I’m a university student, a Torontonian, a person with Aspergers Syndrome and an advocate for social justice. I welcome you to Arriving at. Awetsome.

The phrase Arriving at. Awetsome. was inspired by a former Grade 11 Science teacher and (Would you believe it?) the automated voice on the Yonge-University-Spadina line train on the Toronto public subway.

Only a few months ago did the teacher suggest a misspelling of the word Autism, Awetsome. I liked the word. It represented me as a person who had the talent of Autism: the music sensitivity which yielded a love of music itself, the curiosity which rendered me one of my high school’s brightest Science students (and now an Engineering student) and my passion of writing. (Yes, I like studying both paragraphs and phosphate groups and paragraphs about phosphate groups.)

Yet it was more than that. I remembered my sixth grade French teacher once telling me that her daughter saw a news article stating that those with Autism have more empathy than the average person. “They used to think that they had less empathy than normal,” my teacher told me. In the twelfth grade I led my Equity Club. I was one of the school’s most passionate student proponents for social justice. I received a scholarship for my work. I would say that social justice is my Awetsome . . .

Therefore Arriving at. Awetsome. is all about social justice. Anti-homophobia. Gender rights. Aboriginal respect. Smashing stereotypes to shreds. Comment. Tweet @FAAwetsome. Share. Subscribe. Gain some thought. Gain some knowledge.

Yet what does the name have to do with the Yonge-University-Spadina Subway’s trains? An automated voice announces the train’s arrival at stations. Approacing each stop it declares Arriving at, pauses, then mentions the station name before repeating this name. Arriving at. St. Clair. St. Clair Station. Then Arriving at. Summerhill. Summerhill Station. Then Arriving at. Rosedale. Rosedale Station. This phrase played on weekly volunteer trips across the city as a high school student and currently on the commute to get to my university. This phrase co-inspired the title.

So put that book in your bag, pocket your cellphone and get up. (Or release your grip on that red bar or grey handle.) You have just arrived at Awetsome.

No comments:

Post a Comment