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My thoughts on bullying

For the past few days I’ve tossed around the idea of writing my thoughts on bullying and just doing something about it. Reading about recent events, such as Amanda Todd’s suicide convinced me to do this, because I felt I had to do something.

But, it’s not easy. After all, who wants to admit that they were bullied? It’s much easier to pretend that you weren’t. But the reality is that I was bullied constantly in grades 7 and 8 and throughout high school. My hope is that telling my story and offering my perspective will help someone.

About me

My name is Nathan Cox and I live in Long Point, Ontario (which is an hour and a half south of Kitchener, on Lake Erie). I’m a videographer and journalist. I recently finished a six-year stint at Conestoga College. There was no bullying there. This all happened at Valley Heights Secondary School, which is located outside Walsingham, Ontario (ten minutes north of Long Point). Before that, it was the now-closed Walsingham Public School (also in Walsingham). From Kindergarten to Grade 7, I lived near London. At that school, I was generally fine. I wasn’t overwhelmingly popular and I was teased somewhat, but I was one of the group. I also displayed some bullying traits and I had a history of occasionally randomly hurting people and fighting.

Why did I do it? Looking back now, it all seems silly, but I probably did it to increase my standing with the others. As someone in the middle of the totem pole, I tried to make myself look better by going after others below me.

This all stopped in Grade 7, when the principal threatened to have me arrested. As young as I was, this scared the hell out of me, and I slowly stopped fighting. I still had a big mouth, and I did hurt a few people with it, which I regret sincerely.

Halfway through Grade 7 (in December 1998), my family moved to Long Point, where things started off badly, then got worse.

But first…

I’m not writing this to settle old scores. I’m writing this because I genuinely hope some good comes out of it. And I don’t want any good it might do to be negated by people who just see this as a revenge column. So the people in my story will go unidentified.

Why I got bullied

I find that most people often act as if they did nothing to deserve being bullied, and I’m sure it is often true. I, on the other hand, know exactly why I was targeted.

1) I was overweight.

2) I was weird. I liked things considered immature, like Pokemon. And I was very open about my nerdishness, often playing Game Boy during recess and drawing Pokemon in class. I liked other weird or “immature” things too, and it all counted against me.

3) I was the new kid at a school, which meant I didn’t have a lot of allies. If you’re part of a group of friends, you’re less likely to be bullied. After all, a bully wouldn’t want to risk retaliation from a group. Being a new kid at school means you don’t have a lot of friends and you’re under a microscope while others try to decide where you stand.

4) My last name is Cox. I remember the exact day when my classmates at my previous school understood the double entendre. On my first day at Walsingham, my name was called over the PA system and the entire school suddenly knew my name. I was a laughing stock. Now, I’m able to deal with that kind of thing, and I even make fun of my own name (favourite mis-spelling of it: Kawks). But for a vulnerable kid in Grade 7 at a new school, it was devastating. I had a target on my back, and it was one I could do nothing to change. It continued in high school when people I’d never met would make some kind of derogatory remark about my name.

5) I had a big mouth. I’d often say angry things that would get me in deeper trouble. Or I would say stupid things, and give the bullies fuel.

My history of bullying

Public School

Remember, all of these things were meant to be hurtful. Looking back, some comments are kind of funny and I now have a sense of humour about it. Other taunts hurt then and they still do.

Here’s the worst of incident of them all. Before moving to Long Point, I lost both of my grandparents within a very short time frame, and it really got to me. I’d been very close to both of them. When I was at Walsingham, I was once telling someone about how we  made maple syrup in my grandpa’s bush, the forested portion of his farm. The next thing I knew, kids were making fun of me and often repeating the term “grandpa’s bush.” For those who lost track, I was a at a new school and I’d just lost my grandparents, and here are a bunch of kids essentially making fun of my dead grandfather. Thanks.

There were a number of popular insults that kids would repeat to me. One was that I was so big that I was my own “group”. Another was that I wore an “Indian dress” (one time an assignment was to make a list of things in our house from other countries. One of the items I found was a dress my sister had that was made in India). One day practically everyone in class was making fun of me over it. I was so overwhelmed that I left, sat in the hall and cried.

