School Tour

A fellow school board member and I take a tour of the high school. I haven’t actually walked the halls in a year. The high school is very, very, very clean. Like, crazy clean, especially for a fifty-year old building.

In the gymnasium, I remember all those basketball games, the graduations, the Congressional delegation visit….

Afterwards, we stand outside in the sunlight, masks on, talking and talking, looking at back at this school that has meant so many things, to so many people, in so many ways the heart of the community — now, of course, for vaccine clinics.

School board positions are not hotly contested in our world, but in this sunlight, after a tour with so much history and so much more to come, I feel oddly so lucky to have this elected seat. The pandemic has flipped the tables in so many ways. It’s impossible not to think that the world is changing right now, all around us. As I leave, my fellow board member wonders how change will come, if we’ll all be hugging each other in the co-op, if things might get really weird.

Weird, I say, I can deal with. I walk home to where my daughter is baking a birthday cake for her sister’s friend. The house smells of sugar, and the cats are sprawled in a patch of sunlight, where flour is spread on the floor. How good to be here. Part of all this.

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

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