Sunday, October 25, 2009
Me, I am still learning the craft, and as of right now I am not a very good "spinner". Although, I hope by the end of CreComm I will have amassed enough understanding about the craft of PR to be able to spin my way into, and out of ANYTHING...
I look at other people, the ones who are PR masters, and they can make anything sound fantastic, or make any conversation or interview go in the direction that they want it to without making it seem like they are...I am fairly certain that these people are magic.
Here is an example of what I was talking about...
Me: "Tell me about yourself"
Exceptional PR Person: "Well, I have been doing whatever it is that I do for a really long time, blah, blah, blah...However now I am going to flawlessly change the topic to whatever *I* actually want to talk about, and you aren't going to notice, because I am relating it back to me somehow..."
Me: "Wow! So you did all that, tell me more!?!" (notice now that the topic of the interview is now about what the PR person wanted to actually talk about, and *I* am the who changed it...CLEVER!!)
Exceptional PR Person: "Yes, well this (insert PR person's topic here) is very important to me, blah,blah,blah...You can actually learn more about it if you go to our website, blah, blah, blah...And they key thing that I really want to emphasize is blah, blah, blah..."
Me: "So what your telling me is that the thing that you have just talked about for twenty minutes that I am not actually looking for at all, is really important to you!?"
Exceptional PR Person: "Yes. Yes it is."
Me: "Fantastic! Now lets talk about..."
Exceptional PR Person: "Oh you mean, lets continue to talk about what I want to talk about?! Okay!"
Later on in the evening, as I am writing my story...
Me: "Hmmm...After talking to that person for a long time, and feeling rather inspired about them and the story I was going to write about them, I now realize that I have pretty much nothing to go on...I do however have a TON of information on the topic that is important to him/her...I guess I'll have to change my angle to that." *sigh*
I am not sure if this kind of skill can be learned, or if it is just some kind of magical PR gift that some people are born with. However, that being said, the little scenario that I posted made me (the aspiring journalist) look quite passive...Obviously if I want to be a journalist (which I do), I am going to have to learn to be comfortable with asking tough questions that even the most magical of PR people will have a tough time not answering with some level of...Uh...'Non PR-ness',
Hmm...Perhaps one of the best ways to become a better journalist is to learn as much as you can about PR. (*light bulb moment here folks*!)
I still have a lot to learn in my next couple of years in CreComm...
Let's all learn about the Daddy of PR himself; Edward Bernays! Thank you sir, for showing us how to manipulate the masses!
Tonight, at my sister's house, I watched part of one of my favourite movies of all time: Amelie!!
I always get so inspired when I watch this film, because it is probably one the prettiest movies that I have ever seen. (And when I say "prettiest film I have ever seen", I mean to say that Amelie goes far beyond the just visual beauty; the entire story is incredibly beautiful...)
If you haven't already watched this movie, I suggest that you do; it is honestly great.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I don't want to miss out on job opportunities because of what I have posted on the net; I sure don't want to have to eat my words, or have someone use them against me; and I sure as hell don't want to seem ignorant, or ill-informed to -- in my mind -- the millions of people that might, and probably, read my blog! Yet at the same time, I don't want a blog that is just so oatmeal!!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
G - Go away Jon, Kate, Octo-mom, and everyone else that is trying to get rich by making a reality TV show...
Jon and Kate; they just make me uncomfortable. -- I am both surprised, and not, to see all of the publicity that they are getting...
"Jon stole all my money"
"Kate and her backwards mullet were mean to me..."
"Jon stopped production of our show, and now my kids are sad..."
Seriously, these two fame-whores should take their brood of meal-tickets, and just go away.
Take what you earned, go far, far away and give the poor kiddies a childhood for goodness sakes!!
And then there is Octo-mom; poor lady wanted to be famous so bad that she opted to have eight babies live in her belly for nine months, just so that someone would pay attention to her! (That my friends is what you call dedication! -- I have seen people who have been pregnant with ONE kid, and it was a traumatic enough experience for them...But eight...Wow.)
Octo-mom had her moment, living the glamorous life of a reality star, until Jon and Kate stole it from her by deciding to have a nasty divorce (which saw Jon take off with the plastic surgeon's 20-something daughter, Kate have an alleged affair with the body guard, and lots and lots of petty and awkward publicized fights)
Poor Nadia; she doesn't even have a baby daddy to fight with on national television and on the Internet. -- Since she promised her "donor" (AKA baby daddy x 16) that she wouldn't out him an all...
It's only a matter of time Octo-Daddy...It's only a matter of time.
