Either too hot or too cold!

When the warm weather first arrived I was thrilled. Now however I’m not so thrilled. during the winter we complain it’s too cold and in the summer it is too hot.

Personally I would rather be cold than hot because when cold you can wrap yourself in blankets and warm clothes but when you’re hot it is not as easy to be cool. For these reasons I am thankful for in-between-weather like fall and spring which this year (or at least a few weeks) we seem to have skipped spring and went straight to summer.

During the day, besides certain classrooms, it is nice to see and feel this weather but later in the day considering putting the central air on in March is a bit much: it is way too hot. For example, I have my window open and two fans going while wearing shorts. I believe the only thing to say to this weather is: the day is only as good as the night is bad…

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Intern for a Day

So I’m not sure if anybody read my previous blog about my interview with CTV Morning Live regarding their Intern for a Day contest, but for those of you that did, if you are interested in hearing about how the actual day internship went, here we go (warning: I didn’t realise how long this actually was until I wrote it all. I couldn’t just write an overall recap…it’s basically exactly what I did. Jane, I hope you like this one!) :

I’ve often complained about getting up early, but I’m not so sure I’ll be complaining much more after my early morning on Thursday. I was told to be at the studio in Ottawa for 5am, and sure, that may not sound too unreasonably early, considering this is a morning show, but when you’re a girl, who knows she’s going on tv, and lives an hour and a half away from Ottawa, that means getting up at 2:15. Of course I was super excited/nervous/anxious the night before, so I barely got any sleep, yet I bounded out of bed and eagerly got ready.
It’s quite impressive how there is absolutely nobody on the highway around 3-4 am, and Ottawa is absolutely dead that early. It was almost eerie, especially when you see the Byward Market, which is usually packed with people, pretty still.

The studio was surprisingly quiet at 5am, even though the show started at 6am. I met with Ziyada (the producer I met with on Tuesday) and she gave me a bit of a tour of the studio, and I greeted Kurt, Jeff and Lianne, as well as one of the reporters, Melissa Lamb, and the anchor of the news, Annette Goerner (who, little did I know, was actually one of the spies during the prank they pulled on me). My first job was to print out the show schedules and notes and make sure that the hosts and camera guys got them. I was then given my headset, so I could hear everybody who had a mic or headset on. There would be so many people talking at once, occasionally it got confusing, but it was fine. I was then left with one of the two guys who work the main controls, and watched as they got the show on air and explained some of the ropes. At one point, Ziyada pointed to the teleprompter and told me I would probably have to work that. The thought definitely scared me! That would be quite the thing to screw up. One of the camera guys ended up sitting beside me working the prompter, and it didn’t seem that hard, but I paid close attention incase I had to do it too. I then met up with the editor, who showed how they converted tapes, and how these huge machines worked, then how he edited clips and set them up so they could be used for stories. The basic editing that he was using was similar to what we were learning in Bill’s class last semester. About a half hour or so into the show, I was told I was going on air, so I had to mic up, and go sit on the couches with the three hosts. I surprisingly wasn’t nervous, it didn’t feel like you were actually on tv, and the hosts were just so nice and easy going. They introduced me, asked how it was going and where I was going to school (St. Lawrence College’s Journalism program got a few promos during these four hours (Terry I’m sure you’d be happy to hear that!). Later on in the show they would be showing the prank video.
Right after, I was told I was off to Tim Hortons. Tim’s is a big sponsor for the show, so every morning, somebody goes and picks up boxes of donuts, timbits, muffins and bagels for the guests that will be on the show that day. I went with one of the other producers/camera guys and we took on of the CTV vehicles.

