EVERY CLOUD HAS ITS SILVER LINING, EVEN WHEN IT’S THE COVID PANDEMIC

“Unprecedented times” is one of the most popular phrases associated with the COVID pandemic. It is challenging to look beyond what is in an effort to see what could be in a pandemic. How can such dark clouds carry a silver lining? 

Speaking with some students from different MacEwan University departments, we were pleased to see the poise and positivity with which they have handled the unfortunate circumstances of the pandemic.

“My experience with COVID as a student gave me the chance to practice time management. It took away some experiences of face-to-face learning, but it made available other practices which can be applied in our daily lives” says Hanna Barcia, a psychology major at MacEwan University. Despite initial struggles at the start of the semester, Barcia likes the idea of working at her own pace. “My school stuff does not clash with my personal life anymore as I have more flexible time,” says Barcia, who has a planned family trip to the Philippines this year. With the new system in place, Barcia, like the rest of us, can take school with her wherever she goes. She adds that although the pandemic prevented a traditional university experience, the instructors’ availability whenever she emailed them helped her a lot. “Everything was accessible and easy to find,” says Barcia.

Similarly, Michael Pinili from the MacEwan business management program finds that there are advantages to schooling online. “Two of these advantages are… continue reading this story in The Griff

 

GRADUATING DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC

Sixty-three thousand people in Canada lost their jobs in December of 2020, according to Craig Wong’s CTV News article published on Jan. 8. Wong also stated that it was the worst downturn of the job market since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. MacEwan University graduating and recently graduated students are asking “what next.”

After the 2014 Ukraine Euromaidan revolution sparked his curiosity about how news unfolds, final-year journalism major Timon Johnson decided to switch from engineering to his current program with the goal of one day experiencing and being part of the news and storytelling process. However, the unstable job market and Huffington Post Canada recently laying off all its journalists create some questions about that future.

“So as of right now, the journalism field is extremely competitive, there’s no sprinkling that. (There are) more people in the field and less opportunities available to work with big or small news organizations,” Johnson says. 

Like Johnson, many other students wonder what will happen to them as they join the unstable job market. 

Sydney Pshyk, a bachelor of commerce graduate of MacEwan, says, “the job market right now… looks a little bleak.” She describes her job-hunting experience as being stressful, strenuous, and slim pickings. “I’ve never struggled to find a job like I have right now,” she says. According to Pshyk, companies who have been forced to consolidate and downsize their teams due to the pandemic, are now looking for candidates who can wear multiple hats. She states that she no longer qualifies for jobs that she would have qualified for years ago. “They want a marketing coordinator with a strong background in graphic design, which is just not something that is typically offered through undergraduate programs…

Continue reading this story in The Griff

Online-Dating Stories #1: The Lies They Tell

It had been three months since we started dating, and I knew nothing about him. His truck and first name, maybe, or at least that’s what I thought.

You hear many things about online dating. Reasons to keep away, but enough to draw you in. When I quit a commission-only job that took twelve, sometimes more hours of my days, six days a week, I felt like time had cheated me. I was so bent on catching up on life, the things I potentially missed, that I decided to try some new things. One of those things was downloading a dating app.

I downloaded the app, OK Cupid, while I was on a trip to Surrey, BC, with one of my best friends. I was having such a good time with my friend that I forgot about the app for a while until I brought it up and let my friend’s roommate help me text a few people on it. 

It’s difficult to remember exactly how long it took me to get back on the app after I got back to Edmonton, but I remember it was close to the end of the year, likely the end of November. He was not the cutest or sexiest boy I talked to on the app, but he had his way with words. We chatted a lot and eventually started talking on the phone. He asked to take me on a date, and after convincing myself to stop being paranoid, I agreed.

Continue reading this story on Urban Columnist

Jokes Should not be Cruel

I have a great sense of humour and certainly enjoy a good joke, but as someone who has lived a considerable part of their life trying to get over a specific cruel joke from decades ago, I do not think jokes should be cruel or harmful. 

I heard I was less than two years old when my mother left. My father was not home much either, so I spent most days with my grandfather. He was a fantastic storyteller, playmate, and best friend. So, when my father decided it was good for me to spend some time with my mother, I was less than thrilled because I did not want to be without my grandfather. 

The move was more fun than I anticipated. Unlike the big city, everyone seemed to know each other and children were allowed to roam free. Making friends was easy, and this town gave me Sarah, one of my childhood best friends. 

Phones were not common in this small town, so I could not speak with my granddad or grandpa as I called him. I looked forward to my father’s visits as an opportunity to know how grandpa and the rest of the family were doing. The gifts he brought were a welcomed bonus.

Continue reading this story on Urban Columnist

James Corden, Golden Globes, and why you don’t need to be gay to act gay

OPINION

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have announced the nominees for the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and one name on the nomination list seems to have struck a nerve in many people. James Corden, nominated for his performance in The Prom, a musical in which the actor/comedian played a gay man.  A lot of this disdain comes from what people call Hollywood’s reinforcement of the gay man stereotype and the idea that the Corden’s role should have been played by someone who is gay. 

It is not the first time Hollywood producers have come under fire for their casting choices. For instance, in June 2020, Disney announced Halle Bailey was cast in the lead for The Little Mermaid’s live-action version. This announcement was met with many negative remarks on how the singer/actress bears no resemblance to the fictitious character’s animated version.  

