I've had short.
I've had long.
I've had black hair-jet black, blond hair, red hair.
I've even accidentally had spotted yellow brown bad-move-on-my-part-trying-to-highlight-my -own-hair, hair.
When I was a younger girl, at one time I wanted a perm, and I got a perm, and BOYDIDIREGRETTHATPERM!!
Change with my hair is good.
Obvious change is good.
But what if you have to vote for change, change that will impact the visible memories of generations for the rest of their lives?
I'm talking about a school referendum vote.
This vote will change the entire way a middle school does their "business."
- Presently the current school isn't energy efficient.
- Only 4 students actually live within walking distance, the majority of the students that attend this middle school, live in the southwest portion of our district-a nice comfortable more time for mom bus ride to and from school each and everyday, in a town with another name, as a matter of fact.-
- The current school is over 80 years old and is in need of significant repairs main focus of repair is it's mechanical systems
- The current middle school isn't handicapped accessible. So, if my cousin's daughter is injured in gym class, in order to get her by wheelchair to the nurses office, they will have to go outside first (WE HAD BLIZZARD LIKE CONDITIONS HERE LAST NIGHT, the WIND REMINDED ME OF WHEN WE HAD TWO BACK TO BACK HURRICANES IN FLORIDA-not much snow stuck, thankfully-GIVE ME FLORIDA SOON, please!!)
- The amount of money it costs this school to heat (the middle school) costs just as much to heat our two high schools, and they're double the square footage.
- The water and gas lines near the science lab classrooms work at about the same pace as a 'burn out' does (NOTE TO READERS: I'm not selling out Burnouts) would do his/her homework...very inconsistently.
The vote is to build a new, better middle school with all the bells and whistles, closer to the majority of the students, although that isn't as accurate as the superintendent that I spoke with yesterday on the phone claims, however overall it does make it easier on the students. Plus, the building will be handicap accessible for not only students, but parents, and visitors too.
The building will host the smart high performance sustainable "GREEN" Design; Daylight harvesting, energy recovery, bioswales, and water efficiency landscaping, with HIGH EFFICIENCY HVAC. There will be more space, provide an environmental teaching station that may possibly have a "green roof." This school will be LEED certified (Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design). New computers, equipment, enough electrical outlets and obvious space. Therefore eliminating the "dead end hallways" that the current middle school has.
Basically it all sounds good. After all, change is good thing. However, change or perspective is also based on how things are described. Change is based on so many things, such as history, redevelopment, and of course the big one, how well we, the ones involved or most impacted by the change, how we allow it to affect us.
The new 'proposed' site, has had some controversy though. Because it sits near a BP plant. Parents are concerned about the LUST factor. 'Lust' being, Leaking underground storage tanks that will contaminate the water and soil supply. Records indicate that BP has a history of responding to and dealing with the "lusts," in a timely fashion required under their regulatory requirement standards. Records also indicate that any or all current issues are being controlled and actively managed.
Parents were concerned about contaminated soil from run off waste. For the past 2 years, the EPA has done many tests to determine if the "proposed" site is in good condition. Only one soil boring area was recommended to have the eight foot removal, although first of all, it's not even close to the site of the potential school, they did make sure to inform us that the removal of the soil wasn't based on environmental issues, but more so because of geotechnical concerns.
The concern about the nearly 6 million pounds of hazardous chemical emissions from the Bp Campus over ten years is a big concern. But rest assured they have informed us that the hazardous chemical emissions from this plant are fairly similar to those that come from gasoline vapors. In the year 2005 they only totaled about 2300 pounds. So then what about those volatile organic compounds, or VOC's? No big deal they say, as there is no difference between the magnitude of toxic chemical emissions at this 178 acre campus (where only 33% of the 1600 employees work in research, and only a third of that 33% actually deal directly with chemicals) versus the type of emissions found at a gas station.
Sure, but I don't spend five days out of the week sitting in a gas station, now do I?
All of this has some serious high quality substance, and rest assured this district, political infrastructure, and everyone else tied to this, has done quite a bit of research. You'll laugh and ask me why all this fuss, or missionlength post, when I tell you that this change won't even impact my own sons. We have a junior high/middle school just down the street, so my sons won't be those bused to the toxic waste area. They'll attend school down the street.
