Penelope Trunks Brazen Careerist


 

Divorce showdown Bezos vs Gates which is saddest

Marriage with kids is co-parenting and ironically, divorce with kids is co-parenting: same decisions, same values, same uneven emotional investment. Going through a divorce just to co-parent from different homes wastes so much time and energy that some people argue courts should not intervene in post-divorce parenting decisions, which would legally call a spade a spade and make parenting while divorced the same as parenting while married. In a divorce with kids, timing is everything When asked ...
Tags: Careers, World Health Organization, Quitting, Bill, Jeff Bezos, Vox, Gates Foundation, Jeff, Bezos, Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda, Jeffrey Epstein, Melinda Bill, Ann Winblad, Epstein Whatever Bill


Gender fluidity and Autism open gates of power for women

James Maher Photography US scientists are scared to talk about differences between male and female brains, probably because it will get them fired. The loudest voices say there cannot be male and female brains because there are women and men who think in similar ways. While universities in the US squelch ideas they don’t like, the rest of the world accepts the scientific theory that there is a male and female brain, and Autistic is the word to describe women who think the same way men do. ...
Tags: US, Careers, Diversity, Albert Einstein, Cambridge University, Einstein, Baron Cohen, Harvard Business School, Simon Baron Cohen, James Maher


What I’ve been hiding

I’ve been hiding so much that the only way I could sort it out was with a list; a list of things I thought were too awful to write. 1. College applications were hell. Like many delusional parents, it took my kid applying to Harvard early decision to make me realize he wouldn’t be going there. He didn’t want to leave the Boston area, and I didn’t want him to go into debt. On good days I worried he wouldn’t get in anywhere. On bad days I imagined he’d never leave home and we’d live like we’re a...
Tags: Google, Parenting, Boston, Careers, Seo, Harvard, Bates Motel, Dan Graham, Northeastern University, Cassie, Cassie Boorn


How to tell if your friends have Aspergers. The Christmas card edition

Let’s time travel back to the pre-Internet days of 1975. Long-distance phone calls were $1 per minute, so people received most of their communications via US mail, and Christmas cards were so important that the average number of families on a list was 300. That year, two sociology professors from Brigham Young University sent 600 Christmas cards to random families and then monitored how many cards were sent back in return. Approximately 20% of the recipients took the time to find a card, write ...
Tags: US, Careers, Diversity, Aspergers, Brigham Young University, Minnie, Richard Leakey, Amy Pearsons, Aspergers Neurotypical


Underrated career tools: Reddit, rants, and letters to your mom

My son supposedly writes a story every day. We didn’t start this way. We started when he was supposed to write essays to practice for the European AP history test and instead, he wrote essays about how the topic is inherently racist and imperialist and we probably need another French Revolution. “This will get a very bad score. Save it for a creative writing class,” I told him. Now we do creative writing. I told him he can’t just rant. He told me, “You always tell your writing class there are...
Tags: Careers, Reddit, Alan Ginsberg, Finding a career, European AP


Adults changing careers should follow advice for students applying to college 

The number of high school seniors applying to MIT this year is 60% above last year. That means there are 12,000 more applicants. Harvard’s applications are up 30%. Duke is up 20%. Most Ivy League schools are up 20% at least. What does this mean? First, it means that your chances of getting into MIT are so close to 0% that you probably need a degree from MIT to figure out the number. Second, it means that the main thing holding kids back from reaching for the stars has been the reality of thei...
Tags: Montana, Stanford, Careers, Mit, Harvard, Greenwich, Duke, Finding a career, COVID, Covid Dartmouth


How do you say goodbye to a dog?

Our dog died. Well, we put him down. Put him to sleep is what the vet in Boston said. Maybe “to put down” is only for a goat or a pig. I’m not sure. We knew Sparky would die soon because the vet wouldn’t operate on his cancer. His heart wasn’t good enough. He seemed so healthy so I told myself I’d get a second opinion. But he got unhealthy so fast. So I just thought I’d go back to the vet to see if he’s in pain. Then he bit the cancer spot and there was blood everywhere. Then I stayed up with h...
Tags: Boston, Careers, Quitting, Sparky, Sparky Nino


