Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween pie-eating contest

Pie-eating contests - whether you're a competitor or a spectator, it's advised you have a strong stomach! Yesterday, the Office for New Students held a pie-eating contest in the New West Campus concourse as part of its Halloween celebrations. Read more...

Doug writers' guidelines

Want to write for doug? Here’s what you need to know.

Your story-telling style should be conversational. Don’t approach it as if you’re writing a paper for your instructor – write as if you’re telling a friend about your experience. Casual language and tone is what we’re looking for. For a good example, see Trapped No More.

Unlike other types of writing, most blog posts are all about keeping it short and sweet. For doug, we’re looking for anywhere between 250-500 words (usually 2-5 paragraphs).

Because blog posts are relatively short, try to focus in on one unique or interesting part of the experience you’re writing about. If you did a week-long practicum, don’t start with “On Monday morning at 7am…” Instead, think, what was the most interesting thing you learned during that week? Did you meet one person who had a big impact on you? Did something strange or interesting happen? Think about what you would tell a friend about your week. Narrowing your focus will make for a much more interesting read.

Dos and Don’ts
Here are some short examples of how to – and how not to – write your story.

On Friday morning, the Douglas College Royals soccer team played in the provincial final. Despite the horrible weather, we all showed up to play. It was freezing! Both teams played a hard-fought game. At the end of the first half, it was still 0-0. Luckily, we came out hard in the second half and one of our forwards, Vito Lacobellis, scored two goals. It was such an awesome way to end the season. Next, we’re on our way to the Nationals!

Little Halo to start the day

Starting to get the idea?

Story types
doug wants stories about people. These may fall into a number of categories:

You could be writing about how you ended up at Douglas, life as a fresh-from-high-school student or mature student or your experience on a practicum abroad. Perhaps outside of school you have a job as a part-time clown, or you volunteer to build houses for families in need. Or you’re a Criminology student with a secret life as a break dancer. Whatever the topic, tell us your story.

This can include events being sponsored by your faculty or a student group like DSU or the DCBA. When appropriate, we still want to hear your story. Don’t just tell us who, what, when… why is this event important to you? What do you hope to get out of it? What are you looking forward to? For instance, if you’re writing about an event being offered to new students, tell us a bit about your own memories of being new to Douglas.

We’re all about the visuals. If you prefer to have a video or slideshow tell your story, doug still needs the basics about you – your name, program and any relevant background info (“I dance to relieve stress!” “Our fundraiser event raised $5,000 for the food bank!”).

doug is also looking for opinion pieces and stories about current events and trends from Douglas College faculty. See Are blogger's journalists? for an example.

Still unsure?
Give it a try! We can always take a look at what you’re written and suggest some ways to tweak the tone or focus. Or you never know – it might already be just what we’re looking for!

Please send submissions to

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A little Halo to start the day

by Tom Malencia, Defender, #3, Douglas Men's Soccer Team

The morning of the Provincial final, I woke up at about 11:30, a bit of a late morning, but I needed my rest. I then proceeded to my living room to play some Halo. I got into an argument with his guy online, not a big deal, it ended in me sniping him from like the other side of the map. I switched over to FIFA 10, to get focused, and go into "game mode," but it didn't work. I got destroyed online like 5-1, by Ronaldoxxbigboi9. I don't like him.

For this game, I didn't really feel nervous at all. It just felt like another day, another game that we needed to get through, until I stepped outside and saw the rain and felt the wind. I almost felt like calling in sick – just kidding, but seriously it was cold.

Anyway, it was a hard-fought game by both teams. Vito Lacobellis popped in two killer goals, becoming my favorite player of the year, and possibly of all time (slightly ahead of Kaka). His face was priceless. He was absolutely shocked, like he couldn't believe he had the ability to score goals, let alone play soccer.

I don't think I've celebrated and yelled as hard as I did when the final whistle blew. Everyone went nuts, including our coach, Joe Ormerod, who danced and sang some sort of song, but no one really knew what he was saying because of his accent. He said something like, "We are the best (inaudible noises) football, Douglas College!" We were all confused, but excited.

