Everything I need to know, I learned in marching band

It’s been four years since I was in high school and in a high school marching band. I miss getting on a football field sometimes for band practice, but I don’t think I could go back. I chose not to go into Stampede band, and made the ill choice of auditioning for Outriders on an alto sax instead of my usual tenor.

A bunch of high school kids — how good could we be? At the time, there was no questioning it. Now, I see that they’re (we were) just a bunch of high school kids, but you also have to consider the band has travelled to every continent but South America and Africa, has been invited back to overseas competitions numerous times, has won enough awards that there isn’t enough space for them in the trophy cases, and has a name for itself.

It never was easy. But the mosquito bites, sun burns, heat stroke, heartbreak, tears, exhaustion, laughter and joy I experienced because of it? Wouldn’t trade it for the world. Continue reading


Wanted: an attention span

For anyone following me on Twitter, I’d like to offer a half-apology, half-warning: please don’t look at my favourites list.

Presumably, people use “favourites” for tweets they really like, and want to make sure people can access long after the tweet is no longer being retweeted and shared.

I use it as a means to come back to things I mean to read later. Continue reading

Intern days

I’m not going to lie — I feel a little silly writing this.

Since I stopped working in the city in August 2009, I haven’t spent any substantial amount of time in St. Albert besides the occasional visit when I lived in Edmonton last summer for four months and would drive over to St. A for an event or if I needed to wash my car. (Yes, I know Edmonton has car washes. But for me, self-serve, do-it-yourself car washes have to be stupid-proof, and there’s one that meets that criteria on Green Grove Road, just off St. Albert Trail).

And so while I only spent four months working at Saint City News as an intern, it still breaks my heart a little to hear that the paper will close its doors for good at the end of this month. Continue reading

Dream On: a (in-progress) wish list for interviews

Most of the job interviews I’ve had for newsroom positions are pretty standard — I’d almost say they’re easier than a job interview for a corporate position. Or maybe that’s just me, my personality just works better in a newsroom interview, editors aren’t as concerned that I talk with my hands or talk too fast (both which I’ve been told are nervous tics, except I naturally talk with my hands, and the talking fast — yeah, that’s super natural for me too).

But I had one newsroom interview, for an internship at a paper in western Ontario, where they asked me a bunch of character-testing questions. We’d been warned about those in an internship prep class, but they still kind of caught me off-guard.

One of the questions was, who is your dream interview? Continue reading

20/20 hindsight

Sometimes, it takes me a while to write something. There have been news stories where I’ve had to start four or five different documents, playing with different ledes and transitions, just because I can’t figure out how I want to say what I need to say.

Usually though, that kind of rearranging and re-wording only takes me a few hours — although I like to leave myself enough time before deadline to look over everything one last time, and actually rewrote probably about a quarter to a half of a story one time after it had been laid out, because it was bothering me so much.

This time though, it took me nearly two and a half months. Continue reading