Friday, February 25, 2011

On Reading Week

Good news, everyone!

Reading Break has left me feeling more calm and collected than I have in months! And this more relaxed "ME" comes at the right time since March is going to be an absolute whirlwind of school writing, class presentations and paper drafting. Upcoming deadlines include leading a class discussion on March 3, and a research summary due on the same day, a class presentation on March 14, a first draft of a paper due on March 30 and another due on March 31.

And then in April, I've got papers due on April 8, April 11, and mid-month (flexible deadline). In other words, except for coming up for occasional breaths of fresh air, don't expect to see me out and about until past my birthday. At least the whole "Well, I've got to eat at some point!" reasoning will come in handy in terms of scheduling compulsory breaks. That and the aquafit classes that I've built-in to my schedule.

Thankfully, this past week has allowed to me get a good chunk of everyday class work and advance research and sourcing done before the deadline crunch really hits me. Surprisingly, instead of getting increasingly stressed as time went by and I wasn't able to meet my stringent self-imposed deadlines, I actually felt myself relaxing. How can I tell? Well, my chronic wrist pain has mostly dissipated and my posture feels less tense, despite basically sitting all week.

There are two or three events that I've committed to, despite my heavy schedule, and I'm sure they will be welcome distractions - and good for forcing me to get work done under pressure. Apart from an upcoming quickie Toronto weekend with the family, I'm also heading back to Montreal to catch a Habs game in March. Plus, there's the Limestone New Media Group meetup in March at my favourite Kingston restaurant, The Tango that I will most certainly be attending, provided I don't have a deadline the next day. The lovely group of people who actively participate in @lnmg activities have become my core of friends in this city, and I absolutely love them. Can't leave them hanging, now can I?

And on that note, back to class-assigned readings and longing for the summer months, when I will be able to expand my "currently reading" bookshelf to include non-academic literature. The sunshine and springtime can't come soon enough!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On raising funds for the World Partnership Walk

This year again, I am raising funds for the 27th World Partnership Walk, Canada's largest annual event dedicated to fighting poverty. In the past few years, I have been involved with the Walk at an intimate level, leading the Media and Marketing campaign for the Montreal region, helping to create a uniform social media strategy, and best of all, getting to see the impact of our work for myself during my Awareness Trip to Africa in 2009 with Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC).

It was my heavy involvement with this not-for-profit organization that earned me an invitation to Kenya in the summer of 2009. Of course, I paid for all of my own expenses. This trip was an eye-opener for me because AKFC brought us behind-the-scenes, to the grassroots level, to see where the money goes and how much our little efforts can accomplish. It was during this trip that I truly understood, for the first time, that marginalized populations are just like us. We all have the same hopes and dreams, for ourselves and our children. We're all striving to make a better world, not just for us but for the whole world.

But why raise funds to eliminate world poverty? It seems like a pretty elitist goal, doesn't it? I mean, it's not like the world is actually ever going to change, is it?

I think that recent developments in Egypt prove that change is possible, as long as we, as a worldwide collective, as determined, passionate and patient. Change doesn't happen overnight, though, and one of the first steps to sparking change is creating awareness.

That's why although I have moved to Kingston, my involvement with the Walk has not ended. Kingston falls under the umbrella of the Ottawa Walk, and I will be the acting as a regional manager of sorts for the area. That means I will be reaching out to all of my new Ktown friends to help me raise funds and spread the word about this awesome event and the projects it enables. I have also set my personal fundraising goal for 2011 at $2,500. You can contribute any time at

What makes the World Partnership Walk - and AKFC - such a stellar cause? 100% of the funds raised through the Walk go directly to international development projects that help people help themselves through long-term sustainable solutions in education, health, sanitation, culture, community strengthening, the environment, gender issues... and more. The Foundation's multi-pronged approach aims to enhance the quality of life of some of the poorest people in the world in cross-cutting ways, and that's what I love about it.

It doesn't give a man a fish, to use the popular cliché. It teaches him, his family, and his whole community to fish, then offers him or her a microfinance loan and professional resources so he can learn how to sell that fish to nearby villages and then teach them to do the same.

Change happens one step at time, but we all have to march together. It takes time and commitment, from both internal and external players. And it takes a certain kind of will to see a project of change through until the end. I truly believe that, as I have seen with my own eyes, the World Partnership Walk has the right techniques, the proper resources and the benefit of a long-term approach to make it all work.

And how do I know that? Because its projects put smiles on the faces of little boys and girls in Asia and in Africa. Because that boy in the picture is able to go to a rural school every day without worrying how his family will survive if he doesn't work the fields all day. And his sisters in urban areas can daydream about being doctors and teachers during class instead of wondering if they will be harassed by sugar daddys or rapists on their walk home. Because their parents feel secure in the knowledge that their children will be better off than they are. That they will never have to worry about food, safety, or having a preventable illness.

Raising funds for the World Partnership Walk means allowing these children to BE just that: children. Together, we can change the world and make that dream a reality. Together, we can take steps to end global poverty. Won't you walk with me?

The 27th World Partnership Walk will be taking place in 10 cities across Canada for three consecutive weekends, starting on May 29, 2011. Join me at Major's Hill Park in Ottawa on Sunday, June 12, 2011 and be part of the over 40,000 Canadians raising more than $6 million towards eliminating global poverty.

And meanwhile, get involved! Spread the word, start your own team at, or simply contribute to the cause by sponsoring me to walk by clicking here. Thank you for helping me make the world a better place, one step at a time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On love

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the TV show "Double Exposure". It's about two world-renown fashion photographers who dysfunctionally work together even though they're no longer romantically involved. As you can expect, there are quite a few heated discussions. Still, these two obviously love each other. In fact, in this episode, Indrani tells her former lover, Markus Klinko:

"I love you too much to be in a relationship with you."

This sentiment especially resonated with me. Take a moment to think about it. It's one of those "so true" statements. And it got me thinking... in this context, what is love? How do you differentiate love that feels like a relationship but isn't?

Over the next few days, I pondered this question. It wasn't an active thought-process but something that popped into my head every now and then. So, without further ado, here are some of the reflections that came to me in my meditation:


♥ does not need to be defined to be true
♥ waits for you to open your heart to it
♥ teaches you to let go & live
♥ is the fire that ignites your dreams & fills you with hope
♥ lights up your heart & everything around you
♥ makes you SMILE!

Hope your hearts are full of love today and all year long.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

On portfolios

Not only did I finish re-working my CV/Resume this weekend, I also (finally) put my extended demo reel up on YouTube.

This is the demo I created just over a year ago as I was applying to certain journalism jobs. I had just discovered that my external hard drive, which I thought was safely in a friend's possession, had been stolen when her apartment was broken in to about a year before that. That hard drive not only contained my only high-quality copies of all the broadcast work I had done throughout school, it also had all the raw import footage I had captured. The plan, of course, was that some of this raw footage could be re-purposed for other works, like, for example, a demo reel.

Working under a time crunch, I found the next best thing. Our TV shows were consistently uploaded to YouTube by the department, so I entrepreneurially downloaded the pre-edited, pre-produced footage of each and every published show I had worked on and tried to make that work.

The end result, if I do say so myself, is pretty good! For my techies out there, the pre-packaged footage was shot on PD-170s (SD) and edited with Final Cut Pro. The demo reel itself was edited using Adobe Premiere. Any and all feedback is appreciated.