D.A. Lam

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D.A. Lam


Location

Victoria




D.A. Lam (David Andrew Lam) currently researches and writes non-fiction. He has worked as a business writer, broadcast journalist, television anchor, media specialist, and a higher education instructor and administrator.

D.A. has had a variety of experience in the communications field, having worked as a documentary filmmaker and freelance writer. He was a Community Relations Officer for the Manitoba government specializing in Public Relations, Advertising, and Media Representation at The Pas, Manitoba. [1] He spent two years in Taiwan where he worked as a teacher, public relations officer, and trade journal writer.

In October 1983, Lam was one of eight candidates (out of more than 800 applicants) selected by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Visible Minority Training Program. [2]

From this program, he worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Vancouver. [3] He was a television news reporter, news writer, current affairs producer, weekend news anchor, and documentary filmmaker. Among his films are PUSH! with Rick Hansen, a look at wheelchair athletics; Every 10th Woman with Julia Child, a study of breast cancer, and, for PBS, Wonder’s Child, a profile of science fiction Grand Master Jack Williams.

D.A. Lam was also a university and college instructor and administrator. He taught screenwriting at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington [4] and Communication Studies at Whatcom Community College, Bellingham, Washington.[5] At the Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, Washington, he was Associate Dean of Video Production and Distance Education. [6]

Lam holds a B.A. in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba [7] and a M.A. in Communication from Eastern New Mexico University, Portales.[8] His 1994 thesis was entitled "A Pilot Study of College Audience Responses to Star Television Programming." [9][10]

Writings

D.A. Lam has written Too Many Cooks, a fictional account of various characters at a Vancouver culinary school.

Essays:

"Year of the Snake: Idea of Renewal is Central to Charting a Course This Year." The Province, February 10, 2013. [11]

Excerpt:

The Dragon leaves behind a tumultuous year as it departs, but out of crisis, so goes the Chinese proverb, arises opportunity. February 10, 2013, The Year of the Snake, slithers off the tip of the Dragon's tail and officially launches the start of a new year. While many people have ophidio-phobia (the abnormal fear of snakes), the legless reptile, according to the Chinese Zodiac, is a positive sign and we can use its energy to effectively and successfully manage the emotional, financial, spiritual, ethical and environmental challenges ahead.

Symbolically speaking, the snake represents patience, insight and intelligence, and self-control, the qualities needed to thoroughly analyze complex situations and draw well-reasoned decisions. Once clarity is achieved, the snake executes its plan, striking quickly and with power. Because of the snake's ability to shed its skin when the old one is outgrown, the idea of renewal is central to charting a new course this year. Old paradigms of politics, economics, energy, societal norms, and growth are sputtering by the side of the road. Solutions to our problems won't appear overnight but it's certain that the way things used to be done isn't working. Everyone, even if only in a small way, needs to do what they can to make things better.

The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve year cycle with each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

The year of your birth roughly corresponds to the animal sign based on the Chinese Zodiac. Legend has it that Buddha introduced the Chinese zodiac by asking all animals to a meeting to say goodbye before he moved from the Earthly realm to the next. Only 12 showed up. To pay them tribute, Buddha presented each with a year named in their honour.

The Chinese believe the animal governing one's birth year (determined by the lunar year in which you were born) exerts a powerful influence on one's personality, decision-making and ultimately, one's destiny.


"Postcards From China Station: West of the Pecos." Ginger Post', January 26th, 2013. [12]

Excerpt:

Take Off

Albuquerque International Sunport is the major air hub for all of New Mexico and I’m in it. Vancouver to Los Angeles. Los Angeles to Denver. Denver to Albuquerque, a long series of hopscotch arcs with one more jump left and then a twenty mile drive.

The Sunport is bright, airy, and clean with an interior color scheme a soothing marriage of ochre and sienna. There are attractive displays of New Mexican arts and crafts to capture your interest while you wait for your connecting flight. I’ve spent the afternoon killing time looking at displays of Navajo and Zuni turquoise, pueblo pottery and ceramics, and Native America silver jewelry.

