14 March 2011

News and Inspiration

We have been doing the happy dance at our house all week-end and I thought I would share our good news...

On Friday, my husband received a package in the mail and inside was a letter that began with...

You know a letter beginning with these words is always a good thing...(except for the time my granny received a letter from publisher's clearing house that began with these words and told her she was a winner of a million dollars; then she didn't go anywhere for a year because she was afraid she would miss them when they brought the cheque...but that's another story!)

ANYWAY...our letter did bring good news!

And so it looks like in August we will all be headed to the beautiful city of Vancouver for a few years...another adventure awaits. I am so happy to know where I will be for the next few years...and I am so proud of my amazing hubby and all the hard work he has done to get us there. Now the list making and planning begins!

PART TWO: My Inspiration

For those of you who are interested I thought I would share (with my hubby's permission of course) his story and why he inspires me everyday...it is long, so if you were only interested in my news...have a happy Monday! If you want to know what inspires me...read on:

When my husband was finishing up 7th grade he and his parents were invited to a meeting with the principal of the high school he would be attending. While there, he was informed that he would not be able to attend regular high school classes because his teachers felt that he would not be capable of completing the courses...he wasn't smart enough. He was encouraged to think about getting a trade as he would never be able to be a professional and he would never be accepted to any University. He and his parents trusted that the schools knew best and wouldn't put him in this class unless it was really necessary. They assumed that the school had his best interest in mind.

My husband didn't learn like other kids. He was very hands on and a visual learner. He didn't fit in to the way the curriculum was presented. He needed to be taken out. This decision, of course affected every aspect of his high school experience and his self esteem.

As I have mentioned previously, I met my husband in high school but didn't become friends with him until a few years after we graduated. I was new to the high school in 10th grade. I was (I admit) a little snobby and let's just say that if the school had the caste system of India...the students in the special ed. class were the untouchables. I did not choose to speak to my future hubby and he being on the bottom rung of high school society did not have enough courage to speak to me. But our story is another post.

After high school my husband did just as he was advised. He got a trade. He became a painter. At first he worked with his dad and then after we were married he started his own company. The work was not satisfying. He was bored. For fun he would draw houseplans. We would imagine different places we could live and he would draw a new "dream" plan every week. He had wanted to be an architect since his early teens but because of his lack of academic schooling and his belief that he was not capable of going to university he shelved that dream...sort of. I watched him as  he would sit at his drafting table in every spare moment drawing  plans. He had new ideas almost every day. He was amazing. He would be inspired by so many different things and he would have to draw them. In the fourteen years we have been married he has drawn out literally thousands of new plans. During our leanest years when we had no money for entertainment, I would give him a list of requirements trying to make it very difficult and he would draw up a house plan that included everything I listed. No matter how hard I made the assignment it never took him more than an hour. He is so creative and talented. I knew he could do it but it took a long time for him to believe it himself.

We tried a few times to send him back to school but things never really worked out until we turned thirty. We knew that if he didn't go to architecture school now that he would never go. We had two small chilren, we were getting older.
We finally decided to just go for it; try our best; pray for help and do it.

My hubby applied to the local college to the fine arts department. He was accepted as a mature student. He started school and the first year was very challenging. I was pregnant with our third child. We lost our only income and had to rely on student loans. My hubby had never written an essay in his life. He ended the year with straight A's and he made the Dean's list.

During his second year the small school was purchased as a second campus to the University of British Columbia. All students already in a program were automatically accepted into UBC and could continue with their program. We kept going forward. He received bursaries, grants and scholarships. He graduated with a BFA at the top of his class. Three students from his graduating class were chosen to apply to the Bank of Montreal first Art competition. They chose the top BFA graduate from all schools in each province. My hubby won for British Columbia.

He thought of applying to architecture schools. He started applications. He did not feel confident. He applied to one graduate school to complete his MFA. Most MFA programs only accept a few students. He chose what he thought was the best school in the country just to see if he could get in. They took nine students. He was one of them. We moved to Nova Scotia where after much hardship and dedication he recieved his MFA. Each year I have watched him as his confidence has grown.

After he graduated he decided to apply for a couple of University teaching positions instead of applying to architecture schools. He felt that maybe that would be better. We would not have to worry about money anymore if he got a job, we could finally settle somewhere. He didn't get hired. We talked about architecture school again. I think he was afraid to apply and be rejected. It would be final. He would never be an architect.

We moved back to  BC to take a year off to contemplate what we would do. He wavered back and forth between applying and not applying to architecture school. A few weeks before the final deadline for applications for 2011, he decided to just do it. He picked the one school he really wanted to go to and applied. They had over 350 applicants and they would accept 65. My hubby was nervous.

I felt confident that he had the talent to get in. I know that he will be an amazing architect. We prayed. We hoped. We talked a little of what we would do if he didn't get in. He did. I have never seen him so happy. I mean, of course he was happy when we got married and when the kids were born. But, this is different. I have never witnessed anything like it. He hasn't really changed much outwardly, although I can see it in his face. I can hear it in his voice as he repeats (often) "I can't believe that I got into architecture school". He chose the one school he really wanted, he sent them his resume, his portfolio, his transcripts and his references. He was chosen...no waitlist...first choice. His dream that he thought would NEVER be fulfilled is happening. He will be 38 years old when he starts school in August. He has waited for more than twenty years for this day. I really believe that this is what he was meant to do.

I am SO proud and inspired....

He shows me that if you want something bad enough you can do it...no matter how big your obstacles are. It may take time and a lot of hard work but it can be done.

He shows me that if we follow our passion success will come.

We all have potential to be great.

No one should ever be overlooked or told that they "can't" do something.

What have you always wanted?

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Alister! And Joanna...I'm inspired by the faith you shown in your man. You're a great couple.