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  • I wasn’t paying attention.

    I wore my totally rapt in attention look. Eyes narrowed, chin in hands, slight nods every 14.75 seconds, lips slightly pursed and beginning to lift at the corners.

    That look, but I wasn’t paying attention.

    I did my best but I had come in late and had to take the one seat without a window view. I faced the bookcase. there wasn't much there to hold me; the last 15 years of yearbooks, a few binders worth of strategic plans and four hardback leadership books with perfect dustcovers.

    I had a page of notes going:

    Hashed and rehashed so what is hash squared.
    Standing agendas lead to ...?
    Around the oval table we go again


    Deep stuff.

    I thought there must be a poem in there somewhere.

    “I couldn’t ask teachers to teach in there,” she said.

    That got my attention.

    There was the new science and sport building. Like 10 million Euros of building. State-of-the-art. I know there is a poem in that combination.

    I stopped faking it and tuned in.

    “The smartboards and digital projectors don’t work. They won’t connect, “ she explained.

    “I can’t ask teachers to work like that,” she said again.

    The rest of the table nodded.

    I thought about the school that produced Edison and Einstein. Madame Curie and Louis Pasteur. The schools that got Mother Theresa on her path and the ones that gave the Buddha and Ghandi, Vincent and Yitzak Perlman their sparks.

    The meeting ended without a resolution and I walked out to do Grade Two recess duty.

    The kids carried plastic cups to the drinking fountain and back to the sandbox.

    “We’re getting water,” Jesus told me.

    “We’re making a castle,” announced Annika.

    One of the Grade two teachers and I watched them build moats and lakes and dams.

    “It’s the simple things isn’t it,” she said.

    “Isn’t it, “ I said.
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