Thursday, September 6, 2007

Where Has This Week Gone?

I'm a little surprised to be sitting here on Thursday night, headed into Friday, with little posted despite the fact that it has been a busy week.

Tuesday was the first day of school at the Southern Delaware School of the Arts. Karen and the other teachers had been hard at work for at least a week before, getting things ready at their new digs at the old Indian River High School building between Dagsboro and Frankford. The original SDSA building, the old Selbyville Middle School building, is up for a desperately needed rehab. For at least this year, SDSA is in the old high school.

The SDSA teachers are focusing on The Gilded Age this year. They are organizing the curriculum around an exploration of the nation in the latter part of the 1800s. For the first day of school, they set up an Ellis Island experience.

The buses were greeted by Karen, dressed as the Statue of Liberty and standing on a pedestal in front of the school. Kids started at the cafeteria and were led, in class groups, though the school to the gym. Once there, they faced an inspection, not health, as at Ellis Island, but of their school uniforms. Then parent volunteers snapped a "passport photo" of each kid and released them into their grade's "holding area" from which they were dismissed to class.

I took the morning off so that I could help out. I took portraits of 58 seventh graders. It was fun; these older kids had a good sense of what was going on. They were comfortable and familiar with how things re a bit different at SDSA sometimes. So I could play the Ellis Island Immigration Guard a bit.

Then, yesterday evening was given over to a special meeting of the Lewes Planning Commission to review the draft preliminary site plan of the proposed "Showfield" development, which is asking to be annexed into Lewes.

This is a large plot of land. It could support more than a thousand units. The developer seems to be trying to be responsible. He's hired one of the more progressive local land planning and
design companies and together they've put together a plan for a bit more than 600. It's a good-looking plan, but there's a great deal of work to be done in reviewing it and fine-tuning it to the point where we can make a recommendation to the City Council.

That meant a three and a half hour meeting last night. We had the mayor and city solicitor with us and more council members in the room. We had lawyers and designers and environmentalists and concerned neighbors. We had a productive and open discussion.

But it took the whole evening.

And this evening we all met after school and work at Sussex Tech, where Colleen and the rest of the Ravens Marching Band put on a preview of their half-time show for the band-parents.

It has been a busy week.

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