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Giving your Media your Message: Keeping on Top of your Social Media

Let’s face it: being a social media guru can be hard. You have to post (relatively often), monitor your posts, connect with people, answer queries, be active, and seem human enough to relate to. And that’s just on one social media site! Imagine trying to keep up two or three or four. It would be enough to take up your entire day, and you being the busy, awesome, social person you are don’t have that time to take.

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If you follow me on any of my social medium (and if you don’t, you can find me here: Twitter: @thehardybeatles and Instagram: @thehardybeatles), you know that I have trouble keeping a regular posting schedule. Sometimes a week will go by without a single post, which from a marketing perspective is B-A-D bad. Admittedly, I am a busy person, and there are days where I go all day and I’m asleep a few seconds before my head hits the pillow, but I can’t really use that as an excuse, because I know that I can do better. If I can do better, so can you! The following are 3 tips about keeping up social media accounts that I wrote down for myself (and also for you) to follow in the new year to help my social media accounts flourish.

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  1. Set Reminders

The biggest issue that I have with social media is that I’m a passive social media user. I see everyone else post, I like their posts, and I move on with my life. It takes me effort to think about the fact that I need to include my own thoughts and my own life on whatever medium I’m on. So what I’m doing now, is setting reminders to post however often I want to post. For example, I tend to (try to) post to Instagram and Twitter once a day. I looked at my posts, and I found that I usually get the most likes around 7pm, so that’s my ideal posting time. I’ve set a reminder on my phone for 7pm every day that reminds me to do my postings. After a month or so, I shouldn’t even need the reminder—because it will have become part of my regular routine, I’ll just know that I need to do it.

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2. Find Material Everywhere

It’s difficult to come up with new and exciting material to post every single day. If you post once a day, per year, you need 365 unique ideas/photos/quotes to present to your audience. While that seems like a lot, it simply means finding something meaningful once a day to post, which shouldn’t be that difficult. Taking a picture of something you see on your commute, finding a quote that you think is applicable to your brand, or reposting something that makes you laugh only takes a moment. It’s especially important to note that things you see in your everyday life that you think are boring could be seen far differently by someone else, so don’t feel that everything you post has to be something new and exciting to you. Just find something that brings a smile to your face and explain to the rest of us why it does.

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3. Plan your Posts

Planning your posts is very dependent on marketing your brand and the way you want to market your brand. If there are certain things you’re looking to promote, then knowing when you want to promote them is probably important. Take my brand for example. I’m focused on 3 things: Fitness, Pop Culture, and Communications. Ideally, then, my posts should alternate between the three of them, while still including aspects of my own life in order to remind everyone that there is a real brain and real fingers behind everything that’s posted on any of my sites. If I wanted to do something cool like create theme days of the week focused on specific aspects of my brand, or plan out which days I wanted to post what at the beginning of each week, I could do that to stay organized and to minimize the amount of time each day I spent on my social media. Planning like this not only saves time, but also makes your account look more cohesive than those whose owners fly by the seat of their pants when preparing (or not preparing) their posts.

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I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions; however, in the case of my media and my brand, I intend to make an exception this year. In 2018, I’m going to use the three aforementioned tips to keep my social media active, adventurous, cohesive, and fun for everyone who makes the (very good) choice to follow me. If that’s you, you should be happy, because good things are coming your way! If you’re struggling with your social media handling, give these tips a call and let me know how they work for you! Feel free to leave me a comment, tweet at me, or send me a message on Instagram and let me know if my tips helped at all!

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May the media be ever in your favour!

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-K

 

 

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The Magic of Physiotherapy

Update: I’ve had an injured knee for a super long time. I recently got it checked out only to find that I have bursitis, tendonitis, and a strained meniscus. Sounds fun, right? Not really. But as someone’s that active, injuries are an unfortunate reality. They happen, you deal with them, they heal, and hopefully, they never come back. Now, there are a thousand things you can do to help an injury heal, but a really important aspect of recovery that I’ve found super helpful is physiotherapy.

