Today's date: Wednesday September 20, 2017
column width padding column width padding
The Wellington Advertiser Masthead Logo

We Cover The County...
39,925 Audited Circulation

WEEKLY POLL   |   Community News   |   EQUINE   |   Schools & Buses

Facebook Slug
column width padding column width padding

WriteOut of Her Mind

by Kelly Waterhouse


The Wizard of Oz is a classic tale about a cast of characters whose journey for answers teaches them to face their fears and know that everything they need is already inside them - if they would only believe in themselves.

Still, it wasn’t until I sat in the audience and watched my daughter perform in her high school’s production of the original story that so many of the metaphors hit home for me, and I owe it all to my daughter and her profound courage to follow her own yellow brick road every day.

I am writing this column because she asked me to. I am pushing my maternal boundaries here by putting her out on the limb with me, because she insists it matters. And she’s right. These were her words: “write a story about how theatre gives kids like me a chance to fit in and make friends.” That sentence right there should make you recall how difficult it is to grow up and how important it is to feel accepted. That sentence is why arts education matters; maybe not for all, but surely for most. Connection. Community. A safe place to be your weird, wonderful self.

Not every kid needs to play sports. Deal with it.

Again, with her permission, I will share that my daughter has a learning disability and as such, is one of many students with an individual education plan. She proudly lives in the technicolour rainbow of the autism spectrum, (ASD).

While she never complains about it, her road has had challenges most kids won’t face. At home, she is just herself. Outside, she works very hard to be like everyone else. Yet, at the age of 17, my daughter has already learned the thing that Dorothy herself needed to learn. In the words of Glinda the Good Witch; “You’ve always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” Amen.

Every day that my girl walks through the doors of her high school to a world where she is a small fish in a very big pond of sensory overload and teenage angst, I think she has more courage than any adult I know.

When I think she lacks empathy (an ASD challenge), I remember no one has a bigger, kinder heart. And when she works hard to pass a test, I realize she has all the brains she needs and a great capacity to dispel anyone who doubts her intellectual abilities. There is nothing fake about her. I admire her - but more, I respect her.

When the curtain goes down on a theatre production like this, amazing things happen: friendships become bonds. Cliques become obsolete. Community is created. Team work pays off. Magic happens. That is the power of arts education. That is the message my daughter wants you to know.

Everyone has a place and the right to find it.

To the cast and crew that brought the Wizard of Oz to life, I hope you all follow your own yellow brick road. Take risks. Be courageous. Have a heart. Use your brains. Believe in yourself. Throw in a song and dance number for good measure every now and again.

And wherever the storms take you, remember, “there’s no place like home.”



Vol 50 Issue 15


Tell Us What You Think

Login to submit a comment

Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser. Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive, unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. You must register or log in in order to post a comment. For more information, read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines.




Wellington County


Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Barrie Hopkins
Bruce Whitestone
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Ray Wiseman
Stephen Thorning
Stephen Thorning

Recent Columns

Bits and Pieces

  • Signature bonnet
  • Digital pantomime
  • Connect the dots
  • Generation gap
  • Little things
  • Tylenol kick
  • This Little Piggy
  • Nature's best
  • Canada's Business

  • The decline of civility
  • Irrational exuberance II
  • Speak up
  • An enduring register
  • A government assessment after one year in office
  • Gauge signals
  • Unpatriotic
  • Inevitable
  • Comment from Ottawa

  • The Syria question
  • Reflecting on 2016
  • Open, transparent combat mission?
  • Bad for businesses
  • Have your voice heard on electoral reform
  • Open and transparent?
  • Assisted dying
  • Leadership bid
  • Life-wise

  • Retirement
  • Canadas scarcity of calamity
  • Often we mirror our parents
  • Putting up with put-downs
  • A tale of two landlords
  • A letter from the campsite
  • Two shades of black
  • Precious memories
  • Queen's Park Report

  • Back to work
  • Merry Christmas
  • Remembering them
  • High-cost hydro
  • Six important issues
  • Emancipation Day
  • Great Lakes
  • Happy Canada Day
  • Special to the Advertiser

  • Death of JFK changed the world
  • Split Decision

  • EQAO and standardized testing
  • Sir John A. Macdonald’s legacy
  • Housing density intensification
  • Citizens on patrol?
  • Digital speed radar signs
  • Former Erin school to be demolished
  • Video recorded council meetings
  • Ministry requirements for cottagers
  • Staying Connected

  • It’s all about staying connected.
  • Stray Casts

  • Final lines: Its been great
  • Thorning Revisited

  • West Garafraxa Telephone Co-op organized in 1905
  • 1905 cookbook an imperfect glimpse of eating habits
  • Shoemaker’s career wrecked by arrogance, ambition
  • HMCS Fergus escorted Atlantic convoys in WWII
  • Shooting at Irvinedale marred tavern’s reputation
  • Forgotten Irvinedale settlement known as county’s ‘Sodom’
  • Elora has long tradition of choral, instrumental music
  • Talk of the town in Drayton, Alma, Morefield in 1951
  • Valuing Our History

  • Hustonville founded, thrived, vanished in 20 years
  • Lack of railway siding frustrated Fergus’ James Gow
  • Fergus mill made oat flour for Cheerios, other brands
  • Railway passenger service waxed and waned over the 1900s
  • Tanner’s woolen mill in Mount Forest burned twice in a year
  • Elora principal George Edgcumbe ended his career in disgrace
  • Peter Perry a memorable principal of Fergus High School
  • Fire gutted Fergus building owned by Robert Kerr in 1931
  • WriteOut of Her Mind

  • Harmony’s price
  • Hello, routine
  • Catch and release
  • Pause summer
  • Out there in the crowd
  • Turning 50
  • Mom shorts
  • Lightfoot, light heart
  • column width padding column width padding column width padding

    The Wellington Advertiser





    Digital Publications


    Twitter Logo

    Free Press News Network Logo