Tuesday, February 22, 2011
My school's name begins with the prefix "Sin" (pronounce "Shin") which means "new" when applied to places such as a cities, or in this case: a school. Apparently, when some of my co-teachers heard they were working at my school, they were a little surprised to see the outward appearance of the place - more than a bit ratty and tattered by the years since the main building was constructed sometime in the 1960s.
As you can see above, the place didn't look all that bad (on a sunny day anyway), that is until you get up-close and see the chipped paint and garbagio hanging off the window ledges (students don't seem to have school pride until after their middle school years).
Anyway, the school has been through some changes throughout the years, including a fairly extensive renovation of the inside floors, hallway windows, and ceilings last year. Over the winter break, the school has been undergoing a face-lift on the outside - stripped and repainted, as well as a new main entrance and sign, and redesigned windows in all of the stairwells.
The results are below.
Unfortunately, also lost is the school's tree which must have been planted long before the school's opening, and which can be seen in the background here.
The school is now breaking ground on its first gymnasium, which is a great for the staff and students, but a sad note for the area's natural history. The tree was extremely rare for the area, and it was universally loved. It served as the backdrop for many school photos and was a school landmark as well - appearing in school notices and featuring prominently on the school's website. In short, in the absence of any school mascot, there was this tree. A few of my grade 3 students, when leaving welcome cards for the new grade 1s chose to talk about the tree: "You will love Cheong Budle, it will give you shade on a hot day."
Well, no more. There's no need to be over dramatic about it. The school is growing in an important way, but I wish there could have been some way to have saved the tree as well. Green can be a rarity here - especially on sandy school grounds. It will be missed.