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According to the South Vancouver Physiotherapy Clinic, physiotherapy “can be defined as a treatment method that focuses on the science of movement and helps people to restore, maintain and maximize their physical strength, function, motion and overall well-being by addressing the underlying physical issues: (SouthVanPhysio.com). In the most basic of words, physiotherapy encourages an active recovery, while at the same time working to prevent the injury from happening again. Physiotherapists give you exercises to do to strengthen the muscles where your injury is, working to strengthen the injured area without causing it to flare up again. Physiotherapists also take into consideration how your muscles work together to create movement, and work all the way up the chain to make sure that there isn’t a second muscle imbalance or injury that’s causing the primary point of pain. For example, part of the issue in my knee is because of an issue with my back that my physiotherapist is also treating.

Physiotherapy is super, super helpful. You talk your physiotherapist through your injury, they have a look and do some functional tests to see how strong your injured area is. Then, they use whatever means they have, including exercises, muscle stimulation machines, and other cool tools to help strengthen your injured area (and potentially other areas too) and make it so you can go back to doing your regular activities without pain. My physiotherapist has probably given me 20+ different exercises I can do to help strengthen my knee so that I will be able to do functional movements like stairs without pain. He’s explained to me exactly how each exercise is going to help strengthen each muscle, and how that muscle is going to help my knee become stronger.

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One of the most important things about physiotherapy (that I am guilty of being very bad at) is that you 100% have to do your exercises at home. The physiotherapists give you your exercises so that you can do them once or twice at physio and then again three or four times a week at home. The way my physiotherapist explained it to me was that “I can show you how to make your muscles stronger, but I can’t make them stronger for you. Only you doing your exercises can make your muscles stronger.” So, if you get exercises, do them! Write yourself a reminder on a sticky note, or set a reminder in your phone. It may seem like a hassle, but in the long run, the five minutes it will take you to do your exercises is worth it if it means having a knee that’s going to work properly again.

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If you’re injured, you think you might be injured, or you’re having pain that you can’t deal with anymore, talk to your doctor, and ask them about physiotherapy. It’s a great option, and will get you back on your feet as quickly as possible! Fun fact: my physiotherapist told me to keep being active, just to be careful, and to stop when it hurt. I mean, my privileges to do every activity were revoked when he found out I had ran 5km the day after my appointment, but he had to admit that it was good that my knee hadn’t hurt during the 5km *shrugs*. Push your limits. Go to physio. You’ll be a less-pained and far happier person if you do. I promise!

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do some of my 20+ exercises so maybe my knee can go back to being good at being a knee again.

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Peace out!

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-K

 

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#policepowerteam: The Top 5 Reasons that Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito Owned ABC’s Castle

Confession: I’ve been watching Castle for a while now (I’m only on season 6 so no spoilers!!!), and I have 100% fallen in love with it. As an author, as a mystery writer, and as a person who wanted nothing more than to work with the police as a consulting writer, I firmly believe that there’s no better show than Castle. Now, Castle is the best show ever for a variety of reasons. Richard Castle is hilarious, badass, and every bit (well, mostly every bit) the author I want to be. Beckett is badass, takes no shit, and will do everything she can to bring justice to every injustice she encounters. Even though those two are the main characters of the show, I think the show is really carried by two other, very important, characters: Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito. Below, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 reasons that they really are the heart and soul of Castle.

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  1. They do all the grunt work

Let’s be real here. Beckett snaps her fingers and these two jump. Beckett needs information? They get it. Beckett needs a house searched? Guess who’s going to do it. A suspect needs to be brought in? They hop in their car and head off to get them. Beckett and Castle go missing (which happens more often than you would think.)? Esposito and Ryan are on the case. Whereas Castle just shows up, solves the case, and goes home, Ryan and Esposito are there 24/7 to do the paperwork, call the people who need calling, read the files that need reading, and solve the problems that need solving. They’re always at the scene of the crime before Castle and Beckett, they’re always there when Castle and Beckett call, and they’re always, always working. Can we just call them the #policepowerteam?

