Monday, February 6, 2012

Suburban Field Journal

Today let's play a little game. It's called "School or Prison". Take a look at the images below and take a guess as to which ones were taken on school grounds and which ones were taken on prison grounds......

Okay, I know, I wasn't being entirely fair. It was a little bit of a trick question. All of these photos were taken on the grounds of two local schools. Yet to me they all look like prison.

As I was driving around the parking lots of one school, all I encountered were locks and fences and a police car. Are people being kept out or locked in? You really can't tell. But it does strike me that this isn't a place where people want to be.

A few years ago I took some LEED courses. I was particularly interested in LEED for schools. There have been many studies done that show a link between access to nature and increased learning. Do we really need studies to tell us this? Isn't it obvious? These schools located near our home certainly don't inspire much of anything. They are drab, cold, industrial. There is barely any nature to speak of. It makes me rather sad. The quality of these schools is supposedly quite high and that is the good news. Still, can't we have the quality and an environment conducive to learning, a warm and nurturing place? Aren't our children worth it?


    I cannot tell you how many times we drive by a school and I will say, "Just look at that school, it looks like a prison"!

  2. I know, right? The windows are so tiny ~ so there must be almost no sunlight. When I took the photos, there were two windows with kids hanging out. I thought that was fitting. Were they jumping or just trying to get some fresh air? Ha ha ha...

  3. Jumping or trying to get fresh air? That's so funny! I truly don't know what has happened to schools. Have you watched any of the Jamie Oliver shows where he has tried to change the American school cafeterias? It's pretty scary stuff and he has had quite a bit of flak about it.

  4. I have seen some of those shows and I admire him for fighting the good fight. Personally I don't understand why everyone doesn't agree with him. Why is it such a fight? It's shameful what most schools feed the kids. I know, I went to public school. Most of us had pizza and french fries almost every day for lunch because the veggies were so gross (not because we didn't like them but because they were overcooked, not seasoned, limp, tasteless, etc...). And there were so few options.


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