I was right and you were wrong and I'm going to sing the I was right song. It seems like an eternity ago but: my son Sasha, yes he's the good one, you don't hear about him too often, because he doesn't ruffle my feathers, "or fizz me up" as they use to say when I would lose it, had some difficulties in learning. I use the term difficulties loosely, because I believe everyone is teachable, we all just learn in different ways. Anyway, by the time he was in grade three his teachers were sure he should be in a special school because he just was not fitting in to their mold, he had difficulty reading out loud, he had difficulty writing a paragraph etc. I was under the impression that that was why he was going to school. Silly me. Well I dug in my heals and said no he is going to go to a regular school, with regular kids, and I will help him. He's a worker. Well I know that just didn't make their day. I wish I could send this to the teacher that told me he would never be able to read or write, that he will be lucky to be functionally literate.
I thank the Lord for wonderful friends who were nosy, they suggested I talk to a Doctor of child development. I arrived at Dr. Kozner's office all shaky and expecting her to tell me to just do as the teachers had said. To my delight she said: "You know your child better than they, all you have to do is be honest with yourself, and you'll make the right decision, and I'll help you." Dr. Kozner, carried a "big stick" if I might phrase it that way. None of her patients or their parents were ever intimidated by "school officials". She stood all of 5 feet tall, weighed no more than 100pounds, couldn't yell if her life depended upon it, and yet when she walked into the IPRC* I knew everything would be O.K. while we were never angry, or loud, she taught me how to approach these matters. I can only say that anything that Sasha gained by my "approach" the other students benefited as well. So by the time we had reached grade eight, which here in Canada you are expected to make decisions about your career, the obvious thing for teachers was to recommend that Sasha go into the "trades". Here we go again, I thought. This is a young man with gross motor disfunction, "O'h sure give him and electric drill and let's seem how many fingers he comes home with." Again, no need for an advocate, I just said NO. Sasha needs to do what he wants to with his life, we cannot make that decision for him. We can advise him but... Well my son wants to write. I'm proud to say he has been published more than once. And you be the judge is this the article of a writer who will never be more than functionally literate. Here is a CD review he recently published, (and I thought he was just plugged into that IPod to avoid me).
* IPRC Identification, Placement and Review Committee, a group of "school officials" that don't necessarily know the student but decide his future, and how little they have to work to make that student a success.
TV on the Radio – Dear Science
TV on the Radio’s fourth album, Dear Science, a followup to the wonderfully haunting Return to Cookie Mountain, is a musical experiment of sorts. Each song has an independent logic that forms and builds it while still retaining the band’s atmospheric, moody and downright funky jazz formula. It’s their clearest album. Brass instruments command and echo throughout in the right places as the static walls of sound, a trademark of their early records, begin to erode. The band builds on this more authentic and nostalgic style of composition in the vein of Berlin- era Bowie and Prince.
TV on the Radio is Victor Frankenstein and this album is their monster. It simultaneously retains both beauty and ugliness in the interaction of lyrics and music while resurrecting nearly dead musical styles such as jazz and funk. The album is superbly stitched together, to the point where every song feels like it’s in the right place on the track list. There’s a good balance of sad, happy and haunting songs, and no song feels out of place. It’s perfect symmetry.I anticipate that although the album will do modestly on the charts, it will be a legendary template for bands of the future in the same way that Surfer Rosa (or any Pixies record for that matter) was for bands of the ’90s. And, unlike most records released last year, it will have a shelf life beyond 2008.
- By Sasha Makarewicz