A chippie gave me back my life


On December 15, 2013, my husband died.  There was no warning of his illness other than the fact he started feeling nauseous on December 3.  He was diagnosed with liver cancer and died at home, peacefully, in my arms.  He was an American citizen and a Canadian resident, a medic in the Vietnam War who became a Physician Assistant serving veterans in Michigan his whole life.  He died as he lived: with purpose.

I know everybody dies.  I know many of us have to deal with the life invading, gut wrenching grief that comes with losing the love of our life.  I knew all of this, but I didn’t know how to do it.  I felt like I had unwillingly entered a long, dark tunnel and all I could do was surrender and walk slowly through it, hoping there was another side.  Most of the time, I was stuck in the tunnel, unable to move.

Did I give up?  No, because hope is a vibrant part of me. I went through the motions of life, but I totally withdrew from the world around me.  Most of all, I never smiled or laughed, and I cried every day. I lost myself and my life, and I didn’t know how to get them back.  My only contact with the outside world was my bird feeder.  My husband loved it, so I kept it.  He called it “the restaurant.”  I kept the restaurant open, because before he died, he told me every time I look at that bird feeder in the future, he would be right there with me.  I believed him.

Every day, for more than two years after he died, I went out in the backyard and filled the feeder.  On July 4, 2016, U.S. Independence Day, as I was doing this, a chipmunk ran out of the stone wall and came to sit on my right foot.  Just like that!  He looked up at me, and I bent down with sunflower seeds in my hand.  He gobbled them up and ran back into the whole in the wall.  I was shocked and…I smiled! A coincidence that a chipmunk appeared in my life on Independence Day? Maybe.  But I don’t believe in coincidences.  Hope.

I went back in my house and five minutes later, there was the chipmunk, sitting at my patio door, waiting.  I grabbed some peanuts, and our magical, mesmerizing relationship began.  Every morning, he sat at the patio door, waiting for me.  More smiles!  I spent hours sitting outside, in the sun, feeding him peanuts.  I work at home and on rainy days, when I sat at my computer, I left the patio door open by a few centimeters and he would come in and take peanuts from a plate.  If the plate was empty, he would take a few hops inside and sit next to my desk, commanding to be supplied!


What an amazing feeling it was to be in physical contact with something so wild! Slowly, I started taking long distance walks, I called my friends, opened up to them and shared my pain, and I resurfaced in my community, in the world of the living.  I will never totally understand why this chippie touched my heart so much, but he did.  My relationship with him helped me move forward, out of myself and into whatever future I had to accept.

He left at the beginning of November to go do what chipmunks do in the winter.  I never saw him again, and I don’t know if he made it through the winter because I moved myself physically, out of the grief house, to a new house where I find myself smiling a lot.

The restaurant is still opened, and I have a new chippie friend here, although our relationship is not as intense.  And as I write this, I haven’t cried in four months.  I have come out at the other side of the tunnel.  My life is mine again and filled with the love of a man who most probably sent me a chippie to guide me out of the tunnel.

Do I believe that?  Yes, I do!  Because ultimately, grief’s best friend is what we believe, and how we integrate that in our lives.

What do you believe?



3 Reasons: Facebook should be integrated into High School Classrooms

High school students procrastinate more than six hours a day on Facebook (Tsukayama, 2015). For some students, it ends up costly toward their final grades. Facebook has become part of their daily life. It is almost impossible to stop them from using it. High schools can change the use of Facebook for these students by making it part of the curriculum- make it more positive. Therefore, Facebook should be integrated into the high school classroom because of following reasonable reasons; first, it is an effective way to connect students around the world. Second, students can use it for educational purposes.Third, it is a tool to engage students in the learning process.

Mind Map Mind map.jpg

1. Facebook is a great way to connect students around the world.

Facebook creates an effective platform for students to build International communication between each other. Students in a various way can share their ideas by posting on their Facebook wall and comment on each other’s posts. For example, they can create a short survey research with five to ten questions. They can collect data from all over the world, by sharing it in their Facebook walls. Moreover, Facebook makes Group collaboration easily accessible for students internationally. They can work in a singular assignment or a group project by connecting and collaborating with each other through Facebook. Recently, in 2016, Finland ranked as a top education system in the world by the world economic Forum. Let’s say students are assigned to do a group project about “high school education system in Finland”. They can create a Facebook group chat and add students from Finland for collecting raw data from students. Most important of all, Facebook is a free online social network. Usually, other websites need a bank account or other information to have access to their data. Facebook is a network that most of the students are already a member of it, so they do not need to start everything all over again.

