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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daymond John (ABC's "Shark Tank", FUBU founder) Lectures at Kennesaw State University

Daymond John's (ABC's "Shark Tank", FUBU founder)

Last night, I attended Daymond John's (ABC's "Shark Tank", FUBU founder) talk at KSU. Wow.

My "streams of consciousness" summary ...

1. Very straightforward, creative cat.

2. Lectured using a DJ who played the soundtrack of his life while he talked. Nice.

3. Embraced Hip-Hop as a culture (a way of life) when others criticized it as bad music, and ignored it as a market.

4. Heard "no" a lot, but interprets the word as "definitely maybe".

5. Original company name was BUFU - but that got him too much unwanted attention :-).

6. Despite his initial objection, his Mom made the move that helped attract the financing he needed to expand FUBU.

7. Built his successful brand FUBU by taking chances, correcting mistakes, hustling hard, and taking advantage of opportunities ...

        LL Cool J's Gap commercial (1999) (check the rhyme and the FUBU hat)

8. Lost his family on his road to success, but did not lose the lesson.

9. Loves The Kardashian Sisters. He knows that they know that they know nothing - except how to show people what people want to see.

10. Lives by SHARK rules ...

        Set goals
        H omework (do it)
        A mour (do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life)
        R emember that *you* are the brand, and state your brand in 2-5 words.
        K eep moving.

Read More

Daymond John (FUBU founder, "Shark Tank") speaks at Kennesaw State University (3/28/2012)(by Rodney Ho, AJC)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Remembering Grandmama (Part 2)

 Adelle Zeigler (September 17, 1924 - March 9, 2012)

Grandmama (Adelle Zeigler (September 17, 1924 - March 9, 2012)) was laid to rest on Friday, March 16, 2012 at Union AME Church in Elloree, SC.

I was asked to pay tribute to her on behalf of my family, which gave me the chance to both feel and heal.

I told the audience about our last conversation, which took place about three weeks before she died.

She called me on her cellphone early on a Saturday morning, because she knew that was the only time I am still.

I was humbled by her call, because I knew I did not call her as much as I should have. Perhaps the greatest tribute I could pay to her, though, was that if she did not hear from me, she had no problem reaching out to me – and her outreach was never accompanied by a guilt trip. That was some amazing grace.

She sounded upbeat, but told me that her TV (that my father and I fixed for her during the Christmas holidays) had stopped working.

I did not quite grasp why she was so happy to bring me that bad news, but she thanked me for helping to fix it, and told me she was sure that it would work again.

She asked how my wife Keisha and I were doing, and spoke into me just like she always did. She told me that she had been feeling pretty good lately, which made me smile.

We ended our call, and I got my day started with a smile and a chuckle. Then she called back a few hours later to tell me that the TV started working again. I told her how relieved I was, and we chatted each other up again.

In hindsight, I see that her second call was a comforting alert to me that she was at peace and ready to be with the Lord.

She always called me her “boy”, and you could not tell me anything when she did – that always made me smile. Even when I discovered in later years that she had several other “boys”, I was always secure about my place in her heart – and her place in mine.

If we are fortunate enough to live long, prosperous lives, we can only hope to build a few key relationships that progress through the natural stages of acceptance, then affirmation, then accountability, then authority...
  1. You are drawn to the people who accept you.
  2. You are naturally affirmed by those who speak into you.
  3. You are easily accountable to those who are honest with you.
  4. You respect the authority of those who unconditionally love you.
I am blessed to have had many of these relationships in my relatively brief life. I knew both sets of my grandparents, and spent lots of my younger days with both maternal grandparents (and my maternal great-grandfather).

I have always been called a young “old man”, and embrace it as confirmation of how I was raised (even if it is not always meant that way). I know that I have sat at the feet of wisdom, and have absorbed, retained, and shared it for the better part of my life. I walk the way my ancestors walk, talk the way they talk, and think the way that they think. I love to hear stories, and like to tell them even more.

