There’s a little history behind why I started this blog that may have been forgotten in the pile of posts I’ve ended up with a year and a half later. Originally I set out to write small snapshots of my experiences as a recess supervisor during last year’s teacher job action. My point was that despite what swirls around the edges of public education politically and philosophically, there’s a very human and caring dynamic that forms the heart of the matter each day.
When you think about it, everything we do for children depends on the strong social fabric that connects the adults in schools and the school district. We’re all on the same mission, though with 48 school sites, the Works Yard, the Tech Centre, the District Resource Centre and the district office, we’re a scattered bunch, and sometimes we forget how connected our work is. With this in mind, the road trip this year has become a chance to talk informally with the adults who work in our district, usually over lunch. These road trips have given me a different experience than recess duty, but they’re no less enlightening about the “human and and caring” dynamic that makes a school district work. Here’s the story of one of those lunches, and it happened at a place many of you have never seen, the Works Yard, It’s the place the people who keep things running smoothly for all of us cal home – our trades people and the staff who support them.
This story is about one of the legendary Works Yard lunch hour barbecues. It’s a little known fact that the works yard staff has an iron chef thing going on. They don’t compete, they just produce. This particular barbecue lunch, one of their smaller food fests, had an added feature – a reclaimed deep fryer that added onion rings and fries to the menu. OK, not really health food, but believe me, the onion rings were gone before I got there, and the fries had almost joined them. They were the hottest item on the menu.
The fryer already has its own mystique. Rumour has it that it was found mouldering away somewhere at the old Steveston site, but that’s just hearsay.
Despite the scene-stealing fryer, the important thing is that we all got a chance to do some chatting . It’s true that sitting down to eat together lends itself to telling stories. While we ate people talked about their far-away pasts and their hoped-for futures in a way that made me see them differently. To rephrase that, it made me see some of them, in all their uniqueness, for the first time. In spite of all the ways our work connects us, we each have exclusive rights over our stories. If someone chooses to share that story with me, it’s a gift worth opening.