Week 12 Main Post: Nostalgic

I’ve procrastinated as long as I can from writing these final blog posts for this class. For good reason.

I hate to see it come to an end. It feels like I started this blog yesterday.

Seriously three years of dabbling in blogging has felt like three days. When you’re doing what you love, time tends to pass quickly.

And even though I haven’t decided whether I’ll continue posting on this blog specifically, I know I won’t ever stop blogging. Especially since it took me almost three years to make a cent from it. If I could blog for one thousand days for free, surely I can blog for a thousand more when there’s potential to earn money. It isn’t a lot. But it’s enough for now.

This course and the subsequent creation of this blog has taught me:

To time manage.

I think if people really want to write or a book or start a blog, they should stop wishing and start working. We all have 24 hours in a day. If others can do it, so can you. In order to set aside enough time for this blog, I tried to spend my hours effectively. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have posted anything.

To do my research.

I very much have a love-hate relationship with research. Usually hate wins. But when it doesn’t, I could spend forever reading and researching. Because I didn’t know much about some of these social justice issues, I made an effort to educate myself. Besides, there are many experts out there who are much more eloquent than I am, so why not take a page out of their proverbial book?

To appreciate but critique the city.

Just because you love something doesn’t mean you should be blinded by the good and don’t see the bad. I feel like in being able to notice the flaws, my fondness for Toronto has skyrocketed

In five years, I hope I’ll still remember I was able to publish 11 posts a week. Okay so maybe they weren’t perfect or as polished as a diamond. But I still managed the feat nonetheless. So when I’m complaining about doing 7 or 8, I’ll quickly shut up and solider on.

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Week 12 Link: People in Stories

I’ve always wondered why I gravitate towards writing stories about Caucasian people with typical white names who speak English. Especially since I’m Chinese, have a non-traditional name, and my first language is Cantonese.

I admit that the headline “You can’t do that! Stories have to be about White people” caught my attention. After reading it, I have to say the article brings up many points of merit.

It’s almost like I’ve been conditioned to think the world revolves around a particular group of people and no one else. This way of thinking perpetuates a lack of diversity, not just in literature but in every discipline.

…if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Week 12 Secondary Post: Blog Posts

Favourite blog post I wrote: Week 11 Main Post: Reimagining Public and Private Space

Besides, have you experienced the weather in Toronto?

I enjoyed framing the questions and answering them accordingly. For that week’s post, I initially had a different idea, started a draft, but then scrapped it because I wasn’t happy. However, I am happy with how the final piece turned out. In retrospect, I think I held myself back a lot during the course of this semester. However, in this second to last week, I felt like more of my own voice came out. As a writer, that’s all I ask for.

Most challenging blog post I wrote: Week 2 Secondary Post: Bell Let’s Talk

I love that Bell Let’s Talk starts the conversation. All I ask is that we continue the conversation long after today is over.

Mental health anything is tough enough to talk about. And it’s even harder when the issue hits close to home.

Favourite blog post a classmate wrote: Week 11 Secondary Blog: Authorship in the News

In fiction, editors serve the writer, in the news, the writers serve the publication.

I feel her frustration. In my experience, editors often make changes without consulting writers. And reading something under my name even though the article sounds nothing like what I would ever say doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve come to accept that this will happen when you write for someone else. The writing world isn’t perfect, but I want to be a part of it regardless or maybe because of its flaws.

Week 12 Comment: Creative Compensation

Shayla’s post: Week 12 Main Post: Go Forth and Blog

My comment: I agree with your list. When people first start writing and blogging though, they are going to put in a lot of time without getting paid for it. But I doubt anyone can sustain a life where they work for free. That would be “hell”. Sometimes working without financial compensation can be a tough call to make. I guess so long as you’re doing what you love on your own terms, there’s value in everything you do. 

Week 11 Secondary Post: Diverse Representation 

Mattel, the maker of the iconic plastic doll, said it will begin selling Barbie’s in three new body types — curvy, tall, and petite. She’ll also be available in seven skin tones, 22 eye colours and 24 hairstyles.

Joseph Pisani

It’s about time. 

Positive and diverse representation of people, especially women, should have happened ages ago. 

The same doll with the same features doesn’t do justice to the infinite differences among human beings. We don’t all look the same, do we? 

Instead of judging others for their appearance, we should accept that people look different. 

What’s more, the media tends to portray women in an unrealistic manner. Because of that, standards for women have been set increasingly high. Society pigeonholes girls by labelling them and regarding members of this sex through binaries. 

You’re kind. Or rude. You’re beautiful. Or unattractive. You’re successful. Or failing. 

And what’s with the limited portrayal of minority women in movies, TV shows, etc? 

American productions have been notorious for casting “thin” Cacuasian females with “good looks”. But that doesn’t mean Canadian companies are doing any better. 

Even though hair styles are easy to change, aspects such as skin colour aren’t. 

I hope these new dolls is a start in addressing issues with gender stereotyping and representation. 

Week 11 Main Post: Reimagining Public and Private Space

What is public space? What is private space?

Although the lines can be a little blurry, in my opinion, private space is owned by a company or organization although it could also be open to the public. Public space is for the people, for the masses. That means that public sites like parks should be easily accessible by the public and benefit them too. But that doesn’t mean humans can do as they please. There’s a fine line between public space and private space. And I think people in general are better at respecting private space than they are with public places.

Why is it important?

Life isn’t just about getting from one place to another. True, living in the city means people are constantly on the go. And most individuals travel through public spaces without realizing it. It’s important to take the time to appreciate what’s around us because we spend a great deal of time in motion, hurrying to our next class or rushing to catch a bus. But we still spend countless hours in one place. And does our environment contribute to our quality of life? You bet it does.

What about interior spaces?

I argue most of us spend a large portion of our day inside. Inside a classroom, inside an office, inside a building of some sort. So although outdoor public spaces such as beaches are great, there needs to be a greater emphasis on improving indoor spaces. Besides, have you experienced the weather in Toronto?

How can we make the city better?

Whether it’s public or private, I think improvement starts with us. The people who use the space. Oftentimes we encounter rude people that ruin our experience at the library, at the beach, etc. On the TTC, for example, I don’t know why some individuals think it’s okay to have their feet on another seat. It’s equally frustrating when someone takes up multiple seats during rush hour even while other riders are looking to sit down. Regardless of whether it’s rush hour or not, I still think a little courtesy for others goes a long way.

Where do we go from here?

I can’t predict the future, but I look forward to seeing what Toronto does next for public and private spaces. I think the city and the people in it will continue to make me proud.

Week 11 Link: Real Estate Rights

Welcome to the jungle of Toronto’s real estate market, where buyers will do just about anything to get a property, despite the price.

I’ve always wanted to address the real estate industry because, at one point, I wanted to work in the industry. However, when I was younger, I didn’t realize how flawed it was. And how unjust the market can be to virgin or veteran home buyers.

The Greater Toronto Area’s notorious bidding wars, bullies and jaw-dropping offers propelled the region’s real estate market to a new high water mark for the first quarter of 2016.

Carolyn Ireland

What’s shocking is how much people are willing to pay for a house of their dreams.

In fact, according to The Globe and Mail article:

The average price of a detached house in the GTA hit $910,375 at the end of March.

I doubt many young first-time buyers have a million dollars lying around.

These prices continue to divide the rich from the poor.

Like Cathy Crowe once said

…shelter is also a human right.

Rabble

But with some homes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars or upwards of a million, this “human right” is becoming further out of reach.