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Louanne Mae Aspillaga
Difference in School and Speaking Too Properly

Time 0:01:19


..the school system was different, um, like I said, I struggled in math and science because I felt like I didn’t know what they were talking about. But I was really far ahead in terms of English and history. And I guess that’s why I went that route in my own studies. So they would be learning, uh, you know, grammar lessons that I knew in grade one, or history lessons that I learned in grade one and they’re now learning in grade six—so that kind of stuff. Oh, I do remember they thought it was kind of strange of the way that I talked. Because being in a convent school and being taught, um, you know, very proper English, I would say, “Shall I turn off the lights?” or, “May I borrow your pencil?” And they were like, May I? Shall I? This girl speaks really weird. Um, and then when it was like, Let’s play a game, and they’d have their own games that, you know, Canadian kids play. I said, “Can we play this game called ‘Mother May I?’” And they were like, What game is that? And I’d explain it to them, and they were like, Oh, that sounds very boring. (laughs) Um, so, yeah, definitely there were some different things, both, like in the curriculum and just being part of, you know, the crowd, I guess—different things. But I never felt out-casted.

Louanne Mae Aspillaga was born in Manila, Philippines in 1981. When Louanne was a child, she lived in Manila with extended family members while her parents worked and lived in Cyprus because her father had a job as a musician on a Mediterranean cruise line. In 1986, Louanne and her siblings joined their parents in Cyprus and settled in the city of Limassol. Louanne started kindergarten at a Montessori school in Cyprus and later went to St. Mary’s Catholic school where she attended classes in English.

Her family decided to immigrate to Canada when Louanne was in grade 6. In 1993, they moved to Scarborough, Ontario where her grandfather was living. Louanne earned a bachelor’s degree in history and art history from the University of Toronto and also studied museum management. At the time of the interview, Louanne was living in Ajax, Ontario and had recently finished graduate studies in art history.

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