JANUARY 18, 2006 10:21 AM

In my grandmother’s dining room, two framed prints are proudly displayed amongst the antique furniture and large tea-leaf collection. The prints are fond depictions of both, her elementary school and her high school back in Kentucky. During thanksgiving she told me, again, about how the buildings had been important posts during the civil war. She told me a few stories about making the switch from the smaller elementary school to the larger and more grandiose high-school. I never really understood why my grandmother went to the trouble of having pictures of school buildings from her youth placed on the wall. After last night, I think I understand her.

None of the public schools I went to when I was a child will exist next year.

I spent two and-a-half years in a private school called Stepping Stones. When my little sister was born, I switched to GRPS. I went to a new small Montessori school called Wellerwood on the North East side of town. My bus ride would take me all over the city and pick up kids like Harvey, one of my best friends. We had a lot of freedom and the parents were really involved. Both my little sisters went to the same school with me. I graduated from sixth grade with about 6 or 7 other kids. My parents have a tape of the ceremony somewhere, I remember because I wore a suit with the new Fila Grant Hill high-tops. I’m sure that my excitement is palpable in the video. I was one of two people from Wellerwood selected to attend City-middle next year.

♥ anthony
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JANUARY 18, 2006 10:20 AM

City was, unequivocally, the greatest educational experience I have had to date. My friends came from every neighborhood in the city, all socio-economic backgrounds and we formed a bond stronger than any non-familial bond I think I will ever know.

When it came time to plan a “senior prank,” one of my friends said “you know, I really enjoyed high-school. Why would we want to pull a prank?” We all agreed, but we still tried to submit an ad for late-night pizza place with the Principal’s phone number to the yearbook. We got caught and the ad was pulled from the yearbook but somehow it made it in to the actual printed yearbooks despite the fact that it was not in the final proofs.

It’s true that there was neither a gym nor theatre at City’s building, but that forced us out of the ivory tower and into the community. Our gym class took place at GRCC’s natatorium, local public parks in midtown, the old Fanatorium bowling alley, Central’s practice field, Paul I. Phillips rec. center and several other locations. Though I never participated in forensics or theatre, I walked past the overflowing trophy case filled with awards earned by the dedicated thespians that practiced and performed in the lunch room. Each election season, local candidates from the City Commission and the Mayor’s office to Reps. and Senators ascend upon that lunchroom for a very public and important candidate forum. The funny thing about the lunch room is that we were granted “open-campus,” so when the weather was nice, the lunchroom was only ever about half-full. Everyone else was outside eating on the grass.

City is currently within walking distance of GRCC, the Public Library, all the museums in Grand Rapids, dozens of non-profits that benefit from students completing their mandatory volunteer hours and internships as well as business that are regularly patronized by students. The building that city is moving to is pretty close to some office complexes and a strip mall.

I suppose now is the time to be faithful. Faithful in the resolve of the students at City. Faithful in the community to follow City out to the edge of town. Faithful that the spirit that created a school focused on bringing students together to form an academic community in the heart of the city will remain vibrant. I have faith. I am deeply saddened that this change is taking place for the sake of economics rather than education, but I still believe in the spirt of City High.

♥ anthony
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JANUARY 18, 2006 12:20 AM

That's my homegirl!

♥ anthony
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JANUARY 15, 2006 5:57 PM

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is with great pleasure that I present to you the first in a series of entries about failed local publications. I’ve got entries about “the paper” and “The Hump” lined up, but I thought I’d start off with something most of you will be familiar with. So without further delay, I present to you;

Indulge (April 2004 – November 2004)

Most readers will recognize indulge as the magazine that teased us with depressing images of Grand Rapids nightlife and then left us with nothing but empty red distribution boxes and plenty of memories.

People, especially Media Mouse, loved to hate on this magazine. It was a pretty awkward publication, let’s make that clear, but it was cool to see pictures of local guys with sweat stained extra-medium t-shirts gawking at girls posing for the camera, right?

The magazine featured some good design and some laughable design. Their idea to put a calendar in the middle so you could tear it out and post it up was “neat” in theory but it mostly listed the different drink specials at bars that I would only go to if forced.

The first issue features an article about all the great stores in my very own Burton Heights! I seem to recall an article about the joy of riding your bike around the city in a later issue. Doesn’t sound so bad does it? Well, abandon all hope ye who flip in a couple of pages. By my count, 5 of the 10 or so articles in the first issue are about either drinking, clubbing or “diveing(SIC)” (going to creepy bars your uncle likes). Witty titles like “Separation of Church and Gay” and “The Only Gringo in Mercado”probably stopped some people from reading the actual articles. In the case of “Separation” the author argued against defining marriage as a union between a woman and man. Skip to the back of the issue where you’ll find a bunch of pictures of the same 4 or 5 girls dancing in what looks like a deserted bar. I would love for a physical publication to flow smoothly from political commentary to wild party pics, but hey not everybody can be as sexy as G-rad.

The most telling sign of this magazine’s impending demise has to have been the “Photo spread.” What the hell were they thinking? Issue one features, I kid you not, a guy in blue jeans and a white t-shirt that says “B. Republic!” I am sure that if they paid these models anything, that is why the magazine went under. For real, the magazine could have done well. They used some good writers and even a couple of g-radders were involved, but they should have dropped the fashion-shtick. If you are just throwing some uninspired jean jacket and a mini-skirt on a girl and telling her to stick out her chest, why bother?

Indulge GR is no more. It was a tough little guy. Despite constant ridicule and very little support from the community at-large, Indulge stuck it out for 31 issues. If there is one concretely sad thing about the loss of Indulge, it is that now I’ll never get to sit down with my grandkids and show them pictures of me from an Indulge “Scene” photo layout. “See that guy “raising the roof” over there kiddo? Yep. That’s your Grandpa Gone Wild!”

♥ anthony
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JANUARY 1, 2006 10:03 PM

Continue reading "January 3rd, Check the iCal" »
♥ anthony
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