BUT!! I care about change, this change does matter to me and not because of the six scientists that have rare forms of cancer:
Certain groups against the move did their research and invited a former retired what was once Amoco, employee to the school board meeting. This employee has a lawsuit pending against BP in which he contends that a benign brain tumor was brought on by hazardous chemicals in his workplace. "It just makes no logical sense to put children across the street from a petrochemical facility, " one of the parents of that group stated. But, studies have shown that it would cost $45 million to renovate versus $35 million to build a new school, not including the cost of the land.
In 1999, researchers had conducted a three-year study of the cancer cluster at this research plant, and concluded that not just one, but six cases of brain cancer were most likely work-related. Yet the scientists were never able to identify the source. The six employees all worked in the same building, during the same period, in the late 1970s and early '80s. "Five of the six men worked on the third floor, which has since been closed, but the remainder of the building is open and the BP campus still employs about 1,000 people," says a BP spokesperson.
The families of the six employees have sued, and their cases have been settled. One attorney that represented his deceased scientist father, said that his father died of glioma, the rare, malignant brain tumor ironically common to all six workers. Scary stuff! But, then again, this was around 28+ years ago, I'm sure things have changed.
How many times throughout this post have have you changed your perspective? Forget for a second about the property tax change, the obvious, but how much of your own "WHAT I WOULD DO," has been swayed based on words here?
For me, it's so much more on top of all of this. For me, the change will mean destroying history that isn't or won't ever be classified as a land mark. But it has family history!! My dad, his parents, their parents...so much history within the walls of what is now a middle school, and what was at one time a high school. Remember that high school that closed my junior year and converted to a middle school? Yes, that one.
For me, I feel guilty voting for the new proposed enhanced site. Maybe all the green environmentally friendly school will offset any negatives that may come up from the plant campus situated near by. Heaven help the school, if an explosion ever occurs over there. But, a plane could crash into the present middle school so why sit and worry about what could happen?
I feel guilty voting for the change because I feel like I'm going against my fathers side of the family-all their memories. The history, theirs and my own, my memories, my first locker, the dead end hallways where I remember catching a smooch(or two) from a boyfriend that lasted all but a week, even though it still counted, after all, it was high school.
The auditorium where my grandma would do her cheers up on stage, because at one time it was the gym. My Grandpa and his wonderful success in baseball which later led to a Cubs chat as he was a great pitcher... he went to war instead. So much history, so many memories, that I emotionally feel as if I will be turning my back on it, if I mark YES for the new change on SUPER DUPER TUESDAY, February 5th.
I go back and forth. Because obviously the change will mean the destruction of the present site. It will improve the flood zones that have done so much damage to many homes near the old bricks.
But my memories!! I am lucky, I have the memories stored in my head, I can close my eyes and picture the drivers Ed classrooms, where if you wore a skirt on driving day, he'd give you an A. The smells of the hallways, the classrooms, all of that in my mind still. So the struggle for me on top of all the facts that have been listed here that I go back and forth with is that can I deal with holding onto just the memories in my head for the rest of my life? Obviously my vote won't make the big impact, but I can't have that perspective either, if I did, then I'd most likely never vote for anything.
So basically what I think is that change is all on how you make it. For the rest of my life I could be bitter about destruction, or I can cherish the fact that my memory is still ripe enough to recall the relationships I built within those brick walls, and not base it necessarily on the structure of the bricks, but the quality of growth that I discovered within my own self, from walking the hallways of what most likely will be a demolished structure. I will glance at a lake in the future where my HS once stood. A winding cobblestone old town field road, with mini boutiques and quite possibly a hotel, but I will have the image in my head. Just like I have the image of my grandparents although they are no longer here.
Just bricks, and bricks don't make the memories..they're just backgrounds.
So, if you made it THIS FAR, then you'll be rewarded, with, pictures of my many different styles of hair. (there's always a strange link, isn't there?) Pictures of many different occasions in my life. The one with the straw hat was a road trip driving to a campsite where my friends and I rafted, camped and drank beer for three (or two, now I can't remember) days..The dealership that I worked for back then, had allowed me to switch my demo coupe silver SEBRING with a Purple Plymouth Voyager. I knew then, that one day, I'd be driving a mommovile..
Enjoy the many different colors of Crustybeef...
Yes, as you know, I have been known to climb into things, and make funny gestures..I'm crusty, give me a break! As long as you know there are so much more to me, then you're welcome to laugh along with us here! My two best friends had made me this scrapbook as a gift after I had Sullivan!! They knew I needed a laugh, it was a toughtime then with my hormones.
Welcome TO Crustybeef~
Thanks for making it this far with me.