Shelf of Supplements – Poetry

there is a shelf of supplements in my heart

where i store the little things

that keep me going without you:

the song you sung to me 

as we drove to the beach that one time,

the rock you gave me 

because you said

the colour matched my hair,

the lucky penny we found

while tripping over our own feet,

the tears i cried when you told me

we couldn’t go back in time,

the words i wrote in pen

that you probably threw away,

that time you said you loved me 

subtly, like a whisper,

the promises you gave away like spare change

only to blink and forget them,

and the moments when i’d look at you and think

“i love him more than i love myself”.

 

i keep these safe in the confines of my heart

until i’m finally able to let you go

and live my life drug-free. 

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The Seamstress – Poetry

the seamstress

 

they said she was amazing 

with a needle and thread

she could mend any sweater

darn any sock

and the stitches would fit

seamlessly. 

she could undo any brokenness 

and fix any ties,

with the flick of her milky wrists

she was able to fix

what seemed to be 

the whole world.

he was a boy 

with a habit of carelessness 

and came to her often,

asking her if please

could she repair this?

she would sew his clothing

and each day long for his touch

and would wish she could sew

two people together.

but he was a boy

with a habit of carelessness

and when she unravelled 

no one could sew her together again.

In-Depth Article Sample (FAKE)

In-Depth Police Release Article

Friday, May 16, 2014

By Tara J. Henley

 THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS FICTITIOUS!!!! ALL CHARACTERS AND EVENTS HAVE BEEN MADE UP FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES AND DO NOT RELATE TO ANY REAL PEOPLE/ EVENTS!!!!

            Three local men have been charged with attempted robbery and attempted breaking and entering thanks to Belleville police constable, Dudley Fudbucker.

            Andy Clarke, Media Spokesperson for the Belleville Police has stated in a press conference this mourning that thirty-three year old Frank Quavers was arrested last night along with two of his accomplices, Thomas Kyte, forty-four and Lyle Louvin, forty-five. The three men were caught digging a tunnel in a building under renovation that is beside the Bank of Nova Scotia on Front Street. The tunnel leads almost all the way to the bank’s vault, and as far as police know, this operation had been taking place for several weeks.

            According to the official police release, Constable Fudbucker heard suspicious noises coming from the building under renovation late last night as he was walking back to his car while on his regular patrol.

“I had the feeling something was not right,” says Constable Dudley Fudbucker when asked to describe how he felt when he first heard the noises coming from a building that should have been empty. “I had a feeling like my spider senses [were] tingling”. Fudbucker says that the unusual sensation he felt intensified when he met up with Kyte, who was standing at the back of the building having a smoke. Kyte refused to answer any of Fudbucker’s questions adequately, so the constable called for backup.

Constables Janice Mackey and Alan Christer arrived on the scene shortly after that according to Fudbucker. “I have to credit Dudley,” Christer said earlier today. “That was terrific instincts on his part”. Christer then goes on to describe how Mackey and Fudbucker apprehended the other two men in the building, Quavers and Louvin, while he waited outside. Louvin, who was found in the tunnel, threatened Fudbucker with an electric drill before being subdued by the two officers, and is now facing additional charges.

Quavers, who is already known by police according to Clarke, worked for Tremblay Renovations, the renovating company in charge of the building’s restoration. It is unclear if any other members of Tremblay Renovations are involved with the heist, however police say that there are definitely more people involved.

“I’m devastated,” said Fred Tremblay, owner of Tremblay Renovations. Tremblay stated earlier that he had known Quavers for roughly a year, and was willing to hire him despite his past involving breaking and entering and small robbery. “You try and give a guy a break and this is what happens […] I’m a good guy in a horrible situation”.

Adrian Bax, the owner of the building under renovations, is also stunned. He claims the basement was not meant to be under renovation, and speculates the reason the heist went unnoticed for so long is because very few people had access to the basement.

Tony Donatucci, the overseer of the renovations is currently being questioned by the police, and had no comment.