I was occasionally able to show everyone up. My favourite story occurred in gym class. One day at Walsingham, we were doing high jump. When it was my turn, I wanted the bar raised. Everyone laughed, thinking I’d never clear it. What they failed to realize is that at my previous school I was semi-athletic. I ran cross country and I tried out for most of the teams. I wasn’t very good at any of it, but I still did it. I surprised everyone when I cleared the bar and earned some of their respect, if only for a short period.

While I was often targeted, I was also often left alone, and incidents weren’t so common that things became completely miserable. I had some friends, and I was able to get by. At that point, I was lucky in that I didn’t have one particular bully (or bullies) who would never leave me alone… Yet.

High School

While Walsingham was an unpleasant (yet tolerable) experience, things got worse in high school. Once again there was the name issue, but the fact that I knew only a quarter of the people in my grade meant I should have gotten a fresh start. Of course, people I knew in public school would tell my new classmates about the things they had made fun of me for. Next thing I knew, I had people I met in Grade 9 making fun of me for stuff that happened in Grade 8.

When I  arrived at high school, I knew I had to give up anything that would be remotely “mockable”. That meant no more Pokemon. In fact, I rarely even brought my game boy to school. While I retained my love of video games, I lost interest in pokemon.  In retrospect, it was silly of me to think giving up on Pokemon would change anything. While I could now honestly say “I no longer play Pokemon,” it didn’t matter one bit. In fact, a teacher once joined in on it, which reduced me to tears.

I also caught flack for liking Star Trek, but that one I could handle. I’d rather be made fun of for something that makes me seem intelligent than for something that makes me seem immature. I even jokingly fueled the fires, telling people that I frequented Star Trek conventions (I’ve never been to a convention in my life.)

It was in Grade 9 that I met my first serial bully. I can’t recall how it happened, but this guy had a fierce desire to make fun of me. He even hit me in the face once (in retaliation for me pushing him off his desk, which was in retaliation for him making fun of me in class), which he would then bring up now and again for the next few years. I realized that the best way to stop him was to make peace with him, but there was always a cycle. Sometimes he would leave me be, sometimes he wouldn’t. One time, he and three others actually picked me up, in class - while the teacher was gone - and dropped me. None of the other students seemed to care about this, and ignored the situation. When I got sick of this, I told the teacher and she did nothing.

In fact, as I think often happens with the bullied, it didn’t help things that I was a smart ass in class, so a good number of my teachers hated me. I was lazy so I was passing but not getting good grades (I fall under the category of “smart but lazy”). So it wasn’t uncommon for teachers to make cutting remarks about me. In Grade 6, I was pushed into a wall by a teacher. In Grade 12, a teacher lost his temper  with me and, in front of the entire class, said, “Do you have some kind of giant weight on your head?” I was able to take that one with good humour on the surface, but it shook me up inside.

Generally, the bullying was limited to verbal abuse, but there was some violence in there. One time, while on a skiing trip, a student kicked me in the back of the leg behind the knee. That hurt, and ruined my day. Occasionally students would hit me and I would respond by calling them weak and doing my best to show no pain. One time, in response, the student punched me in the head. I said nothing. Nor did I tell the teacher. That would make things worse. That class in particular was so bad (the serial bully was in it) that the teacher would occasionally put me in the back room to keep me away from everyone else.

My problem was that I was so unpopular that I had many different bullies. I can easily recall incidents with at least a dozen specifically, and there are many more. Just about anyone was likely to take some kind of verbal shot at me. But, that being said, there were some people that I hung out with, and there were many students that left me alone.

When it came time for lunch, I tried my best to stay away from others, which wasn’t easy. Later in life I was diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD. I always felt uncomfortable in crowds, and this isn’t helped when you’re in a crowd where someone could yell out an insult at any moment. So I tried to seek refuge in an out-of-the-way place. This was often the library (which unfortunately was not always open) or, later on, the communications room. When I was in Grade 12 and had a spare period, I would eat as early as possible, just so I could avoid the crowds. Walking by the pit where the preps and popular students hung out was always fun, because people would often yell at me. I adopted a policy: Walk as fast as you can, keep your eyes forward or cast downward, don’t acknowledge them.

The worst of the bunch first made his presence known to me in Grade 11 (he was in the grade above me). At first, it was him and a friend of his. I considered him to be the nicer of the two, but it didn’t stay that way for long. I’d known the friend since grade 7, and he was a typical jock bully. I once told the two of them that I was going to go to a teacher if they didn’t leave me alone. The bully said maybe they should leave me be. The friend said “What will they say, ‘Stop picking on the fat kid?’” Eventually, the friend started taking different classes than me. And I had at least three classes with the bully, who eventually became much worse. He would constantly make cutting remarks, and he was right out in the open with them. He’d often do it in class in front of teachers. He was so bad that others took note and years later, people would ask about my issues with him.

