Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Sunday, January 17, 2016

How do I find a job that helps people in a deep and meaningful way?

Sept. 7, 2015 How do I find a job that helps people in a deep and meaningful way?: I thought of this question a couple of weeks ago. 

I know healthcare, social work, education, and law enforcement really help people. I wrote a little bit about this jobs in my "fit for the job/ should I continue in TV production?" blog post:

Here are some articles that should help me decide.

"Putting him on the right track": Here's an article by Shannon Smith Sutherland in the Edmonton Journal on Mar. 12, 2015.  Here are some excerpts:

There were no iPads, iPods, laptops or Xboxes to entertain Michael Odetola as a little boy growing up in Lagos, Nigeria — Africa’s largest city. In fact, there was very little to distract him from his daydreams and wanderings, but when a freight train rumbled by, there was something in him that was always awakened.

“Growing up as a little lad, there was this train track that passed through my community,” says Odetola. “I was always excited to watch the train as it rolled by. I remember always trying to catch a glimpse of the engineer, and each time I saw him, I did not cease to wonder how he managed to control such a behemoth without it going off its tracks.”

Odetola now lives in southeast Calgary with his wife and two sons. After participating in Momentum Community Economic Development Society’s trades training program, he is now securing an apprenticeship to become a diesel engine mechanic. He says that during his time at Canadian Pacific Railway, he was actually taught to engineer a train himself.

Momentum is a Calgary-based non-profit organization that uses a community economic development approach to give underemployed people, or those living in poverty, the opportunity to improve their standard of living.

“People immigrate to Canada in order to make a better life for themselves and their families,” says Momentum marketing and communications co-ordinator Amanda McKellar. “This drive to create a better life often results in people being hard-working, loyal employees who lead by example can be an inspiration to their coworkers.”

The trades training for Aboriginals and immigrants is a six-month pre-apprenticeship program at Momentum that helps participants build their skills in preparation for a career in the trades. Momentum works with SAIT and employers in the trades to provide opportunities for skill development and work experience.

“Because the participants are ultimately in charge of their own success, and because they know what life is like when forced to rely on ‘survival jobs,’ they work hard during their time at Momentum and SAIT, as well as during their on-the-job training through their work experience placements,” says McKellar. “Many employers hire participants after the work experience placement has been completed. In fact, last year, two employers — Botting (Group) and Mystique Mechanical (Ltd.) — opted to skip the unpaid work experience portion and hire participants of the plumbing and pipefitting stream right out of SAIT.”

My opinion: Momentum seems to be a very good program to help people who are new to the country and trying to get jobs and careers.

"Halifax Mermaids making a splash": I cut out this article by Aly Thomson in the Edmonton Journal on Sept. 3, 2015.  It was inspiring and makes me happy.  Here are some excerpts:

Tiny bubbles float to the surface of a tank as Stephanie Brown blows an underwater kiss, her red hair rippling in the water like seaweed as she flips her metallic yellow and orange tail and swims away.

Brown is the co-founder of Halifax Mermaids, a company that provides educational and entertainment experiences with mermaid performers across the Maritimes.

Brown, also known as Raina the Mermaid, has a background in child and youth development and a bachelor of education. She said her company is cashing in on the mermaid trend while teaching children about the environment.

"We work on the assumption that children learn the best through play, so we create these play envrionments where they get to utilize their imagination and also learn something about the environment and the ocean," said Brown during a recent in-costume interview at the Aquatron Laboratory tank, a research facility at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Brown, who struggles from chronic illness and pain, said her new career helps motivate her to keep in shape and manage her pain.

She said she had a difficult childhood and benefited from programs like Make-A-Wish, so she's paying it forward by visiting sick children in hospitals.

"It's really wonderful to see how much they light up," said Brown, adding that she uses a wheelchair during hospital visits since walking around in a mermaid tail is impossible.

"We just visited a little girl who is finally out of the hospital after a few months and she lives on the ocean, so I swam up to her dock and it was just a really magical experience."

Nov. 1, 2015 "Money or meaning? What drives you?": I cut out this article by Tim Ryan in the 24 News on Jan. 21, 2013.

