Jinyoung CHOI: My memories in Canada

I have lived in Vancouver, Canada for three years in elementary school (grade 5 to 7). My whole family, including my father, mother, older sister, and younger brother, all went, after a decision made by my father. He wanted to let my sister, brother and I learn English in a natural environment. The memories of my life in Canada are blurry, yet I still remember them to be so happy, although I know that there must have been some bad ones.

We first lived in a nice house with a garden, garage, and friendly neighbors. I remember playing around in the garden, eating delicious food that my mom made, and most importantly, learning English from my neighbor, whose name I still remember. She read my free writing and my sister’s essays, and corrected them. I also remember that a park with a tennis court was close by, so I could play tennis with my father.

During those first years, I do not remember much about elementary school. I know that I had been put in ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, since I could speak good English. But I could adapt well, and I even took some grade 7 classes for subjects such as math and science. Two things that stand out from the small memories that I have from that time are: Halloween trick-or-treating, and the astronomy classes where I learned many constellations. I can still identify a lot of the constellations, thanks to those grade 7 classes that I had when I was grade 6.

Then I moved to a Christian school for my 7th grade. I just remember that the kids in the new school were much nicer. It was there that I learned a lot of extracurricular activities, such as playing the guitar, singing in a choir, hip-hop dancing, and so on. I remember it to be a fun time. It was also when we moved out of the house and into an apartment, which was cheaper. One (unfortunate) memory, which is almost a trauma to me now, is the time I got trapped in the elevator of the apartment one day. It is an experience that is too scary to forget.

So even if I reflect on all the bad memories that I had, it does not make my time in Canada any worse, because I also remember the greatest moments that I had. One of the greatest moments, even until now, was the time when my family went on a trip to the U.S. We stopped for about 5 or 10 minutes one night in a dark highway, and I leaned back on the car to see millions of stars in the sky. I remember feeling small but infinite, overwhelmed, and so happy. All these little and big memories make up my great time in Canada.