Saturday, February 5, 2011

Southfield #10

Southfield #10 was the name of the school I attended 3rd through 6th grades. I was always puzzled by the name; all of the other schools had regular names and it wasn't that this was the tenth school built, it probably was the first school in the township. It was near Ten Mile Road and very old and ugly. By the time I had gone off to college,the building somehow was converted to condos so only a small amount of the brick facing showed with its bizarre name engraved in  was left. Steve went to NYC public schools. I guess there were too many elementary schools to name. He went to PS 100 for example but they did name the high schools. His neighborhood school would have been Lincoln High but he went to a magnet school downtown for high ability boys in math and science: Brooklyn Tech. He graduated when he was 16.

Most of the students including myself were from the shiny, new subdivisions that were built up around the school but they bussed in some low income students from some trailer park 3 miles away. One of these kids I will call Timmy, not his real name. I think he was in my fourth or fifth grade class. I don't remember him ever speaking but I clearly remember what he looked like: small, thin, longish hair (when all the boys had buzz cuts with a bit of longer hair on the top of their heads). He had big brown eyes and was cute. He only had one outfit, a short-sleeved white shirt, which seemed to be always clean, and some black pants. He had no coat. We were expected to go outside for recess, no excuses not to. Just because he had no coat was no excuse for Timmy. I remember seeing him shivering in his short sleeved shirt in a corner near the building. I couldn't believe that he was expected to go outside. Didn't our teacher ever notice? The only bit of compassion he ever seemed to get was the day a skunk sprayed him as he was waiting for the bus. He had no other clothes to change into. The prinicipal came into our classroom to explain the situation and said none of us better make fun of him.

I got stuck in a snow drift the other day while trying to get out of a parking spot near the Y. It has been years since this has happened. Fortunately through the kindness of strangers... Until this snow melts or the city gets around to clearing it, I've been hesitant to go back. I ran outside today before we got any more snow. It was a toasty 12 degrees out though fortunately calm. There was a glazing of ice on my street but once I got out to the 'big' road, it was clear and it felt good to breathe in clean air.

I spent the day and alot of the evening with Naomi and Ms. Maya yesterday. Maya seems to enjoy new environments. We had her in a high chair at a restaurant and she happily gurgled while we ate. She is close to crawling now. She creeps mainly but for small bursts, can push herself off in good crawling form.

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