We are now in that stage in our lives where we are frantically dashing around this part of the city on certain select evenings so that we can visit the different high schools and go on tours and check out what each one has to offer so that Sean can make the best decision on which one to actually attend next year.
Last night was our first parent information night at one of the selected ‘neighbourhood highschools’, it was Etobicoke School of the Arts
and I really wish that I’d taken a camera so that I could have clicked off some pictures because that place was just so visually stimulating.
As soon as we entered the school I right away thought of my pal Ms. B and her wonderful classroom. This highschool had art on every surface possible, hanging from the ceiling was an ‘I Wish’ exhibit, in which the students had taken library index cards and written on them “I wish..” and then had completed the sentence with whatever they actually wish for.
I would have loved to stand there and read all the wishes, but time was short and I did have classrooms to visit, the few that I did get a chance to read were a mixture of wishes to marry Harry Potter, being Batman, becoming Peter Petrelli, to wishes for world piece, gay rights, social acceptance for everyone and my personal favorite, a wish for ‘every person to be able to experience the ultimate in happiness for most of the days of their lives.’ I’m not sure what a person’s ‘ultimate in happiness’ is, but it sounds so open and wonderful.
There was a performance, every art department in the school was able to put on a demonstration of what it is that they do.
The visual arts department had paper hanging on the sides of the stage, these papers were about eight feet tall and at least six feet wide and they had a group of visual arts students sketching portraits of someone of their choosing and the portraits were stunning.
While that happened the music department put on a beautiful performance by their orchestra, I’m not sure what the pieces were that they played but they were wonderful and I truly enjoyed the performance.
The film department shared a viewing with us of a piece they wrote, acted in, directed, filmed and then edited, as well as adding their own soundtrack. It was entitled ‘My Story is…’ and it was depicting the nerve wracking experience of becoming a grade nine student at ESA. It was funny at points and very well done, and I looked over at Sean’s face and I swear it was glowing with excitment in the dark auditorium.
The drama department put on a performance which entailed each performer reciting a monologue of their choosing from a Shakespeare play, and all the other performers on the stage reacting to or assisting the person speaking by interacting with them in a way that enhanced the performance.
The dance department performed the sock hop scene from ‘Across the Universe’ and again Sean loved it.
The musical theatre department performed a piece and I wasn’t certain what it was but they were amazing, so much so that Sean thought he’d like to major in that department, until he saw what he’d have to do to audition and he decided that perhaps drama or film would be a better major and he’d chose musical theatre as his elective.
Sean is very excited about this and he is going to be talking to his teachers, both the academic teacher he needs for a referral and his drama teacher about getting some assistance.
He has to perform a monologue in front of the panel, he has to be able to conduct an interview with the panel and he needs to write an essay that is at least one page to one and a half pages in length, double spaced, and essay writing is not his strong suit.
So his plan is to get his home room teacher to help him with his essay writing skills and ask his drama teacher to help him with his monologue.
I’ve never seen him so motivated, and I have to admit that at first I was worried that he was just going along with it because I had to force him to at least check the school out. He didn’t want to go to the school because none of his friends are going to be auditioning. But he’s not super close to those friends anymore, he sees them at school and that’s about it. So I don’t think he’ll be hurting if he loses them because of going to a different school, and besides they are all looking at different schools anyway so even if he does go to the traditional neighbourhood high school, that doesn’t mean that they will be.
He has to have his application handed in for November 28th, and they’ll contact us about the audition times but they should be on or around January 16th.
I’m so nervous that he’s going to try his hardest and not be able to get in. But if he really wants it he can audition again in grade 9, but it’s harder to get in at that point. Spaces for the classes past the grade nine entry year are limited, for obvious reasons.
Keep your fingers crossed, pray for him whatever it is you can do to send positive vibes his way and hopefully it’ll help him get in.