We're sure you've all heard stories of how hard it was in “the olden days" to do a variety of things we do today with the push of a button, or maybe you've heard about how someone walked five miles in the snow to go to school. You needn't journey back that far to imagine the pure nightmare it would be for you without your cell phone, internet or GPS.
For those of you who grew up with these gems of technology, these tools are as ordinary as bottled water. But for those of us growing up in the 60s and 70s, before they were commonplace, we never felt the lack of something we never knew.
Let's journey back a little to the 1970s and take a glimpse at life without these tools. To make it more fun, how about doing some job-hunting? I've been through this process both in the 70's and currently, and I couldn't be more appreciative of how much easier the process is now.
1. You wake up and immediately scan LinkedIn or Indeed.com to see what's available, right? Uh-uh! You've no internet, so you must get dressed and go pick up an actual newspaper to check out the “want ads."
Remember, even before the advent of the internet, networking was always important when job hunting. If you know it will be kept confidential, let your friends and business associates know you're looking. Most of the jobs I landed were actually through referrals from former bosses, co-workers or friends who had moved on to other companies. It's a lot easier now to contact those sources by email or text than when I had to play telephone tag before I reached them!
2. After identifying some prospects, you write a quick cover letter with a resume and email it to your prospects. No, No! Without email, you'll manually type a cover letter and prepare a resume. No computers yet.
Ugh, I remember when I had to do this. You might type your resume and then realize you wanted to change or reorder part of it, or maybe you wanted to experiment with different fonts (yes, Selectric typewriters had a changeable typeface). There was no cutting and pasting or selecting and changing. You had to start all over again. Then we had to take a perfect original and have it photocopied. You protected that original as though it were a world-changing document. Now you may go to the printer and have them run off some copies right from your phone. Also, if your job entails a portfolio, you can have it shown right from your iPad instead of carrying around a large, difficult-to-carry presentation.
3. Now, you'll either hand deliver or mail the hard copies. You may prefer hand delivery to insure they'll arrive more quickly.
4. For the next few days, you wait at home for a response, because without a cell phone you can't be reached if you're out and voice mail is still waiting to be invented.
That was terribly inconvenient, but unless you had a telephone sitter at home while you did some errands, you might miss that call.
5. One of your prospects finally calls to set up an interview. You usually Google the prospective employer so you'll have some input during the interview. Without the internet, you'll have to go to the library and use their reference books or buy some business magazines.
I still believe it's important to know as much as you can about a company before an interview. Besides helping you to ask the right questions, you might find something that makes you change your mind about pursuing this job. Remember, they need your approval as much as you need theirs!
After identifying some prospects, you write a quick cover letter with a resume and email it to your prospects. No, No! Without email, you'll manually type a cover letter and prepare a resume. No computers yet. (Photo by REX)
6. The day of the interview arrives, and you're eager to create a good impression, so you head out early to make sure you have no trouble finding the office. Uh! Oh! No GPS. You'll have to get a paper map. Maybe you can find a gas station that carries them.
Since I worked in New York City for most of my career, it was always finding the quickest mass transit route to take. Sometimes, I would make a dry run before the interview day just to see how long it would take. Besides the GPS, you now get this information right online, both the route and the average time it will take, whether by car or public transit.
7. Now you're on your way, armed with a genuine paper map, and you find yourself in a huge traffic jam. You'll just call your interviewer's office and explain, but there's no cell phone, so you search frantically for a pay telephone. None in sight. After all, you're on a busy highway. Then it starts to rain, and you realize you should have waited for the weather forecast at the end of the news. No, there's no weather app to scroll.
Besides no weather app, there was no cable, thus no weather channel, so the weather was always at the end of the news. Who had time to wait for that when you're getting ready for an interview?
I want to highlight something that was better in the "olden days." After interviews, the company always contacted you, either by mail or phone, to say whether you got the job, or they hired someone else.
8. An hour late, you reach your destination, a bit disheveled from the stress of it all and quite soaking wet from walking from the parking lot with no umbrella or raincoat.
You probably should still come prepared for the unexpected by throwing a few extras in your bag: i.e., umbrella, extra copies of your resume, etc.
9. It's difficult to stay confident and positive when you look like a drowned rat, but you do your best to ace the interview and just hope for the best. Despite the anxiety-ridden start, the interview does go well, and you're told you will be called in a few days.
I want to highlight something that was better in the “olden days." After interviews, the company always contacted you, either by mail or phone, to say whether you got the job, or they hired someone else. If you're a writer, you may spend your weekend doing a week's worth of articles and edits as part of the interview process, or you might go on 5 interviews with one company, and they don't get back to you either way! I remember just such a time, I had at least 5 interviews with the same company, and on the fifth one, when I stopped at the security desk for a pass, the guard recognized me but thought I worked there and just forgot my pass. That company never got back to me, and when I called for the status, they always said they had made no decisions yet. So maybe, that's the one facet of job-searching we wish would have remained in place.
