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Welcome!

Hello there,

I’m Elizabeth, lover of bad TV and good movies. If you’re looking for the best of the best content, check out my Writing Portfolio.

As you’ll probably notice, I mostly write about the Canucks, because I adore them,  but don’t fool yourself into thinking I’d be a good addition you your floor hockey team, my little brother makes me play goalie, and not because I have moves like Luo.

A Guide to Workplace Attire

To promote the upcoming OLC Career Chat on Workplace Wardrobe in October 2013 I wrote and published a series of articles on workplace wardrobes.

This post was originally published on the OLC on June 21, 2013 as part of the promotional launch of OLC Career Chats.

If you’ve spent any amount of time on Twitter, you’ve probably seen someone participating in or talking about a Twitter chat. So what are they?

Twitter chats are essentially exactly what they sound like: A group of people all joining together at a set time to discuss a given topic. If you look hard enough, you can find organized chats on almost any topic. They can be used not only to share and gain insights on the topic discussed, but they can also be  great opportunity to network and connect with people who have similar interests or are in the same industry as you.

A typical Twitter chat will take place at a set time, usually monthly, biweekly, or even weekly, and organizers usually promote the time, topic, and the accounts involved well in advance. Participants use a pre-determined hashtag when tweeting, which they can then use to search for other participants and continue the conversation.

Chat organizers will likely prepare some questions or prompts to start the chat, which participants can then answer or comment on. To keep things organized, questions and answers will be numbered. Sometimes featured guests (usually a specialist on the topic) will join, taking questions from participants as well.

That being said, these chats aren’t just a place to have questions answered. It can be a giant online networking event. If you embrace it, expect to leave with a few new contacts and followers, along with some new information.

Tips for a Successful Twitter Chat

  • Introduce Yourself. When you join in on the conversation, send out a quick tweet, using their hashtag, letting the organizing account know you’re excited to get started.
  • Jump Right In. Don’t be afraid that you don’t have anything worthwhile to contribute. If you have an opinion or insight on the topic, share it. If you think someone else made a really good point, let them know. Read a great blog post that supports your point? Share it.
  • Pay Attention. If you’re late to the chat, and everyone else is discussing question 5, don’t return to the first question, just join in with the most recent topic.
  • Be Careful with Self-Promotion: If you’ve written a blog post on the topic, then sharing it can be a great way to contribute to the conversation, but be careful about too much self-promotion. Some chats ask participants to wait until the end of the chat to share links, so take cues from other participants. If you do share a link, don’t spam the feed and send it out to 20 different people, just hashtag it, and people will find it.
  • Have Fun. Twitter chats can be a great way to make some new connections, but they’re not a high-stakes networking event. Just log-in, have some fun, and maybe even learn a few things.

In the end, Twitter chats are better experienced than read about. Learn about the series of Twitter chats the OLC is organizing with Career Services this month.

Who. What. Why. The Keys to Your Elevator Pitch

This was originally posted to the OLC as part of an initiative to produce more content to help students better prepare for career fairs.

A promotional piece to support the SFU Men’s Hockey Movember campaign.

SFU Mo Bros Support Men’s Health

The SFU Men’s Hockey Team wanted to get in on some Movember action this year, so three brave players agreed to grow out a ‘stache for the month – all in the name of raising awareness and funds for men’s health programs.

This years participants are rookies Jesse Williamson and Pavlo Zerebecky and second-year player, Kale Wild.

All three are Movember vets, with a few years experience under their belts. They offered up some advice to their fellow Mo Bros. “Just have fun with it,” advised Wild. “Get creative. I’ve been seeing people attempt the “monkey tail” moustache lately which is pretty funny.”

Williamson had a different approach to making sure you sport an impressive mo, “Just For Men hair dye is cheating. But it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught… Right?” Zerebecky meanwhile was short on the advice, “it’s impossible to give tips when your facial comes in with the same consistency as a child.”

Of course, it’s important to keep the goal in mind as well. “Try to actually raise money,” said Wild. “Raising awareness is one thing. But raising money is the ultimate goal.”

The boys all agreed that raising cash and awareness is a great reason to participate, but not the only one. “It is fun to experiment with different moustaches,” said Wild. “It gives you a very good excuse to grow an often funny looking moustache while raising awareness for men’s health.” For Williamson on the other hand? “A great excuse to be lazy.” Of course, a successful Movember campaign requires a healthy dose of competition.

