– It takes two… or does it? –

It’s been a while since I ranted on anything of real substance.  I mean I did television reviews, news editorials, and personal feelings.  I cannot remember the last time I actually visited “The World Is Broken” and let my opinions fly on a topic that is dear to me.  In a way I guess you can say that this is something that is incredibly personal to me, but I use that phrase very loosely since I am not a parent myself.  This entry is about the single parents in today’s world that is trying to make a living for themselves and their children.

First a little background, I guess you could say that I’ve been “involved” with a number of single mom’s in my day.  I’ve developed a little bit of a reputation for being attracted to single-moms.  So although I have no child of my own and I will not even pretend to get the full understanding of what these individuals are going through, I did get a taste.

It started with Elaine in St. John’s.  Trouble with the family led to my intervention mixed with a break up of my own that was affecting my mind at the time, she was a very special girl to me.  She still is.  Elaine and Briannah are absolutely beautiful, and to this day I don’t think there is anything that I would not do if she asked me.  This girl was there for me at one of my weakest moments of the last 10 years, and helped me through it.  Elaine is the most extreme case I will mention because I don’t get to see her often since I left St. John’s.  She was diagnosed with Cancer not too long after I left, and now she fights everyday to get better to be a mom for Briannah.

Elaine is a pillar of strength and a beacon of hope for everyone that struggles in their life.  Before the Cancer was discovered, I remember laying in bed with her, seeing the doubt in her eyes about the strength that she had.  I told her that she has strength deep inside that she does not see.  When I heard about the Cancer my stomach sank and I feared the worst, but the strength I saw in her so many years ago finally came to the front.  I’m sure she has her weak moments, and at times it is rough, but she has been so strong that it helps me put my own life in perspective.

It doesn’t take a battle with Cancer to display the strength required for parenthood, I know I digressed a little bit there.

There is another girl who come to mind in particular.  Nicole Delaney, who has also been there for me whenever I really needed someone, and although in recent months she has been jerked around by other members of my gender, she still always smiling every time she’s out and about.  Even when she was upset and in need of a couple of drinks, you can see that she’s not feeling the best but only if you look closely.  Also so pleasant and cheerful when she’s out.

Nicole, is an example of someone who showed incredible courageousness when she split with her son’s father.  There are a lot of people that would say that the decision was easy, but that is from the outside looking in.  I’ve had enough experience with terrible relationships to know that when you are in them, you can justify staying very easily.  I know this from the perspective of the guy in the terrible relationship, the guy trying to get the girl out of the terrible relationship, and the guy making it a terrible relationship for the girl;  simply put, I’ve got experience in this field.

Denny (A mix between Daryl and Lenny, named for when she occupied the station that these men used to use at the call center) has actually been the most understanding person that has come into my life in a number of years.  Most of the time I never needed to explain anything I was doing or the thought process behind what I’ve done because she already knew me well enough to know.

A regret I have is actually not saying any of these things to her until it was far too late to make anything of it, and what’s worse is when I finally thought I saw the right opportunity to let her know it was the absolute wrong time which very well could have led to this never becoming anything more than it already is.

There are other examples of single mothers that have been an influence in my recent life.  Stacey Green, Kelsey Sibley, and so on.  I don’t want to name all of them because that would be a post in and of itself.

So, there you have it. That’s why this post exist.  Now it’s time to get back to the generalities,

A child born into a family with a single parent is not something to be pitied.  A big thought provoker for this post is the memory of seeing a mom and child by themselves and hearing pity coming from those in attendance.  I have no pity for this arrangement, not for the kid.  The child born to only one parent is not going to grow with any less love and devotion or even opportunity than others.

Especially kids with single mom’s, will experience all that a normal kid will.  Single dad’s are a little different, especially if they have a daughter… we all turn into I Am Sam in that case.

