Sunday, March 18, 2012

Increasing our digital footprint

Shortly after his exciting night at the Regional Aboriginal Recognition Awards, Dylan announced that he "wanted to increase his digital footprint".  So, he did two things: he started a blog ( and he created a twitter profile @dthomasbouchier.

"I'm really interested in these things," he said, in an animated discussion about the Kony 2012 project at a dinner party last night.

"You are more informed than many of my students in high school," said Natalie, a teacher up at Holy Trinity High School.  "I am very impressed."

So was Dylan.  We went home and he was glowing.

As a parent, I am so pleased to see him finding his way, his niche, his voice.  To see him reading, researching and writing is absolutely great.

Meanwhile, Ben spends his time building, virtually, in an online environment called Minecraft.  He has created gargantuan castles, ships and even a version of the World Trade Center towers.  He is keenly interested in architecture and was particularly focused on the fact that I was going to see one of the great wonders of the world last week in San Francisco - the Golden Gate Bridge.

He had been very diligent in letting everyone in his class know where I was heading, so that when he arrived in class on Friday sporting his new Alcatraz shirt, they knew exactly why and how.

Renee and I had applied to give a presentation about social media at this year's NCMPR national conference and were selected last fall.  To be honest, I felt both nervous and unprepared right up to a couple of days before our departure.  As it turned out, all that worry and stress was for not, as our session went exceptionally well and attracted a standing room only crowd.

Despite the constant rain, I fell in love with San Francisco and am intent on returning there one day with Heather and the boys to explore its incredible neighborhoods and bask in its history.  Apart from experiencing my first cable car ride, the highlight of the trip was definitely visiting Alcatraz.

It was a captivating experience walking down "Broadway", through the cafeteria and into "D" block, listening to the narration of a former guard at the notorious penitentiary. And standing mere feet away from where the three prisoners (made famous by the movie Escape from Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood) chiseled their way through the air vents at the rears of their cells to freedom (or death - no one is certain), was surreal.

We landed back in Fort McMurray on Thursday at 5 pm and I started the rehearsal process for The Farnsworth Invention two hours later.  The story of the invention of the television written by Aaron Sorkin, I'm playing the antagonist David Sarnoff, the founding President of RCA.

Ironically, the one site in San Francisco I should have visited but didn't, was the location of Philo Farnsworth's lab on Green Street (just a few blocks away from the crookedest street in the world on Lombard).  We were probably within spitting distance of the birthplace of television as we walked several miles back to the hotel in the pouring rain.  Yes, it rains in San Francisco, a lot!

So, my evenings and weekends focus between now and the end of April is getting ready for my return to the mainstage at Keyano Theatre.  I also have to get ready for the presentation of "My social media timeline" at TEDxFortMcMurray on March 30th.  My audition turned out to be a success and I will join 10 other presenters for a full day of sharing ideas and stories.

Heather has descended into her studio for another full day of teaching.  She continues to be very busy with, and motivated by, her practice.  Somehow, she managed to maintain a positive outlook as her hard drive recently crashed in her laptop, wiping out everything in her calendar and all of her data.  Thankfully, she had backed up her files just a few weeks earlier, and after getting the drive replaced she was able to put her digital life back together again.  If it had been me, I would have been a mess.

We have a house full for the next month and a bit, as Claude, Tiffany and baby Madeleine are staying with us.  Claude is directing the play while Tiffany is designing and building the costumes.  It is so nice to  have a little one around, providing me with some quality baby time.

It is March 18th and winter is holding on by its fingertips here in Fort McMurray.  We've had some melting, but it is still very white outside with some more snow falling this morning.  Soon, spring will arrive in earnest, and fishing season will be in sight.  While the winter has been relatively mild, I'm still anxious for it to end so we can open up the windows and air out the house, and get out in the yard.

Have a great week.

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