It still hasn't set in that were going to Toronto to play for the CCAA championships. It's going to be great.

Oh, and "Party in the USA" is still number one on my playlist.

Tom Malencia is a member of the Douglas College Royals Men’s Soccer Team, which won the provincials on October 25. Tom and his teammates are headed to Toronto for the nationals November 4-7. See photos from the provincials on the BCCAA fan page. His posts will also be appearing on the Vancouver Sun School Sports Zone blog.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pre-game music makes a difference

by Tom Malencia, Defender, #3, Douglas Men's Soccer Team

Douglas 3 Cap 0

Before the game, I was probably the most nervous I have been in a long time. On the car ride over I did not listen to David Guetta or some other techno track to pump me up. I was nervous, so what would I need to get more excited for?

I listened to 2 songs and on repeat: Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA" and Seal's "Kissed by a Rose."

“Party in the USA” was kind of a bad idea, because it got my blood moving. That song is off the hook, and ya'll know it. And as an added bonus, I threw in "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart. I was relaxed and ready to roll.

I think everyone knows how the game went, a little aggression and violence towards the end there, but it happens. Refs had it under control...

I'm ready for the next game, and I'm also ready to go check out Much Music in T-Dot.

Tom Malencia is a member of the Douglas College Royals Men’s Soccer Team, which won the provincials on October 25. Tom and his teammates are headed to Toronto for the nationals November 4-7. See photos from the provincials on the BCCAA fan page. His posts will also be appearing on the Vancouver Sun School Sports Zone blog.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hills, food poisoning and wolf spiders

By Laurie Wong
Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching graduate

We arrived in Dharamsala at 8:30pm after a 12.5-hour ride and we are happy to be here! The last three hours of the journey was up a winding hill and most of us got motion sickness (even though we all took Gravol). We were so tired that dinner was definitely not appreciated.

McLeod Ganj is located in upper Dharamsala and is mostly a tourist area. The choices of cuisine are surprisingly varied – Italian, Japanese, Korean and even a Baskin Robbins! Food is relatively cheap here. For a nice latte, it costs about 50 rupees (over $1 CAD), a decent westernized dinner is less than 150 rupees, using computers at the internet cafe is 30 rupees per hour (75 cents CAD) and calling home is 3 rupees per minute (about $5 per hour). We stayed in a fairly 'high class' hotel in McLeod Ganj and it cost about 800 to 1000 rupees a night.

An early wake-up
I did not sleep well at night due to the barking of many (and I mean many) stray dogs. I decided to get up early at 7am and saw a beautiful view of the mountains and surroundings from my balcony. Air is definitely fresher here than in Delhi. I put on my running shoes and went for a run down the steep, winding hill. I met local people going for walks as well as many young school-age children in uniforms. There were people preparing their donkeys to carry bricks and a Tibetan woman herding cows. Again, the roads are used by people, cars and animals. Cow poop is all over the roads and if you’re not careful where you are get the picture. The return part of my run was definitely more intense and I certainly worked my cardiovascular system (yeah, I walked most of the way).

Education challenges
We visited the Tibetan government in exile and I was quite impressed with how the government is run. Everything is transparent and corruption is not evident at all. The Tibetan people are extremely friendly and caring. It is very evident that Tibetans follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching.

We got to visit the Department of Education and the director explained their current education system. The objectives of education are to preserve Tibetan language and culture and provide modern education so students can continue with post secondary education. They have collected data on the performance of their system and found some weaknesses and concerns. A couple of issues are that the literacy rate of English and Tibetan is still low after completion of 12th standard (the British equivalent to grade 12) and that there is very little interest to continue on in post secondary education.

An unpleasant Thanksgiving
I was sick with food poisoning on Sunday night (yeah, on Thanksgiving night) with vomiting and diarhrea. The stomach cramps came very quickly and I vomited on my way home (had to ask the taxi driver to stop). I got back to the hotel but I couldn't hold it any longer so I pooed my pants. :-( I returned to my room, quickly washed up and curled up in bed. I had one more light episode and slept the whole night and I was fine the next day. I really missed home when I was in pain.

