You can’t fight city hall…

Written by travisr on May 30th, 2007

One-part photocopier toner.  One-part floor wax.  One-part lost and found.

It’s the smell of a school, just past the front door.  Any school.  And it gets me every time.  It’s nostalgic for me now and it was magic for me as a kid.  Schools are alive with a hard-to-explain energy.
Today, a City of Calgary civic employee talked about the same of sort-of-thing except kind of not at all.

I’m taking my next-year’s bunch (which now fairly officially is a Grade Six bunch) to City Hall for a week.  The program is part of an Open Minds program and takes place throughout downtown and the Municipal Plaza.  The home base for the week will be a classroom right in the heart of the plaza with a glass wall opening into the busy foyer.
When she talked about the program, she said that it started seven years ago.  Seven years ago there was some dissent as to how 20 or 30-some young hoodlums would change the dynamics of a public building.

As might be predicted, the public building was changed by each week bringing a classroom of young people in and out of the glass-walled room.  It brought the building to life.

Listening to her speak of how City Staff…
…peeked over journal sketches… pointed out the room to guests… inquired during the summer as when the student’s would be making their grand return… marveled at the thoughtful questions asked by such young minds… fell in love with the constant visits…,

I couldn’t help but think of how I would be exactly the same.

One-part photocopier toner.  One-part floor wax.  One-part lost and found.  Seems that even backpacks are capable of transporting some of the pretty-awesome full-of-life smell.  🙂


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