2. Students will learn to use facebook for educational purposes.

Since most of the high school students are already a member of Facebook and they know how to use it. They only thing can be school’s responsibility is to teach them how to use it for education purposes. In Facebook, students can create groups for each of their classes. For example; They can have a separate Facebook group pages for mathematics. They can share all of the related documents and discusses the related topic in separated pages so that they don’t get messed up with their school work. Another interesting way to use Facebook for education purpose is to follow academically informative pages on Facebook. For example, I am following a Facebook page that regularly posts mathematics formula including funny memes about math. All of the posts of these page appears first in my newsfeed. To be honest, I have learned and have always been refreshed about mathematics topic by following these particulate academically informative pages. Students can easily find related pages to their own subjects of interest in Facebook and follow them for gaining further information. Once of my favorite way of using Facebook for education, the purpose is to post school related blog on Facebook with my friends. I took social media for entrepreneur online class this semester. Most of our Assignments was to post blogs in word press. And most of our grades were based on those blogs. If students get used to posting blogs on Facebook with their friends by using Facebook, they basically learn new skills.

3. Facebook is a tool to engage students in the learning process.


Facebook encourages students to improve their writing skills. For example, Facebook has improved my writing skills. Every time I want to post something on Facebook –I want it to be grammatically correct –Because my friends are going to see it. Same with other students, they can express their ideas in Facebook. It might not be as academic as school teachers, but at least they get motivated to write and get creative with it. This leads to another crucial point, Facebook makes learning more fun. For example, students can make memes about what they learn in class and share it with friends on Facebook. Memes make learning more fun. Most important of all, students who use Facebook regularly, they have a great knowledge of computer. They get to explore computers themselves. Then there will be no need for computer class.

All in All, Facebook provides the opportunity for students to connect with other students globally. Students will learn that what they are using for procrastinating can be used for learning too. In addition to that Facebook is an exciting tool that can encourage students in learning process. With considering the above reasons Facebook should become part of high school classroom curriculum. Integration of Facebook in High school classrooms will bring a massive change in the traditional learning system. The high school will become a fun learning institution.




Obrien, A. (2014, September 23). Edutopia. Creating a Dynamic Facebook Page for Your School. Retrieved March 20, 2017.

Schelten, K. (2009, December 21). Do You Spend Too Much Time on Facebook. Retrieved March 20, 2017.

Tsukayama, H. (2015, November 3). Teens spend nearly nine hours every day consuming media. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2017.

Car Culture and Social Media

Throughout the past century, the evolution of the motor vehicle has defined modern culture and has been the ultimate form of proving human engineering capabilities. Much like the automotive industry, social media networks have drastically transformed the world we live in today and are the go to platform for accessing virtually anything at ones fingertips. For automotive enthusiasts, social media has become a gateway to endless amounts of car communities, information pages, and much more related content.


For many enthusiasts who like to go to automotive events and meets, social media has become a hub for organizing and planning car meets and events. Car meets are the most common way for enthusiasts to meet and converse about each others cars and just to hang out. But with busy schedules and personal commitments, it used to be difficult to organize meets and events before social media. Enthusiasts who live in a particular city will likely have a meet that they attend regularly, these meets and/or events are almost always organized via a facebook group or event posting that allows members to invite their friends to the event at the click of a button. Here is a link to an article that goes into great detail on the ins and outs of car culture in the present day


Car communities are just one of millions of different communities all over Facebook and other social networks that has benefitted immensely by the success of social networks because these communities are now making Facebook the standard way for people to connect on things and interests they share in common. Many automotive social pages allow people from all over the world to join and discuss similar interests, before the only the thing that influenced your local car scene was the people that lived in the area and the cars they drove. Now people have access to car culture from all over the world from an app on their phone. Maybe you like muscle cars, or maybe you’re a fan of Honda, or maybe you are a european car enthusiast. No matter what automotive niche your interested in, there is a social media group out there for it. Car communities aren’t the only communities that have grown and thrived on social media, no matter what your hobby or interest is, chances are that there are a bunch of people who like it just as much if not more than you. What is your hobby? are their any clubs or groups that you are  member of on social media? Let me know in the comments!

