After a two day delay, I have finally begun my internship with The Hockey News. Its been an interesting week so far in Canada, but I have settled in and am having a blast.
Due to some miss-communication somewhere along the line, there were people at the International Office at my school who did not know I was leaving the country. As a result, I did not have any paper-work when I crossed the border where I had to stay at the immigration office for two hours. The entire time I was there was spent listening to three women trying to figure out where I belonged in the system. They couldn't put me down as a student because I am not going to school and they couldn't put me down for work because I am not getting paid. they said the only way for me to be in the country and do my internship legally was to apply to the SWAP Working Holidays, an international exchange program. I was given all the information I needed in order to apply and was finally allowed to leave. So finally, after a 13 hour trip, I arrived in Scarborough, ONT where I will be staying until my internship is over.
Thursday was hectic to put it lightly. I made my way to the SWAP offices in downtown Toronto, but they couldn't help me out there. Someone gave me the number of the person who could help me, but she wasn't available. I did manage to download the proper application but had to go to a printing place in order to get it. Administrators at Endicott were also trying to figure out a way for me to start my internship on time. It was getting to the end of the day and I still had no real direction. Fortunately, Sarah Edwards, the member of SWAP I had contacted earlier in the day, finally got back to me and told me everything I needed to send her. I let my school know and they sent over everything they could provide and I emailed everything over to Karen Laushway who works for Travel CUTS who made sure Sarah got it the next morning. The application is supposed to take two weeks to process, but she was a great sport and understanding of my situation and got everything done that day. This was especially important because she is out of her office all this week and wouldn't have been able to do anything now. Seriously, those two girls did so much for me and I will never be able to thank them enough.
This is where it gets ridiculous. I'm already in Canada, already across the border and they can't send my documents to me. They are required to send it to a United States address so they are nice enough to send it overnight so my parents can receive it on Monday once they get back to New Jersey. So they did and sent it priority back to Toronto where they shipped it from in the first place. On Tuesday, me and Steve, the husband of the woman I am living with who took a day off of work to help me out, are waiting for the package so we can drive to the border, hand in he documents, and I can legally be allowed to work in Canada. My parents paid for an overnight, a.m. delivery. At 1 o'clock, I am still waiting for the package to arrive. So I check the FedEx website for an update on my package and find that not ten minuted earlier, the driver went to the house and no one answered. Uhh...no. We had two people and a dog that will bark at a leaf flying by waiting for the doorbell and it never rang. Clearly the guy went to the wrong house, so we call up the company and ask what is wrong. To make a long story short, I ended up having to pick up the documents at the FedEx building in Toronto. My mom and dad better get their money back from that priority delivery charge because that was just ridiculous.
I had an interesting time at the border the second time as well. It didn't take long to get my working papers, I was at immigration for all of 20 minutes, but me and Steve decided to cross the border into the States to get dinner and so he could visit a Harley Davidson shop. Apparently border guards find it suspicious when a Canadian and an American are driving from Toronto to the States, a two hour trip, just to get dinner. So they make us pull over into a long line of cars. Everyone is told to get out and a giant white truck drives by all the cars as they are all x-rayed. Once that is done we are given the all clear and allowed to enter the States. We go to the Harley shop and get some dinner at a local pub, great wings and beer. The family I am living with has been awesome. I feel right at home with them and they are doing everything to make me feel comfortable here. Steve, Cheryl, and their son Tommy are great hosts and I am lucky to have met these people. They also have a dog that knows how to give a high five.
Fortunately, all of these issues only delayed the start of my internship by two days. It really helps that everyone who works there is really cool and were understanding of my situation. I went in today and got to meet everyone and they are all laid back and made me feel right at home. I wasn't there 15 minutes when I went to my first meeting, one they have every day at 9:45. Basically all they do is talk hockey and discuss what they will potentially be writing about. The building I work in is really nice, we share a floor with TVGuide and Elle Magazine. That's right, I not only get to talk hockey all day, but get to do it while staring at models. Life. Is. Good.
My job in the beginning is pretty simple, mostly editing and fact checking, but it won't be long until I start writing. They will be little things at first, most likely a paragraph or two I haven't done much so far because a) it's only been one day and b) this is an off week where the magazine doesn't come out (it comes out three of four weeks during the season, once a month during the off-season). I did do some fact checking today and you can be rest assured this article received the Tim Kolupanowich stamp of approval. That's just about all I can say for now; literally I am not allowed to talk about what goes on there until the issue comes out, but I will keep you updated on what is going on as much as possible. Frankly, I still can't believe I'm here. You're supposed to do what you love and love what you do and that is exactly what I am doing right now.