So what do the guys think of the team’s mustache growing outlook? “I think we have a pretty weak crop of mo bros this year,” said Wild. “With the loss of moustache officiando Tadz Brown I think we are going to have to fill that void by committee. I think [Nick] Sandor has the potential to do something special this year. He has been growing out some pretty grizzly facial hair for a while which leaves him with many options. However it must be noted any success he achieves this year will have an asterisks due to his head start.”

Williamson focused his assessment on the three participants, singling Zerebecky out for having the least impressive ‘stache by months end. An assessment Zerebecky couldn’t deny.

To support SFU Hockey’s Movember campaign you can donate through our team page. Stayed tuned for updates on the progress, or come see for yourself at our next home game on November 23rd in Bill Copeland Arena where SFU looks to defend their 5-0 record against TRU.

Hoot Hoot Hooray! HootSuite for Clubs and Associations

My first blog post with the HootSuite campus ambassador program, detailing how students can use HootSuite to help run social media campaign for school clubs and teams.

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I watch more than my fair share of crime procedurals. I used to tune into CSI every week, until they started going up against Grey’s Anatomy (why yes, I do have excellent taste in TV, thank-you very much), and I’ve caught a few seasons of CSI: New York. I could never get into CSI: Miami, but mostly because I was convinced every murder was a result of A. Sharks B. Alligators or C. Cocaine.  I still watch every episode of Criminal Minds and Bones. I’m probably leaving out a few, the point is, I’ve seen my share of crime scene teasers, which holds the key to my fear of being in them.

They follow a basic premise:  An innocent looking scene, some day-player is jogging, or calling after a spooked animal, maybe cleaning up a beach. Sometimes it’s a couple, looking for privacy, or some kids trying their first cigarette. Whatever the reason, these poor unfortunates soon stumble upon a foot, or an arm, maybe even a head. It’s the shock scene that takes us into the jazzy theme song, while I scream and vow to stop watching this stupid show.

The show starts back up with our crime solving detectives/scientists/FBI agents poking the found body parts with gloves, snapping pictures of broken twigs and crime scene markers. We’re all quick to forget the poor guy who just had his morning coffee ruined by the decapitated head.

Now this is where the screenwriters and I differ. I want to talk to the guy who had to deal with that fun discovery. I have so many questions, who do you call? 911? What do you say? Should you make it clear that YOU aren’t involved in the murder, or is that just more suspicious? Do you have to stand guard while you wait for the cops, and if so can you ask them to bring you a soda or a blanket? Are you allowed to phone a friend while you wait? They can’t expect you to just sit there quietly. If you do call someone, who do you pick? Your best friend? Boyfriend? Mom?  It’s a very telling choice regarding your current relationships.

I’m fairly sure this book won’t be able to help.

These are all legitimate questions I wonder about every show. Scratch that, every day of my life. Why? Because I’m fairly certain that I will one day be that person, and I want to be prepared. When the opportunity to go morning jogging or attending some sort of beach clean-up comes up, one of my first thoughts is “What are the chances I will end up on the news for finding a severed foot?” If it’s above 50%, the answer is no. (If I’m the one doing the math, the chance is always above 50%). I just can’t deal with that in my day, I’m far too stressed out about having to tell someone.

(Yes, I’m thoroughly more concerned about how to start that awkward phone call than the trauma of actually finding a mystery foot). I know I would get very high-pitched, and attempt to sugar coat it for the operator…ending sentences with a question mark, like maybe I’m asking them if there’s a foot under that tarp? I’d also probably end up texting while I was waiting, which I’m sure would eventually get me into trouble.

Now, I know we have too many crime procedurals already, but can we do one, where someone just goes about their day and repeatedly has the bad luck to stumble upon body parts? Maybe they can solve the crime after, or maybe it’ll be a new person every time, a new unknown every episode. At least it’ll keep talent costs down.

I will tune in every week, I will be terrified every time, but you know I would watch, just to have my questions answered, so that when that inevitable day comes I’ll be slightly more prepared, because seriously, that is going to be an awful way to start a Monday.

I doubt this will be the first reaction post to the Aurora shootings you will read, nor will it be the last. I’m not even sure it will be a particularly original take, but it’s mine, and here we are.

