Thursday, 19 December 2013

Walk me through this one

Sometimes horoscopes can help keep you afloat. Not the one in the Ottawa Citizen, that woman has it in for Tauruses, but Georgia Nicholls' horoscopes have a lovely dollop of humour and good advice even if you think the zodiac is whooey.

I was sitting on an OC Transpo bus, the Resident Fan Boy and younger daughter sitting behind me. I leaned miserably into the warmth of the windowsill, wondering what the point was of making the long trek across the city first thing in the morning to attend the annual Christmas concert at younger daughter's school. We had seen the script for the school skit sent home in her packsack the night before; her name did not appear among the speakers. In past years, she had sung a song; no such request had come home. Younger daughter is on the autistic spectrum; the RFB and I have graduate degrees, and yet the dreaded rubric for the upcoming January summatives which younger daughter is expected to complete made no sense to any of us.

I sat and struggled to keep my thoughts cheerful, remembering the day's horoscope: You feel emotional today. You want to persuade others to agree with you. In fact, you might go overboard and try to coerce someone. Instead use this persuasive energy to teach others or enlighten them, while at the same time respecting their point of view. I alternated with mental snatches of "Calling All Angels" by Jane Siberry: Walk me through this one...

And we struggled through the snow on the surrounding fields, sending younger daughter to get ready. (For what?) We picked up a programme and at the head of it was younger daughter's name. She was beginning the concert with her rendition of an Avril Lavigne song entitled "My Happy Ending", a song I'd never heard.

It was clear that not much rehearsal had been done. Younger daughter had to wait while the M.C. and one of the teachers tried to get the computer going to play the accompanying music, something that would have had her flying off the handle a few years ago. Then, a bit awkwardly and clutching a lyric sheet, she began, gaining in volume, clarity and expression.

You were everything, everything, I ever wanted...

By the end, her voice was under total control and resonating beautifully. She consulted the lyric sheet occasionally and with coordination. Her voice teacher would be proud.

I did tape it on my iPod, but of course, I can't show it here. Here's the Queen of Napanee herself in a rather more subdued, acoustic rendition.

And you know what? She got to read her math haiku, and demonstrate a role play. She even got to be in the skit, reading the lines for an absent student.

And after the concert, the teacher responsible for the incomprehensible rubric cleared things up a bit. I didn't have to coerce anyone.

Oh, and the Avril Lavigne song? Younger daughter remembered it from being vanned to school in Grade Two, nine years ago.

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