Optimists Unite!

Dear DECORUM! Readers,

With all the challenges and trouble in the world that we see reported or experience first-hand,  it can be hard to stay hopeful for a bright future (and thus also to remain committed to making the world a better place).  When you need a boost of optimism to feel happy and to spread cheer, to feel empowered and get productive, check out Ode, “a print and online publication about positive news, about the people and ideas that are changing our world for the better”: http://www.odemagazine.com/.  Enjoy, and TGIF!

~Lena

P.S. Got a favorite article on this site?  Got a recommendation for a similar magazine?  You gotta comment! [;

Links!

Dear DECORUM! Readers,

Please take a look at the new page up here, Lena’s Links!  It has websites for everything from donating to animal welfare (Care2) to renting college textbooks (Chegg)!  The page will be consistently updated as I add in more URLS and descriptions of each link.  If you have any suggestions for new additions, please leave a comment!  Thanks!

~Lena

Another Perspective

Dear DECORUM! Readers,

Want to expand your worldview?  Start by reading the news from other countries.  I have recently been studying Iran, and perusing articles on PressTV has increased my understanding of the nation’s (or at least its government’s) attitude, culture, and view of hot political issues.  Check out more foreign publications at http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/ and http://www.refdesk.com/paper.html.  Soon, you’ll be able to read news articles from your home with two perspectives: your own, and that of another nation!

~Lena

P.S. Have you found any cool news sources from around the world?  What other ways do you gain perspective on the viewpoints of other countries?  Share your thoughts with a comment!

The Importance of Business Cards

Dear DECORUM! Readers,

In any ventures into diplomacy (and many other fields), you’ll likely do some networking.  We’ll talk more extensively about networking itself later. But here’s one aspect of it I’ve been thinking about lately: when you meet people you’d like to stay in touch with, how do you exchange contact information?  For a casual friend, it makes sense to reconnect on Facebook later or to trade cell phone numbers.  However, for a future business partner or mentor, those methods would be less appropriate.  A business card would be more suitable.

Business cards are fantastic for supplying your contact info to new acquaintances you’ve met in any situation, whether they are a older researcher who may give you an internship later or a student around your age who also loved the movie “Iron Man.”  They are also handy for entering free lunch raffles. [;  Make your own for cheap or for free with these websites:

-About.Com’s Free Business Card Templates: http://desktoppub.about.com/od/businesscardtemplates/Business_Card_Templates.htm

-Businesscardland: http://www.businesscardland.com/home/

-Great FX Business Cards: http://www.greatfxbusinesscards.com/

-Microsoft Office Online Business Cards: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/ct101043091033.aspx

Vistaprint Business Card Top Deals: http://www.vistaprint.com/business-cards-premium.aspx?GP=4%2f21%2f2010+11%3a23%3a46+AM

~Lena

The Importance of Business Cards

Dear DECORUM! Readers,

In any ventures into diplomacy (and many other fields), you’ll likely do some networking.  We’ll talk more extensively about networking itself later. But here’s one aspect of it I’ve been thinking about lately: when you meet people you’d like to stay in touch with, how do you exchange contact information?  For a casual friend, it makes sense to reconnect on Facebook later or to trade cell phone numbers.  However, for a future business partner or mentor, those methods would be less appropriate.  A business card would be more suitable.

Business cards are fantastic for supplying your contact info to new acquaintances you’ve met in any situation, whether they are a older researcher who may give you an internship later or a student around your age who also loved the movie “Iron Man.”  They are also handy for entering free lunch raffles. [;  Make your own for cheap or for free with these websites:

-About.Com’s Free Business Card Templates: http://desktoppub.about.com/od/businesscardtemplates/Business_Card_Templates.htm

-Businesscardland: http://www.businesscardland.com/home/

-Great FX Business Cards: http://www.greatfxbusinesscards.com/

-Microsoft Office Online Business Cards: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/ct101043091033.aspx

Vistaprint Business Card Top Deals: http://www.vistaprint.com/business-cards-premium.aspx?GP=4%2f21%2f2010+11%3a23%3a46+AM

~Lena

The Thursday Three

1. Find out how one good idea can change the world for the better.  The Pepsi Refresh Project is funding  “people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact”–check it out and vote for your favorites at http://www.refresheverything.com/index.

2. If you have younger students looking  for a worldview, check out country profiles from FactMonster at http://www.factmonster.com/countries.html.  These are also great for younger and older students looking for basic information on different nations!

3.  Need a political cartoon?  Search no further than Witty World, a center for all kinds of cartoons by international artists: http://www.wittyworld.com/.

Day of Silence

Dear DECORUM! Readers,

To be a diplomat–or to be a strong world citizen–it’s important to strive for tolerance.  The National Day of Silence takes place tomorrow (Friday, April 16, 2010) in schools across America to promote such respect for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and to call “attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment.”  Are you in?  Get more info at http://www.dayofsilence.org/index.cfm.

~Lena

Up next…

Dear DECORUM! Readers,

Here’s a sneak preview of some of what’s coming soon on our blog:

-A Model UN conference diary

-Tips on networking

-A discussion of leaders and how to be one yourself

-Analysis of the term “race,” the effects of cultural stereotypes, etc.

I am so excited, and I hope you are, too!

~Lena

The Thursday Three

Hello everyone!  Due to technical difficulties and goof ups, this post didn’t come through last week (ironically, on April Fool’s Day!).  Sorry about that!  Look for the next Thursday Three on the 15th.

  1. YouthActionNet® is a wonderful organization that believes young people can be “active global citizens, shaping the world with power and confidence.”  Check out how they help youth in “leading positive change in their communities” here: http://www.youthactionnet.org/.
  2. Research any country with the CIA’s World Factbook information center: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/.
  3. Tomorrow (Friday, April 2nd) is World Autism Awareness Day.  Find out more at http://www.worldautismawarenessday.org/.

Miss Manners!

Dear DECORUM! Readers,

Long-time author and advice columnist Judith Martin, a.k.a. Miss Manners, is an incredible woman.  Her lessons are invaluable in all areas of life, certainly not excluding one’s potential social endeavors in international relations and global politics, for etiquette helps us negotiate and persuade, among other things, with grace and sensibility.   Don’t miss these great books:

Miss Manners’ Guide For The Turn-Of-The-Millennium

Miss Manners’ Basic Training: Communication

Miss Manners’ Basic Training: The Right Thing To Say

Miss Manners Rescues Civilization: From Sexual Harassment, Frivolous Lawsuits, Dissing, And Other Lapses In Civility

~Lena