I’m suggesting that we lose this image we have of the poor, downtrodden family because the father has left the mother to raise the kid all by herself.  I don’t view it like that at all.  I see a strong, accomplished human being making a life for their family without assistance of a co-parent.  I see strength and power every time I message Nicole and she tells me she’s waiting for Jude to go to sleep so she can get her homework done… every time Elaine’s Facebook status changes to “in the hospital again but I WILL get better for Briannah”..  these women are the most powerful people I’ve ever known.

From women studies I’ve been instructed that the roles of women in history have been severely downplayed and they are the victim of much prosecution, but I fail to see that when I look at the determination that I see in a single mom.

One thing I truly hate, and it is the worst kind of asshole I can imagine at the moment is that guy… the one who is all about the girl, how beautiful she is and funny, smart, and everything that makes her who she is…. until he finds out she has a child.

That has got to be the lamest reason for cutting and run that I have ever heard.   I swear if you have a story that involves the great escape because you saw “too much baggage” you best save it for one of your other buddies because you’re going to get a right hook to the jaw if you try to boast it to me.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m tired of the stories about being freaked out because of kids, or the pity trip because of how rough the family has it.  I want to see more motivational perspectives on this, these men and women that raise a child all by their lonesome are doing the most difficult job a human being can attempt.  Give them your respect, not your pity.

– Can’t Let Go –

I tried, I really did.  The plan was to leave this particular site behind me and go about my business with my new endeavor, “Scratching The Surface.” I just can’t seem to let go of The World is Broken.  Apparently neither can a lot of internet goers, (well a lot by my standards),  It has been a little over 5 days since Scratching The Surface went live and I said my farewells to this site, and yet when I came back to this wordpress account to look over some of my subscriptions like to Future Tom or Gemma, I found the stats telling me that I actually received 75 views since my last post.

This does seem to blow my mind a little bit since I did announce this site was going to be put away making room for my new adventure.  But I’ve come to my senses.  Scratching The Surface is meant to be a tool to get my introduction to Journalism.  Reviews, opinions, editorials, and news-related posts.

The problem is, a lot of what made “The World is Broken” something special is when I have my case of verbal diarrhea and I need an outlet.  Posts about my personal life and circumstances would not mesh so well with the professional, yet casual feeling of Scratching The Surface.. so do to this realization AND to popular demand.  The World Is Broken is not going to die, and will have new content… albeit just not as frequently as before.

Thank you to everyone that has been supporting both sites this past week, and I hope to keep seeing you coming back.

Cheers!
ShallopNewf.

– The World Is Broken, But I’m Scratching The Surface –

Alright before any of you come out and correct me I will say it for you.  Yes, I know last post was going to be my last one, I’m well aware that technically this is a post too and it will make THIS one be my last.  Needless to say I just wanted to come back here to the old stomping grounds and give it a look over again.  This site has been great to me, and I’ll go far enough to even say that it has been instrumental in the return to sanity that I’ve experienced near the end of the summer.

The World Is Broken will always be an important part of my past, and I had to thank it one last time.

That being said, as the door closes on The World Is Broken, the new door is opening.  “Scratching The Surface” has gone live, and it is now my official online home.  Hopefully in conjunction with my two colleagues, and the support of all our combined readers, we’ll see that this really has the ability to help everyone grow as journalists, reporters, and story-tellers in general.

If you are reading this and haven’t done so already, please.. update your bookmarks and head over to

http://www.surfacescratchers.com

We’re trying to break into a pretty cut-throat industry… any and all support is appreciated.  Hopefully I’ll see you all there.

Cheers!
~ShallopNewf

– Thanks It’s Been Fun… Last Post For The World Is Broken –

Thanks by LunarThief @ Deviantart.com

With just over 100 posts under my belt, I would consider this to have been a very welcoming introduction to online blogging.  You guys have been great, especially for the month of February. 

The evolution of this site has been pretty surreal.  Originally I had so much clutter in my mind and no one to talk to about any of it.  I used this website to express what was in my head so that maybe I could get it off my mind.  It worked.  I have had some incredible highs and lows over the last six months, but it’s time to be moving on. 