Both Clarke and Fudbucker consider the tunnel to be “impressive”. “I’m six feet tall,” said Fudbucker when asked to describe the tunnel. “And I had to hunch, so I’d say the tunnel itself was about five feet tall, about eighteen feet long and (…) narrow”. Fudbucker speculates that the men charged were less than a week away from breaking into the bank’s vault.

Shirley Bassey in charge of the Bank of Nova Scotia’s Media Relations released a statement earlier today to assure the public that the bank is reviewing their current security situation.

Community Development Council of Quinte (CDC of Quinte)

Community Development Council of Quinte (CDC of Quinte)

Wednesday, May 13, 2014

By Tara J. Henley

 

What is it?

The Community Development Council of Quinte, or the CDC of Quinte, was founded in 1989. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that was designed as a means to promote provisions of health and social services as well as future planning for residents in the Quinte region.

 

 

What does it do?

This organization is supposed to assist residents of the Quinte region by providing them with life necessities such as water to grow their own garden plot, fresh fruits and vegetables and infant/ child supplies for new families. The CDC of Quite participates and promotes the development of a “grassroots community” that is of natural creation and supports the local party through regional volunteers. This organization aspires to developing a social planning process using a self-help approach to identifying and eventually resolving community issues brought up. This means that the region will become self-aware of occurring issues and act accordingly in order to resolve these issues as a community.

 

 

How is it funded?

Personal donations online are accepted on a regular basis. This is a non-profitable organization, so none of the money donated will go towards anything a donator is unaware of. By donating $1 per week, a person will be paying for water supply for one growing season for one garden plot, allowing a family to grow their own fresh vegetables. By donating $5 per week, a person will be paying for a monthly distribution for one large Good Food Box filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, most of which are locally grown, that is enough to feed a family of four. When someone donates $10 per week, it is enough to provide a weekly supply of diapers, baby food and cereal for one baby or infant. Personal donations are not the only way to support the CDC of Quinte, however; companies and organizations can host golf tournaments to sponsor the organization, as well as host baby food drives, donate baby items such as food and diapers and even donate gas cards for families struggling to afford the cost of commuting to jobs.

 

 

 

Why does it matter?

The Community Development Council of Quinte is designed for the sole purpose of helping those less fortunate. Local families who cannot afford the luxuries that middle or upper class families often take for granted are the beneficiaries of a donator’s money. Just one dollar every week makes a large difference in the lives of one family. Not only are local families positively affected, but also the local environment as well through the promotion of locally grown food through the CDC of Quinte. The overall well being of different families furthermore contributes to the overall well-being of the community in whole.

 

Contacts:

Office – 613-968-2466

Fax – 613-968-2251

65 Station St., Belleville, ON.

K8N 256

 

You can directly contact Ruth Ingersoll, Jim Mallabar and Bev Heuving on the CDC of Quinte’s official website under “About Us” and “Contact”. Here is a link:

http://cdcquinte.com/contact/

 

Take Aways – Interviewing Dos and Don’ts and Critical Thinking

Take Aways – Interviewing Dos and Don’ts and Critical Thinking

Wednesday, May 13, 2014

By Tara Henley

 

