As an alumna of Vanier, it is my pleasure to contribute to the final issue of the Insider this semester with my reflection on my last visits to my alma mater.
During this period of waiting for the arrival of a dear one to come to my side, I have been volunteering every morning at the West Montreal Rehabilitation Centre (WMRC) on the 1st floor in the A-Building. Old memories of Ashley and I come across my mind as I step into the workshop every morning, at 9 o’clock sharp, when all other current Vanier students are still either in deep sleep or attending their early lessons before 9 am.
Committing to non-paid work is not something that everyone would take into consideration. Given the fact that I grew up contributing to the community through doing such volunteer work, my family did not object when I told them that between March and May, this year, I shall be spending time as a volunteer at the CÉGEP where three of my siblings also attended. It gives me much satisfaction and pride when I learn to successfully feed a physically disabled person in a wheelchair and come to build a better relationship with another client who is intellectually challenged. I feel a sense of achievement when having been unemployed for over three months, I get something done and see myself contributing to the society. It also cheers me up to have a sense of duty outside the house, and that I am not home for most of the day.
So you see, being unemployed is not all that bad. You simply need to find something to do, to keep yourself busy and to refrain from thinking negatively about the fact of being unemployed. For example, there are household chores (whether you live in an apartment or a house) and there is volunteer work (like in my case). And if there are small children or if there is elderly at one’s home, it is never too late nor too early to look after them.
Perhaps it is my mission at this stage of my life, to have a break and reflect on what I want to do with the rest of my life, now as a mother of a five-month-old and wife of a European man. How do I envision my career path to be like? Where do I want to raise my child until she becomes an independent adult? Which is a good environment for my retirement?
Canadians, don’t think that because you are Canadian nationals that you shall receive excellent unemployment pension or retirement pension – in Canada, the pension you receive when you are out of a job or retired is per ratio to your contribution to the society. What I mean by this is that if you have never worked in Canada before, you shall receive not much from the government when you need financial support from them. In other words, the more you earn, the more funding you shall receive when you are not working.
You know what? My happy strolls around Vanier are vibrantly filled with the weekly Universal Break fun-filling events and sitting-ins at my past Science teacher’s lab lessons, which always brighten my Wednesday afternoons.
Once at Vanier, forever from Vanier!
Written By: Yvonne Y.F. Kelle