A change in living quarters
We visited the different placement schools briefly on Monday and Tuesday (October 12 and 13) and the schools were quite interesting. They are mostly boarding schools with some day scholars (students who do not board on campus). On Tuesday we checked out of the nice hotel in the tourists’ area of Dharamsala and were assigned to living quarters near our placement schools. The place we are living at is called Ghadong Monastery which has guest rooms for family members.
Our first night’s experience in our guest house was quite awful. The rooms were dusty and dirty with spiders crawling – one was a humongous 8cm diameter wolf spider! There were also other insects crawling out of the washroom sink. We phoned our faculty associate, Mati, and asked to go back up to Him View (the nicer hotel) for one more night. She was not very happy with us and told us, "It's India!" The next day after school we went and bought a whole bunch of cleaning stuff to thoroughly clean the rooms. We even put moth balls all over the rooms. We then felt a lot better about staying there. I hung my Canada flag on the wall to make us feel at home.

Hey, teach
I am with three other SFU students working in Peteon Model School. The school has about 140 students (I consider it small) and has implemented a more modern method of teaching – student-centered instead of teacher-centered. Students do not sit in rows but are put in a cluster and are encouraged to participate in class discussion and group work.

We walk down the hill for about 25 minutes to go to the school and walk back uphill afterschool. I am definitely getting exercise every day. The steepness of the hill is like the Grouse Grind.

The children really love me and are so eager to talk to me. They are extremely polite and invite me to sit down with them in the classroom. Students sit on the floor with cushions and they also set a place for me in the room. I am mostly observing this week and get to use some of the Mandarin that I learned with my children's Mandarin teacher. I will be teaching English, Science and maybe even Mandarin.

Laurie Wong, a Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching grad, is in India with the Professional Development Program (PDP) at SFU as part of the International Teacher Education Module. She will be filing stories for doug during her adventures in India – stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Candidate speaks on student issues

There's a federal byelection in the New Westminster-Coquitlam riding coming up on November 9. The Other Press catches up with NDP candidate Fin Donnelly and gets his views on student debt, the HST and the Evergreen line in Fin Donnelly makes sustainability a priority. Read more...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Six films, five hours, one day

Volunteer to help out with the ROSE filmathon or simply make a donation and enjoy some movies and lunch while supporting a great cause.

The filmathon includes Under One Sky, a production by Chris McDowell, who works in the Centre for Educational and Information Technology at Douglas. The film was shown at the recent Vancouver International Film Festival.

An added bonus should you choose to raise money for this event is the top fundraiser will win a sweet new Electra bicycle.

Find out more at inside douglas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lessons learned by building a boat

By Anna Schachner
Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching

A few weeks ago I went to Ottawa and met up with 60 students to spend four days together in pretty close quarters at the 2009 Physical and Health Education Canada Student Leadership Conference.

We took a bus to Camp Walden, which is about two hours west of Ottawa. Friendships began almost instantly. We were split up into six groups of 10 people and took part in activities to build our confidence and comfort with one another.

It is amazing how well you can bond with someone after such a short period of time. I am very motivated, adventurous and optimistic about life, so it was great to be surrounded by people who shared similar passions and interests. Most of the people I really bonded with were from Ontario and Nova Scotia. We all plan to stay in touch and meet up in the summertime.

We also got to know all the mentors, who all worked in physical education and wellness, including one of my instructors here at Douglas College, Brian Storey (he's on the right with the pink headband doing the Thriller zombie dance). Through the stories they shared with us, I learned the importance of building relationships, community, and connections. They also led outdoor activities everyday like mountain biking, rock climbing, low ropes, yoga, hip-hop and adventure challenges. In all of the activities, there were aspects of team strategizing and problem solving.

Paddle this!
The canoe-craft activity is one that really stood out for me. Each group had to build a watercraft using three canoes, eight pieces of rope and five pieces of plywood. The canoes had to be tied together and made sturdy using proper knots to hold everything together. The challenge was that nine students were designated builders but not allowed to speak, while only one person could speak and direct but could not touch anything.

