I was born in 1975 to Kay and Tim Bentley, at tea time in early July. I was warmly welcomed into the world and immediately set out to do nothing in particular. The excitement thus provided gradually waned and soon I was found to be both walking and talking. However, with my new independence, I became even more disinclined to learn. I was provided with sandbox to play in, and with all the trappings of my class, I was content to play in the lap of luxury. My parents, two huge but loving creatures, urged me to better myself, and so it was that I found myself in the midst of Nursery School at Winchester P.S. I did well and was promoted to Junior Kindergarten. Twelve months later, I gave in to offers of a better position at Downtown Alternative Primary School, where I made many new friends among whom were Nili Solomon and her step-sister Jessica.|
I was induced to stay at D.A.S. for 3 years before Winchester beckoned me back with offers of a Grade 3 rating. A year later, I was tested to discover if I was acceptable for the Gifted Program, and indeed, I was. The next year I was spending one day out of every five at the part-time program, which was located at another centre, namely: the Regent Park/Duke of York branch.
During these years my parents broke up. My father started living elsewhere and I began spending fractions of each week with each of them. It was a difficult time for me, because they insisted on constantly telling me that it wasn't my fault, when, frankly, I could have told them that.
Later, my father found a more permanent home and moved in with Esther Kaplan, which thrilled me to no end. Not because I liked Esther overmuch; I hardly knew her, but because it meant that I would have both a brother and sister. Well, step-brother and step-sister. For half the time. (By now my schedule was one week at one house, one at the next. It later changed to two weeks at each.)
When I achieved My Grade 6 rating I was transferred to another institution, King Edward P.S., where for two years I experienced the worst working conditions of my life. The social environment was hostile and though I gained many skills and improved others, (notably my flute-playing ability) I experienced the least successful period in my life.
As had been the case during my grade 5 experience I found that the brightest of lights was that of the Gifted Program, run Nili Solomon's mother in my second year. Then I was gratefully off to an institution which could claim a full-time Gifted Program: Western Tech. Finding an atmosphere between that of Winchester and that of King Edward, I joined several activities, including the band and the Dramatic society.
Time passed and I tried to attend Student Council as well as Band, but as Student Council interfered with Band, I gave Band up. During that year, my friend Nili Solomon came to Western and was elected to Student Presidency. I pledged to support her, and found myself elected to the vice-presidency when the school year began.
The constant changing of houses began to wear on me, so I decided to move to my father's house, since my mother is a bit of a jet-setter.
My final year saw me take charge of the student newspaper which I had helped Nili to establish during the previous scholastic year. I became so excited about newspapers that I decided there was nothing for it but to escalate my scholastic career to the next level - the Carleton Journalism program.
This proved to be unworkable - separated as I was from the home environment that had helped me to focus on work, stuck in the outskirts of Ottawa, and, worst of all, finding that journalism restricted my writing rather than improving it, I did not achieve as I had hoped. The final results were alphabet soup: they contained an A-, B+, C-, D and FNS.
Continuing at Carleton seemed a bad idea, and so I took a one-year break from school. I worked in the main Toronto branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia, deep in the bowels of the Sub Basement. While handling millions of dollars each day had a certain charm, the money was not mine, and working at the Bank did not fit my hopes for the future.
In the later part of that year, I became a part of the Toronto open-stage scene because one of my favourite bands was also involved. I started on flute and keyboard, then learned guitar and ukulele.
I returned to University the following year, as a part-time student at the University of Toronto. I continue as a student and also work at the University helping people set up their computers for the Internet.
And that's my life story in less than 900 words.
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