Last night I attended a West Des Moines Community School District Board Meeting. I was confused and appalled by the comments of some of the "adults" at the meeting.
First of all, yes, I support leaving the Barn where it is and utilizing it as it stands for education, community and historical purposes. I think the barn can be used, for more than just storage WHERE it stands.
Secondly, yes. I still have a hard time thinking of myself as an adult. When did that happen? Then again, I just turned 30. I'm not 40 or 50 or 60 like some of the "adults" at the meeting last night.
That being said, I couldn't believe what was being said. First of all, the Head Football Coach said the barn was a landmark but said he'd like to see it moved so they could use the space for football. I'll get to that contradiction in just a moment. But I believe that the barn would be GREAT for a black box theatre. How awesome would that be? To me, this is just another example of the arts getting pushed aside for sports.
Now, the definition of landmark, according to www.thefreedictionary.com is as follows:
1. A prominent identifying feature of a landscape.
2. A fixed marker, such as a concrete block, that indicates a boundary line.
3. An event marking an important stage of development or a turning point in history.
4. A building or site with historical significance, especially one marked for preservation by a municipal or national government.
Now explain to me, how can someone say that something is a landmark and say they want it moved in the same breath? Logically it just doesn't make sense.
But what really set me off? What really really made me mad, was to hear a few "adults" claim that their auditorium "sucks". Really. They used the word "sucks". My blood boiled. And I called them out on it. *side note--if the barn remains where it is, it has no effect on the new auditorium--they've been misinformed*
Growing up, we would set up folding chairs on our gym floor for our audience. We would have to move crates of balls out of the way to use the stage. Our lighting was controlled by stage lamps and those on the floor that were controlled by students. We always had to pick up the chairs after a performance. And to hear an adult say their auditorium "SUCKS"? Ooooh. They just did NOT go there. I've been in the auditorium. I helped set up for many County and District Conventions for the GOP. I know the auditorium. And I think it's pretty nice. Then again, I'm not spoiled.
Look, here's what it all comes down to. People have forgotten an important lesson of life. "Be thankful for what you have." You have a nice auditorium. Enjoy it. You have a great piece of history, a building that is considered a landmark, a living, breathing example of what used to be...before it became a concrete jungle. Take it and turn it into something useful.
Not everything in the city has to be brand new. *Oooh, shiny!* What lesson are we teaching our children? That old things stand in the way of progress? Because it's not brand new and doesn't have a multi million dollar price tag attached to it, it's not worth anything? Yes, the barn is 79 years old. But it needs to be revered as something important.
Go ahead and teach your children that old things should be trashed. But don't be surprised if you find yourself, perfectly healthy and able to contribute to society, all alone in a nursing home, "relocated" at the age of 79. After all, your children were just following your example.
Think before you do. Your actions are being watched by your children. You're teaching them values. Be thankful for what you have. Because once it's gone, it's gone.