Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Goodness Perpetuates Goodness. Or, The Good Fight, Part 1.

Chula Vista High School, Home of Champions, my Alma Mater, finally has a new theater. And it is gorgeous. It has catwalks and rafters and a professional lighting booth. It has a dance room and a recording studio. Chula Vista is the home of the School for the Creative and Performing Arts in the South Bay, and this theater is at least 15 years overdue. Maybe 30. And like any new baby, it needs a proper name.

There has been a movement brewing via facebook, word of mouth, and email, and largely driven and sponsored by the lovely and talented Barbara Schroeder, to get the building named after my legendary drama teacher, Jack Tygett. If you don't know who he is, I'm not going to wax poetic here because then this might be a book instead of a blog. But watch this.  (Plus, Sam Cavanaugh is in it, so that's win). But needless to say, Jack deserves this honor. And the 170 people that belong to his Facebook group agree with me. Even the local media has caught on. I thought we had it in the bag. Until. Well, until the Other Side showed up. 

I don't want to disparage the Other Side, other than to say they were a very contentious MINORITY. They were loud and long-winded and sort of overly sensitive. They really wanted to slay Goliath, except the Giant in this case (if it's Jack Tygett) is more like the Jolly Green Giant. Lovable. Awesome. I know many people that dislike genuinely the man that the Other Side supported, but I don't know a single person that could possibly not LOVE Jack Tygett. He's joyful. He's energetic. He IS Chula Vista SCPA. 

So rather than focus on the Other Side, I am just going to point out the good parts of the Good Fight. The library at Chula Vista was filled to the brim with Tygett supporters. The public speaking part of the agenda lasted 2 hours, and Tygett supporters far outweighed the Other Side, at least in terms of numbers. There were tears shed. Yearbooks opened. Hugs exchanged. It was probably better than my High School reunion (and cost much less!). I was filled to the brim with warm and fuzzy feelings. 

Why? Why did so many people show up? Why do a disproportionate number of Spartans become teachers? Because that kind of Goodness is self-perpetuating. Because teachers like Jack (and Mr. Neil, and Mr. Naismith, and SO MANY OTHERS) create people who want to teach. Because when you do good, it drives others to do good. I won't say Jack inspired me to teach. That seed was planted long before then. But people LIKE Jack inspired me to teach. And Jack inspired me in so many other ways. 

And we won, sort of. For now. The committee was oddly political (maybe this shouldn't surprise me) and kept wanting to compromise with The Other Side. I think this had far less to do with their argument, and far MORE to do with the fact that they had people on the committee. But, ultimately, the compromise that was reached meant we were able to honor Jack in a meaningful way. And this makes me happy. The Jack Tygett Performing Arts Center. Has a nice ring to it, no? 

I know the SUHSD School Board will do the Right Thing and, at the very least, follow the committee's recommendation. At best? Maybe they'll take the less political road and actually give Jack his due. Every Spartan knows he deserves it. 

And, as I posted on Facebook, it felt good to fight the Good Fight. So many of my fights feel defensive lately.Don't cut this, give that back. Stop decimating my classroom and selling off the rafters.  It felt good to put some Good back into the world. To focus on the POSITIVE aspects of education. And if there is positivity in education, Jack embodies that. 

And I'm feeling a little more recharged for the defensive fighting, too. I miss Berkeley. I'll keep you posted. 

No comments:

Post a Comment