Monday, 27 September 2010

Culture Days proving Arts and Culture are here to stay in Canada

This past weekend (September 24-26) I had the privilege to attend one of the Culture Days events taking place in my city.

Culture Days is a pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.  This means that through these three days, several free activities will be held all across the country to promote the arts and cultural life in provinces and Canada as a whole.  This is an event that will take place annually.

Aubrey Reeves, who is one of the coordinators of the Culture Days activities taking place in the Greater Toronto Area, says that the event is incredibly important for Canada because the event relies on volunteers all across the country to put out arts-related activities for Canadians. "Celebrating creativity that happens in Canada and culture play a huge part in our lives. Culture Days is not just about professional artists, but it's also for those people who do art everyday in their daily lives." she says. 

In the province of Ontario, there were around 900 activities taking place such as Musical Theatre Workshops taking place at the S. P.A.C.E, film screenings at the NFB, and Salsa Lessons at the Lula Music and Arts Centre to name a few.  All across the country,  over 4,000 activities took place. 

The event I went to was conveniently located at Yonge and Dundas Square, which is right beside my school.  That day, CBC was there to celebrate the art of broadcasting.

"Perfect!" I thought, as that is the field I want to get into.  And how glad I was to have went!  I met five CBC news anchors, and some of them actually attended Ryerson!

Anchors such as Deana Sumanac, who is a CBC Arts News reporter, told me that Ryerson is the place to be to study Journalism.

 "It's in the center of downtown Toronto, there's always so much action going on, and the school actually helps students find internships!" she said. 

 She was really nice, and offered me a lot of helpful advice. She even gave me her autograph, and signed a note saying:  "Good luck- maybe we'll even work together at some point!"
Another journalist I had to privilege to talk to was Anne-Marie Mediwake, who is a news anchor at CBC.  She too, is a huge supporter of this event.  "In Canada, it is hugely important because funding has been cut back in the country.  So this is a way to show Canadians that we're still here and culture and arts are here to stay." she says.

Though in terms of advice for me and my future career, Mediwake offers much needed insight. "Work hard.  Look for opportunities, ask for opportunities and do a lot of reading."

I guess I should get off the computer then, huh?

For more information on Culture Days, go to

I am attending next year again for sure!
(first photo from Culture Days website) 

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Getting to a Routine.

It is now officially my third week of school and to be honest with all of you, I actually kind of love it!  At first I had my doubts because of my terrible marks (as seen in my total FAIL of a video blog) and not moving out.

 Don't get me wrong though. I STILL hate the commute and not being able to stay as long as I want downtown. The hour and a half commute there and back (that's three hours in total) is exhausting!  I absolutely hate it.  I could be sleeping or even joining a cool club or sports team down at my school.

 In terms of adjusting to my classes, I'm hoping that it's getting better.  For sure, Writer's Block is no longer much of a problem.  I don't even have time to do much thinking, because usually an assignment is just thrown at me to be done by the end of the class.  And in a weird and twisted way, I'm actually kind of enjoying these exercises.

By far, my favourite assignment was the 'Streeters' I did last week.  This consisted of me going up to Yonge and Bloor to ask random people on the street a question about the Toronto International Film Festival.  This was mainly an exercise to help the class get used to approaching people and collecting quotes word for word.  It also helped us a lot with note-taking.

Although this experience was enjoyable, I encountered several people who did not want an interview.  If they weren't 'too busy' or 'to cool', they would end up answering my question but refuse to give me their names!!  Seriously, approaching people can be hard! 

I did get several interesting answers.  One man actually worked at the festival, and he interviewed Keanu Reeves!  Another, gave me a humourous answer about why James Franco should play the role of Superman (which I 100 percent agree!)

At first, I thought that I would have a lot of trouble getting people to talk to me, especially in a busy location such as Yonge and Bloor.  While I did have a little bit of difficulty, it wasn't so hard in the end. I was actually really scared to approach people in the beginning, but I realized that I probably wouldn't see those people again.  Therefore, I broke out of my shell and started asking questions without thinking of what others thought of me.


And really, who wouldn't want to be featured on a publication? 

Sunday, 19 September 2010

NEW PROJECT......sorta..

I'm new at this. So PLEASE FORGIVE ME!! I have decided to start video blogging again, so if I bore you, I AM SO sorry.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Feeling truly honoured...

 Many people have a reason as to why they want to become a journalist.  Some are inspired by columnists, and some are into politics. As typical as this seems, I was sparked through watching Muchmusic in elementary school.  I know this seems like a bad reason to become a journalist because many frown upon pop culture news.  However, it was always more than that for me. At Muchmusic, I found that they always used arts and culture to promote something good for viewers whether it was a charity, or a non-profit organization. For me, I didn't just want a cool job interviewing celebrities. What I wanted, was to use my job as a journalist to provoke a positive change in the world.

So there's no surprise how quickly I jumped at an opportunity to talk to one of my favourite Muchmusic VJs.  

