Currently I’m working on some deep personal introspection. I am doing this using a number of tools. I have changed my diet, I am exercising a lot more and I am using meditation to stay focused on some of the tasks I have before me. One of the primary tasks I have before me is working on a novel and the second is writing some autobiographic sketches. In February of 2016, I read a fabulous biography of two Canadian authors Morley Callahan and his son Barry Callahan entitled Barrelhouse Kings written by the latter. Within that wonderful tale I found a quote that has come to mean a great deal to me: “People live their lives, doomed to be quickly forgotten – because they have no story.” (Morley Callahan – 1903-1990).
I believe Morley Callahan is right; therefore at the age of fifty-three, I have decided that is important that I tell both my father’s story and to some extent my story. In addition I am compiling some of my past writings and writing what I call my: Ukrainian Episodes or Sketches. Once done I may have close to two dozen sketches of events that I have experienced relating to my experience growing up in the Ukrainian community, specifically in Montreal and more generally in Canada as well as my more than ten years of living in Ukraine. These sketches are purely autobiographic with historical context added as well as bibliographic references. My novel which has a working title of The Bicycle and centres on my father’s flight from the Red Army as it approached Berlin in mid-April, 1945 and his years living in post-war Europe all before arriving in Canada at the end of November of 1951.
Living in Montreal and growing up within walking distance of the St. Lawrence River, my parents insisted that I learn how to swim and learn about water and boating safety. This led me to becoming an avid swimmer who probably spent about a quarter of my waking day training in some form or another. In addition it helped me develop discipline which would serve me well throughout my educational and professional life. In fact my first summer jobs were that of a lifeguard, swimming instructor and swim coach, allowing me to share my skills with others.
Curious by nature my interests I have a variety of interests. From arts and culture to business, politics and social policy, and it does not stop there. My curiosity has led to some very interesting and rewarding experiences and meeting and working with some outstanding people.
Life experience and education
Swimming competitively gave me the opportunity to travel more extensively than many of my peers and it opened up many new horizons for me, having competed throughout Canada, the Eastern seaboard of the USA and Great Britain. Upon completing my swimming career, and focusing more on my education I became an avid cyclist. After my first year of university a friend and I decided that in 1986, when I graduated, he and I would cycle from Vancouver to Montreal Canada. The fifty-nine day journey allowed me to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Canada’s physical geography and its diverse population.
My formal North American education in Slavic languages and literatures and Library and Information Studies, coupled with my work experience in the aerospace, cultural, educational, internet, legal and publishing industries has allowed me to be a generalist and a specialist. Having started an ISP with two business partners in 1994, and provided internet training to clients and educators alike, some have called me an internet pioneer.
I have over twenty-xix years of experience as an information specialist. My multifaceted approach allows me to satisfy the information needs of many types of clients. Having spent close to ten years in Ukraine, I gained invaluable insight into that part of the world and have many contacts there. As a result I gained the moniker of “the connector” from many of my friends and colleagues.
Connecting Experience and People
I am a multilingual, computer literate self-starter, who is not afraid of jumping in and getting my hands dirty. I advocate the use of open source software when I possible and believe in continuous improvement in my knowledge and skill set.
I have hands on experience in developing and teaching information literacy courses; researching, writing and editing copy for broadcast, digital and print journalism; developing and writing successful grant proposals for Non-Governmental Organizations in addition to my intercultural communication skills. I have worked as a facilitator/translator on a number of international projects and as a media fixer for Canadian and other international media outlets.
I really am “the connector” and I connect people with different ideas and needs in a variety of areas.
My contacts and colleagues globally are trustworthy and knowledgeable in many sectors, and our professional relationships are rock solid.