A moment of pride

There’s no better feeling as a journalism instructor than to watch your students get published, particularly when it’s an assignment for one of your classes. So, it was especially gratifying to read the Facts & Arguments essay in today’s Globe and Mail, as it was written by Mary-Katherine Boss, a student in my JN408: The Freelance Journalist course.

It was a great piece when she workshopped it in my class a couple of months ago, and I’m thrilled to see that the Globe editors agreed. Here’s a peek:

At 19, I was an average Canadian girl. I would sit through all my university classes (all right, most of my university classes), walk my dog, go to the gym, go dancing on weekends and sleep over at my friends’ houses.

But at 20, I found myself with such severe back pain that these activities became agonizing.

I used to think of back pain as something only my parents or grandparents suffered from, an unfortunate by-product of aging. Granted, some days I feel like I’m bordering on 100. But here I am at 20, considering orthopedic mattresses.

People always ask how it started. I would like to tell them I pulled a muscle playing sports or that I put my back out lifting a heavy box. But I have no such story.

It started the first week of last October, for no apparent reason. At first, I figured I had slept funny or overworked some muscles at the gym. When the pain didn’t go away, but got progressively worse, I started to worry.

You can read the whole essay here.