Still, I think it’s important to distinguish between the fight for more representation for minority and marginalized communities and saying a gay man must play a gay man’s role in a movie.

Seeking more representation is asking to see more accurate portrayals of the different communities while demanding that a gay man only play a gay man’s role in a movie is implying that only those who have walked in the shoes can accurately portray it. 

I love that we live in such a vocal generation that speaks up, but I think we should be careful not to create battles to douse an itch to fight.

Acting is an occupation and asking for an employer to offer employment for any reason other than being the most qualified candidate is wrong on many levels. And yes, I want to see more LGBTQ+ and other actors from minority and marginalized communities on my screen, but it shouldn’t have to be a re-enactment of their real lives.

It’s okay to say James Corden does not deserve the nomination because he was quite frankly terrible in his role as Barry Glickman. And shame on the casting director and producers for letting that performance slide. But, like Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother, don’t we want to see each actor at their full potential, not limited by their socioeconomic status, race, or sexual preference?

The problems with movies like The Prom that create socio-cultural stereotypes have little to do with the cast; rather, it stems from not having diversified inputs at the pre-production and production levels. A gay writer, staff, crew member or even consultant would most likely have caught the errors in Glickman before it hit our screens.

 So, before we turn activism into a circus, let’s fight the right fights: diversity on our screens, and making stereotypes a thing of the past. A conscious effort to include minority and marginalized communities in the film production process will make this possible.

How My Uncle Groomed and Sexually Molested Me at the Age of Five

Molly (name changed to protect the victim’s identity) was less than seven years old when she was sexually molested several times by her uncle in an apartment shared with her grandad, dad and most of his siblings.

“My earliest memories of being sexually molested was between when I was about five to seven years old. I remember this because It was a time before I moved to live with my mom, and that happened when before I was seven years old,” says Molly.

According to Molly, she cannot remember exactly how many times the incidence occurred but vividly remembers two separate occasions.

“The first memory I have was me being in a room alone. He had recently come home from school (university) and told me stories about his friends. At some point, he put his hands into my panties… then he proceeded to show me his penis, told me not to be scared and to touch it. After that, he asked me to lick it, then to suck on it,” she says.

Molly held on to this secret for many years until another family member directly asked her about it.

“After I graduated from university, I moved to a different city, but was in constant communication with my aunt. She raised me for most of my life. She is like my mom. I remember being in a cab on my way back from work when she called me who sexually molested me. I was pretty shocked. She didn’t ask me if I was molested, she asked like she already knew and just wanted to confirm” says Molly. Molly told her aunt she would give her a call as soon as she got home, which she did.

“She recently went to a seminar that provided information on signs of sexually molested children. She said my name popped up in her mind every time he mentioned a sign” says Molly.

After the conversation, her aunt arranged for her to discuss with a host from the seminar. According to Molly, he helped “me understand that some of the problems I dealt with were rooted in the sexual abuse I endured as a child”. Some of the challenges included “not being able to sleep at night, being defensive all the time, always feeling less than, not being able to trust people, having an unhealthy sexual life. There were just so many things I didn’t know were connected to that experience,” said Molly.

When asked why she never told anyone as a child, Molly responded that as an adult, she asked herself that question every day for a long time until a therapist helped her understand a possible reason why.

“A couple of years ago, I saw a therapist who told me that by sharing stories about his friends e and telling me I was his favourite niece, he was [grooming] me,” says Molly. She also adds that her uncle would tell her the act was their “little secret” and that no one would believe her if she ever told them.

When asked why she wanted to share her story, Molly said that she had read so many stories about children going through the same thing over the years. “When you hear bad stories, you always tend to think they are done by strangers, but it could be someone within the household like a trusted friend, a brother or sister. “

Molly hopes that sharing her story will help save a child from a similar situation or help someone who might have experienced a similar situation find their voice.

Miley Cyrus Steals Spotlight at Super Bowl 2021

OPINION

Screenshot from Miley Cyrus’ YouTube video

Fans are saying Miley Cyrus’ ‘TikTok Tailgate’ preshow performance stole the spotlight at Super Bowl LV 2021, and they might be right.

The super bowl which took place on Sunday, February 7 left many feeling disappointed following Kansas City Chief’s loss to Buccaneers. Even more disappointing was the half time show, headlined by The Weeknd. Many social media users say it is the most boring halftime performance in Super Bowl history.

However, many social media users cannot stop talking about Cyrus’s preshow, which included performances with music legends Joan Jett and Billy Idol.

Cyrus performed several of her songs including Wrecking Ball, and Edge of Midnight, a remix of her 2020 hit single Midnight Sky.

Grammy-nominated artists Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan both performed a duet of the national anthem.

This year’s inaugural poet Amanda Gorman also performed an original poem ahead of the Super Bowl.

FOR LOCALS, BY LOCALS: How Edmonton’s newest destination strip mall, Manchester Square, supports local.

A new landmark popped up over the summer of 2020, leaving many people curious about the story behind the “little Europe” on the corner of 120 Street and 107 Avenue. This structure currently functions as a photo op destination for most, with many people visiting to take beautiful Instagram photos.  

Giordano Morgulis, the vice president of sales for 76 Group Co, developers of Manchester Square, provides insight into this new strip mall’s past, present, and future. Continue reading this story in The Griff