Category: journalism

Planning Committee undertakes location scout for Retreat

*For immediate release from the Department of Corporate Planning and Infrastructure*

On Friday July 10, the Planning Committee of the 2009 Corporate Retreat successfully undertook a preliminary strategic operation. The team effectively scouted the first location of the Retreat, and through such investigation was able to identify areas for further planning and research.

Although the Corporate Retreat was originally scheduled for this date, the shift to a later date was thought to be best for all parties involved, allowing for proper preparation and organization by all. Most importantly, this will provide an occasion to further pursue options for corporate attire and a more thorough planning of proper locations and the best possible routes.

The Planning Committee attended a serving of refreshments at a predetermined location in Kemptville, Ontario. The lovely locale of Frank’s Diner was able to cater to all of the Committee’s needs. Preliminary examinations of the area proved fruitful and it was chosen as one of the most important locations for the real Corporate Retreat, now re-scheduled for August 7, 2009.

First impressions of the chosen media for the Retreat were very positive. All parties involved were highly optimistic for the outcome of the August 7th event, and have now commenced planning with more zeal and determination than ever before. Events have been well documented and will be shared as part of the media kit for the Corporate Retreat.

Please direct all media enquiries to the Communications Assistant. Any and all comments will be directly responded to in order to encourage an attitude of openness and clarity involving the events of the upcoming Corporate Retreat and Friday’s location scouting.

-30-

Ah, the wonders of spin. I didn’t spend 4 years in journalism for nothing!

In short, Kaitlyn got food poisoning (not from Frank’s though!) and we had to cut it short and reschedule. But it gives us time to buy cowboy hats and find me some plaid, since I was the only one not wearing any on Friday.

$20,000 and all I got was a BJ

gradhat

I think we can all agree that I look damn fine in that grad cap. Not something easily accomplished. However, you’ll notice my “you’re an idiot, take the picture” smirk as well. You should have seen the first few shots.

So as of today have a Bachelor of Journalism in Journalism and Greek and Roman Studies. That’s right, I can now be “Heather Montgomery, BJ.”

I’m the only one who’s actually excited to go to graduation. This is probably entirely because up until about two weeks ago I didn’t know if it was going to happen. The last three months have been hell - Okay, honestly the last four years have been hell - but here I am. And I’m damn proud of myself so I’m going to take this chance to indulge a little and look back at what I’ve accomplished in the last four years, academically at least.

I went into Journalism for a number of reasons. I have always wanted to be a writer, it’s “my thing” - it’s what I have always done and always will do. It’s a part of me, I couldn’t stop writing anymore than I could stop breathing.

But I’m not the bravest person in the world. I tend to over think things and I’m far too logical to just decide to be a writer and live for that. I need to have something else, something more stable to fall back on. And so I applied to a number of schools and a number of different English and History programs. Journalism was my last choice on my application.

Then I got an early acceptance and a nice entrance scholarship to Carleton University’s School of Journalism. The minute I mentioned this program to anyone they were impressed. Carleton has arguably the best journalism program in the country and your high school grades have to be pretty high to get in. They also cut the class in half after first year, meaning that the 100 people with the lowest marks don’t get into the second year of the program.

So, I decided to go to Carleton for Journalism. I had dreams of being a great journalist, of changing the world like Seymour Hersch or Edward Murrow.

These dreams were very quickly crushed by the “sink or swim” style of J-School. I have to say that I have hated most of what I did for journalism, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.

I can’t do anything half-assed, I don’t know how. And so I decided to make the most out of my journalism degree if I was going to stick it out. I worked for a media monitoring company for a year (getting up at 4am is painful), I was on staff at the weekly university newspaper for two years as a photographer and the Photo Editor. I freelanced for multiple magazines and newspapers (and got paid too!) and I got a cushy little freelance gig for University Communications. I produced a TV news show, shot, edited and wrote several TV pieces, anchored a radio show, produced a documentary and wrote countless news stories, features and sidebars. I am a decent journalist - how can I not be after four years in one of the hardest programs? It’s just that I don’t really like it.

But I’ve learned so much from it. If I look back to the person I was four years ago, I barely recognize her. That girl could never cold call the government or stand in front of a TV camera. I was shy. Painfully so. Never a public speaker, I tended to be happy to fade into the background.