There is, however, only so much culture one can handle on an empty stomach and I haven’t had anything to eat since the stingy fruit and cheese tray just after take-off from Denver. Whenever one travels, one has to eat, often on the run and often badly. The airport coffee shop is an over lit booth and counter configuration with waitresses in brown uniforms and white aprons.

Their names are stitched on the shirt pocket in yellow cursive and they all seem to end in “i.e.” Ruthie. Laurie. Sandie. “Would you like coffee, Hon?” says Marcie. She’s a thirty-ish blonde who has mastered the art of dyeing her hair at home and looks like a girl who might have gotten pregnant in high school, dropped out to raise the kid, and never went back. Marcie is doing her best to stay chipper. For her, every day is a long day. The way she calls me “Hon” is friendly and sincere, intimate and oddly comforting. In airport restaurants people come and people go but the wait staff stay where they are.

You can always judge a restaurant with two criteria. How good is the martini? And how good is the club sandwich?

I’ve decided against drinking. My genes won’t let me. I have AFS. Asian flush syndrome. If I were a drug sniffing dog I’d be able to detect that one part per billionth molecule of alcohol diluted in a thermos full of green tea. Biologically speaking, I am in the 80 percent of Asians with a variant of the gene coding for the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase which converts alcohol to acetaldehyde. A sip of beer and my capillaries dilate to the size of PVC plumbing pipe turning my face, neck, shoulders and entire body candy apple red. In spite of this personal genetic insight, I desperately want to knock back a very dry martini with a lemon twist but I’d pass out in the booth, I’m so tired.

Been up since 5, on my fourth connecting flight, and already I miss the Pacific Ocean. Coffee is fine.

“How good is your club sandwich?”

Marcie smiles at me over her order pad. “Hon, it’s the best club sandwich west of the Pecos,” and she gives me a wink. She had me at Hon but the wink sells me.

I’m either extremely hungry or the club is, in fact, the best sandwich of its kind west of the Pecos. It’s real turkey, moist breast meat, robust slices of sweet tomato, the bacon is crisp, like Peggy Lee snapping their fingers in “Fever,” firm lime-green lettuce leaves, a zesty mayo, a balanced sprinkling of salt and pepper, and three perfectly toasted pieces of bread. The chef knows what he’s doing. I alternate between bites of club and French fries dipped in ketchup and think about catching the first flight back to the West coast.


Chapters in Books:

"New Generation Z," in Television in Its Social Context, Nancy Van Leuven, editor. Toronto: Ginger Post Inc., 2011, 51-68. [13]

Excerpt:

There are three things that you should always avoid if at all possible.

• Never pay full price for anything. • Never respond to an email from someone in Nigeria claiming they need your help to free up a few hundred million dollars. • And never watch news as seen on local or network television if you want to know what’s going on in the world.

Well, maybe almost never. If you have nothing else to do and want a few laughs, or if you want to see pictures of a story you’ve only heard about, or if you want to catch up on sports highlights, then it might be okay. Watching television to find out what’s happening is like listening to Classic Rock radio stations and hoping to hear new music. If you’re not reading your news first, from magazines, newspapers, books and other sources, you’re watching television news unprepared. So why bother watching at all?


"Television," in People to People: An Introduction to Mass Communications, Kathleen Fearn-Banks, editor. New York: American Heritage, 1997. [14]


Film/Book Reviews:

"Untold Story Finally Told." Film review of the film documentary "Operation Oblivion." February 2, 2014. [15]

Yan Li. Lily in the Snow: A Novel. Women’s Press, Toronto, Ontario, 2009, 379 pages. November 22nd, 2010. [16]

"Complete with Migraine" in Jung Chang, and Jon Halliday. Mao, The Unknown Story, Anchor Books, 2006, 801 pages. March 21, 2009 [17]

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