Here it is. I have been living on the periphery of Haisley School for closer to three decades than I feel strong enough to admit right now. Every morning, I walk past the Deeeeep Dark Scary Woods (and it is dark when I set out at this time of the year) and through the schoolyard, the first leg of my three-mile 0-skunk-30 powerwalk. The photo is looking toward the woods — that’s my entrance (and my exit). My house is on the other side of the woods.
I walk on the sidewalk if it’s not covered with huge mud puddles or glare ice. If I can’t navigate the sidewalk without reenacting the old pig fell in the mud joke or sliding down onto my you-know-what, I walk on the grass beside the sidewalk. The side of the sidewalk where the FENCE is. I don’t walk on the grass on the *other* side of the sidewalk because that side of the sidewalk is usually worse than the sidewalk, at least when it’s wet and muddy, ice is a whole ‘nother story.
This summer, they were doing paving and construction and stuff to the left of where I’m standing to take the picture. Since the area was blocked off by temporary orange plastic fencing, I took to walking *across* the grass (past that slide) and around the construction. Imagine that! Except. Last Friday morning. I walked past the Deeeeep Dark Scary woods and I was about to cut across the grass. But. THERE WAS A FENCE!!! The fence connects the fence around the Deeeeeep Dark Scary Woods and the back end of the school. I had to walk its entire length. Fortunately there was a gate and it wasn’t even padlocked. The janitor came out just then and I asked him about it. He didn’t have an answer and seemed a bit grumpy about being asked and said something about school property. Well, yeah, but it’s also PUBLIC property, paid for by my property taxes. It should be obvious that I’m not the kind of person that is gonna shoot up the school, me in my tie-dyed t-shirt, hiking skirt, purple Keens, and bedraggled hair. And at 6:00 AM, there are no kids over there anyway. Just other walkers, runners, dogs, and rabbits.
I searched the school district website for information. Nada. Finally, the first day of school,
annarbor.com The Ann Arbor News did a story about school improvements made over the summer. Haisley School, accessible playground. Okay, I get that. Haisley has always had several classrooms of children with disabilities, some of them so severe that those children can’t walk or take care of their own basic needs in any way, shape or form. I think it’s great that there is an accessible playground for them. If I were still the PTO treasurer over there, I’d've advocated for that playground, even if the principal wanted to buy lobby furniture. The FENCE?!? I do not understand the fence. It isn’t like the entire playground is enclosed by the FENCE. The area is easily accessible from the other side.
Grump grump grump grumpity grump. Good night.