I was walking home to the Y in Berkeley last night when I came upon a football field. Young people were running laps and throwing frisbees in front of bleachers that could seat hundreds. Floodlights brought the scene alive. I assumed this was a college … but then the athletes seemed younger than that. Beyond the goal posts was a huge white building. Off to the side were others. As I continued on the sidewalk, there was a sign: “H Building”. Woh. What is this place?
Between the field and the street were letters carved into a low cement wall. They were partially obscured by bushes but I got the gist – “Berkeley High School”!
Here’s what the Internet told me:
Berkeley High School is a comprehensive four-year school serving approximately 3000 students. BHS is unique in that it is the only public high school in a community of over 100,000. Drawing from a diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic population, students embrace a broad spectrum of people and ideas.
A high school with more people than my hometown of Belmont in Canada! Oh my God. I tried to imagine what such size would mean for teens battling self-esteem issues. Would belonging to an immense community come easily, or would many students feel lost? What would lunch in the cafeteria feel like?
I welcome “a broad spectrum of people and ideas” but would I be able to find these folks? Would I be willing to speak up in the presence of the masses or would I retreat into my cave?
Naturally I don’t know what the culture of BHS is like. It could be marvelous. It probably is. I’ll likely never find out. Tomorrow I’m homeward on the big bird.
I love discovering the new … and wondering how I’d be in the middle of it. Seems to me that lots more newness is coming my way. Bring it on.