This really helped us focus on alternative ways to communicate and trust the leader, the only one who was allowed to speak. Not only did we build a sturdy watercraft, we had to have everyone on the raft canoe to one end of the lake and return while one student was blind folded, one pretended they were hearing impaired, one pretended to have a broken leg, and another acted as if they had a broken arm. Initially, we thought that the students with differing abilities could sit in the middle and not paddle, but then we thought about inclusive activities and arranged it so that everyone had a role. The whole activity really used different methods of team building, problem solving, communication skills, and trust.

As a group we listened to people’s suggestions and strategies and would build off of one another. No ideas or strategies were ever ignored or wrong – it seemed the more discussion we had, the more people got involved and had ideas to feed from. It was really great to see student leaders come together because everyone was engaged in the task and would listen so well while others were speaking.

The experience was unforgettable. It has made me want to take more risks, trust others, keep in touch, close any negative open loops that have been itching in the back of my mind, and help create positive, active environments. At first, I was sad to leave Camp Walden, but now I know that rather than be sad that it ended, I should be happy that it happened and take what I learned to help myself and those around me to get engaged with life and be positive leaders.

For an instructor's perspective on the 2009 Physical and Health Education Canada Student Leadership Conference, visit inside douglas.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Millionaire grad wows students

By Jenn McDonald, 2nd year
Marketing Management Diploma

Last Tuesday evening, 150 sharply-dressed students, faculty, alumni and members of the general public gathered in a lecture hall at the New West Campus for the Douglas College Business Association’s First Annual Speakers Night (sponsored by the Douglas College Alumni Association). Attendees had the opportunity to sit in on a panel discussion with founder of Lions Gate Entertainment, president and CEO of Fiore Financial and undisputedly, Douglas College’s most successful graduate, Frank Giustra. It was a night of networking, thought-provoking discussion, and humour.

Ticket holders began arriving at 6:30pm for drinks, appetizers and a bit of old-fashioned elbow rubbing, most hoping for a chance to meet Frank pre-event. A few students and faculty were fortunate enough to catch him in the welcoming area where he happily shared anecdotes about his first job as a chicken catcher and playing cards with former U.S. president Bill Clinton. Frank was engaging, modest and surprisingly un-intimidating. He managed to put everyone in the room at ease with his calming presence and soft-spoken demeanor.

At 7:30, the lecture hall filled up. Frank and the other panel members took their seats, and the live streaming video to the overflow room began. Also on the panel was longtime Douglas Economics instructor and former mentor to Frank, Ron Midgley (to Frank's left). Marketing Management student Michelle Bailey (far left) acted as the voice of the student body. She was sharp, insightful and represented Douglas students extremely well. After a short introduction by moderator, Dean of Commerce and Business Administration Robert Buller, questions began to roll.

For the next hour, Frank fielded questions on everything from his view on the current Canadian economy to the three traits he believes are most important to success. For the record, he answered passion, kindness/generosity, and humour. He provided insight, advice and stressed the importance of students learning about the past in order to be successful in the future. When he spoke, there was not a sound in the room. Looking around, everyone was alert and many even took notes as to not forget Frank’s wise words.

The discussion ended far too soon – at 8:30 there was an almost audible sigh from the crowd. Fortunately, Frank graciously stated, “I have all the time in the world,” and stuck around for at least forty-five minutes as about thirty students crowded around him to ask their own burning questions.

The event was a smashing success according Marketing Management student Bailey Chambers, who said with a big smile, “This was the best speaker’s night I’ve attended!” BBA, Accounting student Allyn Edwards thought that Frank provided “a unique perspective on the value of continued learning outside the confines of college.” The Douglas College Business Association managed to step up their game at this year’s Speaker’s Night and the best part is Frank Giustra has agreed to come back in future and speak with us again!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Win $ for the Bookstore or tuition

How, you ask? Easy. Just fill out a five-question survey from Student Services and you're in the draw. Click here for the survey. Read more...