After we got back and I set up all the food for the guests, I ended up going over to the news desk as Annette was getting ready for her 7:00am news update. Ziyada told me that I would be sitting with her while she read the news. Not on camera of course! I was sitting at the other end of the desk, just off camera while she read the news, so I could see what she does. It was so cool! I read the prompter to myself to see how hard it was, and it was really neat to see the news from that perspective. Right beside the desk was another little section where Melissa, one of the reporters would do a news report, and beside her was the green screen where Jeff would read the weather. It’s quite the comparison from when you see the three segments from your tv set run one after another, to actually sitting and see how they are all filmed.
I then went over to the ‘street’, which is basically the main hallway in the studio where they film a few segments, and the two guys operating the cameras were going to show me a bit about the cameras/jib and teach me about ‘flooring’ (greeting guests and getting them ready for their segment and such.) Before I could get into that, I was called over to the kitchen section with the hosts, where they were going to show the prank video. I put the mic on myself, since they knew I knew how to do it (definitely appreciated Bill teaching us how to properly put on the mic) and joined the hosts. They introduced me once more and talked about the prank they pulled. They found it hilarious. Now that I look back on the video, I keep thinking I should have said this or done that. I didn’t feel nervous but I kept worrying that if I said a lot I might cut into the time line we had. So they put the video on, then Kurt made them turn a speaker on so I could hear it. While they were airing the video, the three hosts were killing themselves laughing while they watched what they were doing and had a running commentary. They continued it a little bit when the cameras turned back to us, then wrapped it up for the commercial break.
Afterwards, the guests seemed to keep coming in, so I had to put the mic on them, and help set up some equipment. There was a group of young girls who were Irish dancers, so I helped make sure they were all there, sort out their music, and take them to the makeup room. At one point I actually talked into the headset thing! Since it was before St. Patty’s day, there was also a celtic band that came in, so I helped them, and talked to their dancer. All the guests were very nice, and understood if I had to ask someone a question. It was pretty busy for a while, but I didn’t feel nervous or worried at all. While I was sitting off set reading show notes, the hosts were on air, and Kurt decided to draw attention to me, asking how their intern was doing. The camera guy who was standing near me ran and got his camera and pointed it at me. So I basically stood there laughing and not really knowing what to do while they talked about me briefly (I wasn’t with them or I didn’t have a mic, so they couldn’t hear me if I talked.) Then for a little bit I sat and talked to one of the camera men, who was really nice and a little bit older than me. He had only been there for 8 months so it was great to talk to somebody who was still new and hear what he had to say, plus they were really nice and easy to talk to. I wish now that I had gotten more of a chance to see how the cameras worked and ask some more questions about them.
I also learned how to make coffee (no…I didn’t know before then) and began to get pretty hungry since there was so much food there! One of the guests was grilling ribs and other meat outside on the street, and there were two chefs inside in the kitchen. They would make all this food then just leave it for the crew to eat. Unfortunately I was wearing a white blouse…so I didn’t try any of the ribs, not matter how good they were, since knowing me, I would most likely end up getting rib sauce on my shirt and end up on camera later.

When there wasn’t much more  for me to do, I went and sat with one of the other producers who was preparing the show for the following day. Jeff came up and was getting ready for his weather update. From where I was sitting, you could see a bunch of screens that showed what was on every camera. While Jeff was off air, he would be looking into the camera making funny faces and joking around while he waited for his count. I was pretty amused. When he went on air, he started rubbing his eye and said that there must be something in it. I wasn’t exactly sure what he was doing, then Erin, the producer was sitting with, was like ‘go with Jeff!’ and Jeff proceeded to yell my name demanding where his intern was, and this is all while he’s on air. I looked at him as I was walking over and he was like ‘you’re helping me with the weather!’ It’s not like I could say no, and I was actually like…are you serious? I found it hilarious. Jeff told me where to stand, and since I never had a chance to put a mic on, I would just point. He showed me what to do, then where to move for each section. I tried my hand at doing the gestures that you see the weathermen do while looking at  the radar pictures, it’s a little harder than it looks. You’re standing in front of a green screen, and right in front of you, below a camera, is one tv screen that you have to look at, where you see yourself and the weather forecast, then when you turn to your right, there’s another tv screen with another picture on it. Jeff ended up getting a handheld mic, and then asked me what the temperature was in certain areas. At one point he told me to say hi to everybody from St. Lawrence College in Cornwall…so I did. You all should feel special now.

After the weather I could only laugh about it and think about how awful I probably was. Ziyada came up and asked me what I thought of it, and asked if I was nervous or how it was. She didn’t think I would be too upset by it or anything when she told Jeff he could ambush me like that. I told her that I wasn’t nervous at all, and it was all good. It really was! I then ended up going back over to the couches where Kurt, Jeff and Lianne were closing the show, since I would close it with them. They basically asked me how it was and what direction I wanted to go in with the journalism, or if I wanted to be behind the scenes or in front of the camera. Honestly, I think either would be fine, since I really didn’t feel nervous whatsoever in front of the camera. Jeff did mention that if I wanted one of them to come down and talk to our class then they could (then laughed and added if they could find a professional out of one of them). I wasn’t sure if he was serious, but if he mentioned it then I’m sure he was.

