New Adventures in a Familiar City

My bags were packed and the Calgary Tower was in my rear-view mirror in the spring of 2000.  I had just finished my broadcast journalism program at SAIT, and I was heading east to move back to Saskatchewan.  I always wanted to come back to Calgary at some point in my career – I just didn’t realize it would be nearly 17 years after it started.

Calgary has always been a familiar place for me.  I have extended family here.  As a kid, I spent those formative early years of my adolescence living in Airdrie.  I’ve visited often.  When you’re familiar with a place, you develop a level of literacy for its vibe and conventions.  Even so, time can change a place, and this city is no exception.

The boom of the early 2000s brought with it many new faces from not only across the country but from across the world.  Tastes have been refined.  There are new ideas and different ways of doing things. The Calgary I once knew, while still somewhat familiar in its layout, has a new texture to it which I’m eager to explore.

I’m approaching my return to the city as a new adventure – not only from a career perspective but also from a personal one.  I hope to share my experiences with you in a number of ways on a number of platforms – on this blog, on social media, and of course through my work.

Let the story begin.

No pressure.

We’re about a month away from a rather big event for our family.

My oldest nephew, Blair, graduates from high school at the end of May. In fact, he graduates from the same high school I went to, which gives me an added sense of pride (and sentimentality) about the whole matter.  18 years ago, I was walking across the stage to get my own diploma. Funny enough, my nephew was there that day – although he was still three months away from being born.

In the years which have passed, Blair has grown up (and up… and up… far taller than any of us in our family) in what seems like the blink of an eye. It’s unfair that time passes so quickly, but it’s selfish to wish it’d linger on. I’m filled with excitement to see where he’s going to go and what he’s going to achieve.

Inevitably, occasions like a high school graduation give way to unsolicited advice. I’ve come to think we offer graduates our “words of wisdom” because we look back on our own experiences, and want to help encourage the great moments in life while placing caution signs for the things we’d choose to do over again.

As a mentor of mine once said, advice is given with the proviso that responsibility for it ends with the person who receives it.  They can choose act on the advice, or put it on a shelf in their mind.  It’s their call.  Whatever my nephew does with the following, I offer it to him and to any of the other members in the class of 2016, with best wishes for the journey which lies before them.

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#HashtagActivism and Media Backlash

On Sunday, the anti-media chorus (targeting old and new platforms) sang out on Facebook and Twitter, decrying what was being called a myopic, biased world view by the mainstream media when it comes to the terror unleashed by ISIS last week.  The complaint : while the attacks in Paris got the full western media breaking news treatment, a suicide bombing in a neighbourhood in Beirut along with another bombing at a funeral in Baghdad “got no coverage.”

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