Perhaps I am being far too cynical towards these people; I mean they do all have TONS of kids to feed, and need to make money to actually feed all the kiddies that they've made. And If I were offered tons of money to let someone film every aspect of my life, I too might consider it...And yes, I suppose that people like me (who dedicate an entire blog post to train wrecks like Octo-mom and the Gosseln's) are to blame for perpetuating this reality frenzy even more...
But damn, I think it's time that we put a stop to this insanity!! (If we don't, it will only be a matter of time until 'Balloon Boy', Falcon Heene, and his fame-craving family gets their own reality TV show too...Well, that's if ma and pa Heene aren't in the clink for too long after their idiotic publicity stunt gone wrong...)
I miss Full House, and the Brady Bunch, and all of those made up TV families that were better than all of us...Let's bring them back -- Sans the Entertainment Tonight exposes on the behind the scenes shenanigans of course.)
Okay, I am done ranting for right now; but to close, I think that I am going to put it out there (in the vast world of the Internet, to the 4 people that read my blog) that we should just boycott TLC, and dysfunctional reality TV families as a whole.
It's time for a change my friends. It is time for a change.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Curves does however have a student plan which allows students (with proper documentation) to sign up for only four months at a time, if they pay the amount of the four month membership (in full) in advance. The price of the student membership is $159 plus taxes.
Good Life Fitness:
To become a member of Good Life, a person is automatically locked into a contract for the duration of one year. The charge for the program depends on the type of plan a member opts for, and the specific location of membership.
The member has the option of paying nineteen dollars (plus taxes), bi-weekly for access to only that specific location that they have signed up at (as opposed to all three locations), and the provided group exercise programs. Or members have the option of paying 24.50 (plus taxes), bi-weekly to have access to all the locations, plus group exercises, as well as unlimited tanning for one year.
Membership payment automatically withdrawn from a member’s bank account on a bi-weekly basis; once the member has signed a contract, they are asked to set up the payment process with a void cheque and a bank account number.
The YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg (The Y):
§ Teen (13-17) $24 monthly/$288 annually
§ Child (12 & under) $19 monthly/$228 annually (Includes access to all Youth programs)
§ Family Casual $58 monthly/$696 annually
§ Family Advantage $68 monthly/$816 annually (Includes access to all registered programs)
§ Full-time Student $28 monthly/$336 annually
§ Senior $35 monthly/$420 annually (60 and retired, or 65)
§ Membership Plus $64 monthly/$768 annually (Downtown location only, includes locker and towel rental)
§ Membership Plus Senior $61 monthly/$732 annually (Downtown location only, includes locker and towel rental)
Members who are part of the Membership Assistance Program are required to make a commitment to participate in the Y programs; a minimum of twice a week, as well as make a financial contribution towards their membership.
Start up fee: $50.00 (Waived for students, teens, kids and members of the membership assistance program. As well it only needs to be paid once for an entire joining family.)
Duration of membership: Membership will not expire until the member notifies the Y, in writing, that they would like to cancel their membership.
However, memberships that lapse for three months will automatically be considered new memberships, thus the member will have to pay the $50 start up fee again.
Subsidized members under the Membership Assistance Program will have an expiry date determined by the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg.
Subsidized members must renew one month prior to their specific expiry date by booking an appointment with the Sales and Service Desk to review their financial situation.
Cancellation of membership before 12 months: Members can cancel their membership at any time. The only requirement is that the member request (in writing) that they would like to cancel their membership, and return their card.
Memberships must be cancelled 7 days prior to the next payment date in order to be exempt from paying for the duration of the month. As well, the Y will reimburse any unused portion of the membership fee, less $5.00 + GST to the member.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Though I can empathize with the mother, I believe that her candid interview with the Winnipeg free Press does nothing to help her cause. Instead, I think her open criticism of CFS served to further discredit the hard work and dedication that the majority of the over-worked case workers that are employed by CFS undertake on a regular basis.
the mother's complaint; "My daughter is in major danger in the hands of CFS" discredits the very system that she failed to thoroughly research, when she decided to place her daughter in their custody in 2007.
If you read the newspaper, or have read the newspaper in the last five years, you have probably read a story about the crippled state of the CFS system; it baffles me that she, the mother, felt that this system would be able to rehabilitate her daughter.
The system itself is on life support, and it's not a secret, but rather a bold-faced tragedy.
None the less, in 2007 the mother, in her desperate state, opted to call CFS with the hopes that they could reform her troubled daughter.
I don't get it...
Perhaps she didn't understand, or notice the fundamental issues plaguing the current state of the CFS system before concluding that they would be the most beneficial option to "save" her daughter.
In fact, she has gone as far as to state in an open letter to CFS: "If something happens to my child, I will hold you responsible. She cannot be another statistic of the children that die in the hands of CFS."
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Okay, so here I am blogging, even though I have a bazillion things to do.
