The Dryden Observer

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Editorial: Office in the Park

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

A note of farewell to columnist Martin Wightman — a curious young man whose wry column concerning life’s little foibles hints at a fierce underlying intellect.

Martin is the best type of columnist — a guy who feels compelled to write something that he thinks might connect with the shared human experience. Most of the time he does it without pursuing an agenda or a persuasive mandate (aside for perhaps bicycles, or crunchy frozen puddle ice). In many ways, Martin’s efforts to find transcendence in the banal and familiar takes more risks than the more common pedantic approach.

Martin’s taken a job in his field of study — one he’s never disclosed (taxidermy I’m guessing) — that will take him to Southern Ontario, then Alberta, then back to the East Coast to be with his sweetheart. We wish him the best and thank him for his great contribution to the Dryden Observer.

One beautiful afternoon last week, I carted my laptop, cellphone and folding chair to Cooper Park for a little experiment I like to call ‘Office In The Park’.

Certainly I got a few funny looks from dog-walkers and mid-day joggers, but in hindsight I believe it may have been more due to the lobster sunburn that was overtaking my bald head.

There is much evidence to support the stress-relieving powers of outdoor settings. Studies show that outdoor scenes, even ones shown on a TV screen can reduce heart rates. Surgical patients with a window view of trees require less painkillers than those looking at a brick wall.

There is also much to be said for cutting one’s tether to the World Wide Web for a spell.

With no Internet to aid proscrastinatory e-mail and Facebook impulses, I got more work done in two hours than I did all week.

I think ‘Office in the Park’ might catch on.

 

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