I couldn't find the short article, but here are a few things:

"Rather than being driven by profit or a material need, you're driven because you believe in what you're doing above all else."

Simon Sinek (author and speaker): "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."

My opinion: I'm going to put the above article into my inspirational quotes.

Nov. 11, 2015 "Playing your way back to good health": I cut out this article in the Metro on Mar. 22, 2015.  I can't find the article, but I found a similar one about Cosmin Mihaiu here:

love affair with GTA, he wants everyone, from young patients with cerebral palsy to older folks exercising to prevent a fall, to get "addicted" to rehab. One game has patients doing squats in order to control a video bee in pursuit of pollen; another requires them to make swimming motions to power a submarine scouring the sea floor for artifacts. Developers can tailor a single game to help people with a variety of ailments. The gamer-turned-entrepreneur has cemented partnerships with some of Europe's most prestigious hospitals and universities and secured multiple rounds of funding and even a TED fellowship. Not bad for someone who was admittedly "always mediocre in school."

When I caught up with Mihaiu via Skype , he looked nothing like the hermit gamer you might have imagined. Wearing a fashionable cardigan over a blue-striped collared shirt, he fit right into the London headquarters of MIRA Rehab, the company he and three college classmates founded. It's an edgy and bustling co-working space that would give Airbnb a run for its money. While his colleagues remain in Romania, Mihaiu has been deployed to the front line of commercial Europe to wrangle partnerships and get MIRA Rehab's games into the hands of real patients. While some professionals balked at the idea of working with a 20-something without experience in health care, others, like Emma Stanmore, a lecturer in nursing at the University of Manchester , took him on. "It's about ability rather than age," she says.

No matter how convincing he may be, Mihaiu may never be able to persuade certain patients to pick up the game controller. For one, it takes a level of technological know-how that some, particularly those over 65, don't necessarily have. Then there's the cost of a TV and an Xbox, which you need to hook up the motion-sensing Kinect device. And the competition may already have a leg up, since some companies are run by former physical therapists with field experience, something you won't yet find on Mihaiu's résumé. A PT background is "a big advantage," says Sheryl Flynn, who naturally is both a physical therapist and the founder and CEO of MIRA Rehab rival Blue Marble Game Co.

Still, Mihaiu knows the patients' pain — as in, the pain in the ass that is rehab. As a 7-year-old, he broke his arm after falling from a tree during an ill-fated game of hide-and-seek. Recovery was six weeks in a cast and six weeks of physical therapy, which was just as excruciating as the injury itself, he says. While brainstorming ideas for the renowned student tech competition Microsoft Imagine Cup , Mihaiu flashed back to that agony and channeled it into his project. It didn't pick up first place, but it was enough for an invitation to the U.K.-based startup accelerator Healthbox, where MIRA Rehab instead picked up $73,000 in funding.

MIRA Rehab has come a long way, from being the youngest team at Healthbox — one that didn't have enough money to fly out to London from Romania for an interview — to offering an impressive 14 games for sale. None of that surprises Mihaiu's childhood friends, who remember him as "the serious one" who would sometimes skip nights out partying to write code, says Tudor Jude, a friend since fifth grade. And those are the very programming chops that have given MIRA Rehab an edge. There are other so-called exergame companies out there, but few can track progress like MIRA Rehab, says Stanmore. That means patients can play the games at home, and the software will keep their physicians informed of their progress.

Are you taking notes, parents? Let little Johnny play Call of Duty to his heart's content — it might turn him into a CEO one day.

Nov. 18, 2015 Amnesty International: I want to do something more meaningful instead of posting all these Amnesty International e-newsletters on my blog and on Facebook.  At least it's something. 
It's fine to sign a petition, donate, or buy things like a t-shirt from the Amnesty website.

Jan. 13, 2016: Or maybe I will do my little good deeds of opening doors for strangers and yelling at the bus driver to stop when I see someone running to catch the bus.

I can also continue posting these inspirational articles on my blog to spread the message of charities, helping people, and how to be happy.


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