School of Unexplained Knocks
Life advice from a professional ghostbuster
Onc e in a while, I browse the Toronto District School Board’s “Learn4life” guide and imagine myself as a different person. What if I decided to make all of my own clothes? Who would I be if I learned salsa dancing — or salsa cooking?
Most of the courses have soothingly insipid titles and descriptions. “Computer Applications for Everyday Life” walks students through the process of purchasing movie tickets online; “Cake Decorating: Wilton Method–advanced” advises on the best method of making flowers from gum paste. Any would-be instructors can propose a class, and if the school board likes the idea, it’s a go. For a few years now, it has offered a course called “Everything You Want to Know about Ghosts but Are Afraid to Ask,” which promises to help rid the body of “unwanted spirits.” I’m not sure who approved that one, but I was intrigued enough to sign up.
I don’t believe in astrology or numerology; I don’t think there’s anything to be gleaned from magic crystals or the leaves at the bottom of my teacup. But I’ve been afraid of ghosts for as long as I can remember, so in December, I asked three friends to take the course with me at $21 a pop.
We showed up late, just as the instructor, Dawn Trewin — a special-needs assistant who moonlights as a medium — was lecturing on magical orbs and handing out