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Get Real NationWide Week 18
Last Thursday was nothing if not interesting. Given that I live far away from campus and that most of my classes end late in the day (and that the last time I tried to web conference from my home computer, the internet somehow got shut off for three days, I’m looking at YOU, Bell Canada!), my general trend has been to borrow friends’ laptops so that I can web conference. Usually, my friend Paul lends me his laptop, but for the past few weeks, he’s been given night shifts at his work and has been unable to oblige me. Not allowing myself to be deterred, I have come up with creative solutions. That fated Thursday, October 23, I was all set to borrow my friend Ginger’s laptop when we hit a major snag. Ginger is a blue-haired Linux user who hates internet explorer with a burning passion. I had experienced loads of trouble running the software we use, WebEx, on Mozilla Firefox, and her laptop had itself not been switched to the Windows OS for years. It seemed like Ginger’s Mozilla/Linux-loving ways were to be thwarted by my need to use something as generic (if unreliable) as Windows and Internet Explorer.Without getting into specifics, about seven reboots, two operating systems, and three browsers later, we finally defeated the unreliability of the windows/WebEx monopoly and were able to harness the greater forces of the internet to accomplish some serious collaborating. Ginger handed me a piece of freshly made apple crisp to assuage my rage at technology and I showed up in the middle of the scene. They were in the midst of placing the final touches on the “umbrella in the rain poster.” We moved on, then, to the “anxiety” card and had decided to put it only on the internet due to how much struggling there has been over designing a proper layout. I’m glad we decided, finally, to release it in print version anyway. I think Jeanie did a great job with it. Finally, we worked on the “How to help a friend” poster—it was basically a 50/50 split in terms of who wanted a white background and who wanted a patterned background. Then, it was time to get a little nostalgic.Our GetReal stay has almost come to an end, and though it seemed sometimes like an easy commitment (only two hours a week), if you look back at what we have done, we have come a long way. We have planned an advertising campaign, have instructed a graphic designer on our preferred designs, have delegated tasks to ourselves, have discussed the pros and cons of various methods of advertising, collected detailed information about youth mental health demographics in our community and will soon market these materials to local institutions and issue media releases! Not bad for a group of kids who hadn’t done many of these things before! I know for a fact that this experience has made other advocacy work I do better. In fact, I plan on using the enviroscan I made to refer people to mental health services with my club at McGill, HeadSpace. Therefore, it is with little sadness and much pride that I await our virtual pizza party (the pizza will be real) on our last session. I think we have earned it.Written by Get Real NationWide participant, Iris, 21, Quebec
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