Split Media Personalities?

Have you ever taken a scroll through time and looked at your history on different social media platforms?    Remember those first Instagram posts you did with just a picture and a newbie comment?


Photo by Maureen Linehan

Slowly, you started adding ridiculous hashtags “#idontknowwhyipostedthispicbutidid” before you realize what the hashtag is really all about.  Then there’s that first tweet, thinking the world is hearing what you have to say but really it’s only the 3 people following you?   And those early Facebook posts, pictures of your kids, your family and you but whoa!!  Those pics – you looked so young!!   

I joined Facebook first, many years ago.  It allows me to stay in touch with friends, family and people I have met in my travels.  I have always used this platform to encourage, admire and compliment the people I have connections with.  I don’t air my dirty laundry and whine about my bad luck.  People are amused when I share funny anecdotes about nutty things that happen to me and trust me, I have an endless supply.    The unintentional intent is to make someone smile and that hasn’t changed much over time.

Twitter was my next venture.  I more or less joined to follow my favourite sports teams, musicians and local restaurants.  My favourite hockey team is rarely televised and I learned that there were people out there that tweeted play by play action!!  What???  Yes, I am one of those annoying people that tweet “GOOOOALLLL”.   I interacted quite a bit with people when I started on Twitter.    I had real conversations, exchanged useful information as well as witty banter.  When I tweeted or replied, it usually had a fun edge, with a dash of sarcasm and often it would be returned.  But those followers could never cross over into my Facebook realm.  No, Facebook is too personal and private.  I protect my Facebook world.  Strange eh?.   Lately, for me, Twitter has become a pit of angry trolls and negativity.  I even found myself using it to express frustration with businesses; there was bound to be someone out there that would jump on my bandwagon of bashing.  Luckily I recognized this before I reached for the pitchforks.   As I observed that Twitter had become a darker place,  my voice had changed because of that.   I needed to make a conscious effort to return to my former days of witty banter.

I happily stumbled upon Instagram as twitter accounts started linking their tweets to Instagram posts.  I couldn’t stay away.  Even though the average user is much younger,  this is the platform I enjoy the most and will likely utilize the most as I begin my blogging journey.  Beautiful pictures, inspirational videos, educational videos and just a great overall fun vibe.  My voice feels natural on this platform and people seem more connective and supportive of one another.  It sounds cheesy, but it feels like home.  Like a great big sharing community and I dig that.

I marvel (and am slightly disturbed) how each platform has taken on a personality of its own and my own voice echo’d that personality.  Each is a product of it’s content and the world as it happens around us.  What you put into it, you will get out, so I will make an effort to improve my space.   In the meantime, I will enjoy the evolution of my own voice, as it becomes a little more sophisticated, a little more polished and a little more self aware.

Facebook:  Split Media Personalities?  Is this you?? 

Twitter:  Split Media Personalities – http://bit.ly/2BDZyBU


How Atomy Grew into a Global Success Story

Atomy is a network marketing company that is based in Korea. They use social media to engage not only Koreans but a global population. The biggest hurdle was the fact that they rely on network marketing versus traditional marketing campaigns.

Exclusive Atomy Chatroom

The company does not invest in advertisements, but relies solely on word of mouth. To further engage members and consumers, they have an exclusive chatroom called KakaoTalk to stimulate conversation and provide support.

Atomy Website


Atomy uses social media tools to spread news about the company and its products. Their main hub or source of information can be found on their company website. They also have localized websites by country to focus their messaging on various languages, cultures, and prices.




Using YouTube to engage your viewership

The use of videos, published on YouTube, has the largest organic reach; giving the audience a glimpse of the brand’s culture. Atomy has invited members to make their own videos and send them in for use on the website. This has increased their video library and engagement with consumers.

Translated Live Broadcasting

The president of Atomy tours the world giving seminars that are then broadcasted to every member of the Atomy network. Translations have improved over the years, leading the way to stronger viewership.

Atomy has successfully leveraged several online platforms, eliminating the need for paid advertisements. Through social media they have successfully reached out to international markets by using YouTube, live broadcasting, exclusive chatrooms and websites targeting various countries.

#SecrettoGlobalSuccess #Atomyonlinepresence #Atomynetworkmarketing

   Want to know the secret to global success?



