Thursday, February 5, 2009

I was right...

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


Leslie Jane Moran said...

First of all, BRAVO Shasha! It's a really difficult thing just to review music let alone write such a succinct and inspiring analysis.

Irene. When I first met you, I was so totally impressed by your vision and the tenacity with which you advocated for your little son. I was overwhelmed by your devotion to his schooling and your subsequent involvement in the education system at large. You really were a constant inspiration, even when things got negative. Makes one realize what good strong stock you are from, some of those same survival and soldiering instincts instilled in you by your parents.

In this way, I just know that Sasha will continue to grow and carry on down the path you have beaten. He has become a wonderful young man and indeed it is heartwarming to know that he is following his passion. We need more men like Sasha in this world.

Thank you for following your heart and teaching us all how to be the very best of parents, friends, and people of the world.

Sharon said...

Oh, Irene. What a lovely, tender song Sasha has penned. There is something satisfying in proving the 'professionals' wrong. Each person has his own worth whether they fit into an expected slot or not. You must be so proud.

Susan Williamson said...

With a gutsy mom like you, it's no wonder Sasha feels free to express himself, and to do it wonderfully. Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

ira said...

reading to children is a great emotional and parental contact.
In my country is the slogan "All of Poland Reads to Kids".
Cheers, kisses. Irena

National Pet Day...

This is our pet cat, he lived with us for 18 years, adopted from a shelter, best cat ever. RIP Keahan