Thursday, June 25, 2009

Event: The Closing of Flint Central (Part 3 of 4)

I have no idea why this space is configured this way; it's located flush to the east side of the fourth floor of the main building, and a ladder adjacent to the entry runs up to the roof. The floorboards on the paths running around this space are rickety and not to be trusted.

The fourth floor was primarily set aside as an ROTC training space. We were unable to get to the fifth floor, which Sam told me was pretty interesting.

Trivia: Most of floors have a "secret" (that is, non-prominent) entrance to the tower stairway in their western wall. On this floor, it was this same room, though I didn't get a picture. One floor down, it was in a corner of the library. The tower has 110 steps, according to Sam.

And... this is where the waterboarding happens.

"From kindergarten to graduation, I went to public schools, and I know that they are a key to being sure that every child has a chance to succeed and to rise in the world." - Dick Cheney

So waterboarding isn't torture, and public education can be improved without sending money to the poorest schools, as shown by this district that has an offensively high dropout rate and about half the enrollment that it did twelve years ago. I know there's an appropriate metaphor somewhere here, but since this room wasn't literally used for waterboarding, I don't know that the parallels are worth the setup.

Whatever. It still gives me the shivers.

The fourth floor has this clinical look that unusual in Central as a whole.

Can you guess where this is?

Here's a clue: what do you think those glowing lines on the floor are?

They're fluorescent lights.

This is the sealed-off portion of the second gym as viewed from its balcony. The "floor" is actually a flimsy tile ceiling above a series of science classrooms.

The Model UN room. Flint's Model UN group went to Chicago every year for an annual conference hosted by the University of Chicago. Before I met my wife as a U of C college student, she assisted with this conference, and probably met friends of mine. It's a small world, and everything connects together more closely than we think.

As we wrapped up our explorations, we heard a strange sound coming from the west lawn. The a capella groups of any and all classes were invited to convene at 7 PM to sing the alma mater. Throughout the day we met students who were enrolled as freshmen and sophomores this year, and alums who graduated in the 1930s. The Flint Journal reported that the oldest attendee was in her late nineties, and would've been one of the first students to go to school in the current building.

It must have seemed very different then, fresh brick and nearly-wet mortar, saplings and young shoots.

Part 1: Here.
Part 2: Here.
Part 3: Here.
Part 4: Here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that a small guillotine behind the sink in the first picture of the waterboarding room?


8:42 PM  
Anonymous Connor said...

No comment on that!!!

8:51 PM  

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