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2. They are freakin hilarious

I mean, have you seen them together? Especially when Ryan’s on a detox?

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3. Their bromance is everything

The two of them are the best friends ever. I aspire to have a friendship like that. They nag at each other like an old married couple, but they always have each other’s backs for everything important. Esposito can tease Ryan about relationship ‘tests’ like car trips before a wedding, and poor, gullible Ryan can believe him. Ryan gives Esposito someone to talk to when a dead body shows up looking exactly like him. They can go from teasing the crap out of each other to arresting a suspect in 0.2 of a second, and it’s my favorite thing in all of Castle. The most heartbreaking episode of Castle (thus far) was when Ryan and Esposito get trapped in a burning building. Seeing how far Esposito is willing to go to make sure that Ryan gets to meet his baby and how far Ryan is willing to go to make sure that Esposito makes it out alive restored my faith in humanity (I mean, I lost it again when I thought they were dead and then it was restored once more when they were alive). These two have the greatest bromance in any show I’ve ever seen.

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4. They are the greatest team on the show (yes, better than Castle and Beckett)

Again, #policepowerteam. Whereas Castle and Beckett don’t talk to each other (for months on end sometimes), Ryan and Esposito always communicate and understand each other’s actions. Even when they disagree about something (Like Beckett going off on some hairbrained scheme to catch her mother’s killer), they talk to each other (Ryan more so than Espositio; let’s be real here), and they figure it out. They don’t always have to talk—they’ve been partners for so long that Ryan knows that Esposito is the first one through the door, and Esposito knows that he plays bad cop to Ryan’s good cop. They know exactly what’s up with each other 24/7.

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5. They will do anything for their friends (and when I say anything, I mean anything)

Running interference so Castle and Beckett can go do something they probably shouldn’t be. Feeding Castle information when he’s working with a different officer (and then going to rescue him when he gets in over his head). Helping Beckett work a case she’s been dismissed from. Dropping everything to do research for Castle (especially when it means they get the Ferrari for the weekend). Ryan and Esposito go out of their way to help out their friends, even if it means putting themselves and their careers at risk. The show, quite literally, could not go on without them.

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Let’s keep in mind here that I could have gone on for days and days about why Ryan and Esposito are the greatest, and let’s be happy that I didn’t. Instead, let me (highly) suggest to you that you drop whatever you’re doing and go watch some Castle, because it will be the greatest decision you’ve ever made in your life. Once you’re done, leave me a spoilerless comment and tell me why you love Ryan and Esposito (because you will. I promise).

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Until then,

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-K

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Short Written Forms by a Long-Winded Writer

The title of this blog post was also the title of my portfolio for a short written forms class I took at my university. As you’ve probably figured out by now, short, concise, and succinct are three words that really don’t describe me well, so you may be wondering why on earth I took a class that was focused on short writing. Don’t worry: I wondered why I was taking the class too. Will I be honest and say I took it because I needed the credits and it looked easy? Yes. Will I also say that I got way more out of the class than I expected? Absolutely. I expected a class that was going to teach me how to write short, and I got a class that taught me how to write within the constraints of short forms, which was way more applicable to my career. My purpose here is to take you through (my favorite) 2 of the 40-some-odd short written forms I learned about, and to show you just how easy-looking-but-actually-difficult short writing can be.

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  1. Birth Announcements

Though they are less common in newspapers and more common on Facebook in this day and age, birth announcements are a personalized short written form attributed to a newly-born child. A birth announcement generally includes the date the child was born, their full legal name, their birth weight and measurement, their parents, their siblings (if any exist), their grandparents (for the sole purpose of bragging rights), their place of birth, and occasionally a thank you to people in the hospital (in cases of a difficult birth). Birth announcements that are placed in the newspaper tend to be expensive, as they are often charged by the word, so each word that goes into the announcement must serve a specific purpose to the piece (meaning that the grandparents don’t usually get their bragging rights). They tend to be anywhere from two sentences to a small paragraph, but must include all the legally required information (full name, place/date of birth, etc.).