My stories have an even deeper inspiration now. For years, they made me think about my grandfather and smile. Now they will make me think about Grandmama, too.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Remembering Grandmama

Adelle Zeigler (September 17, 1924 - March 9, 2012)

When Mama called late Friday night, I composed myself and answered the phone - knowing that something had happened.

Mama told me that Grandmama had passed, and my world got weird for a minute.

Time stopped, and suddenly the "busyness" we often mistake for "business" seemed irrelevant. Presidential primaries, all of our noble reforms (education, health care), bailouts (financial, auto, home mortgage), and other distractions (Facebook, Twitter, and cable television) just did not seem to matter quite as much.

In that moment, all I could see were the pictures that had started flashing through my mind ...

I saw potato chips, hickory nuts, peaches, pears, blackberries, grapes, okra, butterbeans, squash, shrimp, "butt" meat, catfish stew, chocolate cake batter, red velvet cake, fruitcake, stuffing, and chili dogs.

I remembered sticking my hand into a spinning metal fan, her broom into her ignited space heater, and her fork into an electrical outlet.

I saw the "switch" tree, and remembered being relieved when it got torn down to build a carport next to her house. Then I remembered the horror of learning it had been replaced by a yardstick.

I remember the Orangeburg County bookmobile and the Mentor Branch Library in Elloree, SC.

I saw Big Bird, Bert & Ernie, Oscar The Grouch, The Count, and Gordon and Maria from Sesame Street.

I remembered Mac & Rachel Cory from the old NBC soap opera Another World.

Though dates, times, people, places, and events have been blurred by life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - I remember her words most of all.

Always delivered with a quick, efficient, humorous wit - and a knowing, patient smile - when she spoke, I listened and understood.

The wisdom earned from many lessons learned through her love, care and counsel are indelibly etched into my mind, heart, and spirit. It is no coincidence that her input positively influenced many of my life's pivotal moments ...


At Vacation Bible School during one of my teenage Summers, the class leaders encouraged a group of teenagers to get saved at the end of the class. At the time, my decision to accept Jesus Christ was accompanied by an anxiety of not quite knowing what that meant, and my inherently stubborn nature. Grandmama asked me if I was ready to take that step, and (on wobbly knees) I told her that I was not. She did not flinch, told me to take that step when I was ready, and then told me to start getting ready. Yes, ma'am.


My grandfather (Robert L. Zeigler, whom I called "Sugar Pie") was absent during my early years, and I eventually figured out that he and Grandmama may not have gotten along very well.

He came back into the picture when I was 10, and died suddenly when I was 13. I still feel his loss today, but have come to understand that in those three years he was on a mission to help me become a man. During that period, he and I were inseparable, and every day he would put his hand on my shoulder and teach me something.

It never dawned on me then, but I see now that Grandmama took a step back to let "Sugar Pie" step up. Regardless of their marital disconnect, they acted on one accord on my behalf, and for that I am forever grateful.

When he first returned, "Sugar Pie" asked me if I wanted to ride with him to the store. I was reluctant (because children sense what adults think of each other), so I went straight to Grandmama to see what she thought. She told me to just give "Sugar Pie" a try. Yes, ma'am.


My first adult public speaking opportunity was for the Williams Grand Lodge's (Orangeburg, SC) annual banquet in 1998. When I greeted her, she asked me if I was nervous, and I admitted that I was scared of saying the wrong thing. She told me to be more afraid of missing the chance to say the right thing. Yes, ma'am.


After graduating from Clemson and Georgia Tech with engineering degrees, my concerns became much more focused on how I learned rather than what I had learned, and I found purpose in those concerns.

However, the weight of external expectations and myopic perceptions can be burdensome and overbearing. I struggled for some time following my heart's calling to be what I was, instead of catering to what I was expected to be. Grandmama told me that if I understood what I saw, then I would just have to explain it to people so that they could understand. She then reminded me that it would not always be easy, and that nothing worth having ever is. Yes, ma'am.