What in the World is the Walt Disney Co. Building?

This past long weekend, I binge watched Season Three of Narcos through my Netflix subscription. Before bed tonight, I intend to catch up on an episode or two of Big Bang Theory on my Crave TV account. And finally tomorrow, I plan on watching the Sens vs. Blackhawks game on my NHL Gamecenter App.


  I, like many others in my generation, “cut the cord” on cable subscriptions several years ago in favor of on-demand streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Shomi (R.I.P) , Amazon Prime, etc. I prefer to watch what I want, when I want and I don’t want to pay for five dozen channels that I have no interest in.

Netflix for example, has been my go to source for movies for the last five years. For TV series, I log on to CraveTV, If I want to TV-stream my favorite music, I’ll go to YouTube. I think you get the point. Over the last near decade, streaming services such as these have given consumers most of their entertainment needs at their finger tips. In fact, a couple of the only remaining enticing factors drawing consumers to modern cable are live sporting events and live news.

That being said, I am going to put on my Nostradamus hat and make a bold prediction on the future of streaming: The Walt Disney Company is about to change that all. That’s right. Disney is building the streaming service of all streaming services.

Let’s look at their billion dollar acquisitions of IP in the last several years. Lucas Films (Star Wars Library), the entire Marvel Studios portfolio (which they have began to pull from Netflix), and most recently Twentieth Century Fox. 

This gives Disney a very impressive library of acclaimed TV Series and Movies to launch a competitive streaming service of their own. However, Netflix offers the exact same. Disney doesn’t want to just grab some of the streaming market from Netflix, but to utterly dominate it. And it can.

As I mentioned above, one demand great streaming services like Netflix have not been able to offer to this point to consumers is live news and live sporting events. With global brand-name news and sports properties such as ABS News and ESPN, the Walt Disney Co. most certainly can do so…and I predict they will.

I love my subscriptions for Netflix ($13.99/month), CraveTV ($8.99/month), HBOGo $6.99/month) and NHL Gamecenter ($19.99/month). However, if and when Disney introduces us to a new streaming services that brings together the quality TV series and movies that I’ve come to love, and the live sports and news aspects that I’ve been longing for– all under one roof — then all I can say is…




Can Social Media Change Our Collective Consiousness?

I, like many others, have seen the events of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Florida last week unfold through our social media feeds.  It started with actual live streaming and instant photos of what was going on from students in the middle of it all.  Seeing and reading their account of what was happening, as it was happening, their feelings of fear, rage and concern for friends and family.  This particular tragedy, at this time, is different than others, in the fact that it involved mass amounts of teenagers with social media at their disposal, talking among themselves and their peers.  The narrative is now coming from teenagers, who are fed up with the status quo.  It is not coming from adults and being fed to us through mainstream media.

These teenagers, want to change the collective consciousness.  They are speaking out, like never before through their social media activities, calling out their government representatives, in hopes that this will be the time change will happen.

Yes, there have been other actions taken, by many others, but now, the message is coming from students across the country, organizing marches, school walk outs, everywhere.

As this article points out, this shooting, with these kids telling the story, are making America’s gun problem a “Global Conversation”.  Social media is making it so much easier for people across the globe to refute false claims and tell their own stories of shootings in their towns, cities and countries and how change can happen.  I had no idea, until this past week of a mass school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland and how the people and the government made change and have never seen such a thing again.

So, we can only hope that these are the people and this is the time that change does begin to happen.

Related image Can Social Media Change the Collective Consiousness of an entire country?



Image result for twitter logo Can Social Media Change the Collective Consiousness for the better?


COM0015 – Blog #2: “The roses and thorn on social media.”

The social media landscape is flourishing, with some brands blooming under the gaze of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, among other channels. These brands are given the care and attention they need to survive, and they are blossoming into something beautiful. Unfortunately, there are also brands that have been planted on social media that have been left on their own to grow without the resources they need to thrive, and passersby can see the wilting accounts while scrolling through their newsfeed.

The roses of organizations that show impressive social media strategy are: Staples and Wendys.

Staples: An office supply store is not a brand that springs to mind when you think of great brands on social media, but Staples will surprise you, which is what drew me to this organization.

