Every few years we have students join our community from abroad. This year we are pleased to welcome two young men from China in our grade nine cohort. We recently interviewed them to find out more about their lives back home, their thoughts on Toronto, and their hopes for the future.
Ting and Tian have recently adopted Western names; Ting has chosen Constantine and Tian has chosen Oscar.
Abelard [A]: Tell us about your family – is it big? small? Do you have any siblings?
Oscar [O]: I have a small family – my mother, my father, and I.
Constantine [C]: My family is pretty big, but I don’t know most of them. I lived with my parents in a flat. I also have two cousins. Of all my family, I am closest with my parents and cousins.
[A]: What do you want to do when you finish high school?
[C]: Firstly, I’d like to go to U of T. Second, it’ll be great if I’m fatter than I am now! Last but not least, I want to be a reasonable person, to manage my life well, study harder, and to have the respect of others.
[O]: I want to be a scientist or a doctor.
[A]: How do you like to spend your spare time?
[O]: I like to listen to music and learn new English words. I also enjoy reading science books and Chinese books.
[C]: I like to do some sports and to exercise to keep fit. What’s more, I’d like to hang out with new friends; it would be interesting to go to the cinema or to a park to hang out. Furthermore, I sometimes listen to music, I like to eat some snacks, and to practice English. I also like to nap!
[A]: Do you have a favourite band? TV show? video game? movie? and why is it your favourite?
[C]: My favourite band is Maroon 5 – I think their songs are good! My favourite TV show is Green Arrow because it talks about friendship and I want to learn archery. I like the Marvel and DC movies as well as the Fast and Furious series; they are exciting, and they talk about friendship and family. They make me feel warm. I don’t play video games.
[O]: My favourite band is Maroon 5 because their music is powerful. My favourite TV show is the Voice of China; I like this show because it is a competition. My favourite video game is LoL because I can play it with my friends. My favourite movie is Fast and Furious – it has a lot of great drivers!
[A]:What do you miss about your home country?
[O]: I miss my parents, my friends, and my house.
[C]: I miss junk food the most! I know it’s just junk food, but it’s really delicious!
[A]: What do you like most about Toronto (so far)?
[C]: I like the people. They are enthusiastic and open-minded. They always say sorry to others, which is really polite. They smile to others which makes me feel warm.
[O]: I like the trees and mountains. I also like my teachers. I like to go walking because in China there is too much pollution and I can’t go outside.
[A]: What do you wish more people knew about your home?
[O]: My city, Harbin, is beautiful. We have a thousand-year long history.
[C]: I’m not very fond of my hometown, so I don’t want them to know anything!
[A]: If a genie granted you three wishes right now, what would you wish for?
[C]: I wish I could rule the world, that I could have a time machine, and that I could eat whatever I want!
[O]: I wish good health for my parents, I wish to have a science laboratory, and to be able to visit China to see my teachers for one day before coming back to Canada.
(Responses have been edited for length and clarity.)