Saying Thank You to Chaos & Form


During the past couple of months I have learned more about the back end of the internet than I ever did while enrolled in the Electronic Media Design Program at Langara College. That is not to say I didn’t learn anything; all education is invaluable. The year I spent there was full of curriculum and instructor changes, and we, the students felt the brunt of this shift in ideal from that of a creative mandate to a more commercial laden curricula by third semester. Most of the time what you learn doesn’t get put to practice until after the education.

We, as human beings have learned through years of being plagued by the media to complain. We have not however mastered the art of saying thank you as we tend to remember only the negative over the positive experience. How could one say thank you when all around you is negative? Simply put, you change and adapt to a new environment of your own choosing. It will save your life. I write again It will, save your life.

It’s hard to imagine that becoming an addict could save your life. For me looking back at that time it did. I’m not saying become an addict it will solve your problems, that just happened to be what I chose to do.

How angry I became the other night while checking my site stats and clicking on the links that you, the reader click out on. One of them happen to be The Electronic Media Design Program. I clicked it. I was not ready for what I read on the curriculum and instructor pages. I wanted to write a nasty email to than saying “How could you? Be wary of past EMD students coming back to haunt you”. This was Saturday Night. I did not write the letter. I harbor some negative energy towards the director still who didn’t know my name while there for the year 2004 (there are only three classes of 16 students maximum and many only had five or six students within them in total giving the program 40 students at any given time).

This is not a slander post towards an institution of higher learning. It is my remembrance of a time when my classmates and I endured some fowl, non negotiable curriculum changes. Will I approach them and ask why? Yes, I believe I will. Enough time has passed and my anger and resentment are cooling. I chose to save my life again, by becoming sober. I’m going to respond rather than react to this new information I found. The new students entering the program look like they will be getting a great curriculum and that in itself makes me happy. They will not endure the upheaval we did.

While immersed in the EMD program the following instructors made an impact on my studies (using their first names only) Heidi, Don, James, Ivana, Mac, Denise and Haigue. Your encouragement and thoughtful comments/criticisms helped me grow into who I am today. I will remember you. Thank you. And thank you to my classmates who never gave up when faced with a lie.

Perhaps that is why we the students aptly named our graduation Chaos & Form. I rendered the text grid for the poster. It can be seen at the top of this post. Click it!

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11 thoughts on “Saying Thank You to Chaos & Form”

  1. Well put Jess.
    I had a great time with everyone that I got to interact with. I had to much fun and I think it matured me to where I am now. We need to ask Danni to throw another big party!!! haha

  2. Hey guys

    Yes, Chaos & Form was quite the finaly to a year of intense learning; 21 classes! Whoah! I owe a lot to the program also. It wasn’t all bad 😉 Without that program I would not have been hired at CC mag.

    Third term left me bitter and addicted. It’s taken a while for me to remember the first two terms and how great they were in respect to classmates, instructors and curriculum.

    I’m glad to hear you both are doing well.

    And to quote what I wrote “All education is invaluable.” I agree with you both that we wouldn’t be where we are today without it. I guess that is what the past is all about eh?

    Jessica xo

  3. What can I say…if it wasn’t for school I wouldn’t be where I am today, don’t get me wrong…the program sucked especially after KM left/was ousted (although he was kind of a flake) but I did learn what I needed to get in the door at the agency where I am now and although we learned absolutely nothing about production in school (thats where all the juicy stuff is) I’am learning it now, and I do owe a chunk of my career to CHAOS AND FORM!

    Thanks Dudes
    Love from cowtown!

    meet you down the production pipeline!

  4. Andy somehow during my site changes your latest comment did not get posted here… so i will copy and past it here from my email.

    Mmhmm i still wanna go back even tho it was sorta crappy, I had tones of fun in the classes I did like! But like Christian said, what I learned in school I mostley do as a hobby, and at work im building home show booths and doing more print then on screen! ANDYS DOING PRINT!?! haha n e ways =P

  5. Hi Jessica,

    I have been reading your comments regarding the Langara EMD program and hoped I could get more info from you.

    I’ve been interested in the program for a few years now and was actually going to join it in 2004 but choose to check out other options first.

    I am now deciding between a couple of programs at BCIT and the Langara program. You and your classmates seem to have some passionate things to say about EMD. Though you mentioned that the program outline looks better for the students now, do you really think that so much could have changed in two years?

    Given the opportunity again, would you still pay the $17000 for EMD or would you look else where?

    The programs at BCIT that I am looking into are ‘Design Essentials’ (1yr, 8,800) and ‘New Media Design CD ROM & Web Development’ (1yr, 10,600)… it seems (on paper at least) that, when combined, the two BCIT programs cover what the Langara program covers in one year but I certainly don’t want to blow my cash on a bogus program that doesn’t live up to its expectations.

    If you have any advice or suggestsions for me I would greatly appreciate you feedback!


