Does it look different to you?

I ride past it every so often, past the new school addition which is now over fifty years old. It looks about the same except they changed the shape of the roof, put a new brick face on the building and changed the windows. I guess it really looks nothing like it did.

And inside? I’m sure that Sister has gone to her reward so there’s probably not a trace of her anymore. No Westcott ruler sitting on her desk waiting to crack a head or two. No rosary beads clacking against the desks as she walked up and down the aisles while we completed our spelling tests. No absolute silence in the room when Sister’s face got red about some colossal mistake made by Jimmy or the snickering in the back of the room.

The kids sitting at their desks don’t know that there is any difference to the school that to them seems like it has been there forever. They don’t know the way that Sister used to roam the classroom because there are no nuns in habits anymore. They don’t know that the building looks any different. But then they also don’t know of a time when you could board a city bus and ask the driver for change because he wasn’t concerned about being robbed or when you could open a food container without safety shields put there to prevent tampering or walk home from school and take a little extra time playing with your friends without your mother worrying about whether or not you had been kidnapped.

To the new kids the building is the same as it’s always been.

A stop in Albuquerque

I was just reading about the protests against the Washington professional football team over the use of the team name, “*edsk*ns”- the “r” word, and thinking about the problems that some Native Americans have with the use of the “r” word. Indians are a strong people who are proud of their heritage and history.
It made me think of an eastbound train trip I took a few years ago from Los Angeles. At Albuquerque the train stops for about thirty minutes and Native Americans have tables set up on the platform where they sell their goods to travelers on the trains just like they have for over one hundred years.
Rings, necklaces and bracelets, all in the southwestern Indian style, along with blankets and rugs are laid out on the tables for the passengers to look over and buy. The Indian merchants seem to do a good business. I looked at a set of six place mats and a then found a small blanket that I knew my wife would just love.
A nice blanket for under $10.00 and back on the train for the rest of my trip. As we headed east out of Albuquerque I looked at my purchase and thought about how modern the Native Americans have become in today’s America with the building of huge casinos and brick and mortar or mail-order, tax-free cigarette stores all across the country and how nice it is to see that traditional Indian items are still a major part of their culture.
The blanket is a light gray with darker gray stripes at both ends. It’s very nice. Now, I’m not sure which tribe made the blanket but I do know it is a genuine Indian article because the tag said, Made in India.