Assignment 2:3 Read at least 3 students blog short stories about ‘home’ and make a list of the common shared assumptions, values and stories that you find. Post this list on your blog.
Reading my classmates’ stories about home was a very enjoyable experience. We are such a diverse group, with a lot of great stories to tell. Each story was uniquely different from the next in the way the story was told, or in what the story was actually telling. I noticed that despite differences in where we grew up, our family structures, or our traditions and values, there are some commonalities that were shared among quite a few of us. Here’s the list of my discoveries of what our common shared assumptions, values and stories are about “home”.
1. Home is not always a place, but it can be a specific person or a few people.
The word home generally has positive connotations because it is associated with what makes us feel safe, and gives us a sense of belonging. However even before reading my classmates’ stories I knew that home isn’t always a safe place where we can grow and thrive. This prompted me to think that home doesn’t always necessarily have to be a place, sometimes its people who give us this sense of comfort, safety, and belonging that we expect home to give. Heather’s story about how she finds a home through her close relationship with her brother was very touching. Her perspective on feeling alienated in the land that she lives on, and how its a person she connects a sense of home to is something that I noticed among a few other blogs as a similarity. Like Christy, who says that home is where “my parents, husband, and plush toys are”. Home is not always land, or a house, or a specific place, but its a person, or a family.
2. On the flip side, sometimes home is a certain place!
Danica’s story about her home in Prince Rupert, and Deepak’s story of his home in New Westminster really made me think that home can be associated with a city, or a house, or a familiar park in the neighborhood. Reading both stories I noticed that the sense of home as a place was also linked to other things like childhood memories and spending time with family.
3. Language has an impact on how we feel at home in a place.
This connection was one that I made between my own experiences and Claudia’s story about how language and labels were tied up in her sense of belonging in Canada. Spending my childhood in Quebec and then moving to British Columbia at the age of 11, I can relate to the struggle of living as an “anglophone” in Quebec, and then experiencing some alienation as being an “Easterner” in Western Canada. When I lived in Quebec, my French was not great, as I explained in my previous post, and that deeply affected my sense of belonging, and not feeling like Quebec was my home. Language barriers can be a scary thing that make us feel vulnerable and like we don’t belong. I think its awesome that Claudia has been working with immigrants for the past 18 years as an ESL teacher to help people feel like they can find a home in Canada.