I'm pretty bummed about the tornado that hit Springfield, MA last Wednesday. I lived in Springfield and went to school there from about age 12 and up, and even though I don't live there now it feels like home. My parents still own the house there (and that house is okay, luckily our small neighborhood was missed) but a lot of the places I visited regularly (Red Rose Pizza) were pretty much destroyed.
The thing that hit home the most was my high school, MacDuffie. My Dad drove by last week on his way to work (his office is downtown) and took these pictures for me. Gosh it's depressing, for more reason than one. My school was founded in the late 1800's as an all girls school and then later became co-ed. MacDuffie always stood out to me (both while I was there and now) as a really amazing place. It had a great campus (lovely old buildings) yet somehow still maintained a bit of grittiness you might get for having a private school in the middle of a city like Springfield. I think sometimes there's a lot of pretentiousness that surrounds private high schools but somehow MacDuffie avoided all of that and was very down to earth. (In fact, I learned more and studied harder in high school than I ever did in college, compared to MacDuffie, the Museum School was pretty much a joke.)
This past December I learned that MacDuffie was essentially going to be "moved" (and by "moved" I actually mean merged and swallowed whole) to another school in Granby due to lack of funding. The current campus would be sold and essentially there would be no more MacDuffie - except the use of it's name for a new school that no longer stood for what it used to. Not that I believe in fate or anything, but it seems uncanny that a tornado would come through and destroy it right before the last graduation would be held. It's kind of like the school couldn't imagine being anything else, or worse yet, have a future fate of being gentrified into condos. (Or that's what I like to think would have happened).
Anyways, when anything like this happens (not that anything quite like this has happened before to me)I feel very nostalgic and it makes me think back very fondly of my times there. It was a really special place and feel grateful for the time I had there. I have a tendency to complain and not like anything while I'm there doing it, but then about 3-4 years down the road it hits me how lucky I was to have been there.