Okay

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I went to Ryerson University in Toronto for my journalism degree. I was taking a course on non-fiction writing and one of our assignments was to write about a recent experience. The following is a story I wrote about an evening in 1995.  Okay I was sitting on the subway. Feeling fat, loveless and cranky. On Feb.14. It was late … Read More

Ode to my Rad Pants

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I’ve had my Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Rad pants for many, many years. I got them from my roommate in Toronto in 1995. Mo liked my Guess jeans. I liked her Rad pants. We made a trade. I think I got the best part of the deal. The jeans would have been out of style a long time ago. The … Read More

Moments of the past and the present and the future

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I recently returned from a vacation that took me to Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. It was my first time landing in Malaysia and Singapore but not South Korea. I had been an English teacher in Korea almost 20 years ago. When I was there, I wrote a bi-weekly column for a Nova Scotia newspaper about my experiences. I’m doing … Read More

Golden moment

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It was 1996 and I was going to Ryerson University. I was in the Journalism for Graduates program and I had to write a non-fiction story for my course Magazine Fundamentals. The class was taught by writer David Hayes and he asked us to write about a “golden moment.” I wrote about my family dog, Jasper. He died not soon … Read More

Where to go from here

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When I graduated from journalism school the economy was in rough shape. It was 1997 and there was a global economic crisis. There’s a recession now too and journalism grads are in the same boat I was in almost 20 years ago. One recent go-getter grad e-mailed me and asked for some advice. I met him a couple of weeks … Read More

Media meltdown

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The newspaper industry across Canada was dealt a massive blow last week. It hit me personally as my husband was caught in the layoff tsunami. We need more trained journalists, not fewer. I know there are other sectors hurting and the economy in Alberta is weak right now. At a Calgary Chamber of Commerce event a couple of weeks ago, … Read More

Floppy disc discovery

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While home for the holidays in Nova Scotia, I found a treasure trove: some old, old floppy discs. Not those round ones that look like records but the hard square ones. I brought them back to Calgary and wondered how to get the data off them. Who has a computer with a floppy disc drive anymore? The Calgary Public Library. … Read More

Welcome to the work world

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Every time I walk into a Gap, I have the urge to tuck tags into shirts and fold sweaters that have been messily discarded by shoppers. The Gap was once a major part of my life in a time when I was falling apart at the seams. (Insert joke here.) Now the retailer is closing a quarter of its stores, … Read More

Beginning, middle and end

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I instruct writing workshops and one thing I teach is a story has to have a beginning, middle and end. An easy way to accomplish this in a piece is to remember to use the three o’s: objective, obstacle and outcome. To get the point across I split a class into groups of three. Then I have everyone write an … Read More

Stand by your (NHL) man

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Don’t laugh at me but I like the Leafs. Yes, the Toronto Maple Leafs. My team hasn’t done well all year and definitely aren’t in the running for the Stanley Cup so I’m rooting for my next favourite team, the Calgary Flames. (Update: they lost last night.) My husband is a diehard Montreal Canadians fan and I’m not going there. … Read More