Sunday, September 13, 2009



I would love for people in the international community to have an awareness of DUDE, or "driving under distractions everywhere" (yup, I made it up). Distraction comes in different shapes & sizes, just like its consequences. For example, about five years ago, my father totaled a van because he felt the sudden need to read a letter while driving. His life, and the life of my only brother, were saved simply because they were in a huge vehicle and were wearing their seat-belts.

Another major source of distraction is using your cellular phone while driving. It's really NOT worth it! I must admit, I've been guilty of it too. However, after reading a few articles at Safe Kids Worldwide, I've realized the magnitude of the risks I've taken. Not even for a second did I stop to think of the dangers I put myself, my passengers, pedestrians, and everyone & everything else in my surroundings into by using my phone.

Did you know that driving distracted is equivalent to being drunk with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08. Furthermore, a report by my supervisor at Safe Kids Worldwide, Jurek Grabowski, stated that "the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis estimated that cell phone use was a factor in 6% of crashes in 2003. That estimation translated to 636,000 crashes involving 12,000 major injuries and 2,600 deaths" (Distracted Drivers in School Zones, pg. 4). Keep in mind that was long before the iPhone was released (June 29, 2007).

I would hate for you to have to get into a preventable crash & cause life-long unintentional injuries to yourself &/or death to innocent children just because you sent an 'urgent' text message to a friend saying, "I'm on my way." If you're a passenger & see your driver is being distracted and you do not say anything, you too are guilty of his/her delinquency. I'm telling you all this because, believe it or not, I care about you.

Until Next Time,

Emmanuel H.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Despicable Wednesdays


First and foremost, I hate Wednesdays! It's the day my brain and body spend about 15 hours under strenuous stress. The day starts with my alarm blasting at 7:15 am, even if I had one of those long nights. As soon as my feet hit the ground, I have 45 mins to get ready..including ironing my clothes & cooking breakfast...and leave my apartment by 8:00. I'm trying to be the super intern who gets to work before everyone at the office, take 20 mins lunch breaks, and leave the office after everyone has left...well, at least after my supervisor.

On Wednesdays...these tasks become a lot more dreadful. After 8 hrs of work, I gotta rush to Arlington, VA for my Science, Society,and Policy class. Anyway, after a 3-hr class with a professor who's undoubtedly a genius, my brain is reduced to mush. In the first class, we spent about an hour going through that dude's basic accomplishments, which included being Congress' science advisor. Even that guy's humor requires thinking; my 5 classmates & I always have some sort of a delayed chuckle.

After 9 hrs of work, 3 hrs of class, 2 hrs of transporting to those activities...I also got to spend at least another hour on the Metro trying to get home despite train delays :( Hmm...who would have thought it was gonna be such a hard knock life. No complaints though, just saying.

This is actually the first time I've ever had a 9-5 job. Yeah, I've had jobs/internships...but I usually do the bulk of my work off-site. I don't mind sitting down in my office and analyzing data arriving on my computer screen from the 16 coalition countries of Safe Kids Worldwide. It's just that I'm no longer sure if I want/will be able to handle 20-40 years of that kind of corporate work/life-style. At the same time, each task I complete at Safe Kids is essentially a part of the grand scheme of things to save children. children for next 40 years...OR buy a bungalow on the beach of a place like Thailand and then open up a tourist magnet to support a chilled lifestyle...very tough decision, lol.

Nevertheless, when I was working in France, my colleagues were a lot more enamored to have me around as an intern. Here in Washington, it's as though I'm just another worker :( I must admit, I wasn't expecting that sort of welcome into the real world so soon...nor was I expecting trumpets blaring, gifts, and countless lunch rendezvous. C'est la vie.

Also, how come there are soooo many crazy people in DC? Seriously though, I've never seen such a huge, congested group of people who literally lost their minds. I often hear these individuals saying random, work related things. For example, I was sitting down in front of the Neuseum and a homeless man walked by saying, "No, I will not upload the file online. I'm not ready yet, I need more time." Coming from NYC, I thought NYC's homeless problem was outrageous, but I would have never expected DC, the nation's capital, to not be able to take care its residents. Perhaps some form of 'siesta' need to be implemented...the stress level is way too high.

Luckily, there are a few ways to get rid of stress...

Frederic Yonnet...there's always a free festival going on in the DC area

TWC Picnic

Under worries..there's always somewhere to go..even if have to party with an X on your hand

Until Next Time,

Emmanuel H.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

No Accident


There's no such thing as an 'accident' is what I'm reminded of whenever I speak to my colleagues, read an article, or analyze a report at Safe Kids Worldwide. My supervisor even challenged me to think of ONE childhood unintentional injury that could NOT have been avoided, and I couldn't think of one. So, if you have one in mind...pleassseee let me know. Perhaps he's right by further proving my lifelong theory of 'everything happens for a reason.' In this case, preventable reasons that take lives. In a book written by the founder and director of Safe Kids, Martin R. Eichelberger, titled Pediatric Trauma, he stated: "The most important step in preventing injuries is overcoming a sense of fatalism, that injuries are "accidents," "acts of God," or random events that cannot be predicted. Injuries must be viewed as diseases that can be prevented by using the principles of epidemiology, engineering, biomechanics, and health education" (pg 15).