I suppose he could have been worse. I can only recall one incident in which he touched me, and that was when we had a shoving match. But making fun of my faults was a daily regiman.

How it affected me

Some people who are bullied are able to forgive their bullies. They’re able to move on. I wish I could be that strong and say I forgive everyone, particularly the worst of the bunch. But the reality is that I don’t forgive him. I’ve even had dreams where I kick the crap out of him, and that scares the hell out of me. These people, he in particular, seemed to make it their goal in life to make my life hell. And it affected me in many ways. For years after high school, I was a very intense person, very hostile, very defensive, very guarded and prone to over-reacting. I’d come from an environment where I had to act like that to get people to leave me alone. And it affected me socially for years before I was able to shake off those traits.

Thankfully, the bullying largely ended in high school. It’s been years since I have been called fat, and a lot longer than that since it was done in a mean-spirited way. Thankfully, my experiences in university and college have been positive and I’ve usually been treated with respect. There must be a reason most bullying ends in adulthood; something about “maturity.” 

I’ve often wondered what I would do if I encountered some of the individuals who bullied me. Would I talk to them? Would I ignore them? Would I confront them? I don’t have an answer. I’d rather not have to come up with one.

I should note that despite my almost daily issues I only missed eight days in my first four years of high school. There were people I got along with. I actually went back for a fifth year, and it was much more enjoyable without a lot of the old bullies. My situation could have been worse. I never switched schools, I never contemplated suicide and I never considered going a darker route.

Two of the worst bullies apparently did undergo some kind of reform. I found out that one is now a devout Christian and the other (the worst of the bunch) is a cop. It scares the hell out of me that someone like that could join the police force. 

I wish I could say that some of my old bullies have since reached out to me, that I’ve gotten a lot of apologies in the eight years since high school. The truth is that I haven’t. Not even one. Nor do I expect one. The majority of the people who said hurtful things to me probably don’t even remember doing so. To them, it was just another comment to another student on another day. I, however, remember a painful number of them. I’m able to remember the people who bullied me a lot better than the people who didn’t, and that scares the hell out of me. That’s not the way it should be.

The purpose of all this

So that’s my story. My hope is that by sharing my experiences, I can help those who are being bullied by showing they aren’t alone.

I wish there was a formula or cure-all approach; something I could say that would be a quick end to it. I wish I could say “Do this and all your problems will go away.” Sadly, it’s not that easy and every situation is different.

But here is some advice: Don’t listen to bullies. When they point out your faults and tell you you’re worthless, they aren’t right. They don’t know a thing about you other than what is on the surface. Their intent is to hurt you in order to elevate themselves in the eyes of others. It’s not easy, but remember: What they say is not the truth. And, most importantly, as bad as things seem, things will change. Once you get past high school, you essentially start a new life. After a few years, you’re rarely going to see anyone you knew in high school except for your friends, the people you choose to stay in touch with.

And, thankfully, most people will forget about what happened to you if you were bullied. I recently had a conversation with someone, and asked if they remembered the time I got hit in the face. He did not. As the years go by, your former classmates start to forget about you. They certainly aren’t going to remember a lot, or even any, of the specific incidents that embarrassed you at the time. A name or incident that haunts you now will not haunt you your entire life, trust me.

Try and move past your bullies. It will be easier than you think, as soon as your current situation changes. Try not to hold grudges. Eight years of regrets and anger isn’t a good thing to have; I speak from experience.

Reflections on Conestoga

So my six year tenure at Conestoga College is coming to an end. Yes, I’ve been at College for six years. And unlike Bluto in Animal House, I’ll be able to walk out with my head held high.

It wasn’t always easy. After a disasterous (but fun) year at Laurier, I went to Conestoga. Things didn’t go well as I came close to flunking out in my very first year when I was in General Arts and Sciences. A change in attitude lead to a bit more success over two years, but no real ideas for what I wanted to do.

I’ve always loved photography, so I decided to go into Print Journalism at the beginning of my fourth year at Conestoga. Well, that was the plan anyway. But I waited too long to confirm myself into the program, and was forced to take Broadcast Journalism. My plan was to switch to print as soon as possible.