I found out about the shootings about 5 minutes after the movie ended, the credits hadn’t even finished, but there’s always a chance for extra scenes, and my friend needed a minute to digest the movie anyway. So I was still sitting in my theatre, about 5 seats from the door, checking for Twitter reactions when the reactions shift to horror; someone shot up a theatre full of people who were essentially doing exactly the same thing as me, at almost the same time, whose last sights were of something I had just finished watching with bated breath. Image

There’s something powerful about that, midnight screenings tend to build a sense of community, even if it only lasts as long as the movie, so despite the fact that it happened hundreds of miles away to people I would likely have never met, it still felt somewhat personal. Maybe it was the footage on the news, dozens of people standing around in a dark parking lot, staring at their phones, or off to middle distance, a news camera zooming in to catch every painful eye flicker, to immortalize very personal moments. I recognized that helpless look in their faces, maybe they weren’t sure what was going on, or how they got there, but some of them knew that a friend wasn’t answering their phone, and they knew that something was terribly wrong.

The terror in their eyes won’t soon leave them, because how is your mind supposed to handle something like that? One minute you’re watching a movie, eating some popcorn, and the next some coward is trying to kill you, to terrorize you and everyone who sees what he did.

That’s what the shooter is, a coward. Was he crazy? Maybe. Was he smart? Yes. He came prepared, with the proper gear, with a plan, with the patience to wait for a loud action scene so as to start his murderous spree with the most confusion. This wasn’t a tragedy, or part of some bigger picture, that implies a greatness. Tragedy should be reserved for earthquakes and tornados, unavoidable events of inevitable misfortune. The shooter does not deserve greatness or the morbid glamour of tragedy. It was a murder, and a cowardly one at that. There’s nothing glamorous or special about smoking up a dark room and shooting people who tried to get away.

He wants to be remembered, to feel big and strong and powerful, because he has the power to take life and make people scared. He knows that one of the biggest pop culture events of the year now has an asterix with his name next to it. He wanted to feel power, and be remembered, and as a coward he didn’t care why or how, just that he was never forgotten. Heroes on the other hand, can see the difference between the power and fame that comes from fear, and that which comes from admiration and respect. Anyone can find power in someone else’s fear, it’s not that hard. Fewer can earn it through respect, and that is why we should not remember the coward who hid behind some smoke and his guns, but the lives that should have had so much more to give. The youngest victim, Veronica Moser-Sullivan was six, her mom, having just been accepted to medical school is still in the hospital. Alex Teves, Jon Blunk and Matt McQuinn died acting as a human shields, protecting their respective girlfriends with their own bodies. Alex Sullivan died on his 27th birthday, his parents didn’t find out until 8pm the next night. Image

For me, that’s always the saddest part of young lives being taken, I grieve in part for all of the people who will never get to meet a wonderful person. Jessica Ghawi, a hockey reporter seemed like one of those people, I’m sure others were too, but she’s the one that people are connecting to, so she’s the example I’ll use. There was genuine sadness at the incredible career she could have had, and countless friends and coworkers immediately came forward to share her spirit far and wide. I experienced the same feeling when my best friend, an aspiring teacher was murdered. I was so genuinely angry at her killer, not only for taking her from me, but because of all the kids who wouldn’t get to have her as a teacher, she had the right humorous edge, with the kind of common sense and kindness that would have easily made her a favorite teacher, one which hundreds of kids are now deprived of. That made me angry for a long time. I tried to say the same thing as Jessica’s brother Jordan, focus on remembering the victims, not the murderer, because the victims deserve our attention, while he does not.

Of course, this advice is easier to say than follow, and I can’t say that I managed to follow much of my own advice, I still let news of my friends killer ruin my day, I still keep a Google alert on his name, and I sometimes I still let his cowardly legacy overshadow hers.

But let’s not do that this time. Forget his name, as he grows old in a jail cell, let him search for articles on himself and come up short, let him, and anyone who’s ever thought of doing the same know that they will not be glorified, they won’t be remembered or feared. If anything, pity him, pity this sad, anonymous coward who was too weak or pathetic to be remembered for something positive, and instead chose to use his talents to spread fear. Hopefully, one day, when the scars begin to heal, his name won’t be remembered at all.

Sources: Delcotimes.com and Digitaljournal.com

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