Hello Past and Future Jschoolers,

It has been a few months since Jschool 2007 ended, and I thought I’d give a bit of an up-date on how the diploma has helped me.

I was offered probably three or four journalism jobs in communities ranging from the Crowsnest Pass in southern Alberta, to Thompson in northeastern Manitoba. And based purely on economics (I am almost 29), I realized I was not in a position mentally, financially, or otherwise, to go back to working for 25,000$ a year as much as I enjoyed pure journalism, and the many reasons why it would have been good to work for the media (numbers written in French nomenclature. Oups, must be a Monday morning).

Instead, I took my old job back. I am once again writing climate change policy for the Alberta government, and if any of you have followed the Canadian climate change debate, you will understand the irony in that. By the way, congrats to Rudd for signing the Kyoto Protocol.

Yes, I am working for the dark side. However, the journalism degree has helped me immensely. For one thing, I can now take meeting notes in shorthand and no one can read my snippets of thoughts not intended for the eyes of others–definitely a good thing. My writing has also improved, and I have now been given the ever popular job of trying to take our awesome and smart technical people’s work and convert it into something readable and understandable. As for journalism and media, I can now follow what is being reported in the papers with a more objective view. I understand how the systems work, their limitations, and also, their end objectives, which is very important for my line of work.

I have not totally abandoned writing and am hoping to start freelancing soon. Buying a house, starting a new, old job, and living with a friend and her three dogs plus my old dog has been more than a little hectic, but I sense the winter lull coming. Soon, very soon, I will be able to dust off my laptop and start writing again; sooner if this -30C (wind chill to -46C) weather sticks around.