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Birth announcements can be personalized, generic, or anywhere in-between. If we consider a birth announcement that could be put on Facebook, for example (so that the cost of each word isn’t as much of a concern), it might look something like this:

Janet and Rick Grierson are delighted to announce the birth of their twin boys this November 22nd, 2017, in Calgary, Alberta. Arthur Jack Grierson was born at 8:42am at 6lbs5.5oz and 20 inches long, and Joshua Richard Grierson was born at 8:51am at 7lbs1.2oz and 22 inches long. The Grierson’s would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Rockyview General Hospital for their hard work and support.

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As you can see, there are lots of bits of important information that need to legally be present in a birth announcement, and as the writer of the birth announcement, you have to fit it all in using the most economical method possible while still celebrating the birth of a child. Birth announcements may look easy, but there are a lot of aspects to them that require deep consideration. It’s never been as easy as: “Hey, I just had a baby!”

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2. Mission Statements

Mission statements are one of the most difficult short written forms because there can be huge variations in their purpose, depending where and when they are used, and for what audience. In general, a mission statement is a reminder to a company of their purpose, and a reminder to the employees of the company’s vision that they should be upholding. Mission statements tend to follow two acronyms: SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) and DUMP (durable, understandable/unique, measurable/memorable, practical). They tend to be written differently depending on whether or not they are specifically internal or external mission statements; the form depends on the audience, so the same company could have drastically different internal and external mission statements.

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Let’s analyse the mission statements of two companies, just to get an idea of what a strong and a weak mission statement look like. We’ll consider the statements of two popular companies: Nike and Dairy Queen, and we’ll have a look at what aspects went into them and how effective they are.

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First, let’s consider Nike. Nike’s mission statement is as follows: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *if you have a body, you are an athlete.” I would consider this to be an extremely effective mission statement for a few reasons. Firstly, the statement is extremely inclusive with its definition of athlete, meaning that Nike is trying to be a company for everyone, not for just stereotypical ‘athletes.’ Secondly, it has a goal, and it’s goal is very clear. It doesn’t say how long the goal will take, but it’s a goal that people can get behind and support. Finally, it uses words like “innovation” and “inspiration” to help people realise that they’re promoting physical activity through positive reinforcement and encouraging the creation and distribution of technology to help people be more athletic.

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Dairy Queen’s mission statement, on the other hand, is distinctly less memorable and effective. “To create positive memories for all who touch DQ” is short, simple, and to a point, though I’m not entirely sure it’s to the right point. This mission statement says nothing about the production of their food, what their company’s specific goals are, and doesn’t even really say much about the company. Every company wants their clients to leave with positive memories, so this mission isn’t really anything special. Also, the word “touch” in the place that it is concerns me, because instead of making DQ an culinary experience, it makes it a tangible object that one can theoretically come into contact with. Suddenly, DQ is an object instead of an experience, which appears to degrade the company’s value, because eating at DQ should be an experience. It simply doesn’t leave the same taste in customer’s mouths as the Nike mission statement does.

There you have it! Two short written forms that appear extremely easy, yet are actually mind-blowingly difficult to effectively create and maintain. Those aren’t the only two short written forms that are this difficult either: there are hundreds of short written forms that each require a great amount of time, effort, thought, writing, and re-writing to create. So next time you see a short 7-word slogan or mission statement, read a birth announcement or obituary in the newspaper, or even hear a short jingle on the radio, think about the amount of effort that likely went into that short written form. I can guarantee you, it was probably a lot.

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Now you know, dear readers. Now you know. Good luck writing short!

-K

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year… For (Not) Missing a Weekly Workout

We all get it—the Christmas season gets crazy busy for everyone. There’s presents to buy, Christmas trees to set up, houses to clean, baking to do, relatives to visit, presents to make, wrapping to do, and more and more and more: the craziness never seems to stop. The thing is, taking some you time even during the crazy holiday time is extremely important. As a student; on top of the Christmas craziness, I also have to cram in some time to finish all of my major assignments and study for exams (which I may be procrastinating on by writing this post… shh, don’t tell!)