They offer content that is useful to followers and relevant to Staples products, such as:

Staples, Instagram

They are all about follower engagement, like encouraging comments:

Staples, Instagram

And they cleverly take advantage of trending topics:

Staples, Instagram

Wendy’s: When I started brainstorming organizations that have a strong social media game, I immediately thought of the Queen of Sass, Wendy’s. The snark and attitude Wendy’s serves up on social media, specifically Twitter, has made this account one of the best. And Wendy’s followers agree, even volunteering to be roasted on #NationalRoastDay.

Wendy’s isn’t afraid to go after their competition, like McDonald’s:

Wendy’s, Twitter

and Burger King:

Wendy’s, Twitter

And their #FreshTweets hashtag helped spread awareness about Wendy’s only using fresh, never frozen, beef while encouraging engagement from their followers about things that are better fresh.

Sticking with fast-food, a brand I think could step up its game on social media is Country Style. They currently have a presence, but it is very corporate instead of authentic. For example:

Their Instagram photos look very Photoshopped:

Country Style, Instagram

Their tweets lack personality:

Country Style, Twitter

and their Facebook posts are very focused on sales:

Country Style, Facebook

While there’s nothing horrible about their social media work, it’s not outside-the-box and special like Wendy’s and Staples. I would like to see Country Style use their current accounts more effectively by being more authentic and engaging more with their followers. To implement this, I would like them to take more candid photos, use more fun hashtags, and ask their followers questions to encourage engagement. I don’t think Country Style needs to use any other social media tools, but I do think they can use them better to grow their accounts and generate more interest.

Social Media is like Retail

Comments, is There More Good than Bad?

As a business running campaigns on social media, you would like to know what your customers/clients are saying. Social Media gives you just that opportunity, but what happens when it gets hard to keep up with the ever-growing list of comments? You want to be able to monitor your interactions.

I like what Jessica Harding said in her discussion forum. 

“One of the benefits of social media is that you can get a sense of the customers’ tones and feelings through their interactions with your brand. This won’t be measured through calculations like share of voice or click through rate and I think anyone who ignores these ‘softer’ measures is missing out on important information their customers are trying to tell them. Your calculations might tell you that you are up 20% in mentions online vs. last month, but if you can’t tell that these are mostly complaints vs. compliments, that information is not very valuable.”

Which I agree with, and I think a good app or program would be to read the comments and give you percentages of good vs. bad comments. Till then you have to read the comments for yourself.

social shopping cloud1(Source for Photo: Here)

How is Social Media like Retail?

Social media relates to retail in the sense of how you look at comments. Comments are the way businesses know what their customers/clients are saying about their products. So, like retail, they see the customer/client comment on a post that they indicate they could use the product or service.  The person who represents the business can reply to the comment to see if the customer/client needs help, and to sell the product or service to the customer/client. It’s the same thing as approaching a customer that walks into a store that looks around and looks like they could use some help. The difference is you are doing it over a keyboard rather than in person. That is one way businesses can approach their participation in the comments or groups they are a part of in social media.

What do you think?

I would like to know your thoughts, or ideas on how businesses can better utilize comments. I would also like to know if you think social media is related to retail. Are you going to try the retail approach?

Thanks for reading,

Peace out,

Scotty M.

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Changing Social Media Landscape – Part 1: What Does It Mean for Future Careers?

What are we teaching the children?

In the ever changing job market landscape, it’s becoming more apparent that careers are no longer full working lifetime commitments.  Over 10 years ago while I was selecting my University courses and first introduced to the corporate world, it seemed common for someone to have a successful career in a completely different field than their original field of study.  This both confused an comforted me at the time, as I had been taught to carefully select my career path based on my skills; but I didn’t know what I wanted to do ‘when I grew up’ – I couldn’t narrow it down at the time due to my limited life experience. I chose my program as I thought learning business could be applied to anything I wanted to do after graduation; and I hoped I’d figure out my path along the way.

The new working landscape may look scary…

Box of crayons in focus on foreground with child colouring out of focus in background

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Pensions and full-time work also seem to become less common with the ever-changing landscape of products & services for sale; so it seems we can no longer expect to fully retire as once was normal and will need to rely on our skills to earn an income for longer. With fears of technology and AI evident in today’s society, David Autor runs through some of these worries in his TED article Will automation take away all our jobs?; but ultimately points out that: ‘Our machines increasingly do our work for us. But the reason there are still so many jobs can be explained by two fundamental economic principles: one has to do with human genius and creativity; and the other has to do with human insatiability.’1 Over a decade in the financial services industry would enable one to pick up some financial knowledge and systems experience; but also teach important basic skills that can be included in these principles including customer service, teamwork, goal-setting and problem solving. With an opportunity for career change, I had a chance to question how does one adapt their current set of skills and experience to successfully fulfill the jobs of the future – and what are we now teaching differently in school so that kids can be prepared as well?

