I took on a second research internship this fall, in an organometallic chemistry lab. Whenever I was not in classes I was in the lab, working alongside graduate students and learning principles I would not have seen in the course of an undergraduate degree otherwise. Even though I am still at the beginning of my studies, I enjoy being involved in the forefront of a field of study, and I appreciate the exposure to the different approaches to research.
Throughout my program, I’ve tried to keep a healthy balance in my life between becoming involved in different activities, in order to develop new abilities and meet new people, and continuing with the same engagements I began in previous semesters. The purpose of this is to concentrate on long-term objectives and experience deeper personal growth. For this reason, this year I decided to remain in the residence project for young Catholic men in a church rectory near the university campus, and I became the head of the project. There was an entirely new group, and since I was the only one remaining from the inaugural year, I took the occasion to pass on the wisdom we gained from our experience in community living from the first year. As a group, we went on trips outside the city, including to the Charlevoix region and the Île-aux-coudres, a picturesque island in the St. Lawrence River. These escapades were an occasion for me to explore the Québec countryside and experience the welcome and warmth of its inhabitants.
As with the past semesters, I continued my visits to a long-term care facility. I have developed a very close friendship with one the residents. I am still playing violin with the symphony orchestra of the city of Lévis as well.
Following the end of my internship last summer, I returned home to the Peace River region of northern British Columbia to visit my parents for a few days, before the beginning of the school year. For the seventh year in a row, I ran a mountain half-marathon, and achieved my best result so far. I reflected on how it was strange that I trained for such a remote race through forests and along windy ridges by running up and down the cobblestone streets and along the fortifications of Québec. Later, I went backpacking in the northern Rocky Mountains with my father (see photo). This has become a father-son tradition whenever I return home and every year proves to be an opportunity to reconnect with the landscape which shaped my identity.
Even though every time I return home, I feel less and less connected with my town and the people with whom I grew up, I find that it is important, since I now live so far away, to be reminded ever so often of where I come from.