A few hours ago I went to see my little sister, Rosalie, preform in concert choir at Girard Academic Music Program, GAMP. Tonight, an auditorium of 600+ students, parents, staff, and friends, said goodbye to their principal at GAMP. He is retiring this year, not because he wants to, he's put 40some years into the school, but because he did not want to fire any of his teachers, or make any cuts to the programs, so he decided to leave the school, letting his vice principal take over and not be replaced, eliminating that position altogether. This farewell happened at the end of the schools annual spring concert, most of the students and almost all of the parents were unaware that he was leaving until being told this evening. The result was intense, depressing, and loud. Some people got angry and talked bad on the way things were being run in the district, but mostly everyone was just crying a lot, which then caused babies in the audience to wake up and scream. The principal was crying and it was all very, very sad. I haven't decided if this means anything, but GAMP is one of the four Vanguard schools of Philadelphia, along with Masterman, Central, and Bodine. It has only been one of the four since this principal was there. I've talked to the principal about a million times concerning my little sister, he's one of the most passionate individuals I've ever met. He loves his students, and treats his staff as if they were part of his family. As Lehmann says, he is a man that is thoughtful, wise, passionate, and kind. It was really hard to watch all this happening. He started to give some sort of speech... thanking everyone for being there and telling all the students he loved them, but then he just couldn't talk anymore cause he was crying and just walked off the stage mid-sentence.
Sometimes when I'm at SLA, at my own school, and I think about Mr. Newman, who finally started a steady music program, or Jeremy, who worked for half a year without even getting paid because he loves this school, what it stands for, and the people in it so much, getting cut and having to leave, that I forget about everyone else. I forget that this is hitting everyone. And I'm not sure which way is easier to deal with either. I can't decide. In a weird way I felt a kind of relief when I was reminded that every school, not just ours, has had to deal with these cuts, and that it hit some more than others, because it makes me feel like at least we're in this together. I know that's the wrong way of looking at it, but it makes me feel better about the whole situation, so I'm going to continue doing so.