How are we guiding/shaping the future?

While I’m aware of the severe lack of equality and funding even within our own educational system, I was shocked when my cousin excitedly texted me one day when she was issued the exact same textbook I had used – over 13 years before her!   Obviously teachers are not using the textbooks word-for-word (hopefully!) and some books are more current than others due to the nature of the subject matter; however, it’s evident that we need to overhaul the education system and look for ways to improve on preparing the kids for an unknown future.  No sweat, right?

(Side rant; most teachers are, in my opinion, completely under-appreciated, under-utilized, and under paid…)

I certainly do not have the answers – but I believe it’s something we should be discussing and working on together, as a society. Marianne Cantwell in her TED talk The hidden power of not (always) fitting in describes what I had experienced, as a result of our preconceived notions, that we live in a strictly black in white world made up of generalists and specialists. We are expected to decide early on who we are and what we want to do/be and stay that way – but we all know as complex humans we are ever changing and often cannot fit into pre-determined boxes.  This is where she makes the case for the common anthropology term ‘liminal’ to be used to also describe those who can exist between both of these professional worlds, but never truly necessarily belong to one or the other; essentially ‘creating their own island.’2

OK – so now what?

We are aware of the current educational issues and we can identify and name some of the new trends that we are seeing – so what’s next?  It’s only natural that we are teaching kids about internet security & privacy, to set boundaries & learn communication etiquette (i.e. no bullying!). I wonder though, are we doing enough to help them discover their passions by developing their skills and learning to embrace and prepare for the challenges and stress of the unknown? How do we ensure our teachers have the right tools and enough resources to help shape the minds of the future? Although ever grateful for the opportunities to learn, I can’t help but wonder if I (and many others!) would have found my path sooner had I been encouraged from the start to build a profile of skills and experiences instead of trying to pick any career I wanted

Rainbow coloured chalk lined up on a brown paper bag backdrop

Photo by Daniel Watson on Unsplash

It is becoming increasingly more urgent for businesses and individuals alike to not only be active on various social media platforms, but to focus on creating tailored profiles and marketing plans in attempts to stand out and potentially reach a global audience. As Gary Vaynerchuck blatantly puts it in his video Culture & Attention | Complexcon Keynote 2017 | DailyVee 345 “…everybody’s gonna know everything about everything! (…) kindness is gonna be the new currency!”3 With this kind of access to information, we will need to learn to listen and interact with our targeted audience – whether that be a potential or an existing customer, employer or viewer – and follow through with positive actions that create an unexpected, memorable experience.  Ideally the future will see us working towards building our profile of skills and experience to earn income, continually learn and to help inspire others achieve their goals.  Hopefully we can together, encourage one another to find and be ourselves – creating our islands, instead of forcing ourselves to fit into labels and boxes!


1[D. Autor]. (Mar. 29, 2017). Will automation take away all our jobs?. [Article] Retrieved Feb. 10, 2018 https://ideas.ted.com/will-automation-take-away-all-our-jobs/

2[TEDx Talks]. (Apr 3, 2017). The hidden power of not (always)fitting in. | Marianne Cantwell | TEDxNorwichED [Video File] Retrieved Feb. 10, 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnooCepNZv4

3 [Gary Vee]. (Nov. 23, 2017). Culture & Attention | Complexcon Keynote 2017 | DailyVee 345 [Video File]. Retrieved February 11, 2018 https://youtu.be/8xm0ZaOZYeQ

Up Next:

Blog #4: Changing Social Media Landscape – Part 2: What Does It Mean for Businesses



Check out my thoughts on the changing job market landscape in my latest blog:



Twitter How are we preparing for unknown careers of the future? Check out my blog for my two cents:


My Leap of Faith – We are all ABLE.

