[thoughts from last night]
An opportunity came up tonight to attend the New Pioneer Awards. This event is hosted by "Skills For Change", an organization that offers programs to new immigrants to integrate into the Canadian workforce. The event recognizes immigrants or refugees who have made successfully overcome the many barriers faced by them. There were six awards in various categories: Graduate of Skills for Change, Youth, Entrepreneurship, Science & Technology, Social Services, and Art. Each award winner was remarkable, most notably the winner of the Youth award; at the young age of 19, after being in Canada for only four years, she not only became fluent in English from scratch, but has accumulated a huge number of accomplishments, including many initiatives to better communities of Toronto. Just like any other eligible candidate for Medical school, I suppose!
The night was inspirational and reminded me of what it meant to pursue excellence... not that I have lost that goal completely [and I shudder at the possibility of losing that drive for excellence, which carried me for so many years], but upon honest reflection, I have in many ways gone the corporate way, if you will -- just aiming to meet deadlines as they come due. Hopefully, this is merely a rut in which I am not being challenged to the most of my capacity at work [and concluding that I am not really an auditor -- whether this is a fair assessment, I don't know], which will hopefully end soon as I transition out of a senior role, coupled with the meaningless of studying towards designations that I don't really care for.. (yes, yes, I know...)
I thank God for this reminder; the night was truly inspirational. It was also nice to have the opportunity to chat with a senior manager in the professional practice group, a group that I have considered pursuing as to future options and what I'd like to do.
On a less serious note, the dinner was held at the Westin Harbor -- the meal was the same as the CA ball. I have to find out the price for hosting a table, to see whether it would surpass the $125 x 10 price tag of the CA ball! Not that the food was *good*, at any rate.
Like many business functions, (including CA convocation, haha) media personalities are brought in to emcee the night. tonight we had Merella Fernandez, one of the anchors for CityPulse. I couldn't stop laughing every time she went up because she has *such* a journalist and TV voice. I do wonder whether journalism students have to practise a distinctive character of speech; I guess I'll have to find mine in preparation for my emcee stint -- in Chinese nonetheless, haha.
The night also showcased the many services that Skills for Change provides for new immigrants to Canada. Actually, the night was very much "rah rah Canada!" "Canada is the best place to live on earth!" I realize that I cynically smirked multiple times at such exclamations. I guess it's just cheesy to say those things, although I do love this country, and it is refreshing to know that there are many good people out there who are putting much back into the community. Also, it's nice to know that Canada has given these people those opportunities in the first place, although not without much, much hard work. I do wonder how I got onto the diversity committee at work; my experience and background is 100% Canadian. Compared to many, I've had everything so easy.
Finally, the last award winner of the night was Chan Hon Goh, a principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada, and the first Chinese to hold that position in the history of the troupe. Unbeknowst of this award at the time, I had the opportunity to see her perform Desir and Madama Butterfly at the Hummingbird two weeks ago and see her in her forte. It was a nice closing of the night, as she gently and soothingly gave for thanks and inspirations, in a tone expected of any ballerina. She held the audience in her gentle voice; everyone was in a dreamlike state listening to her, (certainly contrary to the teachings of most speech courses.) [That is, until Merella officially closed off the night.] Now if I only had a more feminine voice... haha.
Anyway, I guess I haven't been touched by much in the past while... it is a blessing to encounter and be reminded of humanity once in a while.
Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.