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.