Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Two hours of my life

Ever feel you're being used? They're building a number of new schools in Comal ISD, and Lisa and I were invited to participate in the naming task force. Lisa couldn't go tonight because of Brownies, so I headed over to Smithson Vally High School on my own. Since I hadn't actually been told where the meeting was, I wandered around for 20 minutes or so (that place is huge!) before someone knew what I was talking about and directed me to the library.

I found the meeting, and sat down with the group tasked with whittling down names for the new elementary school on Morningside Drive, which is right next door to us. The suggested name that jumped out at us was--wait for it--Steve Irwin Elementary. Wow. If the purpose of the school's name is to inspire kids and set a good example for them, Steve Irwin wins, hands down. The others in the group thought it great as well. When I got home, I asked my daughters what they thought (since they'd be going to this school) and they started bouncing off the walls. Seriously--Irwin has done so much to educate and inspire children and adults worldwide about conservation, he's an impeccable choice. So what if he's Australian? There's a high school in San Antonio named after Winston Churchill. For an elementary school, I think Steve Irwin's a brilliant name.

Only too bad for Steve-o, because I'll wager cash money the name's already been decided by the powers that be, and our task force is merely going through the motions. Why? Well, the other names submitted were fine, but nothing exciting. It was the usual mix of deceased school officials and generic place names. Nothing offensive, nothing inspiring. Except one name was presented with an overwhelming amount of historical background. It was pointed out to me that each group had one of these submitted for each school--almost as if there was an orchestrated effort to make sure a particular set of names reached the final three for each school. You see, the task force can't recommend a particular name, or even rank its preferences. No, instead a selection of two or three names is presented to the school board, which then makes the final decision. So as long as the right, favored names make it to the final three, anyone want to guess which one will be picked? This is the same school board, mind you, that chose to name the new district high school Canyon Lake--ticking off a lot of people in the process--while insisting there would be no confusion with the existing Canyon High School. Sorry folks, but there's significant confusion and the new high school isn't even open yet.

I'm not a big conspiracy buff. I'm not wholly convinced that some person or group is trying to game the system, but it did strike me as suspicious the way all the submissions were amateur presentations with the exception of one. If they really, really want to name the new school something particular, fine. Do it. Just don't waste X hours of my life on a dog and pony show solely to give your predetermined name the veneer or popular acclaim.

Now Playing: Dvorak Symphony No. 2; Legands Op. 59, Nos. 6-10

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:04 PM

    Become SB member-be part of grand finale decision making-option, name smaller part of bldgs after others like art room/bldg, etc.-the mom