After the show ended, I helped roll some cables (harder than it looks!) and a few people slowly came over to the seats behind the set (where the audience would generally sit when they have a studio audience) and we all talked casually. They asked what I thought of the day and then had some random funny conversations. Eventually everyone had come over to the seats, which they do every day for their post show meeting, and did a run through of what would be happening the following day. They thanked me, and gave me a little goodie bag filled with CTV things, like pens, key chains, a foam mic with the CTV logo and so on, to remember them by (like I would need something to remember that!) We then all gathered on the couches to take a picture, and everyone kind of dispersed.
It got pretty quiet pretty quickly! Ziyada realized she never gave me the full tour, and I had plenty of time to kill before my train left for home, so off we went. The building used to be an old mall so it’s quite big.

The downstairs level consists of the big newsroom, which includes the three sets for the newscasts and the weather, and the control room for the morning show (it’s all very open concept though.) There are also numerous little editing booths and offices as well. The controls for the mid-day, the evening, and the 11 p.m. news are on the other side of the hallway since they are a bit of a bigger production. I should probably note that because the morning show is a bit of a smaller production than the 6pm and 11pm news, everybody has more than one job (for the other newscasts, one person is devoted to one job). The producers may work the cameras sometimes, or take care of the guests as they arrive, or the camera guys may work the teleprompter go get Timmy’s ! They are all such knowledgeable and interesting people.
There is also a small little diner where everybody can go to get food. The diner is actually original to the building, and was the one thing that was kept there from the conversion between the old mall and the studio. I also got a tour of the whole equipment rooms, where all the huge machines are running, and where all the wires connect to. It’s so impressive. Some machines are connected directly to Toronto, so if something goes wrong, all you have to do is flip a switch and somebody from Toronto is waiting to help you. Also, all the wires are hand-made by the technicians themself. It’s crazy.
Downstairs also has a few offices tucked away where a lot of the commercials and technical things essential to the show are run out of (it was pretty quiet in that area and everyone was very focused on their jobs), as well as this room where all the tapes of all the shows for the past many, many years are stored. I was so interested to see everything.

Upstairs was a really cool too (if you haven’t caught on yet…I think everything is cool), and was where the four radio stations were broadcasted out of. The main offices were tucked away upstairs, and the big boss got the office that looked right down on the newsroom. The amount of lights and equipment that are over the newsroom are incredible, and it allows them to shoot from anywhere and have good lighting and all.
The radio station rooms are really cool too. Each room as two thick doors right next to each other to make sure it is sound proof. I went and sat in one of the recording booths, then went through this big room which was super quiet with a bunch of people sitting at their own desks. Just regular desks, but with a mic at them, so they could go on air just sitting there. We then went over to the room where Magic100 is based out of, and Jeff, the weather guy/host from the morning show was on air. After he finishes the news, he usually runs upstairs and works the radio from 10-2 or so. I wanted to say bye and thank him, so Ziyada and I went and sat with him while he was just playing music. He showed me a bit about their equipment and how he did certain things. It was awesome.

Shortly after that I got ready to leave. I mentioned to Ziyada that I would be having an internship to do next January and if it would be possible to do it there. She said I would have to email Human Resources for that and they would talk to her or something, but since I already have a little bit of experience there it would probably work out. I was really hoping going for the Intern for a Day contest would be a good way to get my foot in the door, and I think it did help.
By this time it was probably around 11am. I got so much done and learned so much before noon! My train left at 2:30 or so, so I had plenty of time to kill around Ottawa. Ziyada said if I got bored I could definitely come back to the studio, no problem. Everybody wished me luck on my studies  and were all super nice!

Oh, and throughout the show and online they kept mentioning that on March 23rd they would be having a live studio audience (they don’t usually I guess) and to email to book a spot. While I was saying bye to Jeff, I mentioned that I was considering coming back for it and both he and Ziyada were like ‘oh you should!’ So sure enough, I’ll be going back to Ottawa tomorrow. I figured it would be great to show up and see everyone, and it will show that I’m definitely interested in the field. I talked to one of the camera guys, and he’s willing to answer questions or help me out if I’d like.
I’m so thankful that I got to spend the day with them. I felt I learned a lot, both about the field and about myself, and developed some really great contacts.

