Several McClain classes held their reunions over the weekend of the 2014 Greene Countrie Towne Festival. Two of them requested tours of the high school and I had a chance to walk along with the Class of 1964. I have been in the school since it was refurbished in 2000 so I spent much of my time looking into class rooms checking out evidence of current technology that didn’t exist when I was teaching there. There is little evidence that blackboards get much use these days and gone are the wall maps and charts. In their places are white boards with overhead projectors fed by computers. If a teacher wants to display a map of Europe they simply call it up from the PC’s hard drive or from a distant server. Whatever can be found on the Intranet or Internet can be quickly displayed on the central white board, including videos and full-feature movies. A versatility not even imagined by teachers of my era.
One thing that catches my attention each time I enter McClain today is the beauty of the now exposed original wood floors in the hallways. Before I was ever a student there the wood had been covered by a sort of soft sheet tile akin to linoleum. The lockers have been removed from the hallways and the first two floors look much as they would have in the early days of the school’s life.
Another thing that grabbed my eye was the marble landings on the stairways. On several there was a distinct dimple or indent where countless feet would have first struck the marble as students stepped onto the landing and pivoted to position for the next flight of stairs. I reflected on how many students had a part of making those dimples and how deep they may become in the second century of our, McClain School of Beauty.