COM0014: POST 1 – What I did on my Vacation

This past July I went to Kelowna British Columbia for the first time with my boyfriend. Friends of ours were getting married and invited us to spend some time with them beforehand. We tried new things (elk jerky.. yuck!),  made new lifelong friends and took in some of Canada’s most beautiful landscapes.

Some of the memorable experiences we had were wine tasting at Greata Ranch in Peachland. We were told when visiting the Okanogan a winery is a must! Sure enough the wine was delicious and the view absolutely breathtaking!  http://www.greataranchwinery.com/

 Image

I highly recommend if you are ever in Peachland BC to go to Parrot Island. It is a sanctuary for abandoned and abused exotic birds and the 6$ admission goes towards their care. Unfortunately we got there just as they were closing for the day but got to chat with one of the owners.

One of the beautiful landscapes we saw was from the top of Knox Mountain overseeing all of Kelowna. I have never witnessed anything so beautiful in my lifetime.  The vast mountains and bodies of water made me feel so little in such an enormous world!

 Image
Image

Although I experienced a lot of new exciting things, there is one memorable part of the trip I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It wasn’t a physical experience but much more of an emotional one. The groom’s father was diagnosed with Sarcoma, also known as Terry Fox cancer, a few years back. They were unsure if he would make it to the wedding but thankfully he did and was even able to dance with the bride. He said “as most of you know, we were unsure if I would be here today…” the thought of that alone was devastating.  His speech brought tears to all and reminded us of how precious life really is.

Throughout the trip he always had a smile on his face even when you could tell he was in a lot of pain. He had a bag of pain medication inside his body that would release with the click of a small remote control. His strength and will to live reminded those around him to never take anything in life for granted and to make the most of the time you are given.

My boyfriend and I have decided we are without a doubt going back to British Columbia this summer. We were quite busy with the wedding for most of the trip and only got a bit of sightseeing in. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to go or things to do in Kelowna?

COM0011-521: “You’re Banned from Social Media!!!”

Yesterday, a Nova Scotia (NS) Crown attorney asked a judge to kick a 15-year-old girl off social media as part of her sentencing after she pleaded guilty to a “brutal” assault that was filmed and posted on Facebook.

cyber bullying keypadYou’d have to be living under a rock to have not heard of the rise of cyber bullying in Canada and the US.  Mostly girls, examples of teens that succumbed to the online bullying include high profile cases like Amanda Todd , a 15-year old from British Columbia (BC), and Rehtaeh Parsons, the 17-year old from NS, both of whom committed suicide after repeated online or cyber bullying.

Another case involves a 15-year old girl from NS who was charged after a female student — with autism — was punched at school earlier this year.

“It was a planned attack. It was lunchtime, the accused stood and waited for the victim to come through the hall at lunchtime, stated her name and then sucker punched her, knocked her on the floor and proceeded to grab her by the hair and kick her in the head and facial area,” said Steve Drake, the Crown attorney. “It all happened in approximately 10 to 12 seconds. It was brutal.”

As horrible as this was, it was the actions of a second student who filmed the assault and posted it on Facebook, spreading the episode and garnering unwanted attention, that raised the profile of this incident

The NS Attorney General likens the social media ban to barring a drunk driver from driving or requiring a drug abuser to stay away from drugs. Here’s the issue — How do you effectively enforce the ban when there are a multitude of devices from which one can access social media tools?

I perceive this as similar to “shunning” in certain religious communities in that enforcement responsibility lies with family, friends and the local community to ensure this girl does not access social media.

Will this be enough of a deterrent? Will this engage others, such as parents and the local community to help combat cyber bullying?

What are your thoughts?

@giddingsbob

http://www.twitter.com/giddingsbob