If anybody wants to see the video of the prank they pulled, you can click on the link below. It’s only a small portion of the whole thing, but you get the idea. It looks like a pretty obvious prank when you watch it, but honestly, when you’re going for an interview at a huge place like CTV, meeting with producers and news hosts, you really aren’t going to expect them to trick you! Plus come on, peanut allergies are a big deal these days, I didn’t think anything of it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXdEw4-ZKcU

To anybody who actually read this all the way through, I’m impressed. I think I just wrote a novel. There was just so much to tell!

Drunk people see things differently…wait…what??

I often spend time in my car daydreaming and enjoying quiet music or the soft background of the daily news.

This morning’s ride was no different. I was lost in my own little world when the deep, soothing voice of Sam Elliot permeated the space in my car. What an awesome voice I thought.

As he spoke I sort of half listened to what he was saying when I ‘heard’ him say “Drunk people see things differently”.  Wait…what???

I thought to myself, or course drunk people see things differently..perhaps a little cross-eyed or doubled, often speaking their mind…or out of their mind!  Yes indeed, drunk people do see the world differently!

So I listened a little more intently to see what exactly it is that drunk people think and realized that Sam Elliott had actually said ‘truck’ people!  It was a commercial for Dodge Ram!!

Thanks for the chuckle Sam!

“The Men who stare at goats”

When you think of “super soldier” what comes to mind? For me I pictured Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed in a full-out commando suit, a killing machine with sweat dripping down his emotionless face marked with camouflaged war paint. Ready for anything. But as it turns out the American military’s intentions of designing super soldiers were quite different from my perception, focusing more with psychological strength and building rather than a muscular animal. During the 1960s when the Vietnam war was taking place, drafting thousands of young American men and Castro was at large and seen as threat by the united states for their relationship with Russia, a new regiment called black op and sas elite teams were created to eliminate and kill people or terrorist groups which threatened the united states and Canada. Missions which included assassinating Castro or the Russian president were among the few known outside the government and military. If we take a step 20 years later, in the 1980s there was a new training program created for the “super soldier”, the idea was designed by a general called Albert stubblebine, head of the army intelligence and the leading character in “the men who stare at goats” based upon the true story and events in the mid 80’s. His revolutionary new idea was to build a soldier that could withstand pain, torture, and the elements, but at the same time be a person with no conscious but only one motive to eliminate.  In interviews he admitted there was evidence that with training using the mind itself these super soldiers were able to explode the heart of a goat and have other extraordinary capabilities, but of course with such strict and secretive codes to follow the general public will never learn what the military’s purposes are for the new super soldier of the 21st century and will remain a mystery for now.

An Affair With Gardening…

Years ago, when I was living alone, I murdered a few plants. Far from intentionally… I believe I loved them to death. After a few “mistakes”, I thought ‘maybe the plant is sad in its plastic pot’, so I bought a nice big ceramic planter. The next plant died……

A friend of mine came to visit and brought me something called a ‘mother-in-laws tongue’, I am positive that isn’t the proper name, but it is known as that…  Anyway, it was a small plant, and it was dwarfed in the big pot, but fast-forward 10 years and it is now in a bigger pot and still thriving….  This makes me happy.

From there I stole a tree. At three in the morning on the Toronto Harbourfront, I felt I was rescuing it… I had accomplices, but I was the ring leader in that mission. The bar across the street had not been open in a very long time, (years?…)  then finally someone bought it and they were beginning the construction phase. All these tropical tree plants that had been stuck inside for months were put outside. They were so sad-looking to me. I realized if they could stay alive that long without care, maybe one could survive my care… Fast-forward nine years, and it is still thriving today… It needs a bigger pot now that I think about it…..

Then about five years ago I made a small garden at my best friend’s cottage. I planted some chives, some lavender and some mint. I wanted to plant something for my friend Jen who loves the smell of lavender… I loved watching them grow and tending to them. I was even more amazed the following year when I found that they all returned! So amazed that I expanded the garden and planted more plants! This time it was heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, rosemary, marigolds, basil and some other things… I sense I don’t remember the ‘less successful’ ones… 😉

I got the dirt for the garden from a swampy forest. It was dark and rich and I enjoyed hand sifting it. The tomatoes grew beyond my expectations! All the seasoned gardeners around the cottage had poor, Charlie Brown looking tomato plants, while mine grew to an amazing bushy six feet and produced so many tomatoes! (A little late, but they still made it!)