10. Again, you wait for a call and even answer the phone with your normal voice whenever it rings.
This is opposed to the fake accent I used when I wasn't expecting any calls and didn't know who was calling. Without caller ID, you didn't want to take any chance of being trapped by a salesperson or someone else with whom you have no interest in talking.
Halleluiah, you got the job! Now come back to the current world and use all your tech tools, because you have been hired as a marketing director, and we won't even scare you with how you would have to do this job without them!
With so many groundbreaking medical advances being revealed to the world every single day, you would imagine there would be some advancement on the plethora of many female-prevalent diseases (think female cancers, Alzheimer's, depression, heart conditions etc.) that women are fighting every single day.
For Anna Villarreal and her team, there frankly wasn't enough being done. In turn, she developed a method that diagnoses these diseases earlier than traditional methods, using a pretty untraditional method in itself: through your menstrual blood.
Getting from point A to point B wasn't so easy though. Villarreal was battling a disease herself and through that experience. “I wondered if there was a way to test menstrual blood for female specific diseases," she says. "Perhaps my situation could have been prevented or at least better managed. This led me to begin researching menstrual blood as a diagnostic source. For reasons the scientific and medical community do not fully understand, certain diseases impact women differently than men. The research shows that clinical trials have a disproportionate focus on male research subjects despite clear evidence that many diseases impact more women than men."
There's also no denying that gap in women's healthcare in clinical research involving female subjects - which is exactly what inspired Villarreal to launch her company, LifeStory Health. She says that, “with my personal experience everything was brought full circle."
“There is a challenge and a need in the medical community for more sex-specific research. I believe the omission of females as research subjects is putting women's health at risk and we need to fuel a conversation that will improve women's healthcare.,"
Her brand new biotech company is committed to changing the women's healthcare market through technology, innovation and vocalization and through extensive research and testing. She is working to develop the first ever, non-invasive, menstrual blood diagnostic and has partnered with a top Boston-area University on research and has won awards from The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Northeastern University's RISE.
How does it work exactly? Proteins are discovered in menstrual blood that can quickly and easily detect, manage and track diseases in women, resulting in diseases that can be earlier detected, treated and even prevented in the first place. The menstrual blood is easy to collect and since it's a relatively unexplored diagnostic it's honestly a really revolutionary concept, too.
So far, the reactions of this innovative research has been nothing but excitement. “The reactions have been incredibly positive." she shares with SWAAY. “Currently, menstrual blood is discarded as bio waste, but it could carry the potential for new breakthroughs in diagnosis. When I educate women on the lack of female subjects used in research and clinical trials, they are surprised and very excited at the prospect that LifeStory Health may provide a solution and the key to early detection."
To give a doctor's input, and a little bit more of an explanation as to why this really works, Dr. Pat Salber, MD, and Founder of The Doctor Weighs In comments: “researchers have been studying stem cells derived from menstrual blood for more than a decade. Stem cells are cells that have the capability of differentiating into different types of tissues. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. Adult stem cells have a more limited differentiation potential, but avoid the ethical issues that have surrounded research with embryonic stem cells. Stem cells from menstrual blood are adult stem cells."
These stem cells are so important when it comes to new findings. “Stem cells serve as the backbone of research in the field of regenerative medicine – the focus which is to grow tissues, such as skin, to repair burn and other types of serious skin wounds.
A certain type of stem cell, known as mesenchymal stem cells (MenSCs) derived from menstrual blood has been found to both grow well in the lab and have the capability to differentiate in various cell types, including skin. In addition to being used to grow tissues, their properties can be studied that will elucidate many different aspects of cell function," Dr. Salber explains.
To show the outpour of support for her efforts and this major girl power research, Villarreal remarks, “women are volunteering their samples happily report the arrival of their periods by giving samples to our lab announcing “de-identified sample number XXX arrived today!" It's a far cry from the stereotype of when “it's that time of the month."
How are these collections being done? “Although it might sound odd to collect menstrual blood, plastic cups have been developed to use in the collection process. This is similar to menstrual products, called menstrual cups, that have been on the market for many years," Dr. Salber says.
Equally shocking and innovative, this might be something that becomes more common practice in the future. And according to Dr. Salber, women may be able to not only use the menstrual blood for early detection, but be able to store the stem cells from it to help treat future diseases. “Companies are working to commercialize the use of menstrual blood stem cells. One company, for example, is offering a patented service to store menstrual blood stem cells for use in tissue generation if the need arises."