Day 259 - Kara (1st person I approached)
September 16, 2014 - Kara was sitting alone, having something to eat when I spotted her. I was just about to approach her when I saw Jazlynne from Day 86. We stopped to have a quick chat. I found out that she had broken her foot “chasing my dog through the house in the dark” and was just getting back to work after two months off. She seemed rather philosophical about it, telling me
“I didn’t even go to get it looked at until a day later. I was surprised I needed a cast!”
Kara readily agreed to chat with me, quickly moving her bag from a chair so that I could sit down.
“I was born in New Westminster,” she told me.
“At Royal Columbian Hospital, and we lived in Langley until I was five years old. Then we moved to Kelowna, where I grew up.” Kara has one younger sister.
“Yeah, I think like most sisters do, we fought as kids, but we’re close now,” she told me. “I was only five when we moved to Kelowna, but I remember later missing the connections I had with friends in Langley. That, and I remember thinking out house in Kelowna wasn’t as pretty as the one in Langley,” said Kara, with a smile.
“I always wanted to be one of the popular kids in school, but I wasn’t. I was fairly shy, and it wasn’t easy for me to let people in enough to get to know me. It’s just the way I was. I liked to read a lot. Fantasy books in particular, like the Harry Potter series. I also really enjoyed poetry,” she said.
“In Grade twelve I started to feel more comfortable and confident and found it easier to make friends. Part of was the ‘party-type’ environment that goes along with Grade twelve. I was a good kid and never got into trouble. But in Grade twelve I would go to bush parties and that made it easier to make friends,” said Kara. She told me a bush party is literally a party out in the bushes, with campfires and lots of youth. In Kelowna, one doesn't have to travel far to be in the mountainous bush area that surrounds the city.
Right after high-school, Kara went to university.
“I did two years at UBC (University of British Columbia) at the Okanagan campus, and then transferred to the Vancouver campus. I wanted to be a counsellor, so I did my undergrad in Psychology. The social psychology classes were some of my favourite,” she said.
“Then I realized that I would be better suited as a teacher, so after getting my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I took upper level English for a year.” Kara explained that as an equivalent to third and fourth year of an undergrad in English. She was bale to apply her psychology degree credits which allowed her to go into ‘upper level’ English. She then spent another year completing teacher training.
“I was in university for six years in total,” she said.
“In third year when I transferred down to the Vancouver campus, that was my first time away from home. It was liberating and I felt free. It was fun. I lived on campus and was responsible for myself, and cooking my own meals.” Kara lived in residence on campus for that year.
“Then my father got a job offer and my family moved to Vancouver,” Kara said. Her father is a school principal.
“I went to private schools for elementary and high school. My father was the principal of my high school. I don’t know that he was any tougher on us. He definitely didn’t want to be the principal with the ‘bad children’ in school. My sister and I were both well-behaved.” Kara’s father had been the principal of the high-school in Kelowna for seventeen years before moving to Vancouver. We talked about the experience of attending private schools throughout her education.
“They were Catholic schools, and whir their were some kids that came from wealthy families, there were also kids who were subsidized my the church. It wasn’t an elitist, rich-kids-only environment. My parents went to the school I went to, so they were older buildings and some of my classes had thirty-five students. I don’t think it was all that different, really,” she said. I asked Kara if she is religious.
“Yes, I am. Going to a Catholic school definitely helped form part of that. I spent time in my teens looking deeper into what that meant to me, and asking questions about the way things are in the world. I do have my faith, yes.”
After six hers in university, Kara is now a certified teacher.
“There’s not really a lot of jobs out there these days. So I widened my job search and just started with a private school as a Special Education Assistant. I work in the classroom with the teacher and my four is to support the children with learning and physical disabilities. There’s also a young fir that is blind and I work with her as well. The teacher does all of the report cards and oversee’s the class, and I’m there as support. I’m excited to have this opportunity,” she says. Kara’s mother is and Education Assistant in the public school system. When I tell Kara that she should and must be very proud of herself, she smiles and tells me,
“That’s what my mother says as well. I am proud of myself, yes.” #notastranger