  1. When interviewing, one of the best things you could do is preamble before asking your questions. When you preamble, you are stating information you have researched about your interviewee prior to the interview. This not only assures them that you have done your research, which they will respect you more for, but also allows for you to ask more detailed and in-depth questions regarding the person you are interviewing. Furthermore, it sets up the question for the interviewee to answer in a way that suits the layout you feel most comfortable with during your interview, ensuring that you are always in control. When you preamble, you are also more likely to get a more heartfelt answer from the person you are interviewing, because the question is not only very specific, but also because they will feel more comfortable with you as an interviewer since you have taken the time to research them beforehand.
  2. When you are interviewing someone, you should always “go for the jugular” as Marissa Dragani, a professor at Loyalist College says. This essentially means that you should ask tougher questions to get down to the bottom of issues regarding the person you are interviewing. Often times, this is very hard to do. The interviewee is usually trained to perform a series of techniques used to make it seem like they are answering the question at hand when in reality, they are not. An example of this is when an interviewee begins to stall instead of directly answering your question. When this happens, they best thing you can do is politely cut them off before they get too into what they are saying and re-ask your original question or rephrase it in a new way until you get an answer. Another technique they will try to use is to side-step the question. Again, the best thing you can do when this happens is to continue re-asking the question until you get an answer. It is very important you do not allow the person you are interviewing to take over the interview and lead it in a direction you are not comfortable with. Sometimes, if you do not phrase a question properly, your interviewee will challenge the premise of the question. You should never allow this to happen; conduct the proper research ahead of time to ensure you know how you would be able to handle the situation if it occurs. Also, you may need to rephrase your original question in a way that the person you are interviewing will not be able to question it back.
  3. There is an art to critical thinking. Critical thinking is not simply stating an uneducated and bias opinion on a topic, even if you believe you are in the right. Critical thinking involves research so that you are able to make an informed decision based on facts and not feelings. You should be very analytical of every piece of information you read when you begin thinking critically, which, as a journalist, is very important. You need to focus on the logic behind any written article, and you should always check sources for accuracy and validation. You cannot allow bias or personal feelings interfere with your writing when you are critically thinking. If you interject your personal opinions with what you are writing, people will find it hard to believe what you are writing hasn’t been influenced by your bias and therefore will not be able to believe you. Lastly, you cannot assume anything when you are thinking critically. Double and triple check all of your facts and never make anything up just because it fits into your story. If you publish anything that isn’t true, you will be held liable and will quite possibly be fired from wherever you are working.
  4. When you are interviewing someone, it is not only important to avoid committing any fallacies, but to also be aware of when the interviewee does this to make their argument seem more sound. There are five major fallacies to watch out for: the straw man, slippery slop, black or white, ad hominem and begging the question fallacies. The straw man fallacy consists of someone misrepresenting another person to make the other person’s argument seem unsound. In the slippery slope fallacy, a person will try to convince you that one event or action will lead to another, completely irrelevant and hyperbolized event or action and so forth. A black and white fallacy is committed when someone over simplifies the situation and makes it seem like there are only two possibilities when in fact there are many. Begging the question occurs when a person will try to claim their conclusion as a premise when it is not.
  5. These fallacies can be very dangerous in an interview. You need to know exactly what to do when you hear any of these fallacies as well as be certain you are not committing any yourself. Knowledge of these fallacies ahead of time is one of the best methods to deal with this. Study each fallacy and learn what each one means before walking into any interview. This will allow you to have an easier time identifying when a fallacy has been committed. Also, be very aware of your strategy and layout going into the interview. Have a backup plan for addressing any fallacy presented as an argument and make sure you stick to the original layout. The best method for dealing with fallacies however is to ask reflective and closed questions. By getting into specifics, the person you are interviewing is more likely to trip up with what they are saying, and their argument will fall apart as a result.

Take Aways – Interviewing

Take Aways – Interviewing

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

By Tara J. Henley

 

