And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
I moved to Toronto in August 2010. As I started my new life in Toronto I did not know a single person. I was not prepared for the high rental prices of Toronto and, after being priced out of rental housing close to the University, I finally ended up renting almost an hour away by bus and subway from the university. During the first year, I spent a lot of time traveling as well as studying and found that my greatest challenge concerned my housing environment rather than academics. The problem was that I had neighbors (a couple) in my apartment that liked to turn loud the movie/music and fight and drink until the early morning. I called the building security guard/manager and reported them 3 or 4 times per week. Eventually, they became tired of me and said that I had to report it to the police by myself. I lived in the building until my contract of one year was up.
In my second year, I lived in a five-story building of a Jewish owner. This time, I had issues that arose regarding both loud music and loud children as well as the dirty state of the building. I was once again seen as a troublemaker because I complained so much. This time I reached the unbearable point one day when I discovered a dead mouse on the bathroom floor that had seemed to come from a small hole in my closet. Again, as soon as my one-year contract ended I left the apartment.
I then decided I needed a new approach to housing. My solution was to seek a rental room in a house. I lived with a Chinese couple about two years and after that they wanted to sell the house. So quickly, I found another new place. Now I continue to rent a small room in a house of another Chinese couple.
The years quickly passed and are now almost a blur. I met many good people who I learned with and from. I studied hard and was completely satisfied with every single grade I received except for one where the professor made it very clear that failure to support her views on a particular social topic in the class discussion would be penalized. It was the one class where I felt dissatisfied with my grade.
Otherwise, I had some very good professors. I hesitate to mention specific professors because I fear I might leave out other good ones. However, there was one professor that I do have to mention. He had received an early Confucian oriented education that was probably much like mine and he had later somehow ended up teaching at the university. The reason I have to mention him is that he is living proof that you do not have to be a native English speaker and a cultural native to be an effective teacher of learners who are. The Chinese Confucian educational model has a term for those who have traveled far along the Dao, the way of the Heavens. The term used for such a person/teacher is “junzi”. This particular teacher made me proud to be Confucian Chinese in the background. His superior knowledge, his ethical treatment of learners, and his kind caring attitude toward learning and learners gave clear evidence of his progress along the Dao and of his status as junzi.
At present, I have finished my work at the university this year and have received the degree toward which my effort for so long has been aimed. However, it was with deepest thanks and appreciation to all my dear OISE professors, friends, colleagues and OISE staff that I ended my journey in Toronto. I understood that without their spiritual support, suggestions, encouragement and their help, I would not have finished.
My next step is following God’s instruction where He wants me to serve Him.