation leads to disease and disease to pain and eventually death. The longer you hold onto your anger the more physical damage you are doing to your body.  Forgiveness is really more for you than the person who wronged us. So much time wasted  getting in our own way.  We get mad at someone we care about for some offense and everyone loses.  Take the healthy approach: just let go of the little offenses that are part of being human. Give the people in your life a break, especially yourself. Smile more than frown or your face will stay that way.

Friday, October 28, 2016

School Bus Driver Appreciation Week

by Cindy Pitts Gilbert Buford Weekly Illustrated 10/28/16

School districts across the country observe National School Bus Safety Week throughout the third week of October. The week is designed to teach students how to safely interact with school buses in an effort to minimize danger and accidents. October 17th kicks off the week every year with Bus Driver Appreciation Day. This is a day for students and parents to let their school bus drivers know how important and special they are.
On Bus Driver Appreciation Day, parents who have students who ride the bus are encouraged to find a way to teach their children to let their bus drivers know they’re valued. Nothing means more to a driver than having a student or parent on their route say ‘Thank you.’
All Buford City School System bus drivers received a Buford monogrammed roll cooler as an appreciation gift. If you missed Bus Driver Appreciation Day, it’s not too late! Here are some ways you and your child can appreciate your child’s bus driver:
  • Stand at your bus stop with a ‘Thank You’ poster
  • Have all the children at your stop make and sign a card
  • Give a basket of muffins and a to-go coffee
  • Bake a plate of cookies or brownies
  • Fill a thermos with steaming hot cocoa
  • Fill a gift basket with a mug and coffee or tea goodies
  • Give a gift card that can be used for breakfast or lunch
  • Fill a basket with dollar store snacks and a tumbler cup
  • Review the bus safety rules with your child and ensure he or she understands why they are important
During Bus Driver Appreciation Week the students were also taught about bus safety. “The objective is to make sure all students are aware of the rules, regulations, and possible dangers that can be involved with riding a bus,” according to Gloria Whidby, a staff member of the Buford Elementary School, “we hope that students learn how to be safe to avoid any accidents.”
Tracy Kitchens, Vicki Pinkard, Tammy Bush, Teresa Hughes, and Rick Littlefield are some of the drivers who participated in bus safety last week.
Photo Provided by Buford Elementary School.

Every bus driver on the road is responsible for the safety of our children. Many have been driving their routes for over two decades. They become emotionally invested in their student riders and, for many, their job is a labor of love. Be sure to find a way to express your appreciation for your bus driver!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Proposed Amendment 1, State Privatization of our Public Schools

by Cindy Pitts Gilbert Buford Weekly Illustrated 10/12/16

When I first heard about the proposed Amendment 1 on the November 8 ballot, I thought I had been transported to the magical world of Harry Potter, when the Ministry of Magic took over the school of Hogwarts.
Jokes aside, this is serious business. Last week, the Buford Council Meeting addressed the potential Amendment 1, which is based on similar programs in Tennessee and Louisiana. If passed, the proposed Amendment 1 would allow the state to take over a failing school and run it through a superintendent appointed by the governor’s office.
What this legislation could potentially do is take away the voices of parents, local school boards, teachers, and administrators when it is decided that a school is failing. So, who decides when a school is failing? It appears that this will be up to the governor. Quoting the AJC, “Governor Nathan Deal feels this would be a way to break the cycle of chronically failing schools, especially in low-income or minority communities.”
The probable scenario is that the failing school would be taken over by the state and then made into a state school run by a for-profit educational management company and named an Opportunity School District, or OSD.
Do we really want more state government control? Is privatization of public education really in the best interest of our children? Aren’t our parents and teachers the true voices for our children? Are we prepared to lose our voices? This amendment brings up so many questions.
Where do you stand on highly debated issues such as standardized testing, No Child Left Behind, and Common Core? Many believe these are all failing our children. What if the state decides that arts in education is unnecessary? Our choice will be gone. Right now, a month before the election, we still have one.
I find it ironic that the proposed Amendment 1, that may very well remove our local voices, by name bears a striking resemblance to our First Amendment, which guarantees our right to freedom of speech. Fellow voters, we still have time to do our research. Study, scrutinize, and make the right choice about Amendment 1.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What are They Trying to Say?

by Cindy Pitts Gilbert Buford Weekly 09/28/2016 
Communication , that is such a loaded word isn’t it? What feeling does that word bring to mind when you hear it. Do you automatically think about that coworker that has none? Do you think about your spouse who either talks too much about their day or too little? Maybe it’s while you are out there in the business world meeting and networking and you are trying to communicate effectively what you do and they look at your like you have two heads. I have been pondering that word and sheer art of communication. We are bombarded with communication now through Television, social media, email marketing, the news that shares the whole world with us not just our little corner of it, and through local papers like this one that share so much of our local news in our day to day lives. Yet, I what are they trying to say?
What is always so interesting to me is how easy it is to misinterpret communication and how many people walk away from an encounter with a totally different opinion of the same event. I saw this meme on Facebook that is so true. Take the numbers 6 and 9. If you draw one on the ground and have one person stand at the top and another stand at them bottom. One will see a 6 and the other a 9. Who is right? There is always your perception, their perception and then there is the truth, or is there? What did the artist of the number intend to write. You can’t know unless they communicate their intent or there is a another number like 7 or 8 next to it. Perceptions are never the same are they?
Let’s say you have a coworker and you are frustrated about something they either did or didn’t tell you. So you communicate in a less than positive way because it caused your more work. You think you are just telling them how you feel or your frustration at the situation, the other person hears that you are angry and becomes defensive and an argument ensues. You have just “mis”-communicated.
Communication is the key to any kind of relationship but it’s not just communication. Communicating in a negative way or unhealthy way is just as bad if not worse than not communicating at all. Communication has to be both positive and honest for it to enhance your relationships. So how do you do that when there as so many personality types trying communicate with each other?
First, it’s a good idea to identify the different personality types and then decide which one resonates with you. There are great books and classes, I teach a few on how to communicate more effectively.
There are basically 4 different personality types. There are many nuances, yet most people tend to fall into 4 main categories.
Aggressive; Loud, Pushy, Controlling or even Angry these personalities are going to have their way and aren’t going to let anyone get in their way and might just bulldoze over you if you let them.
Passive allows things to happen or accepts what other people do or decide without trying to change anything. They are either really at peace with the world or completely storing up all their issues in pot that will someday boil over.
Passive-Agressive; Avoid direct confrontation, may procrastinate, pout, or misplace important materials. Watch your chair with this personality. They keep smiling while they put tacks in your chair when you aren’t looking.
Assertive; Self-assured, confident without being aggressive. they are willing to speak their mind and be less likely to allow themselves to be taken advantage of. They often seem to intimidate those who are less self assured and are not well liked when they call someone out on their crapola.
We have all these types of personalities running around the world being judged by each other trying to exist together at work, at home; with families and friends, all just trying to figure it out. Sometimes we do a masterful job at it then sometimes we botch it royally. So how do we master the skill of communication? I think we have to master it one person at a time. First, Ask yourself what are they trying to say? You have to want to improve communication and that takes 2 parties. Pick the people closest to you and then say two little words. “Let’s talk.” It will take practice, real effort, learning how to listen with your heart and not your head and a real desire to improve the communication.