Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mad World

Mad World

Yesterday's highlight was so called IPRC ( Identification, Placement, Review Committee). It was held at 2 40 at my son's school. Before going there, I looked at some papers from previous years, confident that nothing would surprise me. After all, he is 12 going onto 13, and I have been in the system for long enough to develop a thick skin.

Not so fast!

There was four of us: the Principal, the homeroom teacher, the lady from the School Board, and myself. Right at the beginning I was told that they were running late, and that there is almost no time to discuss Aleks' needs with me. Almost like: you came just to sign the paper that you agree here with what we say. I could not stop my heart from pounding because of such a hypocrisy. I had to say, I had to mention, and I did: how come there is not one soul in this school who is interested to be with Aleks, to help him learn social skills. Silence. How about the drama class from last Thursday, when he was excluded from the group activities when no group wanted him there? How come the drama class teacher did not intervene and explain to everyone that it is not alright to exclude a person just like that? How about not recognizing the talent Aleks has for drama, and set him for success and not failure?

The principal was not amused with what I had to say. Her answers were more like: we cannot have other kids involved in teaching Aleks social skills ( wow, how will he ever learn if he is not given even a chance to participate in a simple structured class activity, with supposedly close supervision of teacher). Then she went on how this school's philosophy is basically inclusion of everyone regardless of their looks, background, or any other characteristic that makes some children to be different ( is it really?).She also added that she does not expect her drama teacher, who was hired to teach drama, to get involved in helping a child such as Aleks, because the teacher is not trained to do that.

How about showing interest, how about being curious and learn, I said. Had not the drama teacher learnt more about children such as Aleks, not because he had been told, or expected to do so, but because he was in such a noble profession that entails doing things that he was not maybe always paid or trained to do, but is doing them anyway because he understood the responsibility of raising each and every child that comes across his way.Or maybe, a person who is not willing to accept all the children with having abilities, rather than disabilities, should not be a teacher? I had so many questions on my mind, but none were answered, and I am sure they will not be answered. Nor my question about how somebody who is trained to work with children does not have a basic ability to recognize talent in a child? Aleks, in spite of his lack of more sophisticated social skills, and in spite of his slight speech impediment, is a very expressive, very emotional, very talented for art, including music, acting, and painting.

To illustrate this further, I will tell you that the last night, Aleks also performed at school's biggest fund raising event: Cabaret 2007. He accompanied himself on the piano singing the song: Mad World. The song was his choice, and I encouraged him from the day one. Singing this song, and being so confident on the stage, in spite of the fact that he was performing for his peers, who even do not want to share few moments in the school yard with him, was one of his small victories in this mad world where his abilities are mistakenly called disabilities, and where he will have to fight every inch his way to find his proper place.

Shame on you Mr. Drama Teacher that you cannot recognize what a gem you have in your class!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Oduvek sam zavidila ljudima koji su se rodili, ziveli i umrli na jednom mestu. Oni nisu ni znali sta je "zavicaj". Njihov zivot je bio povezan sa zivotom njihovih predaka. Negde na tavanu su bila sakrivena ljubavna pisma dede babi, ili neki stari kisobran, ili kovceg sa cipkanom haljinom prabake. Nije bilo rata da sve to unisti, iseli, iskoreni. Zivot je bio jednostavan. Nije bilo patnje za nestalim ili postojecim zavicajem.Kada pocnes da pricas o zavicaju, jer tamo nisi vise, neminovno pocinjes da izmisljas kako je to nekada bilo dobro.

Za to postoji i biolosko objasnjenje. Nase rane emocije smestene negde u amigdali, postaju sve nepristupacnije nasoj racionalnoj svesti sto postajemo stariji. Ali zato neki miris, ukus, moze da izazove buru secanja, koja tako "needitovana" salju informaciju nasem svesnom mozgu da je to nesto fenomenalno, i da to fenomenalno nesto postoji samo u nasem zavicaju koji ima taj miris i ukus.Sta bi bilo kada bi mogli da "reprogramiramo" tu riznicu secanja, zakopanu negde duboko nesvesnom delu mozga, sa novim mirisima i ukusima, pa da nas taj zamisljeni zavicaj ostavi da zivimo na miru, kada vec ne mozemo da zivimo u njemu.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Secanje na Dadu

Danas je Dadin rodjendan.

Sveca pored njene slike, secanje na njene reci, tupi bol zbog njenog nestanka, nostalgija za danima kada smo delili ovozemaljski zivot, tuga zbog odlaska Coveka koji je imao Dusu.

Dado, nedostajes mi. Voli te tvoja sestra Sandra.

Jedna od Van Gogovih zvezda u zvezdanoj noci je Dada.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

It is -30 and I do not know French

It seems that it takes the whole family to do the homework. Aleks waited until last moment to finish his French assignment. He has to write the radio announcement about a song, and to include the CD cover, and possibly bring some props, and make an instrument for his presentation. He had more than two weeks, but it seems that we are doing it last minute...

Ivan is helping him to polish his sentences for the announcement. I am sitting here, and cannot wait for them to finish so that we can go to YMCA. I will walk a thousand of miles on that treadmill tonight.

It is very very cold. I hope that this cold weather will go away by Thursday when I am going to volunteer to go with Aleks' school to the ski trip.

It is -30, and I do not know French!