Why you ask?!
Because I'm trying to be a dedicated blogger, and not lose out on perspective comments. (I love comments. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them.)
Plus, as bad as it sounds, there is no better time to blog than right now; when I have a million things running through my mind, and I am pumped on pure adrenaline, knowing that tonight (like almost every night these days) I am going to be up until all hours of the morning trying to finish all of the tasks I have at hand.
A lot of people told me that CreComm would be intense, but this intensity is a lot different than I expected. This kind of intensity -- the CreComm intensity -- is more like chaos.
Complete and utter chaos.
Just when you think that you have finished the bulk of your workload, something else pops up (if your lucky it's just one thing), and you have to find a way to complete the task at hand in the 24-hours that you have during any given day.
If CreComm was my boyfriend I wold have broken up with him by now for being so damn demanding!
However, in a strange (sick and twisted) sorta way, I am actually enjoying this chaotic side of life.
I mean yes, I am working my butt off, and have given up the luxury of a full night's sleep for short little naps in between assignments and school...And sure, I have never worked so hard in my life, only to be "rewarded" was a six or a seven out of 10 on any given paper that I pour my heart and soul into. And of course I understand that my stress levels are comparable to that of a high-risk heart attack victim...
But let me tell you, I have never felt more alive in my life!!
This course is unforgiving, and will chew you up and spit you out if you let it; but I am fairly certain that there is no better way to prepare for the career path ahead than to take it like a champ, and not crack under the deadlines and pressure.
That being said, it is time for me to get on with the bazillion things that I have to do before I can take cat-nap.
Wish me luck folks, tonight is going to be CRAZY!!!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
She told me that I had to take a pledge not to use that word anymore, because it is derogatory to people living with special needs.
Hmmm, good point sister...
I said okay, and she directed me to the Special Olympics website, where they have an online pledge for people to sign up and commit to not using the r-word anymore.
I signed up, pledging that I would stop using the r-word in my everyday conversations.
Initially I found it very difficult to refrain from dropping r-bombs. -- I never realized that the r-word was a staple in my vocabulary, and that I dropped it about a thousand times a day! It took me quite awhile to come up with new ways to express myself.
Anyways, now I am a changed woman.
There have been a couple of times that I have slipped, and the r-word has come out of my mouth, but for the most part I am doing pretty good...
Anyone else interested in taking the r-word pledge?!
Friday, October 9, 2009
I got the bright idea to get a start on making chocolate covered cherries for our Grad Committee bake sale on Wednesday (chocolate covered cherries are best if they sit in the fridge for a few days before consumption...)
Anyways, I got this bright idea at 10:30 tonight, thinking that it wouldn't actually take me that long. (Earth to Shelley, it takes FOREVER every time you make them...)
So now it's shortly after 1:00am, and I still have a whole whack of cherries to choc-li-fy. (Yes, I made up that word...What of it!?)
Oh, and when I was feeling energetic, and full of bright ideas at 10:30 tonight, I also decided that it would be a fine time to start on my eight thousand loads of laundry that I've been putting off...
And now, shortly after 1:00am, I have a pile of clean clothes, unfolded on my couch, and two loads in the dryer...
I'm going to bed.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Anyways, I took my car to school, and paid seven dollars to park it in this parking lot up the block from Red River. (Which is actually not even too bad, considering that I once parked in the parkade, and it cost me $12...)
After school, I offered my friend Maeghan a ride home, since she is always nice enough to offer me ride home when she brings her car. (Plus, she just lives a couple of blocks away from me, so even if she didn't always offer me rides, I'd be real jerk if I didn't offer, and made her take the bus...)
So we get into my car (which is an absolute mess!) and I start the ignition, not realizing that I have left my "for my ears only" CD in the CD player.
At first the songs on the CD are okay; nothing that I am embarrassed to admit listening to anyway, but as we keep driving, and the CD keeps laying, the songs start to get a little questionable...
Cheesy. Really, really cheesy.
By the time we are stuck in the downtown traffic by the MTS center, I realize that we are listening to this particular CD, and that I am not comfortable enough with myself to share my awkward musical tastes with her yet.
To my horror, the sugary lyrics of Leona Lewis' 'Better in Time' started to play.
"It's been the longest winter without you, I didn't know where to turn to..."
The song, a sappy little ditty about a girl trying to get over a guy, isn't a bad one really. However, it is something that is definitely worth making fun of me for, considering the extent of the song's mushy implications. (I would make fun of any of my friends for listening to it...)
Maeghan didn't even notice the song, since we were talking and all, but I ended up outing myself by quickly switching from CD to radio, and confessing my love for cheesy songs like this...
I am so embarrassed.