Dispatches from Thanksgiving

Nino, my still-an-ex husband, got out of his really-just-a-mattress-on-the-floor bed for the first time two days ago, so that he could go get a test for Covid. I thought my son would have the scoop on how to get a Covid test because he volunteers at a very busy needle exchange five blocks from our apartment. He said to me, “Why do you think I would have information about Covid?” The structure of his question and tone of his voice made me certain he was about to tell me I’m making some sort of...
Tags: Productivity, NYC, Montana, Boston, Careers, San Francisco, San Diego, Niño, COVID


The 9/11 post where we reunite

I was at the World Trade Center when it fell. Each year I write a post on 9/11. Here is the archive. Here is my post for today: When Nino came back to live with us he came back in stages. We had been spending a few weekends together for a long time, but we hadn’t lived together in twelve years. At dinnertime, we talk about when CD-ROMs were invented and there was no content to put on them. The kids ask us to tell the how-we-met story again. Nino and I met in 1992. Which means we have known ea...
Tags: La, Careers, World Trade Center, Bin Laden, Trump, Niño


Your comments make me realize my last post was a big mistake

Over the past twenty years of writing this blog, many posts have been controversial. A controversial post begins with some people attacking my position and some people defending my position, then people debate each others’ opinions. My last post was not controversial. It was just bad. I knew it was really bad when the most mainstream readers and the most radical readers were both telling me the post was not making sense. No one was agreeing with my position. Many times you ask me how I cope wit...
Tags: Careers, Biden, South, Office Politics


Dear DNC: I’d vote for a tent pole before I’d vote for Joe Biden

The Democratic Party’s strategy is Trump is so bad that the DNC can win with anyone. That’s why the DNC didn’t care when Hilary didn’t bother campaigning in Michigan or Wisconsin. That’s why the DNC doesn’t care that younger democrats hate Biden. The DNC is a club that meets to protect their own power. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes reminds us of that all the time. The DNC wants you to believe you are a virtuous person for voting for Biden because even if he’s not perfect you have to get Trump out of...
Tags: Obama, Congress, Careers, Dnc, Diversity, Joe Biden, Wisconsin, Michigan, Biden, Kamala Harris, Trump, Anita Hill, Democratic Party, HARRIS, HILARY, Alexandria Ocasio Cortes


The art of the Covid career: string together thoughts while you homeschool

I am in between one son practicing his cello and one son writing his college essays. After ten years of homeschooling while being the breadwinner, my parent intuition tells me one kid is only going through the motions. On a good day I could say, “What are you doing?” Rather than answer, “Wasting my life in a state of inattentiveness and fooling no one,” the checked-out boy would visibly check back in. Today is not a good day. The older son thinks nothing in his whole life has transformed him ...
Tags: Careers, Harvard, Mom, Blogroll, Lalo, Global Rose


Quarantine with my ex changes my opinion about good careers

Things Nino hates about me: I yell. I’m ungrateful. I threw things when we were married. Things I hate about Nino: That he left. Five years ago I supported the kids after the divorce, so he’s always had save-the-world jobs that pay almost nothing. But he came to the farm every weekend to see the kids. Once he had to skip two weekends for a work trip. I said, “Are you going to Europe?” “No,” he said. “Georgia.” “For two weeks? For what?” “It’s actually just one week, but I’m taking the bus th...
Tags: Europe, Boston, Careers, Georgia, Diversity, Black Lives Matter, Madison, Mom, Dad, Hamilton, Tchaikovsky, Niño, Elmer Fudd, George Floyd, Hamilton on Broadway Nino


The College Board is a case study in corporate racism

Every day, one million families watch every move on the College Board website because it controls so much of the college application process. Today it looked like the site was hacked. There is bold, white copy centered on a black background that is unreadable in a way I haven’t seen since the early Internet. Looking more closely I saw it’s a letter “from the Black employees at College Board.” The College Board has 353 employees. Seven employees signed the letter. What?? This is an organizati...
Tags: Google, US, Careers, Diversity, Ap, Harvard Business Review, Black, College Board, the College Board, Jackie Robinson Foundation, College Board The College Board, College Board We, Black Lives Matter None


Protesters in Boston are setting off fireworks all night every night. And it’s working.