Journalism forced me to step outside of that comfort zone. Perhaps that’s why I hated it so much. But it made me into a much stronger, more confident person.

It got me my museum job. A  journalism degree is proof that I can communicate - I can talk to people and convey information in a way that people actually understand. I can research - our teachers always joked that a journalist’s job was to become an expert on any subject in a matter of minutes, or at least to pretend they were.

It taught me so much about writing. Before university, I could ramble wordily with the best of them - a degree in English would have just kept me in that academic comfort zone. But journalism taught me the value of each word.  That words should be chosen carefully for the exact effect, not cheapened by overuse.  It taught me that the point of writing, of communicating, is for other people to understand. It taught me to write at a Grade 3 level, and I resented it every step of the way. But now I look at my writing and I know that I’m better for it.

The trade off for my suffering through journalism was that I declared my double major in Greek and Roman Studies. There was never any doubt in my mind that I would love my history classes. This way I got to revel in the half of my course load I loved while bearing with my journalism classes.

I’m glad I didn’t just do a degree in Classics. Now I have something that I think is more valuable and certainly more unique. I have a history degree and the ability to communicate, which is so often lacking in academia. I have a knowledge of the world and how it works - our world, not just 2000 years ago.

That being said, I’m thrilled to be done journalism and to move into what I now know I truly love - history.

And I’m graduating with High Honours, too.

Archaeologists dig up a story from Ottawa’s past

It’s 1885 and the city of Ottawa is a different place. The LeBreton Flats are not an empty space next to the Canadian War Museum to hold Ottawa Bluesfest each year. Instead, they are a busy part of the growing national capital, a settlement of mostly labourers and the home of Ottawa’s second oldest train station between Booth and Broad Streets.

See the full story here.

They finally put our Science Reporting features up. Take a look. See, I told you I was a journalist!

What I learned this year - or the various adventures of Apartment 4

This morning I wrote my (hopefully) last exam of my undergraduate degree.

As the year comes to an end, I’ve decided to make a list of the things I’ve learnt over the course of this year. Here goes:

  1. Even (or especially) when procrastinating, living with your friends is hella fun.
  2. Try as she might, Kristen will never learn how to teleport us to school.
  3. What happens in the edit suites stays in the edit suites - true friendship is surviving being stuck in a small cubicle with a temperamental computer and a tight deadline.
  4. Powdered donuts can get me through anything.
  5. Wednesday nights are fierce. ANTM and girls night.
  6. Hummus should not be used in the bedroom.
  7. That night in San Quinn was unforgettable.
  8. If you make a giant vat of chili on the weekend, you have food all week!
  9. How to push myself to max sushi capacity. Also, how to make sushi.
  10. M&M brownies in a box are the best kind of brownies, in a box.
  11. There are few problems that can’t be solved by Hagen Daas.
  12. It’s very hard to fashion an erect penis on a sugar cookie man with just icing.
  13. Journalism sucks. Wait, I already knew that. This year I learned that certain things, like docs and fun archaeology articles aren’t so bad.
  14. Testes? Testicles? It’s interchangeable.
  15. Everyone should have an slogan. Like Kristen, Canada’s Open Person.
  16. How to dance like no one’s watching.
  17. You can eat grilled cheese three to four days a week, two meals a day.
  18. Every day is a Tea Party.
  19. Science isn’t as scary as I thought.
  20. It’s very difficult to walk down four flights of stairs in heels when drunk.
  21. It is possible to live for a year with only three walls.
  22. I look damn hot in a grad cap, unlike the majority of people. Unfortunately, without the hat I look like a smirking fool holding fake flowers.
  23. Museums are awesome.
  24. How to make egg salad. And heart shaped scones. And a million cookies.
  25. I have the best friends in the world, and I owe the survival of this year and the three before that to them.

And now…. what four BJ students are really good for….

J Prom: Or, where Hez cleans up real nice…

I love getting dressed up! I hated my first prom, so here’s to the second! AND to the end of journalism!

My new goddess inspired shoes!

The cameo… or a shot of my cleavage!

The one where you can see my bra/my bangs are too long and I’m channeling something mod. But you can see my gorgeous dress in this one.

Time to do BJs (shots) and get drunk!