Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Shock of the Old
It's that time of year again: time to start promoting our annual Kid's Character event at the bookstore, this year featuring Olivia. As part of getting the word out, I always drop off posters at a nearby Catholic School, and I look forward to that visit every year.
It's like stepping into a time bubble. Modernity has been barred admittance. I don't think that the school building itself has changed significantly or been renovated since the 1950s. The children still wear uniforms and travel in rows. The teachers are permitted to dress modern, if conservatively, but the ladies minding the front desk all look as if they stepped out of old photographs.
The doors are kept locked and every time I'm buzzed through them I genuinely feel like I'm stepping out of the Doctor's TARDIS and into a past that is somehow remarkably alive. It's reassuring to know that some things don't change. For all I know they could be the same children, doomed forever to remain in third grade.
Would I send my kid there, if I had one? I don't know. I'm not convinced that the past is the best place to raise a child, having lived through the past once myself. But then, not being a Catholic, I don't think any kid of mine would be welcome there anyway.
In other "school news," check out what's going on in Tucson right now. 1984 is here.