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The fact of the matter is, you probably don’t feel like you have the time, the energy, or the motivation to do any workout because by the end of the day, you just want to curl up on the couch and surf Netflix. I understand that feeling, I really do: by the end of my day, I just want to watch Castle reruns and ignore the exams that are quickly creeping up on me. Here are a few ways that should help you get your workout in, keep that motivation, and still have time to curl up with your favorite show at the end of a long, productive day.

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1) Early Morning Workouts

Before you close your laptops and phones and tell me I’m crazy, give me a chance to explain. There are many, many benefits to working out in the morning, including but not limited to getting your workout over with early, improving your mental energy, and preparing you to take on the day ahead. Working out in the morning pumps you up because your workout high comes at the beginning of the day and gets you ready to make the rest of your day as kickass as your workout was. That way, when you’re exhausted by the end of the day, you don’t have to force yourself to work out: you did it at the point in your day when you had the most energy! Even though it may be a little difficult to get out of bed early, you’ll definitely thank yourself for giving this a try.Image result for Wake Up Workout gif

 

2) Badass Workout Buddies

 

If you’ve got yourself a workout buddy that will show up at your door and boot you out of bed to go to a workout class, you’ve got yourself one of the best kinds of people in the world. Making a commitment to yourself is one thing, but making a commitment to yourself and someone else is even more important, because you’re even more likely to keep it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a gym buddy right now, but every member of my Taekwon-Do family is my workout buddy—they’re the ones that motivate me to get my butt to class even though all I want to do is sleep. Find yourself a person that will motivate you to do your thing, and that you enjoy working out with, and you’ll suddenly find that your workout is way more fun because it means catching up with a friend as well as breaking a good sweat.

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3) Treat Yo self—with a Workout!

 

Lots of people’s Christmases involve family coming to visit, which means busy houses, constant people, and a slight headache by the end of the day. Not that I encourage hiding from your family at Christmas: I do encourage using your workout time as your you time; after all, asking your family to come to the gym with you will probably end with a resounding “NO!” (my requests usually do). During the holidays, let the gym be your haven where you can finally have a moment to yourself when you can actually hear yourself think. Family visiting usually increases stress in hosts especially, so sweat your stress away during your alone time, and return ready to entertain people during the best holiday of the year.

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As hard as it is to believe, working out during the holidays is easy, as long as you do it in a way that fits your schedule, and that allows you to take some time to yourself. That may include some more planning than usual; however, it’s totally going to be worth it in the end! Not only will you be generally happier, healthier, and less stressed—you’re also going to feel so much better about those extra two pieces of fudge you ate. And the cookie at lunch. And the extra helping of potatoes. And basically every extra bit of food you’ve eaten over the holidays.

Happy Holidays, dear readers! Enjoy your holiday season spiced with the occasional workout!

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-K

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The Weird and Wonderful World of Tyr and Viking Metal Music

Of all the words you expected to come out of my mouth, I bet you didn’t expect those ones in that order. All kidding aside though, I’m a pretty open person when it comes to music. I listen to everything from 50s to 90s to modern music, I listen to pop, jazz, rock, R&B, swing, metal… basically everything but country (unless I’m really in the mood which only happens once every blue moon). Now, I never really considered myself someone who listened to metal music, mostly because I was stuck in the stereotype that all metal music is full of heavy drum and guitars, headbanging singers that do more screaming than singing, and songs that don’t have meaningful lyrics because half of it is screaming. I’m here to tell you that Tyr’s Viking metal is absolutely nothing like the stereotype. Is it guitar and drum heavy? Yes. Is that overpowering? No. Is it actually more mind-blowingly awesome than anyone could consider? Yes. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to bust some stereotypes about Tyr’s Viking metal music.

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Tyr’s lyrics actually have applicable meanings (in more than one language!)

