Sunday, 26 May 2013

Writing the History of Our Schools ( but not giving myself enough time)

Our current senior school.

    You may have noticed that it's been a while since I have had a new post, and the new posts that I did put up were few and far between.  I promise to make up for that!  My life seems to have (for this particular second in time) slowed down.  I had a lot of my plate, but now my plate is relatively empty.
   Our local schools are being closed and torn down, and we have a brand new school that is currently in the process of being built.  It's on one hand very exciting, but on the other hand a little sad.  I went to those schools.  I felt some pride when I took my children to the school's that I attended in my own childhood.  To celebrate the old schools a group of volunteers met for several months to plan a fitting goodbye.  Guess who was on that panel (I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with Bristan)?

The old Sulphide School

    In one of the original meetings I suggested that it would be nice to have a book made to celebrate our schools and their history, and I offered to spearhead it.  No one seemed all that excited.  I assumed (never assume, oh never assume) that no one was interested in that idea, and so I left it.  Fast forward to one month ago.  Our principal asked if I was still writing "that book".  "NO.  No one seemed interested."  I replied aghast.  She gave me a look of pity, " Quite a few people have been asking how you were making out with it".  "I guess I'm writing a book!" I said shaking my head.  "It's not going to be a big book." I added.

The train once ran through the village

    I began to research the history of our village, and it's schools.  I say this, but I had a full plate (what's new) and did not devote a lot of time to "my" book.  I put it off and caught up on my other commitments.  Two weeks before the school closing event I began to panic just a little.  I had virtually nothing done.  I began to read, and read, and read some more.  I realized at that point that I may have been in over my head, but being too stupid to admit defeat, I soldiered on.  

Tweed's old High School being torn down.

    Stupidly I had thought that our village's history was as small as the village itself... I was wrong.  I found myself fascinated.  It was amazing to look at the current Tweed, and imagine Tweed of the past with wooden sidewalks.  I suddenly felt so insignificant, so small and insignificant looking at my place in Tweed's history.  I wished that I had more time, I wish that I had started sooner.  I wished that I had started sooner, not because of the time constraint that I had put myself under, but because I didn't feel that I could do our fascinating history justice in such a short time.

The young women of the home sciences class
    Two night's before the school closure (my due date because we were going to sell the books there) I could feel cold sweat all over my body.  Frantically I read my research, scribbling notes.  How would I put this all together in time?  I ran into our local Historical Society and begged Evan Morton our town historian for his help.  After speaking to him I felt more overwhelmed than ever.  The history of this village was fascinating and I was going to fail.  I would do a disservice to the history.
   The Friday before the school closure I sat at my computer, only leaving to go to the bathroom.  My legs went numb, but on I worked.  At 3:00 a.m. I asked Christopher to proof read my book.  I say book but it was only 22 pages, really hardly a book.  At 3:30 I turned off the computer and staggered off to my heavenly bed.  
    Saturday morning I woke at 8:30 and went back to the computer.  I didn't feel like I had properly finished last night.  I worked until 11:00.  At 11:00 am I hit the send button and sent it off to my local printer.  The book needed to be at the school by 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.  My legs hurt, my eyes felt strained.  I felt happy.  I had done it.  I had written a book about the history of our schools.

The beautiful stained glass that memorializes
Tweed's fallen soldiers of WWI
    At 1:20 p.m. I went to the Tweed News to pick up my book.  I got there and the poor lovely woman who worked there looked as frantic as I had felt just hours earlier.  "Come and help me!"  Together we folded the pages, and then she would take them back and staple them.  At 1:45 I arrived at the school, books in hand.  I had done it.  I had done what felt like the impossible, and now life can restart.  I say this, but now I am thinking that I might like to try my hand at writing a real book about Tweed.  The more I think about it, the more appealing it seems... I guess we'll see.


  1. Where can one get a copy of your book?

  2. "Booklet" would probably be more accurate. They can be ordered through Tweed Hungerford Senior School 613-478-2719