The cucumbers! O my gosh! They were huge! I had so many, I gave most away. But they were so good! I planted 2 cucumber plants with the 10 tomato plants and they produced an unbelievable amount… I caught the neighbours many times investigating my garden. My friend’s dad told the neighbours that I talk to them and sing and dance around them… lol. The rosemary didn’t die, but it didn’t grow. Same with the basil. The parsley survived one year, but was eventually choked out by the crazy wandering mint plant… Which then caused me to dig up the WHOLE garden, but I enjoyed it. I evicted the mint from the communal garden and put it off by itself in the far corner of the yard at least 30 feet away… Part of me wonders how long it will take for it to sneak back or if when the lawn is mowed in the future will wafts of mint permeate the air…No, I didn’t bury a planter and plant the mint in it. Maybe I should have…..

Fast forward to now, and I just planted some basil from seed last week. Everyday I check…  The package said ‘germination eight-thirteen days’, and I am just starting to see the little plants stick their heads out of the soil…  Mmmmmm…homemade bruschetta… I hope it’s the right type of basil… It just dawned on me that it might be Thai basil… Interesting….

So, here I am today, day-dreaming about gardening and anticipating this spring. I have a small terracotta planter with basil planted in it, I have spider plants that I rooted in small containers around the windows, a thriving rooted clove of garlic in a shot glass with water in the windowsill above the kitchen sink that grows an inch a day it seems, and some wandering jew plants crowding around the spider plants…  Yes, the bug has set in.

I found myself on a wild goose chase around the city of Cornwall yesterday and noticed the early garden display right at the entrance. I remarked to my mom that other people must be feeling the bug already too, and this lady started telling me about the wonderful heritage plant market that they hold at Upper Canada Village every May long weekend. They sell seedlings from “old” seeds, heirlooms, and apparently it is a big deal. I find when I meet people at these sorts of things that I tend to go in interview mode and relish the information that people share with me. What can I say, sometimes I can be a shameless admirer and I think it helps when people sense you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. I left the store with smiling eyes and I was salivating… I am so looking forward to planting a garden this spring.

Anyone know of any plant nurseries or where else to get heirloom tomato seedlings around S.D.&G.? I love little hobby farmers. The place in the Kawartha’s where I got my seedlings before is run by this older woman, and she only does seedlings that she advertises on the side of the road for two weeks a year. It is a busy little farm those two weeks, and after that the little farm fades back to its normal quiet self. I have been searching online, but have not found anywhere local to this area. I think plants from this area will grow better in this area.. It seems like a logical thought…. (as opposed to buying seeds from somewhere on the southern west coast…)

I am super looking forward to meeting other local gardeners and to the outdoor gardening and plant nursery season! 🙂

What A Day!

So last month I came across the CTV Ottawa Morning Live website, and stumbled upon the Intern For A Day contest. It definitely caught my attention, especially since I had been hearing a lot about the second year’s internships, and began thinking about what I wanted to do for mine. I thought it would be an awesome opportunity. I eagerly sent in my resume as they requested, and was called last week and told I was a finalist.
So today I went in for an interview with one of the producers, and if all went well, I was told I would come back on Thursday for the day internship. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I was both nervous and excited. When I got to their building, I had to sign in and wait in the front for the lady I was meeting to come out and get me. While I was waiting, I saw some of the news casters casually walking around, which I thought was kind of cool.

Eventually I met with the producer and we went upstairs to a meeting room, with a big table and lots of chairs, and we sat down and talked for a little bit. I definitely wasn’t as smooth as I was hoping to be, but it seemed to go ok. She then said that she would go get Kurt, Lianne, and Jeff (the hosts of the show) for me to meet, and asked if I had a notebook, because they were so full of knowledge, and I could ask them anything. She left the room, and I realized I didn’t have a notebook! It must have fallen out in the car, but I couldn’t believe my luck. We’ve been told many times that we should always carry around a notepad and pen…and I didn’t have one! Luckily I had a pen, and resorted to using the back of a cheque book I had.