The first song by Tyr that I heard is called “Tróndur Í Gøtu,” from their By the Light of the Northern Star album. The beat absolutely got me: it was the kind of song that made me want to braid up my war-braids and march off to kick some warrior butt. Fun fact: that may be the beat, but that’s definitely not the point of the song. In fact, the English translation of the song speaks to the legend of Christianity coming to the Faroe islands, and how Tróndur opposed it. The song expresses an important piece of Faroese history, which is why it’s important for it to be sung in its native language. “Turið Torkilsdóttir”, from the same album, is about a love broken apart by wartime. It may be guitar-heavy and loud, but that doesn’t take away one single bit of the beauty of the story the song tells, which is important for non-Viking metal listeners to understand.

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Not only do their Faroese songs have important meanings, but their English songs do as well. My personal favorite song, “By the Sword in My Hand,” talks about taking control back from a cruel leader, promising upon the sword to do so. “Ride” explains the reasoning and belief behind the glory of riding into battle, and why men are so willing to do it. These songs are more than just aggressive screaming into a microphone; they’re taking a culture, a history, and a story and bringing it out to the world through music. They don’t deserve to be judged because they chose metal music instead of smooth jazz; after all, metal fits the theme of riding into battle far better than smooth jazz ever could.

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Tyr’s music may be overpowering, but then again, it’s supposed to be

Will I admit that the main reason I first downloaded some of Tyr’s music was because it was loud enough to drown out people talking beside me, and lots of it wasn’t in English so I wouldn’t be tempted to sing along (not that it stopped me once I’d listened to it enough)? Maybe. And I’m totally willing to admit that metal music just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, yet I think it’s important to consider the actual definition of Viking metal music to understand why Tyr’s music is classified the way it is. Viking metal is basically heavy metal music that has a lyrical basis in Norse mythology (which means you can learn lots from it). The interesting thing about Viking metal music specifically is that it varies so drastically that it can cross genres easily. For example, in one Tyr album, we hear everything from our stereotypical aggressive drums and guitar to beautiful acoustic solos to acapella and everything in-between. Come on guys: just because it’s classified as the terrifying-sounding “Viking metal music” doesn’t mean it’s all loud Vikings singing about war. That would be like classifying all Beatles music under rock music: it’s only a portion of the music.

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Tyr is trying to bring awareness of their Norse mythology and metal music to the world

It took Rick Riordan three series’ to get to Norse Mythology, so Tyr took matters into their own hands. Kidding! According to one of their members, Heri Joensen, Tyr’s musical mission is “to break down the walls that are erected between all the kinds of metal that have arisen over the years. Power, doom, black, progressive, gothic, viking, folk, ethnic, and epic metal. Walls and labels do nothing but fill people with prejudice.” They’re using their music to bring people together, people of different kinds of metal music, different backgrounds, and different music types in general, and if that’s not an admirable mission, I don’t know what is.

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So. My point here is not to judge books by their covers, nor Viking metal bands by metal band stereotypes, because if you decide you won’t like it without trying it, you might be missing out on something that could change your life entirely. I didn’t think I was into metal music before I was introduced to Tyr, and I found out that it was something entirely different than I had envisioned, which really did have a huge impact on me. Here’s my challenge to you: I want you to go out and try something you figure you might hate, but that you’ve never tried before. Listen to some metal music. Some country music. Go for dinner at a new restaurant. Go see a movie you’re not too sure about. Put yourself outside your comfort zone and see what happens: I dare you.

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Enjoy yourself!

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-K

 

 

 

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Rhetoric: The Best Thing You Didn’t Even Know Existed

As most of you are probably aware, I’m a university student taking a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies. Now, I’ve learned many things in university so far that will help me with my creative writing, my personal writing, and my professional writing. For the most part, the three tend to be held in separate categories; however, one class specifically helped me improve my writing in every way possible. I left this class every day feeling like my brain was dripping out one ear because every single class just blew my mind: it was as if I was learning how to write all over again. What was this class, you may ask?