With that in mind, I find it to be a bit depressing to sit alone in my office for numerous hours reading testimonies of parents whose little boys and girls die due to things like road traffic injuries, fire-related burns, falls, poisoning, drowning, etc. All it takes is to put the child in a car safety seat & buckle up, install fire alarms & check their batteries, child-proof their homes, and have anti-entrapment pool drain covers. It's freaking ridiculous to have nearly more than ONE MILLION children die each year due to clumsiness and unpreparedness of adults and products with defaults (World Health Organization, 2008).

This sort of report is slowly instilling a fear within me...a fear that's making me want to stay as a bachelor for at least the next 7 years. That way, I can continue to make the best of my youthfulness while continuing to help establish legislation that will make the world a better place for my children. Speaking of youthful enjoyments, for Labor Day, a group of friends came to Washington, DC and we partied through Sunday night until the club we went to had to be shutdown at 2 am. Apparently there was a false fire-alarm..yup..things were that hot in there. And then I found out the hard way that I no longer live in NYC where the Metro runs 24/7. So after a 'cheap' $40 taxi ride home to Rockville, MD, I swore to never miss the 12:30 am trains on Sunday nights (they run later on weekends).

Goal of the month: get on the other side of Google. Instead of me searching for things on Google, I want people to search for the result of the project I'm working on (which cannot be disclosed). I want to write my first peer-reviewed journal article in the next few weeks (at least be acknowledged in one). Gotta aim for the stars!

Until Next Time,

Emmanuel H.

**sigh**...what I think about every time I look out my10th floor office window...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Place, Job, Friends, But Same Emmanuel


Welcome to Live.Love.Learn.

These 3 L's are three of the pillars of my life. Live fully...making each day as different from the previous as possible. Love fully...try to do everything with passion...the kind that cannot be duplicated/eliminated by any machine or anyone else despite the worst of economical downturns. Lastly, Learn from other people's mistakes & is all around us...through travel, school, friends, etc...all our possessions can be taken away, but our experiences will forever be with us.

Speaking of experience, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found out that only 19.7% of 2009 college graduates were hired upon graduation. Therefore, we are now living in a time in which the kind of school attended, grades, even study abroad experience ight not land you the job you've been thinking about since the first day of kindergarten. Anyway, when I found out I got into The Washington Center that will provide with the needed networking that can help me get a job upon graduation; I felt the warmth from a light in heaven beaming down on me.

The anticipation of doing an internship in the capital of politics, Washington, DC, is far more overwhelming than I would have ever hoped for. Yes, my home is the city that never sleeps, New York City. Yes, I’ve been to numerous cities around the world through programs like Semester at Sea. And yes, I’ve even held internships in foreign cities. But Washington, DC still elicits more excitement and nervousness than any other place that I’ve lived or visited. Maybe it’s because Washington is essentially the heart of what I want to dedicate my professional career doing. I plan to use political tools/resources as an inspiring diplomat to keep children safe and provide basic health care to the working poor. As a senior at Adelphi University, the time for me to start achieving these career oriented goals is approaching me a bit too fast.

With that said, my anticipated experience through The Washington Center might truly be my magic wand to help save the world, one person at a time. So, when I got hired by Safe Kids Worldwide, a thousand questions popped into my mind. For example, what if I find that sort of job to be too boring? What if I'm not put on that career launching pad? What if being a gregarious person in such a vibrant city push me off track? Anyways, only time can truly answer these types of questions.

Nonetheless, I will be working on two projects at Safe Kids Worldwide that I hope to be as amazing as they sound. One is nationally oriented, the other international. In the first project, I will be working diligently to get the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require all manufacturers in the USA to place warning labels on dangerous child products. In the other project, I will be working to create bylaws and procedures for the International Trauma Research and Injury Prevention advisory board.

On top of nervously waiting to excel in these two projects at Safe Kids Worldwide in Washington, DC; I am also anxious about taking the Science, Society & Policy course through The Washington Center while living in an exquisite apartment in Rockville, MD. I am also trying to get into graduate school for public health; making sure I fulfill Adephi University's academic requirements so I can graduate in May; attending the Science, Technology and Society Program events; traveling to NYC, Antigua & Barbuda, and Bermuda; and having a vibrant social life in the nation's capital especially since I'll turn 21 there. Doing all these things together are the perfect ingredients for great professional success or a breakdown; I pray it's not the latter.

The Science, Technology and Society Crew

At last, I hope to have you, as a reader, accompany me in my journey in the nation’s capital that will surely include many interesting moments :-\

Until Next Time,

Emmanuel H.