But something weird happened. I liked broadcast so much that I stayed in it. And when I finally completed the program, I came back for one more year in videography.

I’ve found myself considering coming back for one more year, but I need to move on. It’s time for me to find a job. I’ll miss Conestoga. I’ve enjoyed the last few years here, as well as all of the great people I’ve met.

Perhaps Lynyrd Skynyrd sang it best:

If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?

For I must be travelling on now, cause there’s too many places I’ve got to see.

Top 5 Videography moments at Conestoga College

Here’s a list of my top 5 moments from my videography program!

5. Owl banding. You could say that a lot of my stories from this year were rehashes of stories I’d previously done. And you’d be right. This one still turned out quite well. The challenge was making it different from a story I’d done the previous year, which was also quite good. What can I say, I like owls.

4. The awards gala and the resulting after party. Okay, the meal wasn’t great and the guest speaker was kind of dull. It was still fun. The after party was also pretty great, even though for some reason people think I owe them Pizza.

3. Interviewing Sam Roberts. Okay, I didn’t actually conduct the interview. But I got to meet him, and film his performance and got to watch his show from great seats. It was a good night.

2. Oje’s Song. There have been few moments in my life when I have laughed so hard. I was asked to put together a segment called “Point of View with Kyle and Oje”. It was one of the last classes of the semester, so most people had stopped caring. I decided to make an opening. I felt it needed a theme, so I threw something together in GarageBand. The resulting song, as well as the animation made me laugh so hard that my head hurt for the rest of the night. And it was awesome.

1. The people. Yes, I went with a sappy sentimental thing for my #1, but it’s true. The people I met in this course were an interesting and memorable group.

Meeting Zealots

It’s weird how sometimes everything is connected. And sometimes, what seems like a disappointment can turn into a benefit.

This is the story of how I first met Zealots Desire, the band I am doing a new documentary on.

It all goes back to the greatest rock band in the history of rock: AC/DC. In 2008(ish), I first heard songs from the band Airbourne, who have a very AC/DCish sound.

In the Summer of 2010 (August 2, to be exact), I went to Kitchener to see Airbourne live. There were two openers. One sucked (though they did a pretty decent cover of Aerosmith’s “Jaded”). The second, Bleeker Ridge, were pretty good. Airbourne themselves were amazing, but that’s beside the point.

In a funny story, I accidently bumped into the singer of Bleeker Ridge and knocked his beer out of his hand. Surprisingly, he offered to buy me one. I was driving, so I declined.

Fast forward to February 2011, when I found out that Bleeker Ridge was coming to Tillsonburg. At the time, I was occasionally writing articles for the Tillsonburg News. I had previously interviewed April Wine. Remembering how good Bleeker Ridge were, I decided to interview them.

Then, it hit me. I had to also do a video interview for an assignment. The previous year I had done a video on The Salads, and a good time was had by all. So why not do one on Bleeker Ridge?

Their record company, however said no. I went to the show anyway, and observed the opening band. They were a Woodstock group named Zealots Desire. It dawned on me that I could do an interview with them (because I owed some people a story since Bleeker Ridge fell through).

And the rest is history.

Except that it’s not. They agreed, and a month later I and three others went to Woodstock to film Zealots Desire. They were opening for Helix (got to interview them too). The resulting video was pretty damn good. Now, I’m doing a documentary on how bands try to make it, and the focus will be Zealots Desire.

And the rest is history.

Or is it?

Interning at Rogers

I’ve been doing my internship this semester at Rogers in Kitchener, for a show called Talk Local.

I’ve quite enjoyed it. My supervisors are great to work with, the host is extremely nice, and I’ve been enjoying the jobs that I’ve had the chance to do.

First, I assist Sarah, who does videography for Talk Local. Each episode has a theme, and Sarah does a piece that relates to that theme. For example, if the theme is the local economy, Sarah would do a piece on an organization that assists with job searching.

After that, I get to help produce the show. There are three Rogers employees on TalkLocal: The host (Hayley), a producer (David) and Sarah. The rest of the show is made by volunteers. They do the filming, control the sound board, and sometimes direct the show.

David is quite good at what he does, and is able to do multiple jobs at once. On a good night, there would be six people in the control room: sound person, graphics person, switchboard, B-roll operator, director and David, who supervises. But we’ve been able to function with as few as 2 volunteers and David.