  1. Background + Preparation + Focus + Good Questions = Great Quotes. Essentially, this is the formula to keep in mind while you’re conducting an interview. Before even thinking about walking into an interview, you need to be prepared with background information on the person you are interviewing. You should know who that person is, why they are important, what they do and as many other facts about them that you can get. The absolute minimum that you should have when you walk into an interview is the last article written about that person or the subject you are writing about. You also need to be prepared, meaning you cannot simply walk into an interview without having an idea of where you want the interview to go and the themes you are going to cover. These will vary with each person and subject, so you have to make the right calls when choosing your interview layout. Part of the interview preparation is knowing what the focus of the interview is going to be. You cannot spend your time asking a person questions that do not pertain to your interview’s focus, unless the interview takes an unexpected turn and the focus shifts to a much more pressing matter. “You decide the direction the interview will go in,” says Robert Washburn, a professor at Loyalist College. “You need to always be in control.” Lastly, in order to get good quotes from the person you interview, you need to ask them good questions. Talk to others, know what your audience wants to find out, get opinions and know everyone who’s involved in the article you will be writing. Ask unique questions that have not been asked previously and make sure you do follow-ups on certain questions (why, how or describe).
  2. Your biggest assets during an interview are your ears; you need to listen to what the person you’re interviewing is saying. If you have a good strategy going into the interview, this allows you to listen closer to what the interviewee is saying because you are not focusing on what you need to say next. “Listening is an art,” Robert Washburn says. “The more you listen, the more you will get”. As Washburn says, the more you pay attention to what the interviewee is saying, the more information you will retain and then be able to use in your article later. Professor Washburn also says that an interviewer must be able t engage in active listening. You should always look like you are listening. Nodding politely and smiling at the interviewee are some ways to do this. If you look bored, the person you are interviewing will become upset and the interview will basically be over. You will not be able to get any more information out of the interviewee because they will be offended that you found them boring and will give simple, general answers. Be polite while you interview and never talk over the person you are interviewing. If you interject, it means you are not listening, which will lead to unimaginative follow-ups.
  3. There are ten general preparations you should keep in mind while you are conducting an interview. First, you should maintain the interviewee’s focus on the interview. Minimize surrounding distractions and do not conduct an interview in a public setting if you can help it. Before you begin, you should always clear your mind. Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself down before asking any questions. You must also remove all prejudice you may have towards your interviewee. People will sense your hostility and will completely shut down and refuse to answer. That being said, you can also never judge the answer you receive from your interviewee, regardless of what it is. Keep an open mind to your interview’s layout because one person’s answer may send your interview off in a whole different direction. Maintain control, but if the new direction works, go with it. Silence is absolutely golden; you are there to listen, not add your own opinions ever chance you get. Ask your questions and wait for the person you are interviewing to answer. If it takes them a while, do not worry because they are only thinking carefully about what they are about to say, and odds are this means they are about to say something that you will be able to use. Empathy is also important in an interview so you can relate to your interviewee and find some common ground. Do not confuse this with sympathy however because when you pity a person, they will often become offended. Remember that this interview is not about you, so you cannot keep interjecting your opinions as opposed to listening for your interviewee’s (which brings you back to the “silence is golden” rule). You should also always save all of the tougher and more personal questions for the end of the interview because they are easily blown off when you place them at the beginning. If your interviewee becomes hostile for any reason and begins to get upset, the best thing you can do is lower your voice and speak very softly to them. This will make it seem like they are overreacting, and will immediately calm down. Lastly, the person you are interviewing should never intimidate you. We are all the same on the inside and you are just doing your job by interviewing them.
  4. There are three very important interviewing tips everyone needs to know before they conduct their first interview. If you can help it, never conduct an interview over the phone. When you are in person, you will be able to read the interviewee’s body language and visa versa. Also, the interviewee may be distracted while they are on the phone with you and you may not be able to properly attract their focus. You should also always know what your audience wants ahead of time. This interview is not being conducted for your purposes but for your audience’s, so keep that in mind when you are writing up your questions to ask. Lastly, remember that after you’ve asked all of the questions you feel like you needed to ask, you aren’t done yet. You first need to go over your notes to make sure you didn’t need to ask any more follow-ups because you have already asked them. Next, you need to simplify and language you believe will be too difficult for you, or your readers, to understand. Most importantly, you should always review all of the facts (not opinions) that the interviewee has presented to you. This allows you to make absolute certain that all of your information is correct.
  5. Going “off the record” is something you should “never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever do”, according to Professor Washburn. The interviewee has agreed to do the interview; anything they say, you can use unless you agree not to (which is something you should not do). If you go off the record with an interviewee, you will not be able to publish anything they have said. Furthermore, if the interviewee decides they do not want affiliation with the information they are giving you, there is no way for an audience to know that the information you are publishing is accurate. There are only three times you should ever agree to go off the record with an interviewee. The first is when there is an issue of public safety. If, for example, a major fast food company has been using worms in their hamburgers instead of beef and the only way a person will agree to give you the proof about this is if they remain anonymous, it is acceptable for you to go off the record. Furthermore, if the personal safety of the source is in jeopardy by them giving you the information you need, you may also go off the record with them. An example of this would be if a person would be fired for having their name published in association with the article’s topic. Lastly, if there was absolutely no other way for you to get the information a person is offering you than to agree to interview them off the record, do it. If the story is good enough, you will be able to find validity elsewhere with another person or documents.

