December 31, 2010

2010: Retrospective of a Personal "Reboot"

After a period of deep soul-searching while living in Lloydminster, Alberta in late 2009, I decided to undertake a personal "reboot" in January 2010. This bold choice returned me home to begin a career switch from journalism to the environmental technology sector.

Coming back to the homeland was a wise decision. After being away for over four years, it was wonderful to re-integrate myself with the family. I also had the unique opportunity of spending the summer on Carbonear Island, participating on a pioneering archaeology survey.

My first semester back in college was wildly successful, finishing with a 3.8 GPA. For the first time that I can recall, my math mark(90%) beat out my English mark(85%). I have one more semester of academic refreshment in Carbonear to go, then it's off to Corner Brook to begin a three-year environmental technology program. I face no more second-guessing, and no more mental anguish from uncertainty (fingers crossed, knock on wood). My mind is revving up to meet its untapped full potential.

2011 will see the foundations that were laid this past year being built upon to keep the momentum of success rolling. As I still have much to accomplish, I remain positive, yet cautious.

Wishing you all the best!

Happy New Year!

Ian Hutchings

September 11, 2010

Carbonear Island "I Am A Rock" Music Video

Greetings Inkslinger readers:

Quick update.

I've been back in Newfoundland since February. All goes well.

As I wrote in my final column from Lloydminster, I'm currently studying at College of the North Atlantic, and upgrading my academics in preparation for a new career in science and technology.

I spent the summer on Carbonear Island, participating in a ground-breaking, history-making archaeological survey. A natural fortress that defended Carbonear from the French centuries ago, the little island is a rough, but amazing place. After we finished our survey, I compiled several video clips I shot and put them to music. Simon and Garfunkel's "I am a Rock" seemed appropriate.


January 20, 2010


The clouds break. All I can see from the plane's small porthole is a blue sparkling mass below, with waves crashing violently off craggy cliffs in the distance. This sight has given me goosebumps on my past few visits back to Newfoundland. Now I'm returning indefinitely.

January 16, 2010 marks four years in Alberta, and heralds a 10-day countdown to my departure home. By my rough calculation, I've been away for 4 years, three months and 10 days.

I'm approaching exhaustion. I'm sending four years worth of stuff home. Box by box, I'm mailing my possessions and preparing to close up shop in Lloydminster Alberta. When you've been away and so far away for this long, you can feel disconnected (particularly when Telus jumps the gun and prematurely disconnects your phone, but I don't have room to explain that resolved incident).

After participating in the Booster's final local print run and seeing so many layoffs in late 2008 and throughout 2009, I've decided that the newspaper era of my life has run its course. After nearly a decade involved in this industry, I want to try something new.

What will I do back home?

As of now, it's a race between two Newfoundland schools: the Marine Institute (Naval Architecture) and my old alma mater, College of the North Atlantic (Carpentry). I thought that despite its great system, my brief tenure with Athabasca University was too slow a pace for a 180 career turnaround.

As I've said in a few previous columns, the economy has improved. But this observation is based on very brief visits and checking jobs online. I have to be back on home soil for a longer period of time to be sure.

Before I conclude, I must recommend a new TV show.

Republic of Doyle, a new P.I. comedy/drama set in St. John's stands out as a top-notch production. And it's not because I'm biased. I also enjoy the quality of Saskatchewan-based Corner Gas.

Cited as the Newfoundland version of The Rockford Files, it has excellent production values and beautiful establishing shots. Most, but not all the actors are from Newfoundland, but the dialect seems accurate. Great Big Sea performs the opening theme song. Overall, I felt at home while watching it. You're not slapped across the face that it is Newfoundland...but you're immersed. I'm not from St. John's, so I admit to not understanding all the jokes. Republic of Doyle is on Wednesdays on CBC at 9pm.

For everyone I've met here over the years, thank you. I've been up North. I've worked in a restaurant. I worked in a major retail store. I learned how to run presses. I've watched a young football player begin his ascent to stardom. I've been to the wedding of two wonderful people. I've chased cows and rode horses. I hope to use this experience back home.

My email, ian-inkslinger(at), continues to be active for now, and I'm on Facebook. Write me.

Farewell, Alberta!