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Rhetoric

Yes. Rhetoric is a word that deserves being bolded, italicised, and underlined because rhetoric is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever been taught. According to Corbett and Conners (who wrote my rhetoric textbook that I think I read about ten pages of), rhetoric is “the art of the discipline that deals with the use of discourse, either spoken or written, to inform or persuade or motivate an audience, whether that audience is made up of one person or a group of people. (1999, p. i). Basically, rhetoric is the art of persuasion, like how-to-informedly-debate 101. It tends to be used in persuasive speeches and essays for the most part, but I’ve found myself using it in just about every essay I’ve written since taking the class, plus in every other aspect of my life physically possible because that’s how much I love rhetoric. Now, the cool thing about rhetoric is that it essentially breaks down a rhetorical debate into a five-point classical disposition, which are as follows:

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1) Exordium

The exordium is essentially the introduction to a topic of debate. In the exordium, a writer prepares their reader to discuss their chosen topic, orients them to their view of the topic, and integrates themselves with their readers. This is probably my favorite step, because it allows writers to become personal with their readers, and to use their own feelings, examples, and emotions to connect to the reader. It’s here that writers establish their ethos: the imperative trust that the readers must have in their writers. By the end of the exordium, you want your readers to feel as if they understand the importance of the topic, they are ready to open-mindedly consider your argument, and that they are somewhat engaged in your debate and your topic.

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2) Narratio

In the narratio, writers produce the facts surrounding the topic of debate. It’s important to the writer’s ethos that there is absolutely no argument in the narration: it’s simply a summary of the current unbiased facts surrounding an issue. This is where the debate is set into context, where readers learn the facts, and at the end of the narration is the first time the writer explains the stakes of the debate by stating his/her thesis: their stance and what they are going to debate.

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3) Confirmatio

The confirmatio is probably the easiest part of the debate to write, because it’s the part where writers posit their stance. It’s the “I’m right and here’s why” stage, where you state your argument and then back it up with relevant facts that support your argument. An important thing to remember about the confirmation is that it can’t be derogatory towards the other side of the debate, because that decimates an author’s ethical appeal; instead, it must consist of stating an opinion and backing it up without attacking the other’s side.

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4) Refutatio

Refuting my opponent’s side? Heck yes! Here’s where authors get to explain why their opponents are (respectfully) wrong. This would be a good time to say things like “this piece of evidence supporting the opposition is faulty because…” and “although this person said this, the facts say this other thing.” An important part of the refutation is ceding to an opponent’s most powerful point, because it gives the argument ethical appeal; if the debater is unable to cede to an opponent’s point, even if it is correct, then the rhetorical balance of debate is lost, and what was a beneficial rhetorical debate turns into an actual argument. The order of the refutation and the confirmation can be switched depending on what works best for each individual debate, but most people tend to refute their opponents after they argue their stance so that the reasons their opponents are incorrect tend to stick in their reader’s minds.

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5) Peroratio

The peroration isn’t simply the conclusion of a rhetorical debate: it’s where the strongest emotional appeal is used. This emotional appeal should remind the reader of the importance and value of the writer’s topic and opinion, while also cementing their own opinion (that hopefully coincides with the writer’s opinion). The peroration can be quite difficult; however, when it’s done correctly, it leaves readers emotionally engaged in the topic, with a favourable opinion of the author, and with an opinion of their own about the topic (which is the intent of a rhetorical debate). I personally tend to weave the peroratio into some kind of narrative (probably because I’m a fiction writer and it’s what I do best), but it can be done many different ways.

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Isn’t rhetoric cool? I mean, it takes the basic essay structure we’ve all been learning since fourth grade and amplifies it to a whole new level, making it more effective, more structured, and more mind-blowing. I stand by my statement that rhetoric is the coolest thing because once you understand it and start using it, rhetoric will change your life. I promise. The best part? The five-point classical disposition is only the tip of the iceberg of amazing things that rhetoric offers (and you’ll hear about the rest in the future).

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Are you ready to take on some rhetorical debates?

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-K