When I brought my then-girlfriend (now wife) Keisha home for the first time, we went to visit Grandmama. After the introduction, Grandmama whipped out her cellphone camera and told us to pose for a picture. The request caught me by surprise, but then I saw that confirming smile that told me she knew I had found my good thing. Yes, ma'am.

During our wedding, I will never forget the powerful feeling of seeing Gradmama and all of the women who loved and molded me walk down the aisle in succession - to then be followed by the woman for whom I had been molded.

After the ceremony and reception I hugged Grandmama. She told me that she liked what I told my wife (during our exchange of vows), and that she saw peace in my countenance. Yes, ma'am.
The Bible counsels us to "... Guard our [hearts] (the intersection of our mind, will, and emotions), because they are the true source of life" (Proverbs 4:23, Contemporary English Version), and that " ... Out of the abundance of the heart, [the] mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45, Contemporary English Version)

Grandmama is both the protector and center of my heart, and I had to tell you that today.

I am because of who she is.


Derrick Brown
Email: derrick.s.brown@att.net


Derrick Brown is Adelle Zeigler's oldest grandson.

He is a newlywed preparing to celebrate one year of wedded bliss to his wife Keisha.

His other passion is empowering people via methods that balance skill & will, analysis & synthesis, ideas & execution, and activity & achievement.

He is a "retired" charter school founding faculty member, governing board representative, and administrator.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Uploading, Licensing and Sharing YouTube Videos - A Tutorial

After you have...

1. Created your video
2. Created a YouTube account

... Refer to the screen below to

1. Upload it.
2. Grant a license to others to reuse it.
3. Share it with others directly!

Friday, March 2, 2012

[NOW YOU KNOW] Support "Talk To Me - Teaching The Language of Math!" in The NEA Foundation’s C2i: Gaming Challenge!

NOW YOU KNOW - March 2, 2012
Teaching & Learning Edition
A Publication of KnowledgeBase, Inc.

© 2012 KnowledgeBase, Inc.


1. VISIT http://bit.ly/nyk_ttm_c2i TO SUPPORT "TALK TO ME". Please rate my entry and submit questions by Wed 3/7/2012! Vote early and often!

To provide ratings and submit questions, you will be required to register with The Department of Education's Open Innovation Portal.

Please review details about my entry and the C2i Gaming Challenge below.

We thank you for your support!

About "Talk to Me" – Teaching the Language of Math!

"Talk To Me" is a game that requires teams to guess math, language arts, or computer vocabulary terms from verbal, nonverbal and / or pictorial clues presented by a single teammate (the clue giver). "Talk To Me" creatively addresses the critical need to build language and communication skills in math classes that will allow students to "do math", and to also understand what "math does".

About The NEA Foundation's C2i: Gaming Challenge

The NEA Foundation and Microsoft – US Partners in Learning want to know your best idea for how interactive technology and game-based learning can improve teaching and learning. According to Kids and Gaming 2011, the latest report from The NPD Group, 91 percent of kids ages 2-17 (approximately 64 million) play electronic games in the U.S., nearly a 10 per cent increase from 2009. The challenge for educators is how to harness this powerful tool. 

How it works
  • Submissions will be accepted from January 23 – March 5, 2012.
  • A proposed solution must effectively incorporate game-based learning.
  • Portal registrants can also review, comment and vote.
  • At the end of the review period, up to 10 solutions will receive $1,000 cash awards from the NEA Foundation.
Rating Criteria:

All entries will be scored on a 5-point scale (0 = lowest, 5 = maximum), by registrants of the Open Innovation Portal.

Awardees will be decided by the scores from the Open Innovation Portal community and the NEA Foundation.

NOW YOU KNOW - March 2, 2012
Teaching & Learning Edition
A Publication of KnowledgeBase, Inc.

© 2012 KnowledgeBase, Inc.

Copyright © 2020 Derrick Brown and KnowledgeBase, Inc. All Rights Reserved.