I am a person with strong ideas, interests, and passions. In 2009, when I graduated from Michael A. Riffle High School, I won the Quest for Excellence Award. I am a Student Researcher at the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Center, and a member of the Astonished! Leadership Team. I live and breathe Astonished!
My friends tell me they love having me as a friend. If you and I were in a crowded room and you said something funny or did something outrageous, I would be the first to notice. I would respond to you with my spontaneous laughter. It’s like a big round of applause’s. My friends like that about me. I like to be in the midst of fun and humor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always light spirited, I love what I love, and if I don’t love something I’ll let you know that too.
One of my loves is skeet shooting. I bet no one would’ve guessed this would be the outcome of a trip I took, with my mom and her partner Brad, to Brad’s farm. I learned about skeet shooting from Brad’s next-door neighbour Marty Scheller. I also became friends with Marty’s daughter Bailey. I consider Bailey to be my craziest friend and what would life be without crazy friends?
There are a number of Bailey’s in my life; Bailey Scheller, and Courtney Bailey (plus all her Bailey family). Courtney and I became friends when we were at Riffle High School. We have a lot of great things in common; we also have one big grief. Six years ago our good friend Spencer Borlaise died in a vehicle accident. It means so much to me that Spencer took the time to get on my school bus to say goodbye to me before he went off on his trip to Saskatoon, the trip from which he never came home.
I am a loyal friend and really enjoy being with people, but not with everyone. I think I could get a job as a “bullshit detector”. I seem to have a sense of who is real and who is just messing with me. I don’t give “the messers” the time of day.
I like to surprise people. If you checked out my current favorite TV shows [Chicago Fire and Chicago PD] you might think I was in it for the hunks in uniforms. But my other favorite TV show is Teen Mom. Teen Mom is more drama and scandalous rumors and less about uniforms or hunks.
If I have to choose between TV and live theater it’s live theater every time. I particularly like live theater at the University Theater in the Riddell Center at the University of Regina because that theater is so accessible. If I can’t get in the room it doesn’t matter how great a show is. When I was a mentor in the Issues in DisAbility Studies class at the University of Regina I took my team of social work students to a dinner theater in Regina. I was mentoring them on issues of accessibility. They were horrified at the 45° angle makeshift ramp I had to use to get into the theater space. It was a lesson they won’t soon forget. My dream is to one day see CATS in New York City.
Quirky humour and fun runs through both sides of my big international family. My dad loved to tease me and my friends. I miss him. This year for Christmas, my maternal grandma, Elaine Eyndhoven is having a Ukrainian cook-off at my house. Grandma and her two sisters (one is 96) are in the competition. The prize is a weekend at the Sask Hotel.
Perhaps the winner would like to take me with her because I am a natural at event planning. I think about who I want in the room and I go from there. I’m recently organized a baby shower/sprinkle for Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous and her baby Anna (Bonnie is the Executive Director of Astonished!). I think about the details, come up with activities, and enjoy the party. Fortunately my mom, Wendy, and my sister, Kyla, are good at food, as I sometimes forget that in my planning.
My big excitement these days is having a companion who will be my driver, come to the A!TLC, and do other things with me. After much negotiation I finally have an Individualized Funding agreement. I am thrilled at this new opportunity in my life.
Photo: Ella McIntyre & Kaitlyn Hoar