November 13 – merci, merci beaucoup

112/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. In my first year at UBC, I was required to take a public speaking course. The members in each class consisted of students from various disciplines (myself being from Commerce) allowing for each of us to learn things outside of our subject areas.   For most of the non-credit required course, I would be focused on what I had to do and, I sheepishly admit, not pay attention to what the others were talking about.   However, the one day that I was paying attention, a girl in the class was tasked with her two-minute impromptu speech. She started to talk about and describe her French language experience and the 6 week government sponsored bursary program that she attended in Quebec that not only allowed her a first year French language credit but also the cultural experience. That was it – I was hooked! I wanted to do attend that summer and after class, I immediately went to the French department and got my application together. As luck would have it, I was selected and ended up in Ste Foy at the Universite Laval. This was the first time away for me and yes, I was scared and homesick but I stuck with it and I had an absolutely amazing experience: I learned French. I learned how to be confident. I learned how to step out of my comfort zone. I learned to connect with new people. I learned to make decisions for myself. Yes, it was only six weeks but it is a highlight of my early adult years and I have that one girl in my public speaking class to thank. I have no clue who you are – as has happened with a lot of people who have affected me – but those two minutes made such a difference for me that I will forever be grateful. Thank you so much for sharing your experience which created mine. In your honour, j’ecrise une autre phrase pour vous!

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