Just when you thought the holiday blogs would be upon you with the HO HO HO, football is right back at ya! This past weekend was the much anticipated Football Banquet and the Santa Claus Parade, in that order.
Saturday morning we headed over to the North York Memorial hall for the Grizzlies year end banquet, awards ceremony and the chance to listen to each pf the coaches go on and on and on.
There are three divisions on the Grizzlies, the Atoms, ages 6-8, who were runners up in the tournaments, the Bantams, 12 and up, who were not and then the Peewees 10-12 and your....(drum roll) COMFL 2012 Champions! Jimmy was in his element, hanging with his teammates, a little one on one time with the coaches and a chance to go on stage and receive his trophy, and celebrate the first time in 33 years that Coach Clarke was able to yet again raise the trophy in victory. Coach Clarke being a very responsible and level headed person and not to mention THE Coach kept his speech short stating, " you see victory is a circular thing, I won 33 years ago and hope in another 33 years I am standing before you again!" Funny too.
The banquet was all you would imagine, pizza, chicken wings, lasagna, salad dozens of desserts and more, or perhaps you may have imagined something different. The time came to eat and it was 'everyone for themselves', literally the food was attacked like there was no tomorrow and when the dust settles there was more food left than ate and each family brought home an entire large pizza, fun! There were the normal speeches and awards however one that stood out for us was the True Grit Award, given in honor of one of the Grizzle Alumnus who was lost in an army training exercise. The award is not for the best offensive player or the best defensive player or special teams, the award is for the player that shows up practice after practice, game after game, and gives all his effort, every play, practice or game and is their because they love football, now that is an award to aspire too! It has nothing to do with raw talent, its all about passion. The winner on Jimmys team was JP, his team mate that lost his mom this summer but was at pratice and every game, rain or shine. Seiriously brought a tear to the coaches eye (and ours too!). Jimmy and we were really proud of all the award winners.
Now if that is not enough, as I mentioned in the previous post regarding the teachers and their love of prop115, they have announced they will strike "sometime soon" (read inbetween the lines: when it is the most disruptive to everyone). That being said, Jimmy was part of a sit-out/strike, meaning they sat out on the playground after lunch protesting the lack of extra curricular activities. They wanted to make a point and vowed they would stay outside long after the bell rang (got to love big groups of middle school kids). They were fairly focused and the kids were even chanting, "Canada is getting fat and not having extra curricular activism is adding to the obesity", nothing like getting to heart of the matter. The school was fairly supportive and the Principal finally convinced the kids that because it was cold outside they could come into the lunch room and continue their peacefully demonstration there, it went back and forth and finally the kids acquiesced. The kids were respectful, peaceful and focused their strike on the lack of activities not on the teachers. Pretty mature actually.
However once they entered the lunch room the janitor was cleaning up and put the kibosh on the strike stating " The room is already cleaned go strike somewheres else! ( Loosely translated it means "Stay off my grass you damn kids!")
Jimmy was so amped up the night before: excited, scared, empowered, organized. As a parent it was really fun to see them think and stand up for themselves in a thoughtful way. They are right, they are missing an important part of their school experience, they should express their disatisfaction. Jimmy was worried about getting expelled, suspended, that we'd be mad, etc... We assured him, if he handled himself respectfully about the topic (not making it personal with the teachers) and stayed peaceful... that we'd actually be proud. And, we were! What a great 1st experience in expressing yourself and being heard! Little change agents in the making... Look out WORLD!!
This letter came home in Jimmy's backpack both real and electronic:
November 30th, 2012
This afternoon, some of our students participated in a demonstration to express their views about the teachers’ response to recently passed government legislation. This demonstration began at 12:15pm continued until 1:15pm.
While some of our students were in the building and attending classes, we did have other students participating in this demonstration. This was not a school or TDSB-sanctioned event. Learning continued in classrooms for the students who remained.
A top priority at Willowdale MS is safety. To that end, staff members that were not in class joined Mr. Bozin and I to monitor students on the back field. This was a peaceful demonstration and students conducted themselves respectfully and responsibly, which is the Willowdale way. The demonstration ended without incident and students resumed regularly scheduled classes.
Yours in partnership,
A. Caccamo M. Bozin