I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge or to try something new. I may be apprehensive at first but then I’ll take the plunge eventually. It can also be said about working with someone who is different from you. I remember as a child, my brother came home from grade school and told us that he had a coloured kid in his class. In my childish naiveté, I asked him what colour he was. I cannot recall my parents’ reaction but I imagine they either laughed or were devastated. It’s funny how things stay with you. As a child I didn’t see colour as a difference; you could say I was somewhat colour-blind. They were my friends and we had fun.

Fast track to the present and things are different; whether society has “tainted “me or not remains to be seen. I hope not. But I’m not as carefree as I was as a child. Maybe we all are. When a group of intellectually challenged individuals came into my fitness facility to work out, I was a little bit apprehensive. But there was no reason to be as I found out later. Several of the participants had Down’s syndrome or various forms of intellectual abilities. Did they scare me? Absolutely. Did I need to be? Absolutely not. Maybe it was because I had never worked with people that were like them. I don’t want to stereotype anyone but they made me nervous. Can’t really explain why. Perhaps because of my inexperience. I can honestly say that I have never been so glad to be wrong.

This group of young adults were from a local organization that offered day programs in our community for those with intellectual disabilities. The ABLE Network was a vision and dream of two women who wanted to provide a better life for their children who fell into this category. Through dedication, hard work and love, The ABLE Network was born. Their name says it all: Access to Better Living and Employment.

The ABLE Experience

Their program encompasses a wide array of skills and activities.

  • Each participant gains valuable work experience with a local employer. We currently have 2 of the participants on staff with us.
  • Transit training- learning to travel independently on our region’s transit system
  • Recreation each participant is encouraged to be active in their community. Several of the participants are members of provincial if not national sports team and participate in many tournaments and Special Olympics events. And they continue to work out with us 2 to 3 times each week.
  • Literacy each member participates in literacy and life skills programs each week.
  • Volunteer services many of them participate in volunteer jobs as well as paid positions.

They’ve been with us for over 8 years and it’s been sheer joy watching these young adults grow and inspire our members and staff, especially me. I now look forward to seeing their smiling faces every morning and afternoon. We joke around together; they work out hard; and I am friends with some on Facebook. They even made a ‘Good luck’ greeting card for me when I was seconded to another role in my organization. And boy are they missed when they’re on vacation.

able kids in gym

Working out at Club Aurora.  Photo Credit: C. Tremblay The ABLE Network

Like any vulnerable population, caution with social media and the internet in general, is always at the forefront. Only first names are used to protect their privacy and all posts are carefully monitored to ensure that privacy is maintained for each family. The organization and participants are very active on social media. If you check out their Facebook page and Twitter portfolio, you will see all of the activities and events in which the group participates. As a non-profit organization, they use social media (Facebook and Twitter) to post about the activities of the group and their accomplishments; which are many. It’s even been a great help with their fundraising efforts over the years.

They are an amazing group, both participants and staff. And I am so very glad that I made it past my initial apprehension and have been a part of their physical activity and recreation experience. What would you do if faced with apprehension and fear? Back away or take a leap of faith?

facebook   My Leap of Faith. I have never been so glad to have been so wrong. We are all ABLE. http://bit.ly/2sBam0I

twttr Take your leap of faith. We are all ABLE. @the_ABLENetwork  http://bit.ly/2sBam0I


How social media might of caused your breakup… Blog #3

Once upon a time, calling each others house line’s at midnight and writing letters was the oh-so sweet way to contact your loved one’s. Now, you can open your phone and track their every move. I will not lie, social media has driven me mad. I can openly admit, I have become the crazy girlfriend.

Jealousy: Have you ever asked yourself “why did he follow her?” or “why did she like his picture”, Instagram and Twitter are very transparent in the sense that you can see who everyone follows, who likes each others pictures etc. This creates such a strain on relationships that they usually are more likely to fail. Without the use of social media, I believe that relationships would focus less on jealousy and more on caring for the other individual.

Unfaithfulness: The use of social media and the influence it has on us, can lead one to unfaithfulness. It’s easier than ever to message someone you find attractive and maybe meet up with and keep it a secret. The temptation is there. I honestly doubt there would be as many situations where the boyfriend or girlfriend is lying about who they talk to or who they have feelings for, without the excessive use of social media.

Have you ever found yourself lurking some hotty’s profile and thinking “I could keep this lowkey?” whilst being in a relationship?


Social Media and Relationships

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