Essay Contest Winner in the Rane Love, Innovation Category, 2018-2019
Rane Love is one of those rare students who melds creativity with the ability to read deeply and draw meaning from literature, including from some of her favourites: Michael Newton’s Destiny of Souls, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, and Richard Wagamese’s Embers. While studying English at VIU last spring, she seized on an opportunity to expand her knowledge of Canadian literature:
I was interested in publications within the last 5 years, and Paul Watkin’s course considered authors from a diversity of backgrounds: Indigenous, Japanese-Canadian, African-Canadian, and Trinidadian-Canadian. The LGBTQ community and other minority groups in Canada were also discussed, and the many books we read brought to the fore systemic issues that run parallel through them.
In response to the ideas in ENGL 220, Rane created a mixed media work compelling enough to garner an innovation award from the English department.
Given the many different cultures and texts that we studied, I began brainstorming how I would bring these topics together to capture the many cultural faces of Canada and touch on both the light and dark aspects of our society. The mixed media work Mosaic Myth tells us we are a multicultural nation, yet we struggle to reconcile this ideal with the damages caused throughout the years. I wanted to focus on the texts we read and to pull out the many struggles the characters endured as well as their hopeful moments.
Rane speaks eloquently and insightfully about why English courses have been integral to her education: “I feel it is important for students to learn how to understand texts, form their own conclusions, and be able to articulate their thoughts and feelings clearly and confidently.” Even more impressive, however, is the way she overcame significant challenges to her education. Leaving an unhealthy family environment at fourteen and working to support herself left little time for studies. But later, with only a grade 8 education, she sailed through her university entry exam and is now a third-year student and well on her way to a B.Ed. and a minor in Indigenous Studies. Need any more inspiration? Here is her advice to current and future VIU students:
Be kind to yourself. Remember to put your whole heart into everything you do, that is always something to be proud of—no matter what the outcome. Enjoy your time in the classroom and listen as if you will never hear those words again; it is a privilege denied to so many. When you feel stressed, take a few moments to breathe deeply and re-centre yourself—this too shall pass. Gratitude is the best attitude and remember that you hold the key to your future.