September 2, 2015
Thoughts From Tuesday Night
Big things make the news. Small things make the difference. This has certainly been the theme of my last 48 hours. I said many times today that there just not enough “Thank yous” in the world to cover the gratitude and appreciation I have felt in the midst of my apprehension, sadness, and resolve to overcome the challenges surrounding the fire Sunday night.I grew up in a journalism home. I am the only member of my family that has not made my living in the news business. I learned in 1963, when Kennedy was shot, (I was very young) that big news means your parent won't come home for days.It occurs to me tonight that is probably true in firefighter families as well. The big events - the graphic imagery, the heartbreak, the chaos, the danger, and the destruction - make the news. I’ve been reminded again this week that it is the small things; however, that make the difference.While reporters focused on the tragedy, small wonders carried the day. Discovering the fire doors held, that Orff instruments survived, that decades worth of planning archives somehow did not burn -- these seemed almost like little miracles on a very difficult day. I stood with Kris Denues in the flame-lit night gazing up at the firefighters cutting holes in the gym roof to extinguish the flames spreading in under the eaves. “I hope it’s not Guy!” she said quietly almost to herself about her husband, knowing that everyone on the roof was loved by someone not far from us. To bear witness to the courage of both the fire crews and their families was both humbling and inspiring. The crews stayed at our side after the flames died down to smoldering remains. The heroes continued with the heavy lifting and careful recovery to salvage our resources from inside the crippled structure. They carried glockenspiels and Crayola watercolor boxes. They recovered scorched treasures in the Theatre in the Mountains office that offered delight in the midst of knowing generations worth of show archives are gone.Today, Mrs. Edwards realized everything she needed to teach PE rested out of reach in her office now red-tagged as unsafe to enter. The frustration of our new scorched reality began to set in. Then, from around the corner, a crew of dark uniforms came carrying boxes of footballs, and flags, and team vests, and more. How many times can people save the day all in the same day? Many it turns out! Salads, croissants, bottles of water, lemon bars, cookies, fruit, and kind words filled the staff lounge now shared with new members of “the Loma family." There are probably more than a thousand of these seemingly small gestures across these last two days which buoyed our hearts and made what seemed impossible, possible.The kids came back today. Their smiles and laughter always remind me of why all of us our here. A twinkle in an eye makes it all worthwhile. The kids - young and less young - all made cards for the fire crews today. I am struck by how many men and women I saw step up for us, and I don’t even know their names. Soccer star Brandi Chastain said once at a Jog-a-thon assembly that, “Every day we are given the chance to tear someone down or build them up.”In the midst of all the destruction of the fire, we have the chance to slow down, lend a hand, say thank you, sit a minute in the shade with a colleague or friend, walk our child across the bridge, and remember that it is the small gestures that will most often define us. It is doing the right thing when it is hard, going the extra mile for a stranger, easing the suffering of those in pain, or offering a smile, a hello, a cookie that will transform the difficult parts of our journeys.I see the path ahead as we restore our Community Center/Gym Complex, and it does not look easy. It looks long and costly and bureaucratically frustrating. But we are beginning a journey together as a community, and as a team. We may be teachers, parents, artists, firefighters, students, nurses, software developers, secretaries, tech executives, heavy equipment operators, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and so much more. But, we are builders too. We build people, we build futures, and communities, and hope. We will do small things that won’t make the news, and together we will make history.Corey Kidwell
Mrs. Carino’s Thoughts and Top Ten
As I reflect on the tremendous event that galvanized our attention this week, I am struck by feelings of gratitude and honor for the privilege of belonging to this amazing and resilient community. Truly, we all know and regularly acknowledge how fortunate we are to live and work in this beautiful setting and remarkable community. A pinch every now and again reminds us that we indeed are not dreaming, but actually living the dream.However, when an event such as the devastating Community Center fire grabs our collective attention, we become witnesses in the fullest extent to the nature and character of the community and feel the presence of extended family.Here are my top ten favorite sights as we navigated the fire and began to move forward.
1.Water shooting high above the flames and slowly taming the fire.
2.The words “what can I do to help” uttered within the first five sentences of a conversation.
3.The precision movements of a group of people focused on clearing out and sorting salvageable materials from the Maintenance Office, Music Room and the Art Room.
4.An eerily empty parking lot, except for reporters, silently offering testimony to the caliber of individuals in our community who intuitively understand that it is best to gather information from afar rather than arriving at the heart of the scene.
5.A bookcase in what was Tom’s office holding irreplaceable files, drawings and blueprints left standing for the most part undamaged amongst great loss.
6.Polite fire fighters who pitched in every aspect of the process while maintaining a calm professional demeanor and were such a comfort to us all.
7.An amazing clam traffic pattern on the first and second mornings back to school.
8.Our K-8 students who gathered on Tuesday morning upon returning to school and lifted their voices in song in the Loma amphitheater singing our two special school songs Hurrah for the School on the Hill and It’s the Best School After All. I think the kids were the only ones with dry eyes.
9.A community who while frustrated and angry about the senseless loss of our valuable buildings nevertheless has the heart to acknowledge the courage of a young man and his mother.
10.The poise, leadership, and stamina of Corey Kidwell in action.Other NewsIf you plan on volunteering in your child’s room, you must have a TB on file in the district office. The Loma Prieta Home and School Club is hosting a TB test on September 9th between 8:15 and 9:30 in Loma Elementary classroom #1. The cost is $35. The test check will occur on September 11th between 8:15 and 8:45 in Loma Elementary classroom #1. More details below.
Lost and Found – Surprisingly, the lost and found pile is already big. Please come take a look and see if one of the items there belongs to your child. Help us return lost items by putting your child’s name on their items.
Picture Day – School Picture day is September 19th. Order forms will be distributed this week. Every child will need a form filled out even if you decide not to purchase the pictures.
Lunch and Snacks – A friendly reminder that Loma does not have a cafeteria. Please provide enough snacks and lunch for your child. We have students coming in to the office because they don’t have enough to eat for snack and lunch.
Loma Home & School Club News
It’s time to order Hot Lunch! The first hot lunch will be Friday, September 4th. Go to www.tastenutrition.com; follow the instructions in the attached flyer to register your child. You must place orders by Wednesday afternoon for lunch on Friday of that week. You can order now through January 2016. Contact Jodiemordaunt@live.com if you’d like to volunteer with hot lunch.Proof of Negative TB Test Results are Required Before Volunteering with StudentsThe Loma Prieta Home and School Club is hosting TB testing next week:
Testing 9/9 from 8:15a – 9:30am, Loma Classroom #1
Test Check 9/11 from 8:15a-8:45am, Loma Classroom #1
If you plan on volunteering in your child’s room, you must have a TB on file in the district office.