(And Maeghan didn't even care, but I am still so embarrassed!)
I know that I shouldn't care what others think about my peculiar musical taste, but just imagine that you are getting into your car with your new school friend, and Celine Dion, or Backstreet Boys (or something of that calibre) starts playing...
Monday, October 5, 2009
Since I started Cre Comm, I haven't been able to see her as much as I used to; and to me that is probably the only downfall of taking this program.
I am not sure that I will ever have kids of my own (Lets face it, I'm thirty, and there are really no perspective boyfriends, or baby daddies looming in my life...And, my biological clock; well it's pretty non-existent.)
Kennedy is likely the closest thing to motherhood that I will get, and I am quite pleased that I can have the best of both worlds in that respect. (I am her special Auntie, who was the first one to hold her when she was born, aside from her mom and dad. And I do consider her to be like my own kid to a certain degree, if that makes any sense...)
I still see KJ (that's what we call her) often, but my school life does take away from my Auntie life more than I'd like. (Kudos to the people in Cre Comm who have kids, it must be really difficult to find that balance...Keep it up!!)
Ahh well, I have homework, time to get crackin on it...
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Much to my dismay, I have to work today. (Hey, that rhymes!!) -- I don't hate my job or anything, but today feels like a day that staying in bed for most of the morning, and then catching up on laundry (and other chores) would be crucial!
I thought about calling in sick, but I just can't bring myself to do it. (One of my biggest pet peeves is people who call in sick when they're not...)
So instead, I am just procrastinating, until I absolutely have to get ready for work.
Yesterday we had our first "streeter" in journalism class. For those of you who are not familliar with what a streeter is, it is essentially this...
1. Steve Vogelsang says: "You'll have a streeter today"
2. We all groan, and begin to panic.
3. Steve gives us an outline of the assignment. (Topics that we can write about, word count of article (+/- 10%), a time limit, and some kind of warning of sorts; "Leave yourself enough time to write your article, it must be in by 10:50am, otherwise it's late...")
4. We all scramble out of the classroom, and desperately search for people walking, sitting, hanging around the downtown area to interview. (We need quotes, and at least two sources that are willing to give their first and last name!)
5. We (hopefully) get our story, and rush back to the classroom to write it.
6. Steve announces the time every so often, and many of us begin to panic even more.
7. A couple minutes to deadline, we all pile around the printer, many of us freaking out.
8. We (hopefully) hand in our stories, and pray that we have no misspelled anything.
9. We try to calm ourselves down, and (in my case anyway) start to feel this insane rush...
And that my friends is what a streeter is.
It was actually kind of fun (in hindsight), but holy cow, it was INTENSE!!
Okay, I have to get ready for work now...
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Dear Cre Comm friends,
Since I am the elderly one in the class, and this song is from when I was a kid (way back in the 80's...) I think it's only fair for me to share this with you...
Since we're reliving the 80's right now, how about we give ol' Tiffany another chance?!
I bet she is probably available for a mall appearance, so we could totally pull this off...
What do you say!?
They were kidding when they said that Cre Comm was going to be intense, wow!
I am working on two assignments right now; an article for the Projector, and a personality profile for my Journalism class. (well, not the actual personality profile, rather the assignment is a memo to my Journalism instructor requesting to write a personality profile about someone. The personality profile comes later...)
I still haven't found someone to do the personality profile on! (I've got a couple of e-mails into my contacts, and am awaiting replies from them...I figure I won't start panicking until about midnight...)
Anyhow, School. INSANITY!
I failed my first journalism assignment yesterday because of a spelling error! (My friends in section 3 consoled me by telling me that everyone in Cre Comm fails something, but as grateful as I am to my friends for the pep talk, I am still disappointed in my careless mistake. -- I spelled "lightning" wrong! How could I spell lightning wrong!??! At least if my error was a difficult word like "gubernatorial" or "schizophrenic" I think I would be more comfortable with my F...)
It's strange how strict this program is; it's like military training camp for the creative...(Awwe, I can totally picture Kenton and Steve in their cammo-gear...How adorable is that!?)
Spelling error = automatic fail.
Aside from school, I am excited that my sister will be coming in for Thanksgiving!
I had to book time off from work to make sure that our visit was more than just passing one another in the hallway of my parents condo. (Seriously...I think her last visit was probably like that...)
I am so excited that she is coming home; the Cook girls are going to reunite!! And, as an added bonus, I get an extra day off on Monday!
How fantastic is that!?
I already have big plans for when CJ comes home; they include ice cream, wearing sweat pants, and watching girly movies! (Maybe we'll even invest in some face masks if we decide to get fancy!!)
Ahh life is so chaotic right now, but to be perfectly honest; I am so happy about how it's all going!!