I had this school assignment that required me to interview a journalist and and I had a bit of trouble finding reporters who would spare JUST FIVE- TEN MINUTES with me for an interview.  20 emails sent out, I got five replies back. One was at New York Fashion Week and couldn't talk until Friday.  Another, was 'crazy busy' and also couldn't talk until Friday. Another, was an assistant saying how George Strombo was very busy and gets many requests for an interview. While the other, didn't want to give her number away...which was respectable, but offered to call me.  One journalist said I could call her. However, that was until I found someone better and more inspirational to me.  The fact that she took time off to talk to me is so flattering because I wasn't even expecting a reply!

(I referred the other journalist to a fellow j-skooler so she could complete her assignment!!)

So to keep you from being curious....I talked to Hannah Sung!

Hannah Sung used to work as a Muchmusic VJ.  However, her work was always geared toward the music/entertainment journalism side as opposed to the Leah MIller 'talk-show host style'.  What I like most about Hannah is her passion to cover stories about making positive changes in the world one small step at a time.  She is so inspiring to me because she quit a dream job as a Muchmusic VJ to travel to Indonesia and East Timor to make a documentary about youth coping with the effects of the 2005 Tsunami.  Not only that, she continues to be a social activist, writing and covering stories about making a difference.

She is one of the reasons why I want this job because she is an example of what I want to be when I grow up.  I realize I sound like I'm writing some persuasive essay over here, but she has really made an impact on me.  I really hope I didn't sound like a nervous loser on the phone!!!  She is so articulate...and SHE IS SO NICE.  I hope to meet her in real life one day.  After that, it's George Stromboloupolous. I just hope he has some more time.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Yesterday, I received my first assignment back.  It was not pretty.

As a student who did pretty good in English at school, I got a C-, my first in a really long time. Of course, none of this is going towards my final grade, but it really shot me down.  I'm used to getting 80s and 90s in my assignments, and clearly university is proving to me that this is REALITY and no longer high school.  Though I am shot down about this, I feel very motivated to do better and progress. I will delve into more detail later, because I'm planning to start video blogging again.  I dream of becoming a broadcast journalist one day, but I first have to get used to speaking clearly and gaining more experience.  However, I don't have much.  Therefore, I am going to start my own little project...with the help of a potential collaboration from a suggestion made by a friend.

Check back soon for more deets!!!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

TIFF and then some

I attended the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday and boy, was it exhausting.  Though as tired as I am, lining up for 6 hours just to get a hold onto some rush tickets was well worth it.  You may think I'm crazy for doing this, but if you love movies and seeing famous people, the experience never gets boring!  I was lucky enough to have a ledge to sit on, and while waiting in line, we met some very nice and interesting people!  I have found a contact to buy English Textbooks from, AND I also got to take pictures of movie stars...and Canadian Rapper K-0s!!!

It's the HOT Andrew Garfield (he's the new Spiderman FYI), and Carey Mulligan! Carey is wearing a modified Christopher Kane Dress that looks very intergalactic and space-like. Love the print, unsure about the design.

Toronto's Kier Gilchrist (starring in It's Kind of a Funny Story) looking very sharp, on the red carpet.  I thought he was much taller!

Here is the cast of It's Kind of a Funny Story.  Directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, Kier Gilchrist who plays Craig, Zach Galifianakis as  Bobby and Emma Roberts as Noelle.

It's Kind of a Funny Story was a great, coming of age film.  It is serious, but still offers the humour and talents of the cast such as Zach Galifianakis, and Gilchrist to name a couple.  As well, the soundtrack is filled with Canadian indie band Broken Social Scene! Best part of the movie?  An 80s inspired music video using the song Under Pressure by Queen.  The downfall?  Watching at the very front to see distorted faces up on the movie screen. But who cares!  I saw the movie stars up close!!!

And to prove that waiting in line wasn't so boring, I met K-Os!!! 

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Composition I wrote in early Grade 7

I have been doing some spring cleaning lately (Yes, I know it isn't the right season!!) and I came upon some old compositions I wrote in the September month of Grade 7.  I think this one truly illustrates how I will always feel towards the subject Math.

E= MC^2

My teachers are always telling me that if I learn math in grades seven and eight, I will know the math in high school.  Well, it would just be a little harder.  

Oh, I've got a lot to wait for!  Sure school math is simple, but once, I had to do some high school math a tutor gave me.  It was algebra and fractions together.  Just looking at it made me dizzy!  I couldn't understand a single thing.  Knowing that I had to do the work made me feel like I was in Math Prison

Then there was this other time.  My tutor gave me algebra integers.  Once again, it totally baffled me.  My mother asked why I didn't pay attention.  I told her I tried but it was just too confusing.  

As you can see, math is harder than you think.  It can be so complicated.  What are math teachers trying to do?  Make us as smart as Einstein?

So...if a teacher asks you how to explain a hard question like "E=MC^2," tell her that you're not a genius!!


This is poorly structured, but how I wish I told that to the worst of the worst teachers!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Uni's what you make it.

As I write this as I wait for the guy to finish fixing my shower, I am going to recap my first week of University...well sortof.  It hasn't officially started yet, but Ryerson University is seriously better than I expected.  Mostly everyone is commuting, and if not, I have found a couple of friends who have apartments downtown.  Can you say party time?!

