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Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Mug Shot

Shakespeare Festival
Stratford, Ontario, Canada

The first time I went to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, was 15, almost 16. I had just fallen in love with the Bard through the half a Semester of Shakespeare in 10th grade English. When I heard about the Shakespeare Festival in Canada, so close to us, I wanted to go in the worst way! I even sent away for the information brochure, if for nothing else, to dream about going. I really begged Mom about it and she did NOT say “No!”

She didn’t say “yes,” either. I had a task to do! The plays I wanted to see, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and All’s Well That Ends Well, lined up at the different theaters right for a three-day trip just before my birthday. I was on my driver’s permit, but wouldn't have my license yet. I needed a parent to not only say “okay,” but go! What Mom told me was to put together the trip, the directions including the Canadian laws about unlicensed American drivers with a permit, an itinerary and a budget sheet. If I assembled the plan and she verified that I was correct, she’d pay for the trip. If I couldn’t plan the trip, we couldn’t go! Oh, yeah, and I still had to do stellar on my final exams at school!

So, my April/May hobby was planning this trip! The first thing I found out was that I could not drive in Canada until I got my license. I still had to plot out the course on the map, much like AAA did at the time with a highlighter, but I had to do it myself. I planned the budget for the tickets, found an inexpensive hotel that was a nice enough hotel for Mom to sleep in for 2 nights, found the other museums and gardens we’d visit and got those prices, budgeted for food and gas, which included getting the average price difference between Michigan and Ontario. That estimating took converting the gallons and litres to figure out how much we’d need for a full tank. Keep in mind, this was 1981. I’d never used a computer at all, let alone have the Internet for all of my fact finding!

I presented my plan to Mom and she spent a good hour looking over my details, asking questions and verifying where I got my information. Finally she smiled at me. “Congratulations, kid, ya done good.” We were Stratford bound! The next day I called to make the hotel reservation and order the tickets for all three plays!

1 comment:

Beth said...

That is SO cool!! I love that your mom gave you that task and then let you do your thing!

I'm going to remember this for my kids. Really great idea and memory!