Whatever happened to THE Kendra Mason?
by THE Kendra Mason
Creative Writing Journal Log #1
(Third-Person Narrative Exercise)
Or on the bigger question that should be asked, just who is Kendra Mason?
Honestly, who knows.
It's really not an easy question to answer. In fact, it's one of those things a person expects a professor to ask them when they get to university, and surprise, here Kendra is in university being asked it. So, the first response that comes to mind would be to say that Kendra Mason is a college freshman who has absolutely no idea what to write about herself for this, her first college writing assignment.
But, you could also say that Kendra is someone who's had a fairly interesting life so far. Abandoned at birth by biological parents that didn't want her because she had been born a girl, Kendra was brought from China and raised by her new adoptive parents in Canada. Parents, who loved and treated her like she had been born to them, although she always knew that she was different from them. That, even before she was old enough to fully comprehend concepts of race and what that meant, she had already figured out that she didn't look like her parents and brother.
And she quickly grew sensitive to situations where they would be out together and others would look at all of them strangely, wondering to herself what they meant when some of the bolder onlookers would come up and ask her parents about 'the cute little Asian girl' they automatically assumed was being babysat by them. But Kendra's parents didn't try to pretend or hide the reason behind why they sometimes drew this unwanted attention, they simply taught her that there was nothing wrong with not being the same, that our differences were the things that made us all special and unique.
Even, if the rest of the world outside of their relatively happy little home didn't always see it that way.
Still, it's not like growing up in Toronto was some kind of awful experience. For Kendra, there were generally more highs than there were lows. And with an older brother like Spinner, there was never a dull moment either.
When talking about who Kendra is, you also have to mention her love of sports, both as a fan and as a participant. Her interests range from basketball, to soccer, to football, to ice skating, to baseball, to bowling. But, at the top of her list of favorite sports would have to be hockey. In fact, it's her love of hockey that ultimately changed her life.
Kendra's interest in hockey started at an early age thanks to growing up in a home where both her father and brother were total hockey fanatics, and as a result she too became totally obsessed with the national past time. So much so, that she would follow her brother and his friends' down to the local hockey rink, pestering him to let her play with them until they finally got tired of her bugging them about it. And even though they tried to discourage her from wanting to participate in any of their future pick-up matches, by not holding back with any of the rough body checks and other physical hits usually delivered during their games, Kendra was determined to prove that she could take whatever they could dish out. An attitude, that she would carry with her well beyond just the little league rink where she developed it.
Which is why when Kendra was older and decided to tryout for the local boys' under-16 community hockey league, she was more than prepared for the less than enthusiastic reception that this lone girl received from her new teammates. But her work ethic and determination on the ice eventually proved to them that she wasn't just some anti-discrimination token being put there for show, that she did belong out there with them and had earned her place.
But when that first season was over, it was Kendra who was the one stunned for a change when a scouting coach from the U.S. came and offered her a hockey scholarship to attend a prestigious Prep school down there, to help build their girls' hockey team into something that could he used as an attraction for potential enrollees and to drum up additional alumni donations. It seemed like the kind of thing you only see on TV or in the movies, but was all too real. The reason it was so very real for her, was because Kendra had to quickly decide after that whether she could make the sacrifices that she would have to in order to accept such an amazing offer?
Which meant not just leaving her family and home behind, but also her best friends' Nadia, Alli, and Brandy too. (Who had nicknamed themselves the Birds of Prey after one of Kendra's favorite superhero teams, and following the groups' ensemble portrayal of them for one Halloween.)
It was a decision that she wound up thinking long and hard about. But in the end, it was her father who finally convinced her, saying that he thought she was good and brave enough to make it down there, and that he believed in her.
So off she went, to a new school in a brand new country where Kendra didn't feel like she really fit in at first. Here, she was surrounded by girls who almost all came from wealthy families and backgrounds, with the exception of her and the handful of other girls' who had been recruited to play on the girls' hockey team and try to improve their record. And, where she was one of the few minority students at this exclusive private school.
For her first few months in Massachusetts, Kendra only felt at home when she was locked away in her dorm-room with her favorite anime, manga, and comics, or when she was out on the ice for hockey practice. It wasn't until the Westmard girls' hockey team took the ice for the first match of the season, managing to actually beat another girls' college-level junior varsity team and draw some positive attention from their non-athletic classmates, that she and her fellow Canadian imports felt like they were coming together and becoming a true part of this new place.
But it wasn't too long after that, just as Kendra was getting settled into her new home, that she received some shocking and tragic news from her old one.
News, that her father had suddenly died from lung cancer shortly after having been diagnosed with it.
It was a situation that she was totally unprepared for, and once again her entire world changed completely. After flying home to attend her father's funeral, Kendra seriously considered not returning to Westmard, and instead wanted to stay there in Toronto to return to her old high school at Degrassi so that she could be closer to her mother and brother. But her mom was the one who convinced her this time to go back, pointing out that she had been given an opportunity that not everyone was lucky enough to get, and that her father certainly wouldn't want her to just throw it away.
Which Kendra knew was the truth.
So with a heavy heart that knew how much she was going to miss her family, Kendra did eventually return to the Westmard Academy. Where she would graduate from after helping lead the girls' hockey team to back-to-back undefeated seasons and a pair of league championships.
And, would help Kendra gain the attention of another hockey scout, this time from a major university that wanted to offer her a full college scholarship to play on their women's team. Which is how Kendra's journey landed her in Winnipeg, where she currently resides.
And, where she is loving every minute of it.
Although, she is currently planning to make it back home to Toronto during her next break, so that she can spend time with her mother, brother, and her brother's surprise of a new wife. Which has given Kendra a new sister-in-law and extended family that she definitely wasn't expecting.
But, one that she is more than happy to have and be a part of nonetheless.