I’ve had the opportunity to try every job but director, switchboard and floor director. I hope to try every position before my time at Rogers comes to an end.

Previously I interned for Tillsonburg News in Tillsonburg. That was also quite fun. In that case, I was actually able to get a part time position with the newspaper over the summer. I’d like to continue to volunteer with Rogers once my internship has ended.

Reflections on a War Hero

One of the assignments this year was to create a documentary. Some may notice that a lot of my work follows several themes: Birds, wind turbines, nature, birds and music. And, naturally, my first inkling for this assignment was to do it on one of those topics.

But then I remembered a remarkable story I’d been told at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton. It was the story of Andrew Mynarski, a WWII gunner who died while trying to save his friend. They were in a Lancaster bomber, which had been shot by enemy fire. Mynarski’s friend (Pat Brophy) was trapped in his gun turret. Mynarski tried to save him, but failed. In the ultimate irony, Brophy… Well, I won’t spoil the ending.

I definitely picked a tough first documentary. Footage of Mynarski is scarce and I had to find and secure the rights to use it, which costs money. This involved contacting museums all over Canada (and a few in England as well). I found that museum curators were quite cooperative and helpful. They wanted to spread the word on a mostly forgotten hero.

I also had to find old footage of Lancaster bombers to use (which also costs money). Then I had to figure out a way to make a visually compelling documentary with what little footage I had.

I pulled out a few tricks for this. One (which may have been overused) was to overlay footage of flames onto images. It’s a cool visual. Another trick was to keyframe images to make them move, thus making them less monotonous.

This is the end result: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaIF0KSW_2c

Personally, I think it’s not too bad.

mark-urban:

So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced this year’s inductees today. Among the honoured are: The Beastie Boys, The Small Faces, Guns N’ Roses and the Red Hot Chili Peppers…

I am was somewhat surprised when I saw the Beastie Boys being that they aren’t a rock and roll group and the Chili…

I think the problem is that people get too caught up in the “it’s not rock” debate. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was originally about “rock and roll,” but it left those restrictions when it became obvious that rock and roll had evolved from being a simple, straight-forward genre. And it continues to evolve.

Am I saying the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be renamed? Nope, not at all. But as rock music continues to change, the influences change too. And, like it or not, a lot of bands in todays rock scene claim rap as an influence, such as Rage Against the Machine.

And funk has always had its place in the RRHOF. If it didn’t, then James Brown and Stevie Wonder wouldn’t be in. If disco wasn’t included, then the Bee Gees wouldn’t be in. If reggae was ignored, then Bob Marley wouldn’t be in.

And excluding any of those four would be completely unacceptable due to the influence they had outside their specific genres.

So I think the wuestion shouldn’t be “what isn’t or isn’t rock”, but “who has had the most influence on today’s music?”

And I agree with you about all of those snubs. Heavy metal and progressive rock have unjustly been ignored by the RRHOF.

Cox v. Final Cut Pro

Hour six of my marathon editing session. The Battle of Nathan vs. Final Cut Pro has almost concluded. There has been many casualties on both sides. I came close to surrendering, but I am going to conquer this program.” - Nathan Cox on December 7, 4 AM.

Okay, I admit it. I made a tactical error. A week ago, I had a chance to do my final interview over the weekend. However, the weather was bad, and I wanted to do it outside, so I chose to wait until this past weekend.

Big mistake. The interviewee ended up being sick all weekend.

And so it was that I did my final interview on Monday at 9 PM, with the assignment due within two days.

When I came to school on Tuesday, I was confident I could have my project finished by 8 PM.

Big mistake. I was serving as editor for our news show on that day, and due to a number of delays, the show was finished at 6, took 3 hours to render and then 2 to upload to vimeo. Of course, this consumed my disk drive, meaning I couldn’t use it for anything else.

And so it was that at 11 PM on December 6 I started editing an assignment due 15 hours later.

You could say I learned my lesson. I generally try to finish my assignments as early as I can so that I can spent a lot of time perfecting it. Not this time.

Anyway, my assignment is on the health effects allegedly caused by industrial wind turbines. I wish I had picked something a bit easier that I could have been really creative with. Due to the sensitive and controversial nature of the topic, I was very careful and tried to be as balanced as possible.

