Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wilson's back to school night got off to a rough start yesterday. The doors stood open, and the auditorium was very warm- not having the benefit of air conditioning. The first speaker urged every one to move up as there was no PA system. The principal seemed to be running a few minutes late. Lights kept blinking, and if you looked up, you noticed the large areas of plaster rotting up there in the ceiling. But then, with no press, photography or fanfare, up popped our new mayor, Adrian Fenty.
Fenty's voice was clear and strong while he gave the mandatory short spiel on making school improvements. It was such a morale booster that it really didn't matter what he said. The most important thing to me was that he was there-and that it was not the first time he had been here in this auditorium. It is somewhat comforting that he is from this town-generally only people who are from here can understand here, and even we find it A Challenge.
The rest of the night went well. The teachers, for once, were not complaining about a lack of books or other glaring oversights. There was even a glimmer of optimism. The stadium and field have been renovated, and the pool is finally under reconstruction.
Wilson was a brand new school back in the 1930s, when my dad's brother, Nick Cokinos went. You can literally feel its age going up the stairs which are concave now like the steps of a Roman coliseum. It's still a beautiful building despite its years and deterioration- but it desperately needs improvement- as do the vast majority of our city schools. There is a tiny light now- maybe- just there at the end of this long dark tunnel, but it sure is amazing how fast that new baseball stadium is getting built.
It's enough to keep you guessing.