Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"I only see clearly what I remember"

Kristina Michele Frazier

Kindergarten Picture

Taken at Indian Village Elementary School
Afternoon Kindergarten Group

Teacher: Miss Crouse
Principal: Dr. Schroeder

Quote Courtesy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

As soon as I stepped through the next set of doors, the smell of the school re-awakened decades of stored memories.

To the right, there is a door. That used to be where the nurse's office was. Not anymore - something else was there. To the left, there used to be a school administration directory. That's where you'd see that Miss Crouse was Room 1 and Mrs. Lawson was Room 19. It was a black, felt, square punctuated with white letters and framed with a glass case.

As I walked forward, to the right was the "Principal's" Office. Before I entered, I noticed that to the left was the school gymnasium and straight ahead - HEY WAIT! It was gone. Yes, straight ahead, there used to be two restrooms - one for girls and one for boys. It wasn't there anymore!

In the office, I introduced myself to the woman in charge. No - not the "new" Principal (well - new to me - but Ms. Stephany Bourne has been there for awhile). The real heart and soul of this school - Mrs. Ross. You see, I don't specifically remember Mrs. Ross, but she's been at Indian Village almost since the beginning of time. Her wildly successful daughter - was just two years behind me - so she was the perfect person to give me a tour of the facilities.

I should mention that I picked the absolute worse day to do this. It was the afternoon of the fifth grade convocation. There were tons of kids and parents everywhere (never a bad thing generally) however, I wasn't able to get all of the pictures that I wanted to get because I had to be careful, making sure that no kids ended up in my shots.

Alright - let's start the tour.

Mrs. Ross and I stood in the middle of the office area. We acknowledged that not much had changed (in this area) since the place was built. The long, light oak counter where I would stand in line to purchase my bus pass ($1.50 per week I think) or the place I would stand to turn something in to the school secretary - it was still there.

Oh my! This was the spot where my mom and Dr. Schroeder had a throw down over the buses.

Mom: I don't understand why we have to pay for our kids to be transported back and forth to school.

Dr. Schroeder: The way the rule is set up, if it's under a mile, then we have to charge you.

Mom: It's more than a mile!

Dr. Schroeder: Not as a crow flies.

Mom: Pardon?

Dr. Schroeder: The rule is, mileage is based upon the flight of a crow. He points to a map. From here to here is just under a mile.

Mom: Points to the map too. My children have two legs and no wings therefore, you should be measuring based upon the route that they would have to walk she points to Kyle Road, Sandhill Drive, Tielker, Engle Road. THAT is over a mile.

Dr. Schroeder: I'm sorry Mrs. Frazier. I can only go by the rules set forth by the school board.

When I told this story to Mrs. Ross - she immediately knew where I lived. It was a humorous moment :).

When we walked out of the office, I pointed out things (the school directory, the restrooms) to Mrs. Ross - mostly - out of a need for some validation i.e. was I crazy?! She was pretty amazed at my memory and she acknowledged that yes, I was right. And throughout our tour, she was a fantastic validator for me.

I asked her about Dr. Schroeder. Apparently, he had retired a few years back and during a celebration for the school (fifty years), there was a big to-do thrown for him and his lovely wife in honor of the school and his retirement. How sad that I had missed this (but of course - I didn't know about it).

As we started to walk down the hall - I saw a door on the right - right before the first hallway. Hey - that used to be the teacher's lounge - where they all went to smoke.


And what happened to the restrooms? They weren't there anymore. Instead, the library had been built out from this area.

Mrs. Ross: When the school added on the wing (2001), we also did some rearranging. That included changing the set-up of the library.

And stepping into the library, it was a beautiful site to see. Well maintained. Lots of books. And now, a great view to the outside - to this grassy, gazebo-like, special place that was just established in the name of a student who had died a few years back (I'm sorry that I cannot recall the name of the student). On that particular day, they were planning on holding a dedication ceremony.

When we stepped outside and looked at the area, I was having some major cognitive dissonance. It looked familiar. But this was new. I didn't spend a lot of time in that girls restroom (that used to exist in this place). And surely, there was no window to look outside to this area. Hmmmm.....I said nothing - I was going crazy.

Or was I?!


ida said...

oh i remember as the crow flies rule too. my dad was going to have some kind of major fit when i went to elmhurst high. there was a railroad track blocking most of the way and the quarrys. my dad said their was no way in ... that his daughter was going to walk down that road where the quarrys where in the wee hours of the morning. we had to pay about 5 dollars a week or 2 weeks. finally he just got me a divers license and told me to drive. i think i learned alot about driving by being forced to drive down the middle lane on spy run toward glenbrook from the southside. that was something else.