Monday, June 20, 2005     « Class Matters »


The public school I attended from grades 1 through 6.

There are a few more photos here: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

When I took this photo I thought the torn curtains and the strewn garbage would capture the shittiness but alas it is not revealing enough. On the day we were there the insides of the school had been completely gutted. I was speculating that they were either doing asbestos removal, overhauling the school, or it's somehow just like that (?). There was no indication that school wouldn't be returning in the Fall yet we were there in August. I have no idea how they could possibly get from what it was to inhabitable for children in one month. I would love to go back and see where it is now, nearly a year later.

Looking back I can see that this place was pretty crap, but when I was a kid it was a welcome reprieve from day-to-day life at home. At the time, the area around the school was an interesting assortment of class groups. I lived in the townhouses closest to the school. They weren't the worst in the area, but by no means the best. Just beyond us was a new subdivision of detached homes and semi-detached split-level homes. They were the highest socio-economic group. Beyond this vast area were two more townhouse complexes; the first sort of in the middle, and the furthest away being the lowest class. It was always very clear to me what living in the worst townhouses meant in comparison to living in a detached home with a pool. Only the lowest class kids got the strap. Only the lowest class kids were put into special ed classes. I was always very aware of how I was judged and assessed based on criteria that was out of my control.

Despite all the social and class issues, it was a place where I could let loose a bit and show my brain; show my soul; be who I was. I could not do that anywhere else, most especially at home.

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