Five Take Aways: Looking at journalism

Take Away

Tuesday, May 7, 2014

By Tara J. Henley

 

  1. Journalists must be very aware of what they say and post in/ on a public interface. Yes journalists are going to get a lot of good feedback from their published works, but they will also always receive a backlash of negative comments, especially when writing about controversial subjects. Privacy is relevant to whoever is involved, so a journalist must be careful of whom they decide to trust with both distributing and receiving information.
  2. People have adapted a prejudice where they believe that because they do not know the answer they are unintelligent. This is absolutely not true. It is always handy to know a lot of information, especially when regarding a news story you will be covering, but if you do not know what something is or means, ask. Small children constantly pipe “But why?” every two seconds because that is the way humans learn: by asking questions. Robert Washburn said, “Assumptions are the enemy of journalism”, so you may as well make absolute certain that you have all of your facts correct before publishing anything.
  3. There are two types of information: online and offline. This generation generally believes that online information is the best possibly information they can possibly acquire on earth. While online databases are a great way to collect certain information at a fast pace, you must always make sure that the information is accurate and verifiable. That being said, you can always collect information via peer-reviewed books, magazines, newspapers and other forms of offline data that does not involve a computer. One could also separate information in terms of data and human. Data information means you have collected the information using a computer or print or a more traditional method and human information means you have spoken to a bunch of people involved to expand your knowledge on a particular subject.
  4. There is a five-step strategy when it comes to researching for an article you are about to write. The first step involves asking yourself, “What do I need to know?” If the article you’re writing about is for a few members of a church having their annual tea party, you only need to know the basics: who, what, when, where, why, how. If your piece is on an ex-con working as a teacher in a local high school, you should probably gather information about school policies, the overall opinions of the parents of the students and maybe even get a statement from the teacher. Step two is asking yourself, “Where do I find that information I need?” You can either search online or offline for this information, and you can ask the people around you if you need help. Step three is asking where you would then get the information you have found, which often seems simpler than it is. If a book is really expensive on Amazon.com for example then you might not be able to get it even if it has the information you need. Always make sure you are able to acquire all the information you need and in a timely manner. Then you should ask yourself how you would go about checking the accuracy of the information. If you are gathering your information from a peer-reviewed, well-known book, you’re probably safe to use this information. However, if you happen to only use Wikipedia as your source, you will get in a bit of trouble. It’s always a good idea to check multiple sources to make sure the information is accurate and matches what you know. Lastly, ask yourself how you will properly use the information you have collected. Do not use information out of context, and always make sure you have multiple sides to a story to maintain fairness, balance and objectivity.
  5. Walking into interviews, it is very important that you know the significance of who you’re interviewing (who they are or what they are doing). The minimum you should do before walking into that interview is read he last article published about the person you will be interviewing. This ill give you up to date information and you will not ask redundant questions the person has already answered. You can then base your interview off of what has already been said previously. You should also look at some key contacts. These are the people who have previously written about a certain person, or maybe have conducted their own interviews. You can also ask those in the surrounding community their own opinions of any matter you chose to write about. Remember: the more information you collect ahead of time, the more knowledgeable you are.