Win Giants tickets!

The Douglas Facebook fan page is giving away two tickets to see the Vancouver Giants vs. the Tri-City Americans this Saturday.

Click here to enter the draw - then all you need to do is make a comment on what kind of Douglas College logowear (clothing and/or accessories) you would like to see.

Friday, October 9, 2009

We made it to Delhi

By Laurie Wong
Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching graduate

It was a long 24-hour plane ride with a transfer in Taipei. The meals on the plane were quite good but it was hard to sleep. The airport was definitely an experience as we had to haul 35 pieces of baggage in five taxis – yeah, stacked on car roofs! The roads were quite crazy with five to six cars driving in a three-lane street. It is cloudy and muggy here and it drizzled a bit earlier – it’s about 28°C with a slight breeze.

Welcome to the neighbourhood
We are staying in an old Tibetan 'camp' that's converted to a small hotel near old Delhi. This is a normal neighbourhood with many people hanging around the back alley and selling things. Some interesting things I’ve seen so far are a family of five riding on a motor bike and young girls selling flowers to us at an intersection.

We were all quite tired from the trip and feeling jet lagged. I am sharing my room with Maggie and the air conditioner is not working! I was so tired yesterday that I slept from 5pm ’til 3:30am. I had a bit of a headache when I woke up but took an Advil and was fine. I could not sleep once I woke up so I wrote in my journal.

Temple tours
Our second day was quite an interesting one in old Delhi. We went to the Sikh temple and wow, I couldn't believe the amount of people who go and worship. We had to wear scarves on our heads before going in. We walked in bare feet but Sikhs actually drank the water where we walked (Holy water). They have a kitchen with volunteers who prepare foods to feed over 1,000 people a day.

We also visited a Jain temple and saw the temple with both European and Muslim influences. Our guide Naveena was fantastic! She is a fourth-generation with PhD – she basically comes from a well-educated family and shared many things about different religions in India with us. The swastika is actually a symbol from the Jain religion. A married woman would draw it on the door of her parents to give them health and prosperous blessings after she visited. Also, if the symbol goes clockwise it represents a male symbol and counterclockwise represents females. Hitler actually used the female symbol without realizing it.

Some contrasts to life at home

We walked through various parts in old Delhi and it was amazing that we all survived! The streets were for pedestrians, cycle rickshaws, cars, auto rickshaws and all sorts of vehicles. We basically had to walk with the flow and any hesitation would have killed us. We watched the locals and they watched us...equal amount of curiosity on both sides.

Poverty is very real in India. There were people sleeping on streets everywhere – a whole family would sit near a Muslim mosque and the children would beg for money. Manual labour is at its highest in Delhi. Women and children would be sorting rocks in road construction sites, men would be carrying huge loads on their shoulders or heads and a couple of men would be pushing a bicycle with parcels stacked 10 feet high.

In contrast to this, we had a nice westernized breakfast this morning with eggs, toast, coffee (very good black coffee) and milk tea. For us, things are inexpensive in India. Internet usage is 30 INR (Indian rupees) an hour which is about 75 cents CAD. Our lunch at a local cafeteria was $2 and the food was very good.

Laurie Wong is in India with the Professional Development Program (PDP) at SFU as part of the International Teacher Education Module. She will be filing stories for doug during her adventures in India – stay tuned.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Say what?!

Did you stop by the Say What?! booth during the Week of Welcome events(Sept 8-11)? You might spot yourself in this video! Read more...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My little buddies in NYC

By Kaitlyn Borzillo, Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching

In March of 2009, I had the trip of a lifetime. My global studies class at Archbishop Carney went to New York City to volunteer with outreach programs in the Bronx and Harlem, mainly working with children under the age of 12.

One experience that really stood out for me was helping out at an after-school program called St. Ann's. We just spent time with the children whether it was helping them with homework or going outside to play. Playing basketball with them was one of the highlights of this trip. The children live in a very poverty-stricken area and their parents work 9-5 or late at night. They loved being active and just going outside to have a blast; you could see so easily how thankful they were to get to play with us.

