Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Change is Part of Life
I understand people’s nostalgia for times gone by. Really I do, but change is a part of life. It seems more than a few people are upset by the closing of my old high school, Elmhurst. All they talk about is stopping the closure of the school. Part of me can understand that, but I’m also somewhat of a realist. I realize that the building is old and in need of a lot of repair. I realize that even when I went to school there it got extremely hot and uncomfortable in the classrooms in May and the first part of June until school was out. The building has no air conditioning. I also realize that the building would literally shake when they were blasting at the gravel pit and must admit that on more than one occasion it caused alarm to encompass my very being while trying to listen to a lecture. I have a tendency to have a little more compassion for the people who don’t want the school gone for reasons that their children will have farther to go to school than I do for the ones who just want to keep it around because it’s where they went to school. It’s OK to have fond memories, but we shouldn’t hold onto or try to live in the past. Right now there is a group that gathers monthly of old Elmhurst, Wayne, and whatever other school out there. That is fun. It’s remembering the past and relishing in the friends we have made along the way, the ones we could make again and just a few good times, but it has nothing to do with a building. The spirit that belonged to those kids that graduated from that school will live on whether the building is there or not. The memories will be with us and some of the memories will be good and some will be bad. I say again that it is just part of life. The older I get the more I realize you don’t need material objects to have memories. I don’t need a picture to recall my grandmother standing on the porch waving to us as we would leave from visiting with her. I can still recall it in my mind as if it were yesterday. I don’t need the doll my parents bought me when I was eight years old to remember how much I loved that doll and the memory of them giving it to me. The possessions may be nice and sometimes having them is a fond way to recall, but the memories linger in each of us. If they tear down Elmhurst tomorrow and build something else there, it still will not take away the memory of hours spent with friends and teachers in that place. The decision to close Elmhurst is one that is emotional to many, but it is economically a sound choice made by the school board we elected to watch out for our children and for our financial needs to see that the educational system does not fail us. I am sure that none of those board members were aiming for Elmhurst based solely on the premise that they didn’t like the school itself, so if you see them out there please be nice to them. They are given a budget and there is only so much they can do with it. I would much rather they close schools than some other options. The bad part though is we are probably losing some outstanding teachers at those schools that are closing. It’s too bad they can’t keep the teachers and just place them at new schools. Once again, I understand the sentimentality. I understand even better those parents who don’t want their kids shipped off or who moved to the neighborhood so their children could go there. I’m also really more inclined to have major sympathy for those teachers and employees who will find themselves unemployed. I am not trying to be heartless. I am just being practical. Life is about change and this is just another one unfortunately that we’ll have to adjust to.