Angry Reader of the Week: Gloria Lee

Hey, good people. Here's what's up. It's time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Gloria Lee.

Who are you?
I'm Gloria Lee -- married and a proud mom of 2 children.

What are you?
I am a busy working mom. I wake up at 5am every morning to take my daughter ice skating before school then hurry home to make breakfast and get the kids packed up and ready for school. Once they are off, I go to work for a very cool edtech startup I recently joined. (We're going to change the face of education!) Between the hectic and demanding work schedule that usually keeps me busy into the wee hours past midnight, I am also juggling my kids' schedules and various responsibilities, i.e. homework, after school activities, school events, field trips and projects, not to mention planning out our dinner menu (or takeout plans), coordinating their social calendars and thinking strategically about how to help them learn better, grow healthier and become spiritually fulfilled all at the same time! I have an extremely supportive husband who is very involved in helping with household chores, that is when he is around, because he also travels extensively for work, which can get pretty challenging. But despite the hectic schedule that I have, lack of sleep, and all the pressures that I might feel, I try to find ways to always be inspired. When I'm inspired, I am a relentless engine. It's important that I am inspired as that is what keeps me from burning out despite the insanity of my daily routine.

Where are you?
I live in Santa Monica, California, one of the most beautiful places in Los Angeles, IMHO. Living here keeps me inspired! Driving by the ocean every morning on my 5-minute long morning commute is a true blessing and a constant reminder not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of every day life.

Where are you from?
I'm from... Seoul, New York, and LA. I consider these three cities to be my hometown(s). I was born in Philadelphia, but grew up in Seoul, Korea, for the most part. My parents moved us back to Philly for a couple of years while I was in middle school, then returned to Seoul by the end of middle school. I spent my high school years in Seoul in an international school and received an American high school education. I then went to college in Boston, and moved down to New York thereafter. I lived in New York City for roughly 10 years and met my husband while I was in grad school in New York. We had our first child in NYC and moved to LA when our son was just a few months old. We've been in LA since and had our second child here. I won't tell you how long we've been here so as not to give away my age!

What do you do?
I am Director of Marketing for an edtech (educational technology) startup called KnowRe. We've developed an adaptive math program online that tailors itself to the student's individual strengths and weaknesses. Gone are the days of boring math worksheets! KnowRe was also inspired by widely-known games such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Sid Meier's Civilization, as well as the board game, The Settlers of Catan, which makes doing math on KnowRe an engaging and enjoyable learning experience for students. But the inspirations we’ve taken from games go far beyond the game-like features and colorful facade. In the way that players build their empires to stand the test of time in Civilization, we believe that math concepts must be built so that the student's knowledge can stand the test of time.

I am proud to be a part of the team that is bringing this product to market and to a school near you!

What are you all about?
Prior to joining KnowRe, I spent most of my career in the entertainment business, from music to the game industry. I have always enjoyed working in entertainment because of the way music and games can bring joy to, and transform people's lives, as well as affect culture. I was inspired by these ideas and as I mentioned above, it has always been very important for me to stay inspired and to find meaning behind my work, as that is how I continue to find my place in the world.

When I was first approached by KnowRe, I didn't think that education was for me. I mean, I'd always thought of people in education to be rather... square, didactic and boring. But as a parent of two kids, I had, over the years, been steadily becoming more and more interested in education. The interest may have been mostly self-serving, of course, but my concern and interests deepened as I saw first hand how my children were learning (or sometimes not). I kind of liked the idea that education was a social cause, and that making an impact in education can really change peoples' lives for the better, and so I decided to join KnowRe. (I also liked the game-inspired approach to education, considering my background).

I have to say that in the last six-months that I've been with KnowRe, however, I began to see something in education that I never expected to see- and that is the importance and value of teachers in this world. I've always had some level of appreciation for teachers (who doesn’t?) but over the months that I have been talking to more teachers than ever before, I have begun to see what special and incredible people they truly are. Don't get me wrong- I know that all teachers are not the same, and that there are a lot of pretty bad teachers out there that should not be teaching at all. However, by and large, most teachers are truly self-giving people who are sincerely and wholeheartedly interested in helping students learn and reach their potential. Where would we all be without these self-giving souls who have chosen a profession that doesn’t reward them monetarily, nor gives them the kind of recognition for the critically important and insurmountably challenging task of educating our children?

In developing KnowRe, I am continually thinking about how KnowRe can make teachers' lives better and make them more impactful particularly in our current state of educational cutbacks. We all know that a digital tool could never be as good as a great teacher, but a digital tool certain could make the teacher be more efficient and effective in their teaching (which in turn just benefits our children!).

So what am I all about? I'm all about finding ways to be useful in this world and finding meaningful work that might make some sort of a positive impact. I do that by looking for projects that inspire me and challenge me to grow. At the moment, I am deeply inspired by the ways teachers affect the lives of our children, and am excited to be part of a company and a product that is designed to help teachers, thereby improving the education that our children receive!

What makes you angry?
Well, I have to say I am a firm believer in the phrase, "If you assume, you make an ass out of u and me." Perhaps it is because I have a bi-cultural background where I’ve seen preconceived assumptions cause so many unnecessary misunderstandings, or perhaps it is because I went through a Ph.D. program and was taught never to assume anything. I like people who ask lots of questions, and I make it a habit to ask lots of questions before making any assumptions myself. Nothing gets me angrier than if you make assumptions without knowing all the facts! (But I admit, I do fall prey to my own assumptions, so don't assume I never make the mistake of assuming things!)

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