On one Sunday morning in early May, I woke up to the little concert organized by the birds in the big tree in my neighbour’s backyard. The winter of 2013 was long and harsh. When I passed by the trees on the side of the streets in late April, nothing seemed alive—there were no green buds at all. I started to wonder whether spring would come at all. However, spring did come, and each year it returns and brings people hope and prosperity.
Sitting by my bedroom window, I took a deep breath and let the fresh smell of spring and the sound of the birds take me back in time. Every sunny day like this would remind me of my first summer in Canada. The fresh air and beautiful sky is what pulled our family to Canada. That’s also when my battles with English started.
I was 14 years old. I was shy, sensitive and scared of every new event in my life. Our family decided to land in Canada in summer, so I could have some time to adjust to the new environment before the school started in September. As September came, I entered the school as a high school student. I remember that one of my teachers got very upset with me because I could not pronounce her last name. I remember that my Grade 11 English teacher told me that there was no way I could pass her English class because of my poor grammar and sentence construction. I also remember that my professor in University told me that I would never land a job in any professional arts organization because of my English level. And even just recently, I have people telling me that I am not qualified to work in journalism and broadcasting because of my accent. Yet, here I am, embracing my passion and using my experiences to usher in the next generation of journalists.
I call these events in my life “my war with English,” because I know that the road to victory is tough and that there are many small battles to fight. One thing I’ve learned from spring is that life is both fragile and strong— people have the capacity to reconstruct and recover. After each battle I was shaken and broken, yet I became stronger. I chose to be a writer because of my deep love for literature. I chose to commit to Voice K because I believe the best form of education is for kids to explore, feel, ask great questions, and write.
Each spring, I look back at my life and think about how I can make the world a better place. Spring is a season for change. We talk a lot about environmental issues and protecting animals from cruelty in this issue of Voice K. As journalists, we visit, we listen and we write to inspire change. Each article in this issue is upbeat and brings the feeling of spring. I hope you enjoy this issue.
“Rise and rise again until lambs become lions”
― Robin Hood