Monsters University: Passion, Higher Education, and the Pursuit of Dreams

We don’t all fall in love with the same things, in the same way, or at the same time so why should we be expected to pursue our passions in the same way?

I know that’s a little deep for a Saturday afternoon, but hear me out.  It is not as heavy as it seems.  I’m talking about movies here, Pixar movies and more specifically Monsters University.

My children are not going to be those kids who seek an adrenaline rush by getting freaked out, scared, terrified by a movie. Not if the first 1/2 dozen years of their life is any prediction. Dora The Explorer was out on our tv list because Swiper was way too scary. Franklin -> scary. Arthur -> scary. Walking into a movie theatre -> with no movie playing yet -> way too scary. The tragedy is that I love movies and I want my children to love movies too.

With a 9 ear old and a 6 year old, this summer we finally made it into the movie theatre and enjoyed a movie all together. Ironically, that movie was one that was all about monsters and fear. That is just a testament to how well the creative and exceptionally keyed in the folks at Pixar are who created the perfect balance of story and child- like appeal in Monsters University.

At my children’s school this year, they have an underlying theme all about ‘effort’. We’ve always known that everyone has different abilities and strengths and weaknesses. I don’t care much about test scores. Some test well others don’t. Some coast through high school and others struggle. What I care about in education is that my children learn to think for themselves and learn the value of hard work whatever the subject and their ability or disability.

Despite the fact that we live in the center of a region with more universities and colleges than probably anywhere in the world. Despite the fact that I love being a student, have a masters in education and grew up in academic family, I have always felt that college is optional especially these days. Trade schools, apprenticeships, real world experience are all good options for training and education.

What I love about the story in Monsters University is the message about success , effort, and that more than one factor influences your path in life.

20131012-142625.jpgIn the movie there are so many fun reference to the university experience and whether you went to an Ivy League, a small college, or a huge university you can’t help but crack a smile as you ‘remember when… ”

As for my own experience I enjoyed the studious student life and juggled my dance training on the side caught between two worlds. Now as college is a distant memory, I love reading about the famous pranks that the kids down at MIT pull off year after year. This week, after seeing Monsters University again, I imagined my alter ego as a fraternity jock capturing the rival school’s mascot. For me it would have been Boo Hoo the Bear, which is Queen’s University’s mascot.

If you have not seen it yet, I recommend getting out to the theatre. If you wait a few weeks, on October 29th, the 4 Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, 3-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand become available.

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