So she came back with the three hosts, which I thought was really cool, and they sat down and started talking to me. A few minutes in, Lianne got a phone call, and started yelling and fighting with someone, then got up a few minutes later and slammed the door as she left. I must admit I was a little bit intimidated, but she seemed really sweet when I met her! I kept talking to Jeff and Kurt, and Jeff informed me he was allergic to peanuts, and insisted I learned how to use his epipen, since it is important, so he made me practice on his knee. I didn’t really think much of it, cause a lot of people have peanut allergies. He then told me about his specific morning routines and when he likes his coffee and everything, and wanted me to write it down. That definitely started getting me nervous for Thursdays internship, cause I don’t drink coffee, and I would definitely mess it up, and not get it to him at 4:55am sharp.
We talked for a bit more, then the producer came back and said that Kurt, Jeff and Lianne were needed downstairs. She then told me that since everything went well, Thursday would be a go, so she went back downstairs to get some forms for me to sign.

So here I am, sitting alone in this board room, making notes on my cheque book, when about 7 or 8 people come in and sit at the table. I had no idea what to do, but the one I assumed was the boss in the group was really stern and started lecturing the group about how disappointed he was in them. I honestly just sat there staring at the table awkwardly, debating if I should get up and excuse them, or what. At one point, the boss, who was sitting next to me, turned to me, gave me a look then asked who I was. I was so taken aback I just said I was waiting for the producer and was there for the intern for the day contest. He responded with a gruff ‘oh sorry you have to hear this.’ I was going to ask if I should wait outside, but he kept talking. I looked around to see if any of the other people at the table were looking at me to get some idea of what I should do, but none of them really caught my eye. I kept thinking that they purposely had this meeting so I would get a better idea of the real world, but I just felt so out of place. Then the boss dismissed them, told them to step it up, and they all got up.
I looked across at one guy who cracked a smile and said something along the lines of ‘we’re kidding’, and Kurt, Jeff, Lianne, and Ziyada (the producer) all walked in the room and started laughing with everyone else. The whole thing was completely set up! Lianne admitted that there was nobody on the other end of the phone and apologized for her crazy behavior, Jeff really didn’t expect coffee at 4:55, his makeup lined up at 6:05, and a tea at 8:05, and Kurt pointed out the hidden cameras in the room, including the hidden one in his pen. I thought it was hilarious. They kept telling me how well I handled it, and asked if they could put it on air when I go back on Thursday. Of course I agreed! So not only am I going to end up on tv, but so is this video of me! Eeek!

So after that I was led back downstairs, past where the mid-day news was being filmed, through this giant news/control room and back out to the front. The producer told me that whenever we got to the front desk, we’d just be formal and she would say that we would be in touch, since there was another finalist waiting to meet with her too. So that was that. I headed outside and met up with my brother and his friend who were kind enough to drive me up to Ottawa, and explored the Byward Market and Rideau Centre for a little bit, since it was a super nice day. They certainly got a kick out of the story, so I figured you all would find it funny too.

I go back this Thursday to do my day internship, start at 5am, and stay there until at least 10am (when the morning show ends), or I have the option to stay longer and see what the producers do preparing for the next days show. I’ll definitely take advantage of that! If anyone is actually interested, I’ll blog about it whenever I get back 🙂
This definitely wasn’t what I was expecting when I went up for the interview, but we definitely all got a kick out of it!  They really are such friendly, easy going people! (Lets hope that opinion doesn’t change after Thursday)

The ‘F’ Word

In my home, I try to keep the foul language to a minimum.  Living in a home with five kids (four of them teenagers), this can be challenging to do.   Recently, my 17year-old daughter has taken on the habit of saying the ‘F’ word. No place is safe from her dropping the ‘F” bomb; the dinner table, watching TV, or just generally in passing.

I have tried just about everything to get her to understand that it is not ok, especially when there are younger children in the house.

She argues that the ‘F’ word is simply a string of letters hooked together to make a specific sound and that society should not give words such power.  After all, it is just a word.

So, the other day I thought I would fight fire with fire. I find the ‘F’ word offensive (even though I say it much more than I would like). There are very few words that my daughter finds offensive, but there is one.  I think this one particular word most people find offensive. It is derogatory, insulting, and just plain ignorant. With all of this in mind, I asked my daughter if it would be equally acceptable to use the ‘N’ word.  The colour drained from her face as she sat across from me at the dinner table, unable to utter a single sound. The other children sat equally as shocked as I patiently waited for an answer.

She had to agree that, even though the ‘N’ word is simply a string of letter hooked together to make a specific sound, it was not an acceptable word to say at any time. Finally, she understood what I was talking about.

Much to my delight, the swearing has certainly diminished in my house, until just recently when the children took up playing a card game called Asshole!!!