Let me tell you about Martin P.

He is a learner at the M’Chigeeng Adult and Continuing Education Program 

He’s also a pretty mysterious guy.  I’m always hugely curious when I meet learners, and I usually throw about 100 questions at them.  I did the same to Martin.  I asked him what he likes to do, what he struggles with, and what he thinks of online learning.  He graciously answered my questions, though I’m sure he had better things to do.

You see, the day I met Martin was a pretty special day for him: it was his 22nd birthday on October 29.   

But that’s not all.

He also became a grandfather for the first time, not something that happens to everyone everyday, especially not 22 year olds.  Yes, Martin’s dog had given birth to puppies, and I’m sure his days and nights will be filled with yips and bites and all the fun stuff of becoming a grandfather.   Congratulations on the new additions, Martin!

Martin also became Learner of the Month for October for the Good Learning Anywhere program.

Not bad for a day, hey?

So, being nominated and named Learner of the Month doesn’t happen to just anyone.  It takes a pretty special person to stick out from the rest of the crowd, to catch the notice of our instructors.  I had to know who this Martin P. was.

Martin P. enjoying his birthday cake

So, from my amateur detective skills, I know this much about Martin: he is an artist, likes to draw traditional images from his culture and background.  He’s the son of Patricia, a learner, artist and proud mother.  He’s a big brother, a very proud big brother of another young artist, who is showing promise in drawing.  He likes to cook: as we were sitting together eating dinner, he marveled over the food, and commented on how he would like to try this or do that differently.  He’s a community activist, working in the canteen at Bingos to raise funds for his community (a brave soul to be working the front lines at a Bingo event!).  He loves to read, though he discovered he’s not much of a romance novel reader, after accidentally picking one up: kudos to Martin for finishing the book anyway!  

All these things, and more, I now know about Martin, but there was one question he shied away from.  I asked him, “what do you want to do, what is your dream?”.  That moment, Martin went quiet, shy even.  “I don’t know”, he said, half-smiling, hands shoved in his pockets, “I’ve got some ideas.”  After a few moments, we started talking about scary movies, and what makes a really good horror movie.

Well Martin, man of mystery, whatever your ideas are for the future, I know your days are going to be filled with goodness and success.  You were chosen by our staff from over 500 other learners, so enjoy and know that you will always be remembered as the man who became a grandfather, Learner of the Month, and a hero of the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, all on your 22nd birthday!