Students spilled out of the school, bursting forth into the afternoon. The sun was high and the winds were favourable. On my maiden voyage across the parking lot, I found myself enjoying the fresh air. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
It was my first day as a grade 11 student at Marc Garneau. Crossing the threshold into that portable for the first time, I was stepping into the last bit of unexplored territory. For the past two years, these portables had been obstacles to walk around, blocks that sat on edge of the field. They had not been classrooms, though, at least not for me.
The portable was slightly smaller than the average classroom at Garneau, but it was comfortable and clean. Over the next few days, we discovered a few six legged friends crawling over our papers. That was okay though; we’re a brave bunch. A bit of advice for those of you who enjoy covert activities in the shadows of the portables: those windows are like one way mirrors. We can see everything.
Overall, I found that it was a mild inconvenience to have a class in the portable. But portables are supposed to be a quick-fix, an interim remedy. At Marc Garneau, it seems that the portables have become a staple of life. If we factor in the alarming number of kindergarten classes at the local elementary school, what we have is a temporary solution for a growing problem.
The issue is not about the students’ inconvenience; it’s about the simple and desperate lack of space. I’ve been exploring the school for two years, but it doesn’t take much more than a glance to see that there’s no room left for additional portables. It doesn’t take much to see where this ship is heading.