If you missed Jian Ghomeshi’s opening monologue on Q (CBC Radio One) this morning, we were forwarded a nice transcript:
Hi There. Happy Thursday …
And as spring continues to bloom, more than a few high school students begin to dream of … summer. Schools Out! But in the fair city of Peterborough, Ontario, it’s possible that an entire high school full of students is dreading the end. We’re talking about Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School — PCVS.
One of the oldest in Canada. Established in 1827. Yes, for those of you keeping score, that’s 40 years before Confederation. And now after 185 years, and not for the first time, the school faces permanent closure as mandated by the board.
There have been protests, meetings, appeals, formal requests to the government of Ontario for a review of the decision which came down last September. The campaign to Save PCVS — Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School rolls on. Last Friday, an independent advisor decided the province shouldn’t perform a review. Students were crestfallen.
And yeah, we get it there are reasons to close old schools: building efficiency, changing population patterns, declining enrolment. But when you’re talking about education and community and history, nearly two centuries worth, well could it be that math, heating bills and geography don’t tell the whole story.
There’s the school’s integrated arts programme — an idea we obviously love. And there’s its distinguished alumni from Juno winner Serena Ryder to RIM founder Jim Balsillie, comedian Sean Cullen, ballerina Evelyn Hart. Not to mention thousands of other students, past and present, scientists, musicians, business people, citizens who identify deeply with their school community. PCVS seems to have a cachet normally enjoyed by private schools but without the perceived elitist baggage.
Downtown merchants in Peterborough are by and large supporting efforts to save the school. Without PCVS hundreds of young women and men would have no reason to populate Peterborough’s core to play their role in keeping that beautiful city vibrant.
And there is the history. Look, it may be an intangible to some but it must be moving to observe Remembrance Day knowing the names of fellow students who died on the battlefields of Europe in two world wars. And isn’t it something to consider the Canadian Art work bought by a teacher in the 1940s — works that are now key museum holdings.
There is another school board meeting today and the patient, united, vocal students at PCVS have promised that they will be there.
Huh. Here’s to students who passionately care about their school and their education. Isn’t that what we’d think would be the ultimate goal?
Good luck to the students of PCVS.
After all while summer is just around the corner there’s clearly, still, a lot of work to do.
I’m Jian Ghomeshi. This is Q …
And yes, don’t forget to sign-up as an unannounced speaker at tonight’s school board meeting. Students and supporters will meet at Fisher Drive tonight at 6 pm. At this juncture silence is not an option. If you plan to attend and speak, please let Mary Anna know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.