Thursday, April 07, 2011

Re-Entry (Part I)

It was strange to be driving in to school. I drove up to the security post; the guard checked the vehicle registration plate, smiled, and waved me through. I made the necessary 270° turn in the middle of the fortress and found a parking lot.

School offices. Spiral staircases. Coffee and busy people.

It has been a long time since I've seen the usual cluttered mass of desks and partitions that is the modern office. The layout at the Institute tends to be less dense, and hence the clutter is spread out and neutralised.

But there always is clutter in the modern office. The paperless incarnation of human toil never quite took off. Humans need material things, for they are not virtual.

Oddly, I saw few students. I felt almost as if I were in a convent, with the young ladies hiding behind the stone walls and whitewash.

I note, in some semi-detached corner of my mind, that this staircase is not of military bent. It winds to the left and up, which favours the attacker and obstructs the defender. Castles have them the other way around, unless the defenders are left-handed, which is quite rare.

One thing I like about the place is its sense of open plazas. I'm sure that at the end of the day, the throng of students must cover the ground like pigeons at another open square far, far away. But the open lines of sight appeal to me, though I am not a claustrophobe.

I have civilised conversations about education. This is a novelty to me, almost. I have not had such conversations in school offices very often. Mostly they end with metaphorical hand-wringing about my inability to do the politically correct but ethically wrong thing.

It worries me that I am becoming domesticated. I shall try to retain a bit of the wilderness in my soul.

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Blogger ming said...

That spiral staircase is positively loaded with significance and the only nod to the old school on the hill.

Thursday, April 07, 2011 10:32:00 pm  

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