Although the Mayor and members of the Newburyport City Council appear to be having misgivings about a special election for the Newburyport elementary school $30 million dollar, diamond necklace spending extravaganza (whew), apparently, according to the Newburyport Daily News, December 4, 2006, members of the Newburyport School Committee do not.
I really like and admire the members of the Newburyport School Committee. I cannot think of a more difficult committee to be on in Newburyport, MA. The problems they try to solve are swamp-like and seemingly endless. To me the fact that anyone would volunteer to be on the Newburyport School Committee is amazing.
However, if the Newburyport School Committee persists in pushing this version of the Newburyport Elementary Building School Needs plan, this is what I expect. Cynic that I am.
I fully expect to start reading in all the local (maybe national, who knows) publications how dismal and awful the elementary schools are, with pictures if possible, of how depressing it must be to be a child in these horrible surroundings.
And then a statement about how all the other towns or cities have beautiful new sparkly elementary schools, and it is the poor unfortunate Newburyport elementary school children who are utterly deprived and probably psychologically harmed because of this ghastly state of affairs.
And then an adorable, or most probably a series of adorable, pictures of our absolutely adorable elementary school children. And they are adorable.
How horrible of the taxpayers not to want to cough up $30 million for this particular plan of a new diamond necklace elementary school extravaganza for these adorable children.
This was basically the tactic used to persuade the tax payer that repairs to the Newburyport High School were not nearly as wonderful as the “gut and redo.”
The problem I have with shiny and new, is the building (or buildings) in question has/have no character.
It takes a while to develop character. The thing I like about our elementary schools (and I don’t care if folks start to wail about how all worn out they are) is that they have character. One gets a sense that there were many folks, of all sorts of folks, that were in these buildings, long before the present students started their journey.
And instead of feeling that because of that, these buildings are now all worn down and useless (that’s our superficial culture, aren’t we supposed to be teaching our kids better stuff than that?) I think they have character, a sense of history, personality if you will. Not shallow Paris Hilton superficial culture building kind of stuff.
And I think this is a GOOD thing, maybe even a great thing.
So I’m not buying what I think may be coming next in the “reaching out to the community” thing, in persuading the taxpayers that our school children are in utter misery because of their ghastly, outdated, shabby surroundings.
No, should this come our way, I’m not buying this at all. In fact I’ll be really pissed if folks try to pull that one off.
I keep saying to myself, “it’s time to shut up now Mary, about all this elementary school building stuff.” But it appears that I’ve really gotten my “knickers in a knot.”