It is far from perfect, but I don’t see my world as broken anymore.  That time in my life has slowly dissolved and now I have a new goal, a new perspective on my life and the world around me.  You can see the gradual change in my writing if you look back at my early work, and compared it to the more recent entries. 

Instead of ranting about social circumstances that I didn’t understand, or making pleas to society about what we need to do to make life around us better, I started writing about actual hard-news… television reviews… I started being that which I am learning to be… a journalist. 

It’s time for me to move on from The World is Broken, but alas this isn’t really something that the diehards should need to be mournful about, I am not getting out of this community. I will still be posting regularly on WordPress.. the only difference is that it will be posted to my own web-space, and I will be accompanied with a couple of other of my colleagues.

Yes, that is correct.  The World Is Broken has run its course, but I will be leaving everything here in case you get nostalgic and want to check it out in the future.. but I’m more my digital residence elsewhere.

Myself, and these two colleagues that will be accompanying me will be coming together to forge a new website where we can talk about what we deem to be necessary to talk about. 

Myself.. Devin Lee – a.k.a ShallopNewf
Kathryn Augot – a.k.a Aimiaiko
Mandy Poole – a.k.a Travelling Infinity

are going to be the writing team behind a new website called, “Scratching The Surface”. 

Thanks by Joyker @ Deviantart.com

Kathryn and I will be completing our journalism program in April, so although this is the end of our tenure here at the College of the North Atlantic… we are merely Scratching The Surface of our careers.  Mandy Poole is a first year student that shows incredible promise and I can only imagine what is going to come from her. 

Truth be told when I came up with the idea for Scratching The Surface and knew that I would be recruiting two people to write with me, I wanted Mandy on board because at least then even if I fail in my potential career I can take credit for being a part of her journalism career early on, because she will be someone significant in the future, I’m sure of it.

Anyway, the website is going to be up.. hopefully by Monday.  No promises on that though. 
Stay tuned folks, I’ll be putting the link up to the site here once it is done, and hopefully you’ll all come along with this move. 

Thanks for all the support guys, the count to date is over 2,500 views, I never imagined I would break 200. 
See you soon.

– Atlantic Canadians, Where You At? –

The World Is Broken is going inter-provincial in March.  Yes folks I’m informing all of you at the moment that between March 4th – 13th, I am taking this show on the road.  College of the North Atlantic is giving us our mid-term break and I do not intend to use it to just sit back and relax in my bed for nine days.

Atlantic Canada - My Home

Myself and Aimiaiko (click her name for her blog) alongside a couple of companions are going on a road trip.  This is going to be the last semester for us all to be students of the ever-hospitable CNA institution.  We debark for Port Aux Basques, NL on Friday to board whichever Marine Atlantic ferry is waiting for us.

We then enter the fantasy world (for some of us) of the Maritimes.  Without a concrete plan or any real familiarity of the area we intend to drive around Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI all the while I will try to keep you all informed of our exploits.  This is not going to be an easy endeavor as we are mere students and need to work on a fixed budget but we are going to give it our all.

Aimiaiko has never been away from this rock of ours, except for one trip to New Orleans last summer for school.  She has never been to any other part of Atlantic Canada, it was only when I discovered this fact that I knew for a fact we have to make this trip happen.  I vacationed in Nova Scotia most summers growing up. New Glasgow, and Truro were mainly where I have been.  When I was too young to remember my parents brought me to PEI and New Brunswick… that doesn’t do me good right now though.

This wacky scheme will require me to do as many Open Mic’s at the local pub as I can.  They pay each night and it is money I can put away to a saving fund for this trip, also myself and Mr. Johnny Pardy will be playing a show with out roommate on the 3rd of March (I called our band “Spero”.  It is Latin, it means “to hope”), all of our money will be put towards this trip.  So we have our methods, financially.  Well mostly, it’s still going to be a stretch.

I have to say that I am pumped for this idea, the St. John’s fiesta is starting to get a little dry so we’re going to head west this time.

