Thursday, November 22, 2007

Proud Mama Moment and thoughts on Art

Yesterday I had a proud mama moment.

I switched my volunteer day at the school to Wednesday instead of Thursday, because Calgary Opera was coming to perform Cinderella. They arrived an hour before curtain and took 9 students under their wing - 8 to have walk on parts and the other to man the "applause" sign which ended up being a hoot.

My eldest got to be one of the walk ons. They put her in costume and she had a few lines and overall had so much fun and was a little in awe that she performed with the opera. LOL.

I am a huge fan of the arts, which is probably no surprise to anyone reading this. I am constantly amazed at the number of performances we get at our school from either drama troupes or musical events and I think it's wonderful that a lot of these kids - who wouldn't have the chance to see such things - get to experience that world.

I spent a lot of time in my younger years gravitating towards art-type activities, especially music and writing. But I also heard a lot about how it wasn't practical. Yet here I am, years later, beginning a career in one of those very professions. I think...what you are meant to be, you'll be....as long as you recognize it. For me, there was I think only so long I could be something else before that passion came through.

Art- be it traditional art, music, drama, literature - it touches people. I humbly suggest that people DO need to be touched more. They need to be provoked into thinking. When I was growing up those subjects were being cut all over the place, as was phys ed. They were deemed not necessary. What would the ramifications be anyway?

Let's have a look at society as a whole. We cut phys ed at the same time that convenience items were really coming forth - technology and fast food. Now we have a society plagued with obesity. We cut music and drama and art and I'm reminded of that line in Mr. Holland's Opus when Richard Dreyfuss says something like, "You can cut it and focus on reading and writing but without art they'll have nothing to read or write about." Or in Dead Poet's Society when Robin Williams... well, the whole darn movie, to be exact. Both encapsulate everything I believe to be true about art. We can exist without it. Art is what gives us true meaning.

When I visit my children's school, I'm thrilled that they get phys ed pretty much every day, that they have a music program, a teacher willing to take on a drama project every year and even teachers who have willingly volunteered to help me with an author club. We get an "artist in residence" for a few weeks every year that does special projects with the kids.

Creating children who question and think for themselves, children with open minds and a well-rounded education....that sounds just about right to me.

One last bit....even though we celebrated here a month or so ago, Happy Thanksgiving to all my neighbours to the South! (including my brother and his family!) May your day be filled with family and fowl. :-)


2 comments:

  1. I am so glad your daughter had fun.

    I too was told that arty stuff wasn't a career option. Which explains why I have an engineering degree and didn't go to drama school. Ho hum.

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  2. LOL Bids!

    I did the degree in English with the plan to teach. Then I did an about face, took 6 months of computer applications, and prompty went to work for the provincial gov't in the finance dept. LOL.

    Still...it all tells in the end, doesn't it. Look at us! :-)

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