New look for a new year

There are only very few certainties in life, one of which is that it is ever-changing.  My life is about to take a dramatic shift from the comfortable.  I’ve been living home now on the west coast of Newfoundland for over 3 years now and I got myself set in a comfortable little routine.

I’m a 26-year-old journalism graduate, I decided that it is about time that I move on and try to step up a career in my chosen profession.  There is only so many times I can answer the phones for AT&T before I realize that I’m wasting precious time on the status quo.

I’ve got a very good lead on what could very well be an employment opportunity in the province’s capital but even if that was to fizzle I realize that I have done all that I could in Stephenville.  We had a website that was starting to gain momentum but unfortunately due to a number of factors all coming together at once, the site has been left to expire and not be renewed.  Scratching The Surface is a potential business venture in the near future but the best way to help someone get started in their career is to actually be a well established name yourself.

When I’m at a point in my life where I have dedicated readers and when my opinion actually holds sway in this professional world, I may very well try it again  but in order to move on with my life I’m going to need to take a step back.  This is actually the rationale behind the new title for this website.

The World Is Broken was a great home for me and I’ll always appreciate the emotion it allowed me to vent and the therapeutic outlet it became when I needed to rant.  I plan and getting this site back to what it once was.  There is going to be a mix of blog style opinion pieces but I’m also going to occasionally try to through in some actual hard & soft news stories as well.  I realize this is the best way to keep the skills I learned at College of the North Atlantic sharp.

Of course with a new attitude, a fresh ambition, I needed a new name for the site.  At its heart this is still going to be “The World Is Broken”  but I decided I’m going for a bit more of an uplifting title.  I settled on “Dum Spiro Spero.”  I am not too familiar with the language and this could be a terrible misuse of the phrase but from what I can gather the phrase translates as “While I Breathe, I Hope”

This is exactly the mentality I am going to need when I make my return to the capital.  I have so many obstacles to deal with and so many situations that will hinder my progression.  #1 of which is my lack of confidence in my actual ability.  I learned in school that I have a pretty good knack for video editing and clip production but without all the equipment at my disposal I don’t know how well I will do, especially when I don’t know if I have any access to my old clips.

#2 is that I am finally going to have to start dealing with the passing of Elaine.  It’s been creeping on me a lot more lately, especially as we approach move day,  I want to sort this out so that I can finally be who I’m supposed to be.

Anyway there is a lot more posts on the way,  thanks for those of you that continue to read.  If you got any comments or suggestions feel free to comment or e-mail  ShallopNewf@SurfaceScratchers.com

Advertisements

– A Return To The Grindstone –

Eric Hoffer said it best, “The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.

This summer has been an eventful one to say the least.  The journalism program was finished.  I left the program with lots of start-up ideas and aspirations that were going to realized over the summer.  Scratching The Surface was going to continue covering the entire west coast of Newfoundland.  Harnum and Augot were going to take up residence at 99 Montana, and we were going to make a real go of it.

Set backs began right out of the gate.  May 1st, the day that both Harnum and Augot were going to officially move in we get word from Harnum that he has decided he’s not on board anymore.  To each their own, but I would be lying if I tried to say there wasn’t any resentment targeting him when the news came in… really this isn’t something that we could not have been informed of at an earlier date??

A last minute roommate acquisition allowed STS to continue covering shows.  Unfortunately it was not a paying gig, Augot was soon forced to concede and return back to her hometown leaving the sole responsibility of the site up to me.

Unfortunately May 31st saw the final nail in the coffin… literally.  The death of Elaine Mahon basically saw the death of Scratching The Surface for the summer.  It completely put me out of commission.  Not only was STS left to stagnate, but all my ambition was purged from my system.  It felt like I would just stay put and live a very mediocre life here in Stephenville

Journalism can teach you everything you need to know about being a journalist, but it can’t prepare you for life itself.  Life can be your biggest obstacle.

October 17, 2011. ShallopNewf is going to turn 26.  There’s no more time to waste, I’ve already got some ventures in the works and there are a few prospects that may bear fruit in the near future.  Until then, I’m going to return to simply doing the best I can with what I got…  right now, what I got is a Call Center job, The World Is Broken blog, and Scratching The Surface (Returning October 31st).

It’s time to dust off the old Canon and Vivitar and get back at this.  Wish me luck.

– Fear Of Failure –

This isn’t going to be new by any stretch of the imagination.  You shouldn’t have any “What ifs”… Live life to the fullest… live for today… carpe diem.  There’s so many clichés that offer the same advice.

And frankly, this entry is going to be no different.

Since my last post and throughout most of today I have given this a lot of thought and discovered that I know where I went wrong.  Well, at least recently… I’m still a bit dumbfounded how it got to that point in the first place but that is an entirely different story.

I have always said that I would never put myself back into the previous situation without going full steam ahead and never looking back.  The way this circumstance went down it was horrific for the other party especially, but it left lasting scars on both of our psyches.

It was the wrong attitude to have, because I find myself looking back at the guy that made that decision and I want to smack him upside the head for being so blinded.  You can’t let a fear of failure, or the chance of defeat deter you from the path you want to take.

Life is about taking risks, making decisions, reveling in the fortuitous ones and surviving the consequences of the negative ones.  I should not have let the fear of failure stay my hands and my words.

It’s easy to look back and judge, but I guess the real measure of a man is what he does with the information and opportunities provided for him.  Here’s hoping to not making that mistake again.

It is already too far gone to lay any amends on previous mistakes… the opportunity to be heard about that has passed.  It’ll fall on deaf ears now, but it’s about time I stop letting the possibility of failure hinder my strive for success.

Journalism… I am NOT finished with you yet, and April 21st, I WILL be walking across that stage as a graduate…  and for previous situation.  I wish all involved the best… and at the risk of speaking too freely about my honest feeling on that topic I will end it here.

– 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.

– 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?