Friday, January 28, 2005

Cup 53: Priorities

Originally uploaded by matt_leclair.
When: January 28, 2005, 7:00 am
Present: dozens of schoolkids
Coffee: Mountain Grown Folgers
Mood: cranky

I was at school before 7. Nobody there but me and the janitor. I made the happy discovery that at this time in the morning the coffee is quite drinkable, not tortorous at all, as it will be after it has had a few hours to bake.

I wanted to get there early so I'd have time to write. I wanted to respond to an email from Riverbend. "I wonder about democracy and just how over-rated it might be considering the people in the most democratic country in the world couldn't stop this whirlwind of stupidity from occurring." How would you respond? What can you you say about democracy to someone who has had democracy forced on them at gunpoint, dropped on them from a Patriot missile?

And then I was surrounded by 7th and 8th graders. Someone had shut off the heater in "the Pod" the mobile-home style external classroom that provides room for the middle school in Pembroke, and with temperatures lower than -10 F the night before, the Pod was very, very cold. I usually hole up in the library to get work done. Pembroke is way too small a school for its student population. Music, art, health and technology all share one room. I usually do tech stuff in the library. Sometimes classes are held in the hall, with students sitting on the floor. Much of special ed takes place in a windowless storage room. It would cost $2 million to bring the school up to where it should be. The war in Iraq has cost Maine $440 million.

These are things I think about as I sip Mountain Grown Folgers and get ready to fix ancient computers the school can't afford to replace. Hooray for democracy!

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