Aside from just going for the sake of going I am going to be cataloging our adventure and anything noteworthy will be recorded in some way.  We’ll have our Nikon’s for still photos, and we’ll document as much as we can. I still haven’t decided on Video, but that’s something that we’ll work out between now and then.

The World Is Broken is going to be updated throughout the journey as often as I can.  Coffee shops with free wi-fi, internet cafe’s, libraries… I’m sure I’ll find a way online somewhere.  But, what I am asking for now is a little bit of help.

Help Us by Sariels-Hope @ Deviantart.com

I’ll also be simultaneously working on a story for the next edition of “The Troubadour”, Newfoundland’s provincial youth newspaper that is produced entirely by the students of the Journalism program at CNA.  I’m hoping to get some valuable insight into our Atlantic neighbors so I’ll be talking to as many people along this journey as I can find.  If you feel like you have something to say, then by all means let me hear it.

This entry goes across Facebook, and Twitter so it is YOU the referred people checking out this entry that I want to talk to.

I want ideas, suggestions, input on what we can do and the best way to do it.  If you live in Nova Scotia and your town has something really incredible about it.  It could be something news-worthy, or it could just be really cheap drinks at happy hour… I want to hear about it.  We are literally going into this thing blind and are going to play it by ear.  We need help finding out the best places to go to, the best attractions to visit, the best pubs in Atlantic Canada, cheapest accommodations… seriously ANYTHING you can tell me about your province will help.

You can even be featured here when I do my entries.  I want to meet new people, I want to enjoy myself, and I want to experience the best this side of the country has to offer.  Any suggestions??

Suggestions can be made by commenting on this entry, sending me a tweet(the feed is on the right) or by e-mail to
devinlee@live.ca

Thanks Atlantic Canada!

– Anywhere Else, We’d Still Be Shoveling –

It dawned on me yesterday that we do a lot of complaining about this town… this province.  As proud as I am to be a Newfoundlander it is sometimes easy to get caught up in the cynicism regarding all of the luxuries we don’t have.  The thought that Canada is composed of Alberta & Toronto is a very popular view around here.

Under The Snow by cynthiastiches @ Deviantart.com

On the flip side is also very easy as a Newfoundlander to complain about how there seems to be a mini-province in and of itself called St. John’s.  Everything else is just a barren wasteland, the power and decision makers are in St. John’s and work for the benefit of St. John’s.  Best example of this in the recent news would be the new CYFS (Child, Youth and Family Services) unit that was introduced to the Bay St. George campus of College of the North Atlantic.

The townies in St. John’s condemn this decision saying that it is just a political stride for Joan Burke to carry favor since there is an upcoming election around the corner and Stephenville happens to fall in her riding.

I say to that, why does it matter?  If you use the logic that programs like this should only be implemented where “most of the work is” then you will fail to offer anything outside of St. John’s.  I don’t care of Burke is pushing for votes or not, the fact that anything was done to benefit Newfoundlanders and it WASN’T centralized in St. John’s is something I believe is beneficial for everyone.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, perhaps the St. John’s centralization will make a good post sometime down the road, but for now I want to get to the point of this entry.

I want to say that even though we have our ups and downs, and there has never been a more appropriate example of a love-hate relationship than the one I have with this community… I’m glad I’m here.

Yesterday there was a ridiculous amount of snow everywhere in Stephenville.  Driving was a hazard on the main streets, let along the side roads.  I had to bring my roommate back to Clancy’s to get his car, but in the process I ended up turning onto one those said-side streets and got stuck pretty deep in knee-high snow. 

Stuck by Raven-Alexandria13 @ Deviantart.com

I’m not a small guy, but my roommate is, there was no way we were getting the car out.  So there we were trying to get free without any success… the car wasn’t budging.  Lo and behold, two different vehicles pull over and get out to give a hand.  The second guy stating, “this’ll be the 12th car today”

He had just left the swimming pool where almost every car in the parking lot needed some help.  This dumbfounded me because I was thinking, in almost any other major center or province you would not see that kind of assistance. 

