Quynh Huong Maryann Phan

Quynh Huong Maryann Phan2017-04-14T19:44:59-07:00

CAREER GOALS:  Pharmacist
EDUCATION PLANS:  University of the Fraser Valley/UBC
STUDENT PROFILE:  “A” Honours Student.  CSS Library Volunteer.  Community Volunteer.  Chilliwack Middle School Tutor.


The first time I received a library card and took out my first book was the beginning of a life-long friendship.  Hours upon hours you could find me spending at the library, perusing the shelves for my next adventure.  Our friendship deepens with every reverent turn of the page, with every passing moment learning and experiencing events long past or too extraordinary for the confines of reality.

Enchanting me to devour every word until the last page has turned.  The first time I bought a book was aking to falling in love.  Head over heels.  Enraptured, I fell deeper and deeper for my beloved books, literature, and the never-ending stories that filled the shelves of every passing library or bookstore.  Lines after lines of black inky words filled the bounded parchment, and never did I tired of them.  Each book introduces me to a different range of emotions, and every new adventure was like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole.

Was it because of the magic that could only be found encased in its pages?  Where a little girl could stumble upon another world by falling down a rabbit hole, or by passing through a mirror?  Perhaps it was because of the witches, wizards, vampires, werewolves and fairies that I have encountered through my adventures alongside the characters.  Fictional and insubstantial, and yet their troubles and emotions resonated with me.  Maybe it was because I saw the White Rabbit in my parents, who gave me the change to experience a multitude of emotions through reading.  I saw Alice in myself; our insatiable curiosity has brought the two of us into trouble more than once.


Through the perfectly straight lines of black ink, the world of steel, glass and bright lights was left behind in exchange for a trip down my own version of wonderland.  Filled to the brim with the impossible and the strange.  A place rampant with imagination, magic, and wonder bloomed in my mind and heart.  However, my haven wasn’t created with my efforts alone.  Like the white rabbit introduced Alice to Wonderland, my aunts were the ones who placated my inquisitive nature with stories, and books.

My fascination was incited with the addition of entertainment, but my fervent passion could also be traced back to my cousins, who are equally, if not more, passionate about the world hidden behind the words.  I respected them enough to follow their example; I didn’t plan on falling deeper than they did.  To fall so deeply in love that there is no beginning or end of me that remains untouched from the words, the messages, and the heartfelt emotions that stories have given me.

It wasn’t planned, or organized, it just happened slowly and gradually until it dominated every part of my life.  I would spend every spare moment from school and homework to sneak in a few pages of my newest book.  I would always be found with a book, safely tucked in my arms as I would walk down the school hallways.  Jumping at any chance to spend more time at the library, I became a library volunteer at any school I attended during my education.


However, the childist glee and excitement when a new bundle of pages were held in my arms soon passed as I grew older.  By then the first blue of love transformed into a thirst for the inky black words against the creamy white pages.  My obsession began when I was uprooted from everything that was familiar and safe.  My once cozy world was soon replaced with foreign surroundings and people whowere vastly different from me.  I can still feel the trepidation of the unknown to this day.

Seeking comfort and familiarity, I turned to books.  After a few hours of curling up in a corner reading my fears would be quelled.  There, I was transported into another world, accompanying Anne Shirley as she navigated through the small town of Prince Edward Island in the face of such great opposition.  Or perhaps I was with Dorothy Gale, as she and her new found compainos vanquished the Wicked Witch of the West.  The heroines of the stories that I encountered became as familiar as a dear friend.  Their stories invoking more emotions than a mere child would usually feel; pain, regret and loss.  They had also givem ne the skilsl to face reality.

With the confidence inspired by the spunky Anne Shirley, and the courageous Dorothy, I was able to face my new environment with renewed spirit.  Over come every hurdle that came my way as I follow the yellow brick road, with as much grace, and effort as I could muster.  Regardless of some qualities that I have received from my beloved books, there are still more I have yet to accomplish.


I have spent thousands of moments perusing the towering shelves for my next adventure, and in effect, read hundreds.  I was just a few days ago that I was at the library doing the very same thing as my seven-year-old self had done.  I would quickly run my fingers down the spines of glossy covers, scanning the shelves for the next book, looking for one that would draw me in.

A habit I have acquired after having less and less time to lose in the library as I grew older.  Now after every book, I would reluctantly return to reality, unlike how Wendy Darling chose to leave Neverland.  Wendy had given up the chance to stay a child forever, and embraced the responsibilities of an adult.  I, on the other hand, have yet to come to terms with growing up; an ability I hope will come naturally in time.  Aside from Wendy’s maturity, her compassion triggered my own.  Her charity inspired me to undertake many of my volunteer opportunities.


Each heroine that I have read about has inspired me to be a better person.  Alice’s curiosity motivates me to fill my brian with knowledge.  Dorothy’s courage inspires me to face my fears.  Wendy’s compassion drives me to relieve the pain and suffering of others.  With an amalgamation of all of the wonderful traits of these heroins, I have become the hard-working person I am today.  Perhaps as time moves on, I too will encounter more characters that change me.  Challenging me to listen, and to take their message to heart as I read more, stopping only when I’m blind or dead.  Whichever comes first.