Driving down the road in a chunky green one-ton known to the world as “Gump,” I reach the school zone, I smile knowing that it’s after five o’clock, and I don’t have to slow down to 30 km/hr but can continue my cruise down the road at a zippy 50 km/h. Of course, I have to slow down to turn into the school, but I can’t decide if I should be happy that there is lots of parking or disappointed that the open house at the high school isn’t busier. I’m a little bit early, but as I pull around the corner to what has become ‘my spot’, I notice that the other parking area is filled, and most of the other parking spots in front of the school are filled. Upon entering the school at promptly 5:30 p.m. I can’t help but notice students with their parents wandering the halls, showing them each of their classes, and letting them meet their teachers.
Weaving between people noticing a station for coffee and cream, I poke my head in various classrooms observing a variety of setups until I reach Mrs. Flesaker’s science room. Outside, posters that her Biology 11 class has researched and constructed are hung on the wall. Upon entering the room, I see more biology projects: plant collections. Everyone’s plant collection is set up on the tables so visitors can flip through and learn a little bit about our area. Each package contains about forty plants native to our area. Deeper into the room, I inspect skulls and peer into the jars of the preserved creatures on display. Nakusp Secondary School has a variety of critters, including a butterfly, half a tarantula and alligators.
Shortly after 5:30 p.m., food appears and hotdogs are served by grade 12 Foods students. The hotdogs available can be topped with the usual ketchup and mustard as well as chili and cheese. Punch is obtainable too, and it takes seconds after the food is offered for that one piece of missing cake to turn into a whole missing cake.
About 15 minutes after the food is served, Mrs. Barisoff pokes her head into the hallway to remind everyone that the salad making is beginning soon. Behind the counter Dugan McInnes and Adam Webster are prepared for action. Mrs. Barisoff hands out the Harvest Salad recipe so we can all see what is going into the salad as well take the recipe home. Before the seminar begins, Mrs. Barisoff explains some of the health benefits of a few of the seventeen ingredients. Some students are called up to put the ingredients into the bowl while Dugan mixes the salad and homemade dressing is added. Spoons and samples are set out to try. I place a small portion on my tongue and chew the twisting new flavors. It’s fantastic! The sunflower seeds give it a little crunch and all the different vegetables and quinoa create the perfect salad.
I wander a few more classes still munching on my salad looking at the fall themed decorations before high tailing it to the band performance. They are already playing without fault under the direction of their conductor and teacher Mr. MacGibbon. All dressed in formal black and white, they look professional and well put together. Some classical pieces as well as some sequences that the audience can immediately recognize such as the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song are played for everyone’s enjoyment.
On the side of the gymnasium opposite the band, the outdoor education class has targets set up, along with dummy guns and bow sets. The bows are an array of colours and are presented well beside the shelter building tools.
In the wood shop, Mr. Barisoff has a presentation about wood routing before the musical theatre class wraps up the night. Ms. Wiseman leads the drama class; the pieces they sing include “Grant Us Peace” and “Doo Ah Diddy Diddy.”
By the time everyone leaves the school it is considerably darker than when we all arrived. However, everyone leaves with a little extra knowledge about what goes on during their classes. We listened to the music and drama class show their talents for the first time this year, as well as learned a few healthy salad tricks and a little bit about our technology centre. Parents met and interacted with the teachers that see us, the students, every day and help teach us what we will need to know in our future.