  6. Lucie… not sure why you copied and pasted your question over here… I also changed your price of the program to the actual amount of $17 000. I also know that this comment was copied from a computer at In any case you can find my answers here to these questions.

    And here are your questions you asked next from this post<

    Thanks so much for your comments, I really appreciate it!

    I do have a couple more Q’s for you… Do you use the equipment you recieved for your job (as in, is it up to standards enough to use it)… would you say that a person gets enough training to persue freelancing after graduation? That is primarely my goal for getting this training and getting into Graphic Design and electronic media.

    About the Advertising and Design Program that is ‘free’ with the price of EMD, have you or anyone else attended any of these classes?

    I have computer knowledge as far as business applications go (spreadshees, some data bases etc) but not really any knowledge of design software or web authoring… would you say the technical training is detailed enough that a novice wouldn’t get completely lost in it?

    And finally, did you really find the program was creative and intense, interms of assignments work you had to complete, or was there alot of lax time? Did you go through the process of sending out your portfolio and getting certified by industry professionals?

    Thanks so much, sorry to bog you down with so many quesitons but I am at the point where I seriously need to make some decisions (or I’ll loose my seat in the BCIT Prog, or loose my sanity!)… Since I will be taking out Student loans for this I really want to make sure I’ve exhausted all my sources!


  7. Yes I use the equipment I recieved. I was able to attend only because I recieved funding through EI. However still had to borrow 8K through the bank to make the purchase of the equipment.

    I ended up getting lost with the technical stuff to be honest. However you may not. There is no lax time in this program. When I attended there were two three week long breaks in between semesters and that would be the only downtime. The first two semesters for me were awesome (creatively challenging and full of great content). They touch on a variety of topics – you are given the opportunity to learn a diverse set of skills.

    I didn’t make it through. For some reason they let me graduate (well attend the grad party) even though I had not completed all the requirments. I was ill.

    I did not attend any of the free programs offered through the advertising program. I think some of my classmates may have but the ones I’m in touch with haven’t.

    I believe any time you put your mind to something you can succeed at it. This program was great for me save for having to use drugs to cope near the end. And that is no one elses fault save for my own. I was offered help… and actually in third term did finally get into see a councillor at langara but was just put on a waiting list and was never called back. I should have been asked to leave in third term to seek medical treatment but that didn’t happen either. My classmates and I braught many issues up with the director in third term… for me they were never resolved. I don’t plan to persue them. I may in the future attend some of the free classes. It would be nice not to have the pressure of too many classes. The course load combined with lack of guidance and inadequate student services was too much for me at the time. That was me though. I’m still in medical treatment now.

    I’m not sure who you are – whether you are just Lucy – a potential student looking for info or an actual EMD instructor hiding behind the name of Lucy (I know where the last comment cam from)- in any case it does not matter. I feel the way I do about what happened. I have a full years worth of emails and journals full of content as to what may have went wrong in third term.

    I can’t comment on what they are offering now simply because many of the instructors and the curriculum may have changed since I attended. Please don’t base your decision on my experience alone.

    While immersed in the EMD program the following instructors made an impact on my studies (using their first names only) Heidi, Don, James, Ivana, Mac, Denise and Haigue. Your encouragement and thoughtful comments/criticisms helped me grow into who I am today. I will remember you. Thank you. And thank you to my classmates who never gave up when faced with a lie.

    My Advice – go and ask if you can talk to students who are in the program right now. Talk to the existing instructors – bring up your concerns and question. Send them an email – I’m sure they would be happy to respond to your queries. That would be the best way to find out.

    Wish you all the best in your endevours!

  8. Hi,

    Thanks for the answers… I reposted my original Q just incase some of your classmates visited your site again and had any comments on my post… (logically I assumed they would stumble upon it easier in this section of your site)…

    No, just a student looking for info… I happen to be going to Langara as an Arts and Science transfer student though, which is why I used the comp there today to repost my post… didn’t realize one could trace the comp a blog post came from, or rather didn’t think of any potential consequences!

    Anyways, thanks again, the info you provided has been helpfull… to tell you the truth unless I could get Student Loan funding it would be nearly impossible for me to attend the program, so unless the program is fabuloso there may be too many hoops to jump through to get funding for it…

    But alas, I have not yet finalized my decision, not to worry I am talking to alot of people… I spoke to a current student already but she was hesitent to give me info , as I would be too if I were a current student… (though she said she was happy over all she didn’t seem too thrilled) lets face facts, very few people are willing to give you their honest opinions on things… I feel you have been frank but professional and that has been helpfull in my getting a clearer picture about what I’m going to do…

    Good luck with everything and thanks again!

  9. Is there something wrong with your comment section or is it my computer. I could not post comment where i wanted to. And, can you pull your sidebar up so that it appears at its place. Now I see it down, where the contents finish. Came to say this: nice blog.

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