One of my interviews was with Dr. Robert McMurtry, a member of the Order of Canada, a former Dean of Medicine at UWO and a very respected individual. Of course, I somehow forgot my tripod for the interview, and made myself look like a complete idiot. I was able to rig up an impromptu tripod, but the experience was embarrassing.

I did learn from it: I remembered my tripod for my next interview with Gary Zavitz, co-founder of Friends of Wind. But I did forget my microphone.

Yep, I think I need to start carrying a checklist.

It didn’t turn out too bad though, because I did have a handheld microphone, which was able to pick up his voice and not much of the background.

The benefit of the project was that I got to film some really interesting B-roll and be creative with my shots. I got to include one of my all-time favourites: the driving shot, where I set up a camera on a tripod and put in the passenger seat in my car, then drive with it. I’ve previously had some great successes with that one.

Still, I think the end product turned out pretty well considering the problems I had.

From Here to Eternity

My titles do seem to be getting abstract. But this one does have a purpose.

This week (December 7 to be specific) marks the 70th Anniversary of the day that will live in infamy: the attack of Pearl Harbor.

Like any important event, there have been a number of movies made about it.

Now, I’m a huge fan of war movies. My favourites include The Longest Day, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Great Escape, Tora Tora Tora, Saving Private Ryan, Zulu, Casablanca (okay, it’s not quite a war movie… Oh well), Patton and Apocalypse Now. They all have a fantastic combination of social commentary, action and great filmmaking.

Some advice: Anyone interested in seeing a good movie about Pearl Harbor should check out Tora Tora Tora. It’s a historical re-telling, so some may find it dry.

For those who prefer love stories, there’s From Here to Eternity (told you!). It’s from the early ’50s and tells the story of some servicemen stationed at Pearl Harbor. It has some big names, including Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Ernest Borgnine. It’s not the greatest war movie ever, but it’s perfectly acceptable.

Plus I love the title, and I’ve been looking for an excuse to name a blog after it.

Which brings me to my story idea, which is based on Pearl Harbor (the day, not the crappy movie): What day had the most influece on the world. In other words, the events of which day had the single biggest impact on the course of history?

Some candidates:

My personal choice is June 28, 1914. I doubt that many would immediately recognize the date, but that’s the day Serbian Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The fallout? It led to World War I, in which over 15 million people were killed. WWI also led indirectly to WWII, as well as a number of other important events and conflicts.

To be fair, it is true that given tensions in Europe at the time, WWI would have happened with or without Princip.

From World War II, you have a number of choices. September 1, 1939: the day Germany invaded Poland. December 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor. June 6, 1944: the start of the D-Day invasion. August 6, 1945: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

And then, of course, you have the day that many will undoubtly bring up: September 11, 2001.

Then there are others like April 14, 1912 (sinking of the Titanic); April 26, 1986 (Cherynobl disaster); and December 26, 2004 (Indian Ocean tsunami).

Going further than the past 100 years, you have biblical events like the birth of Jesus as well as events like the assassination of Caesar.

So that’s my idea for a story. I think it could lead to some very fascinating debates and could be really interesting. One could talk to many different people, such as historians. Or, one could do streeters. However, that might not be the best thing, because this is the kind of topic that requires some thought.

So here’s where I’m after opinions. What are some other choices that I did not mention? All of my picks involve diasters, death or war. Is there a day that changed the world that did not involve any of those things? Let me know.

Raising Gangsters for Fun and Profit

For no particular reason, I decided to go with a Monty Python-inspired title. Yep, I’m out of ideas.

I clearly need to watch the news more, because every week I always struggle to find a news story to comment on.

So this week, I’m commenting on this story, the 25 worst passwords of 2011.

Some make sense. Using “Password” as your password? You’d have to either be a) really stupid or b) really lazy to use that.

Or both.

Others seem a little less likely. “letmein”? “qazwsx” (look at your keyboard to understand that one)? “trustno1”? Those seem pretty reasonable to me.

But apparantly they’re not.

I think there’s a really good story idea in there… Several actually.

First, is there a problem at Conestoga with password hacking? Do students choose good passwords? You could talk to security, IT, computer teachers, etc. And you could put together a really good story.

Also: What do students think is a bad password? You could do streeters and talk to a variety of people. You could have some fun with it too.

Another: Leaving the school, what about passwords for cellphones and blackberries? One could talk to RIM or any technology story for that one.

So this is a fun story to read. It could also be an equally fun story to work on.