Monday, May 15, 2006

Writers exercise too!

The Federal Government wants to stimulate activity in children by offering parents a tax credit to enroll their kids in physical activity. Of course, they only consider endeavours like chasing a ball around a field, to be activity. What about mental activity? Firing all those neurons to be creative, uses calories too. What about chasing a story? Those of us writing articles and essays have traveled out of our comfy chairs to chase down a great idea. Those of us writing fiction know how surrounding you with your subject matter and setting creates wonderful words. What about song-writing and play-writing? Such writers often combine other artistic processes in addition to the writing. Song-writers play piano or guitar in most instances. Playwrights may be involved in staging or directing as well. Let's create writing programs for kids and convince the Tory's that exercising their brain uses energy too.

Get active, be persuasive, write-on!

Sher, Executive Director
WCAC, 25 Regina St. S.
Waterloo, ON N2J 1R8
519-886 4577


Anonymous said...

I think they may have the right idea in Japan. Education there is aimed at developing both parts of the brain. I've read about that and I had some living proof in a friend of mine. Isoa is from Japan and lived at various locations in Canada. Right now she is in B.C.

For some years, when we both lived in New Brunswick, she with her husband, two sons, and a menagerie of pets, I have marvelled at her abilities.

She is an artist and potter. She creates the most incredible pieces of art. More than just impressive are the very large pot she creates on a wheel low to the ground.

She is highly educated. She's small in stature and breezes simplicity. She is a gardener of the first class. There are very few things for the household diet she has to go to the store for. A garden is always the first priority, no matter where the family moves to. They have been almost nomadic. They also have chickens and goats who provide eggs, milk, etc. She knows about wild plants, what's edible and what not.

She manages the household budget with great skill. Never they had much money, but always they did well.

Don, her husband, also an artist and poet, was not a healthy man. He had diabetis for years and years, and then also got prostate cancer. Isoa practiced natural medidine and kept him funtioning at almost normal level.

For their sons they always had music instruments around the house to have them find their own abilities. No formal lessons.The instruments were found at sales or inherited.

She home schooled both boys up to highschool level. They were ahead of their age level. They also grew to be artists. They both knew wild plants, fished, recognized animal tracks, did Indian bead work, wove baskets... etc.

Now one of them is a teacher in Japan. Both travel world wide and are active with doing things that are healthy, fair, and keep our planet safe.

Isao herself goes around teaching in schools now that her boys are independant and Don, in his far eighties, died most recently.

Anonymous said...

I am of two minds with this new government. I have never voted Conservative in my life, and probably won't ever, being a creature of ideology and habit. But I am glad to see tax support to parents who register their children in physical activity. I would have appreciated it when my kid was little, and I can see that the parents at her dance studio are pleased that they may be able to receive some reimbursement for tuition. It will be interesting if people register BECAUSE of the incentives - that will mean the program works. In terms of the ideas in Sher's blog, luckily dance straddles both worlds - physical activity and culture. My guess is as soon as our PM enrolls his children in pottery classes, or drama classes, or music classes, then the same of government support will be extended to these activities - probably his kid plays hockey right now, eh??? Guess what I am saying is it is a step in the right direction. Let's hope it is extended to a broader range of activities - particularly arts and culture.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for adding to our blog, Sher. I agree, physical activity is vital for the health of our society (starting with the kids) and should be supported fully by our educational system and our government but they need to expand that focus to cover the arts as well.

I came across an ad in an American magazine I was reading at the osteopath's office the other day on the same topic. I liked it so much I took a copy and put it up at work (we have an arts and culture section here, so it fits right in). It was paid for by Americans for the Arts ( which you may be familiar with.

The ad says that Louis Armstrong was very poor and troubled when he was a boy. He learned to play the trumpet while staying at a correctional school for wayward boys. He might never have played music but for that opportunity.

It says that "the arts are now dismissed as extravagant in today's American schools. This despite all the studies that show parents believe music and dance and art and drama make their children much better students and better people." They suggest parents rise up for the arts. They say "all you need is some brass"

And to underline your thesis about the arts and exercise, Sher, that ad is posted OUTSIDE my office door so in order to quote from it, I had to jump up and read a line from the ad and run to the computer and type it before I forgot what it was, then go back for the next line, so in fact, being a writer IS GOOD EXERCISE!

Write-on, for sure.

Larry Keiler said...

Larry sez, at the Yoni School for Wayward Poets everybody gets lots of exercise jumping to conclusions, running off at the mouth, inflating egos, and skating close to the emotional edge. Not to mention bouncing off the walls...

Anonymous said...

The Waterloo Regional Arts Council sent the following message to me today. Since I never did figure out M@’s instructions for inserting a link, you’ll need to go the WRAC website if the link below doesn’t work… WRAC website is

“Online petition: Towards the fair treatment and support of all children. Message to federal government, requesting reconsideration of budget provision giving a tax break to parents who put their children in organized sports, but giving nothing to parents who choose to develop their children's intellectual and artistic talents. Click here to read the petition; if you agree, sign it, and pass the link on to like-minded friends.”

If you’re so-inclined, the petition website is

Larry Keiler said...

Larry sez, there must be some sort of artsy conspiracy happening. HWSRN received a link to the same petition from the Central Ontario Musicians Association.

Anonymous said...

I love your website. It has a lot of great pictures and is very informative.