Share Your Story: My Journey to Canada

by Farhana Safa

Our Share Your Story Series highlights individual’s stories in the Redefining Traditional community – and aims to bring in different perspectives by student parents and supporters. If you have a story you would like to share you can submit your story here!: Share Your Story Submission Form

A storybook opened up with colours bursting out of it.

My journey in Canada began on 14th July, 2018, and since then it’s been a roller coaster experience for me. By roller coaster I mean it has been kind of frightening, challenging, and at the same time super exciting journey. I came here with my husband and with my 1.5 years old daughter, leaving my well-built career and loving parents back home in Bangladesh. I was not intended to leave my country anyway, however, my admission in the MScCH program in the prestigious DLSPH (The Dalla Lana School of Public Health) at the University of Toronto made me end up with the tough decision of settling in Canada. Moving to a new country with a toddler seemed to be extremely challenging, but I didn’t recognized the actual depth of this challenge until I arrived in Canada for the first time! 

Journey of an International Student (Part Two): “The Heart Is Not A Lonely Hunter”

by Shamim Ahmed 

In our ‘Journey of an International Student’ series, Shamim shares his experiences and journey as an international student parent at the University of Toronto. This thoughtful monthly series aims to highlight experiences of international student parents, find connections in our community, and uplift voices of others. If you have story or idea for our Redefining Traditional community, you can submit it here! 

This week’s snowfall* was quite unprecedented. I was not expecting a heavy snowfall on the first day of November; not at least from my experience of living in Toronto for the last four years. Snowfall was heaviest when I came to Toronto in 2016. I remember our most adventurous journey to this city was then to visit the Queen’s Park, a 10-minute walk from our home. The park was full of snow. When we entered the field, it felt like we were about to drown into a rough white sea! It is such a fond memory. However, I think, snowfall gradually decreased in the following years. Is climate change started impacting the urban cities too? Maybe. There is no chance that we ignore or deny the effects of climate change on our beloved habitat. It’s true and it’s happening.  

It Takes a Village

By Heather Watts

Heather standing in front of a colourful background wearing a teal long sleeve shirt, smiling to the camera.

Throughout my childhood, I lived in a number of different communities and homes. Burlington, Ottawa, and Cambridge, Massachusetts are just a few placed I have called ‘home’ over the years. Our moves across Turtle Island were a result of different career opportunities my father pursuing. I remember the networks of friends and family that supported me as a young child: Anna in Burlington, Tara in Ottawa, and Robin and Charmaine in Cambridge. I’m sure there are many others, but these are folks I have vivid memories of riding bicycles in the driveway, taking long walks down our residential street, and playing hours of Monopoly with (you know you’re making an investment of time when you sit down to play Monopoly!) To these people, I thank you. You weren’t merely babysitters, or but people who I looked up to, confided in, and leaned on during my younger years. 

Balancing Parenting and Working from Home by Fostering Self-Help Skills in Children

Authored by University of Guelph student Megan Coghill

Words making up a light bulb that include aspects of self-help, such as "balance", "care" "active" and more.

With many parents working or completing school from home due to Covid-19 it can be challenging to avoid distractions. Fostering self-help skills in your children is especially useful while trying to balance parenting and other commitments. Furthermore, increasing independence allows your children to feel an improved sense of autonomy.

Maintain Physical Distancing, But Enjoy A Healthy, Balanced Life

Written by Shamim Ahmed The last pandemic we faced took place almost a century ago. COVID-19, a deadly disease caused by coronavirus, has emerged as a catastrophe and completely shifted our world in every way possible. It has infected millions of people and…

My Son Will Know Multiple Stories

Written by Heather Watts

“The single story creates stereotypes…They make one story become the only story”.  When I heard these powerful words spoken by renowned author Chimamanda Adichie, it brought me back to a day in my twelfth grade Canadian Politics class. It seemed as if it was just another day. The same students. The same teacher. The same posters celebrating the “cultural mosaic” that is Canada lining the walls. But something would happen during these seventy-five minutes that would change the way I saw myself, forever.  

Heather's son smiling while holding a book, looking up at Heather. They are sitting on a set of stone steps and are both wearing graduation caps and gowns.
Heather and her son getting graduation photos taken (2019) in celebration of a Master of Education program and pre-school!