Hello, or, as all good stories begin, Once upon a time:
This is the story of a girl, who we’ll refer to in the first person, both in the nominative and accusative cases, as it is me who is the subject of this tale.
I, a home-grown, small-town, and other such Little House on the Prairie-esque adjectives, am leaving my beloved East Coast province of Newfoundland and Labrador for the Western glory that is British Columbia. That’s right – I’m traversing over 7000km, the entire expanse of the massive Canadian countryside, to begin my Masters of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia.
Although it may seem that I am undertaking this journey from St. John’s, the most eastern Canadian city, to Vancouver, the (almost) most western city in Canada, to get as far away from home as possible, ‘tis not the case. UBC offers a Masters of Arts in Children’s Literature, under the School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies. This program is relatively new and is not offered anywhere else in Canada. Similar programs are offered in the United States, but unfortunately I am not Bill Gates and thusly cannot afford American tuition. So off to BC I go!
I visited Vancouver for the first time this past June, as a graduation gift from Moms and Pops (thanks, guys!). The city was simultaneously exactly what I pictured and nothing like I expected.
For those who’ve never been, and to reiterate for those who have: Vancouver is beautiful. It’s more than the foliage and the well-manicured lawns, interesting architecture, and copious man-made waterfalls that fit seamlessly into the metropolitan landscape; it’s the overwhelming juxtaposition between mountains and ocean. The majesty of one doesn’t overpower the other, and looking out over the pacific to see the white peaks of the Rockies makes you feel incredibly fortunate to behold such a view. I had a friend once tell me that when she saw the natural beauty of BC she couldn’t help but believe in God, and I now understand exactly what she means. If William Wordsworth had lived in BC, he would’ve never sold out as the poet laureate.
In addition to being a delicious treat for the eyes (I've been recited the statistic that Vancouver has the most beautiful men in Canada), the people of Vancouver are unbearably friendly. Not once while my sister and I were there were we spoken to curtly by employees of the service industry. Waitresses and waiters were polite and personable, and not once did a bus driver mind stopping needlessly to direct us to the correct route. The food was good, there are bookstores on every corner, and you’re never more than a block from a Starbucks. What more does a girl need in life?
So I’m off to the GVR on September 1st. I have an apartment on campus with other three other graduate girls, who I’ve yet to meet. My dad is coming up with me to help me getting settled in, mostly by lifting heavy things and using power tools. Orientation is September 7th, and I start school the next day. Thrills all ‘round!
I intend to use this blog to update about the goings-on of my life in Vancouver. I’ll probably use it to procrastinate schoolwork, offer musings of enlightenment, update about my travels, and alternate between rantings and ravings about my life on the west coast. I’ll probably mention my on-going plots to meet celebrities, delicious food I've tried, good books I'm reading, and some cute boys, too.
See you in September,
Jill E. (my not-so-creative psudeonym)