If this was downtown Toronto I’m sure we would’ve had to call for a tow, but here we were getting help by just random strangers.  The three of us, with my roommate driving still struggled to get the car loose.  After a few moments I catch a figure moving from up the road, there is another guy on his way to give us a hand with a shovel in hand.  He too also mentioned that this is not the first car he helped with on this particular morning. 

He arrived at the car and barely said a word just started shoveling underneath and around.  Between the four of us pushing, the car became dislodged.  I thanked everyone for their help and drove away.  Even hours later I was thinking to myself, “If we had been in almost any other city, we would still be there shoveling and pushing to get that car loose.”

When events like this occur it really helps you realized that sometimes it is really easy to be critical of a community or a situation, but to take note of all the good that can be found is hazy at best sometimes.

So if you are reading this and you did anything this week, month, or year to help a complete stranger, then I applaud you sir.  Kudos. 

Maybe this world isn’t as doomed as the media would like to make you believe.  People are rioting in Egypt, and practically the entire Middle East, but there is still some humanity and good-nature left here.  Who would’ve thought eh?

– No Means No, Not A Difficult Concept –

For those of you that do not follow football, and are not en route to a pub to prime for the big game, I have this to say this morning.  There are far too many males in particular but this applies to the female population as well, that does not understand the simple idea of, “No.”

There are two examples that I can think of right now who apply to this critique and unfortunately it is guys like them that ruin things for the rest of us.  When a girl tells you that she isn’t interested, or that you creep her out, or you’re being a dick… that is not a sign that she’s playing hard to get, it is her desperate plea for you to move on to your next obsession.

LOL Means Lots of Love By llparazitell @ Deviantart.com

The reason I decided to rant about this so early in the morning is because I think that I’m actually drifting away from someone close due to this mindset.  I know of at least one guy that recently wouldn’t take no for an answer and became pretty annoying.  This is a girl that I did develop a connection with…. but I’m pretty sure she thinks that I’m the same way.  There was one night when I did inform her that a big regret I had in recent months was not giving a chance to see where we could go because I’m pretty sure she was ready for something like that a while ago but alas I was not… now the roles are reversed, she just finished with something that ended fairly bitterly and she isn’t ready.

I want to just say, “I’m not like that previous gentleman that wouldn’t let up, I am well aware that nothing is going to happen and it really is of little consequence to me.” The worst part is that we were actually pretty good friends, but ever since a drunken mis-step on my part, things feel awkward and the conversations seemed forced… the vibe I get from her is kind of like someone who is trying to be polite by just responding to someone else instead of just telling them to “eff off.”

So this is a public service announcement for anyone that fits this description.  Constant pressure and cheesy compliments are not the way to a girl’s heart, especially if she’s already told you to back off.  There is a HUGE difference between someone who isn’t interested and someone playing hard to get.  Just because she said no, does NOT necessarily mean she wants you to pursue her (although I do know women that actually do that.)

When you have these guys that can’t accept rejection, who assure the girl “Oh it’s okay, we can hang as friends.” … and then they try to make a move again even after its been long-established that she doesn’t want it.. you give a terrible and long-lasting impression of the gender as a whole.  If I was to ask someone out, and they said no and there wasn’t a hint of any kind of feel at all, I move on from that idea but most likely if I was interested in the first place you’re pretty cool so I’m still going to try to be friends with you… alas I don’t think in this case it’ll work, I think the damage has been done and our friendship is not going to be the same anymore.  I’ve been lumped into a category of the ever-persistent idiots, and there is nothing that can really be done about it.

To the unrelenting guys, just let it go.. really.  You’re giving us all a bad name.  And girls? If a guy asks you out, and you say no, that does not mean he’s going to go nuts and keep trying to get with you.  If he legitimately feels like you have no interest, he just might be mature enough to still respectful of that…


Okay, so sue me I couldn’t resist.

 

P.S: Go Packers!