These kids have so little, but they sure have a lot of joy in their lives. I’m grateful I got the chance to make friends with these amazing kids. Laury was in the third grade (he's on the left). He is so funny and loves cameras but does not like to be in pictures – this is the only picture I got of him. He would always take my brand new camera and take all these random photos that we would just laugh so hard about after. I will never forget him or his great smile.

I have three buddies that I still keep in touch with: Laury, Stephanie (she’s in the middle) and Joanna. Those three kids made such an impact on my life. Every time I get a letter or send them one, a huge smile comes across my face because I remember all of the amazing times we spent together during that week. I plan on going back in the very near future and help with these amazing children again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Film extras needed

Want to be in a film? Criminology instructor Heidi Currie is looking for extras to appear in re-enactment scenes being shot for a documentary, Bedlam. Extras will be depicting women who lived in the Women’s Chronic Unit at Riverview in the early 1940s.

Bedlam is the continuation of Heidi and filmmaker Lisa G.’s project, Asylum, which featured retired nurse Norma McMurdo, who worked at Riverview from 1949-1951. In the short doc, Norma reminisced about her patients, including lesbian patients who were incorrectly labeled mentally ill.

Casting dates to be determined, with shooting to begin on November 21 at Riverview – stay tuned or email for details.

You're a what?

By Kirsten Wilson, Lab Technician
Animal Health Technology

An Animal Health Technologist. A Registered Animal Health Technologist (RAHT), actually. At this point, people cock their heads with a quizzical look on their faces. And I think to myself, “Yessss! An opportunity to educate!” Most people have no idea who is taking care of their pet when they take it to the veterinary office.

What I do
To put it in its simplest terms, I am an animal nurse. I perform all of the tasks in a veterinary clinic or hospital, except diagnosing, surgery and prescribing medications. I love my career, as every day is different. One moment I am assisting with puppy vaccinations, the next I am anesthetizing a cat for a surgery, after that I am taking chest x-rays on a dog that has been coughing. Then I am educating an owner on how to put ear medication in their pet’s ear. After lunch, I might perform a teeth cleaning on an older cat followed by teaching a client with a diabetic cat how to give insulin injections. Later, I will nurse an old golden retriever who is on IV fluids, and then console a longtime client who has had to make the difficult decision to let their sick companion go.

A worthwhile challenge
Like most vet techs, as we are sometimes called, I started on this path because I love animals. Unfortunately, that is not all it takes. Schooling is two intensive years; because of limited enrollment, it can be tough to gain admission. It is a lot of hard work, including after-class responsibilities. The job can be very emotional. And it is so worth it. The sense of joy I feel when a patient goes home healthy after a long hospital stay is indescribable. One of my favorite moments is when we bring the patient up to reception to their family. Their body is wiggling all over with happiness at seeing their loved ones. And the family runs to their pet, hugging and petting the furry little body. I get tears in my eyes every time!

Animal Health Week is an exciting time for RAHTs as it is a wonderful chance for us to help educate the public on ways to keep their pets healthy. Please visit us at the Animal Health Week Pet Fair Thursday, October 8 from 12:30-4:30pm in the atrium at the David Lam Campus. For more information, contact 604-777-6231.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Badminton anyone?

The Douglas College Royals Varsity badminton team is looking for two female players and one male player for the 2009/10 season. If you have experience competing and are interested in playing for the Royals, please contact Coach Al Mawani at Read more...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sisters in Spirit

By Alessandro Iachelli, College Relations Coordinator, Douglas Students' Union

The Douglas Students' Union is working with the Women's Centre and the Aboriginal Student Services Centre in bringing awareness to the high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.

We will be showing the film Finding Dawn at 12:15pm on Monday, October 5 in the David Lam Campus atrium.

At the New West Campus, we will be showing Finding Dawn in our Student Lounge (SUB Building) on Tuesday October 6 at 4:30pm, followed by a candlelight vigil.

We encourage people to show their support. If you can't attend, please visit the DSU office to fill out a postcard petition to get government action on this issue.