Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, March 21, 2005

Schooled on the Morning Run

Sweetbriar loop w/ E, 8 in 64:32. The time/distance is misleading, because the pace was easily faster than 8 minutes.

I get the feeling that this was the best part of the day. Now its cloudier, windier, and it doesn't seem any warmer than it was.

This loop now runs past a major new construction project that has started in a corner of Fairmount Park that sits right on Girard and Parkside. They have already felled numerous large trees and fenced off a small shortcut I use to cut from Lansdowne Dr. to Girard Ave. The only project I could think of that might be built there is the much touted new high school, built in conjunction with Microsoft, that is being dubbed the "school of the future." A quick web search confirmed that this is in fact what is happening, although the groundbreaking has been kept consipicuously silent.

The article I linked to also describes how naming rights for everything down to the urinals is for sale, so that the school might actually be called "Microsoft High". What's good enough for sports stadiums is apparently good enough for "public" education. I remember last fall this topic came up when a group of us were on a long run before the Phila marathon, and we were speculating on the possibilities of Hustler Magazine buying some naming rights. I'll leave the suggestions we came up with to your imagination.

I want to dwell on this a bit further, as its now in my head and I don't have much else to write about today. I find the apparent low key nature of this groundbreaking to be suspect, as is the information that was provided about the site. The site, which I now see was described as the confluence of Parkside, Girard and 34th St (which don't all intersect), was as I remember more often described as an out of the way corner of Fairmount Park. Now that I know the site I can say that is out and out shit. They are using park land for other purposes. While the merits of the competing land uses can be debated, it should have been framed as such.

There was an article that circulated on the W. Philly community list serve a few weeks back that said that, in soliciting all this private support for public school ed, that Phila was on the cutting edge. But the first thing to go would be public input as to the nature of the education, as those decisions would all be made in the back rooms. It certainly looks like that is true about the construction decisions.

Maybe it's because a corner of land that was a familiar part of my regular routine has now been abruptly and fundamentally altered, but this beginning feels rather ominous. I'm also thinking that this will be the high school that T. will go to if he continues in public school. But that fortunately is a few years off.

In the meantime, since nobody asked my opinions on the place I hope that some wise educator/corporate stooge had the foresight to include a track in the site design.


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