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.


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