Friday, May 1, 2009

What is it???

By Lonnie Cruse

This unusual set of buildings is located on a highway at Cunningham, Tennessee. Any idea what they are? Any idea what purpose they serve? Visitor's Center? Art Gallery? Museum? Home and/or office of an architect with a great imagination? Hmmmm.

I spotted this group of oddly beautiful buildings a few years ago on my way to a Christian Women's weekend retreat at Montgomery Bell State Park. Since I attend the retreat every year, I pass the site every year. This time I pulled over and took pictures for this blog post. And, yes, those are real live geese in the foreground.

The answer to the "What Is It?" question is . . . it's a high school. Montgomery Central High School to be precise. Certainly nothing like the high school I attended in Las Vegas, Nevada multiple decades ago. Probably nothing like your high school either. Wonderfully different set of buildings, don't you think? Wish I could have gone to school there.

My friend, Carey, riding shotgun for this trip, wondered out loud if the staff has a problem keeping the students out of the water. Having worked as a substitute teacher's aide in all grades for various schools in Massac County, Illinois, I can assure you, hers is NOT an idle question. Not to mention keeping the kids from throwing things into the water. The mind boggles. But I digress.

Dragging myself back to my intended post, let's talk about education. Kids are still kids but seem to be more eager than ever to get out of school, eager to get on with their lives, not realizing the weight of the responsibilities they will take on after graduation. More important, often not realizing they need to soak up as much knowledge while they can because they will need it later in all aspects of their lives. Math, for their jobs, for personal business like balancing a check book, for figuring measurements for crafts or hobbies. English for writing letters, writing books, or the all important resume' to get a job in the first place. History and geography, just in case they want to play Trivia or make an appearance on Jeopardy! Stuff like that.

Seriously, wanting to get out of high school faster than the required four years is one thing, dropping out early because the students don't realize the importance of their education to their future earnings, to their ability to live the lives they want and provide enough for themselves and any dependants is quite another. And having seen this attitude first hand when I worked for the local school system, not from all of the students, mind you, but enough of them, it worries me.

We seem to be in a "fast food" world. We hate to wait in line. Hate to wait for anything. We don't even want to get out of our vehicles and walk into a business to be served, so drive-up windows pop up everywhere for every conceivable business, including churches and funeral homes. Food can be fixed and handed to us during the couple of minutes it takes to drive from the order box to the window, television programs now come on demand. Patience to obtain the important things in life is quickly disappearing.

Seems to me we need to teach our kids to slow down a bit. AND to get as much out of school as they can, while they can. We want them to achieve whatever dreams they have once they enter the real world, the rat race. Being able to add two plus two and come up with four would probably be a big help to them. And as a writer, I'd like for them to be able to read my books. I'm just saying . . .


Feeding the Grey Cells said...

High School wouldn't have been my guess. Do you think the kids that attend there even think much about the buildings design?

Glad you posted the would have been bugging me all day.

Lonnie Cruse said...

The first time I saw it, the entire car full of women wondered, so we had to slow down until we spotted the sign giving the school name. I'd never have guessed what it was either.

Julia Buckley said...

Those are some weird buildings, Lonnie! Wouldn't it be a cool plot if you went back and they weren't there? Oooooh.

Lonnie Cruse said...

Wow, Julia! Hugs, Lonnie