Right after George Floyd was killed, there were fireworks in my neighborhood. All night long. I live in Roxbury, on a sliver of Boston between two gang territories. So I assumed the noise was gunshots. But a few days later, fireworks actually lit up the sky. At 1am. 2am. 3am. By the end of May, the fireworks out of our apartment window were amazing. Every night. High quality. They started at 10pm and by 3am, our neighborhood had seen serpents, rockets, willows, parachutes, and more that made ...
Tags: Youtube, Boston, Massachusetts, US, Careers, Diversity, Seattle, Grace, Don, Roxbury, George Floyd


Memories of a racist childhood and a search for my new, anti-racist self

We’re in the middle of weeks of protests to end the entrenched racism in America and I can’t stop thinking about Sula. I march and I scream that Black Lives Matter and I never add anything about how the black laundress I grew up with was not someone I could hug — because she was black. Sula’s grandma was enslaved. And when slavery was outlawed, the grandma’s relationship to her former owner didn’t change. Then when the grandma had a daughter about 30 years later, she basically raised her daug...
Tags: Careers, America, Diversity, Chicago, Mom, Derek, Sula


Defund police and schools. Redirect the money to black families and communities.

I understand that part of Black Lives Matter means White Privilege Matters. Which is to say that justice requires white people to face our fears about giving up institutionalized advantages. If you are white and you’re not scared, you have no idea how much has to change the U.S. to function like black lives really matter. Maybe you’ve read one of those lists of things white people can do to be an ally of black people. But alliances won’t matter unless we make fundamental changes. Here are three...
Tags: Congress, Stanford, US, Careers, Columbia University, Black, Blogroll, Cunningham, William Cunningham, Movement for Black Lives, Brookings Institute, Tyler Watts, Ivy league school, Philip V McHarris, Thenjiwe McHarris, McHarris


Asking for advice is hard because accepting reality is hard

Recently someone in my writing class hired a lawyer to tell me she wants a refund for the class. The lawyer sent an email to me requesting $25,000 in damages for his client. I sent this email in response: Dear Sir. I don’t give refunds for the class. I do not say anywhere that I give refunds. It’s not against the law for me to have a student who didn’t like the class. This is a 12-month class. There is no law that says Lucy has to receive everything in the first two months. I have not broken an...
Tags: Negotiating, Careers, Lucy, McDonald, Penelope Trunk John Oliver


Emails my mom sent from her NYC co-op

I stopped talking with my mom a few years ago. She might not have noticed at first. My brothers have all cut her off at times as well. But my mom is pragmatic. She knows she and my dad were terrible parents. She apologizes and by all accounts, she is a much more enjoyable person to be around when she is not raising kids. In January I decided I’m too old to not talk to my mom. I am 52. She had me when she was 21. I decided to trust that she always means well when she talks to me. I know she tr...
Tags: Google, Europe, Parenting, Boston, New York City, Careers, Cnn, Netflix, New York Times, New Jersey, Venice, Andrew Cuomo, New York Public Library, Cuomo, Chris Cuomo, Corona


Aspergers or ADHD? The answer will surprise you.

Recently a flurry of articles about academic overachievers appeared in scientific journals. Specifically, the research found that people with a diagnosis of Autism were more frequently high achievers in school. And people diagnosed with ADHD were more frequently low achievers in school. A paper published last week in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders explains the reason for the gap in achievement between kids with ADHD and kids with Aspergers: overachievement in written communic...
Tags: Careers, Diversity, Aspergers, Asperger, DSM, Stephen Becker


This is a great time to make a career change

I learned about bouncing back from the diet industry. This is not surprising. All the best research about personal development comes from the diet industry because there’s so much money to be made if you can figure out how to help people lose weight. One study that I have never forgotten is that if you are trying to lose weight and you have a bad eating day, you’ll be fine if you just tell yourself “I’m good at my diet” and you go back to eating well the next day. Same with exercise. If you s...
Tags: Careers, Cities, Italy, John Green, Finding a career


I was calm until I read about colleges staying closed until September 2022

Each night before I go to sleep, I lay in bed torturing myself with the day’s news. I know we are not supposed to do that, but there are very few vices I can fully engage in when we have five people living in a 1000-square-foot apartment. Screen-time news right before bed is one of few vices that takes very little space and does not involve the bathroom. Wait. You’re wondering about the five people, right? I didn’t know our apartment is actually approved for only two people. I found it out wh...
Tags: Education, Boston, Careers, Cnn, Harvard, Ivy League, Grace, Aspergers, Don, Asperger


It’s time for Seder, which is Zeder, in our modern-day-plague ravaged Passover

Last week I received a very long email with instructions for Zeder. This year millions of Jews around the world will log into Zoom, and try to continue a 2000-year tradition of not changing the tradition. We will recall plagues of past like infestation of locusts and raining frogs and we’ll silently scoff that Egypt didn’t even have to shut down the schools. Also, I expect that like teachers who can’t believe how quickly a full day of lesson plans zip by on Zoom, we will be shocked that a dinne...
Tags: Careers, Diversity, Egypt, Zeder, Yefet, Zehavi


What it’s like to be a single parent who has coronavirus.