The first couple days of Frosh were a bit awkward for me because it's a whole new environment with so many people of different personalities.  I don't think I've met anyone who wasn't open to meeting new people, because everyone I talked to were pretty nice and friendly! Frosh has tired me out...thanks to the blistering heat and staying outside most of the time.

As you all might of read in a couple of blog posts before, I mentioned about the subway having issues.  I was so scared I was going to be late for Frosh, but it turns out I arrived on time! When I got Ryerson I was supposed to sign up for Orientation.  They put me in Group 1, but since it was kind of unorganized, I joined Team 16.  Team 16 was probably better than Team 1 anyways because both of my leaders are 4th year Journalism students.  They really helped me with a lot of my questions and told me not to worry too much about what's to come.  They actually told me to lower my expectations in terms of my marks because my assignments are going to be torn apart.  I guess I'm just going to have to get used to constructive criticism! (I'm not really good at taking it)

I'm not going to go on a writing tangent on all the events that took place during Frosh week to save you from boredom, but some of my highlights consisted of the Photo Scavenger Hunt, Hypnotist Show, Guiness World Record Beat-Boxing Contest, MTV Live and my Academic Orientation.

The best part was definitely the Photo Scavenger Hunt because we got to not only travel around the city taking whacky pics, but we got to cheer obnoxiously too.  While the Scavenger hunt was taking place, we also had to trade a Pipe Cleaner for something better.  This means that we had to go around asking people what they had that was better than what we had in exchange for our lousy little pipe cleaner.  Sounds tough to do, but we ended up with a Bracelet.  We almost got a real cellphone from this sketchy guy until we told him the bracelet wasn't real diamonds. I wonder if we should have lied...haha that wouldn't have been a good idea!

 Another memorable thing that happened during the Scavenger Hunt was when our team stopped the police car just so we could take a picture with them.  However, someone was getting arrested at the time, so they sadly declined.  However, one of the police officers told us to laugh at the person being arrested...which I find quite mean and funny at the same time...

To say the least about the other events:  we broke the Guiness World Record (though Brock is going to try to beat us!), I want to try be hyponotized now after seeing the Hypnotist, MTV Live was too short and kind of boring, and Academic Orientation was probably the most helpful and social day of my week! 

From what I'm seeing here is, University life without living on campus can be fun as well!  I suppose it's what you make it so now I'm just trying to be as social and true to myself as possible. This means that I will be attending events and joining a ton of clubs instead of rushing home after class.  By the way, there are only about 20-ish Asian people in the entire Journalism program.  I'm thinking I should befriend all these Asians, because ASIANS stick together! Wow, I kind of sound like a jerk for saying that and I'm sorrrryyy!!  Everyone can be my friend!!! =)

In the mean time, I am currently saving money and proving to my parents to let me live in an apartment downtown.  I know it's expensive, but I am going to become the stingiest Asian person ever to find an accommodation.  I'm sick of living at home and I WILL SUCCEED!  THIS DETERMINATION WILL NOT DIE!!


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Journalism Orientation

After attending my academic orientation in addition to seeing the facilities I get to take advantage of, I have concluded that I am at the right school and program. I had previously visited the Rogers Communications Centre, but I have never really looked around.  But after having a second tour, I cannot wait to start classes!

  When I reached the building at a very early 9:00 am, it was time to mingle.  Today was my absolute favourite day of the entire frosh week because I finally got to meet people in my program.  Everyone is so nice, outgoing and friendly. These are not only my future classmates, but they are also potential colleagues and partners in the career of my choice.

I certainly did not DRESS for the occasion.  I don't know about anyone else in Journalism school, but after seeing a lot of the people today, I feel like I should step up my wardrobe.  I felt so plain, and kind of messy! AGH...They even took press photos of us today!  Although I wasn't ready, I did feel very nice about having my picture taken.  It felt very professional but the photographer kept taking photos of me!  It HAD to be PERFECT:  "There's something wrong with the lighting....It's too dark...How about fixing your smile...?...Hmm...the glare is too bright..."

Well...I suppose it really is important to get that perfect shot! Hopefully this can somewhat help me get an internship hahahaaaa..

My favourite part of the whole orientation process was the panel of second-year students offering advice ranging from tough professors and assignments to getting involved at school.  The whole thing really made me inspired to go out and find internships and to get ahead right away.

But all of this information is very overwhelming for me.  I know what I can expect, but I will not actually know how it will feel like until I start the program. I have heard that my first few assignments are going to be torn apart in terms of sentence structure, content, and grammar.  I'm a girl who's used to 80s and 90s, how am I going to prepare for 70s?  And also, what about the grammar test? Even though people say it's NOT that HARD..., I'm still worried because a lot of people still fail!  I suppose that's another thing I have to look forward to...

P.S.  I'm a girl who wants to go into broadcast journalism.  So does the majority of the people (COUGH girls) in my program.  Therefore, I'm kind of assuming that it will be kind of cut-throat and competitive.  I suppose it's time to step my game up! SERIOUS BUSINESS. They need more Asians in the field.