I knew something was wrong the day my son lay in bed in an emergency room waiting for his MRI to come back. A nurse entered his room and said, “Has your son been outside the country recently?” I did a double-take. “It’s pretty late to be asking that, isn’t it?” “Ma’am, yes or no?” “No.” The next week I was coughing so hard I was lightheaded. When the pressure on my chest made breathing difficult, I went to the ER. They tested for everything except coronavirus. That’s how you know you have it ...
Tags: Amazon, Parenting, Boston, Careers, Red Cross, Ma


Schools are closed. Kids are home. What’s the long-term impact of that?

Sometime in February, it was clear that the US was headed toward crisis, and every day we don’t take major action would make the crisis geometrically worse. Suburban schools closed first. The last school districts to close are bigger cities, because they had to figure out how to get breakfast and lunch to the kids who depend on it . For homeless kids, and hungry kids, school is a home away from home.  Taking kids out of school is the silver lining of coronavirus. Coronavirus presents a snaps...
Tags: Education, New York City, US, Careers


What counts as coronavirus if we don’t have any tests? What counts as self-isolation if we can’t get away from our kids?

Each country reveals so much about itself by its approach to coronavirus. China pretended nothing was happening—the country with the best disinformation system applied it to the virus. South Korea figured out a way to test 400 people a day using a drive-through system—the country with the strongest video game teams applied their team gaming skills to the virus. And the US had trouble sticking to reality—the country with the most fragile sense of identity elected a President who imagined himself...
Tags: South Korea, London, California, China, US, Careers, Management, Thailand, Silicon Valley, Maggie, Trump, Department Of Health, Dulles, DC Department of Health, Maggie McDow


My writing course starts March 1. And, why I was scared to sign up for a writing course.

Studies show that high performers thrive on feedback. If you want to know what you’re good at, ask yourself: what would you like to hear feedback about? I was so excited to hear feedback about my writing, but it took me ten years to sign up for a writing course. The hardest thing about trying something new isn’t the thought of failure. We can imagine failure just like we can imagine success, so it’s predictable. But whatever is in between failure and success is hard to imagine; fear of what we c...
Tags: Careers, Blogroll, Penelope


Why I waited ten years to sign up for a writing course.

The first writing class I signed up for I told myself I could leave in the middle if it sucked. And I told myself it would definitely suck because who would want to be in a writing group if they were letting me in? So I didn’t go to the class. In fact, I found a lot of writing classes that looked good. And I found a lot of reasons to not go to them. Studies show that high performers thrive on feedback. If you want to know what you’re good at, ask yourself: what would you like to hear feedback a...
Tags: Careers, Penelope, Seminars


We’re in New Hampshire campaigning for Bernie!

Last night at midnight, our theoretical family bedtime, we were listening to the most recent episode of our favorite podcast, Chapo Traphouse. And they started screaming at listeners to go to  New Hampshire to get people to vote for Bernie. “Go to Durham, New Hampshire! Bernie needs your help in Durham!” I said to the kids, “We’re going. We’re going to Durham.” The kids ignored me. I said, “No really. Pack up your stuff. Boston is about an hour away from Durham.” I had to look really firm in or...
Tags: Uber, Boston, Careers, New Hampshire, Durham, Bernie, Finding a career, Bernie Go, Durham New Hampshire Bernie, Durham At University of New Hampshire


The crazy lengths companies will go to hire and retain high-level women

Companies that have both men and women in high-level positions see improvements in productivity, innovation, safety, and profitability. Yet the number of women with jobs at the top is still decreasing. You know why you would not want one of those jobs: 80-hour weeks, monthly travel, other people raising your children. But I wonder if you know the incredible lengths a company will go to attract and keep a woman who has reached a top position. These are stories I hear from women I coach and compa...
Tags: Women, Careers, Georgia, Council



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