MERE CHILD’S PLAY
After reading “The Big Debacle at Buist” (News, Nov. 23), I was surprised to discover I know one of the students involved. My daughter was best friends with the girl’s big sister when she attended Buist five years ago. I asked my daughter if she’d heard about the incident and she had. “Guess who it was?” I asked. When I told her, her jaw dropped and her eyes got big. Then she laughed. There’s no way she could hurt anyone.
I feel sorry the mother has had to go through all this. She is a bright, very kind person, and has seen one daughter through Buist who has excelled awesomely. (Dist. 20 Constituent Board Chair) Marvin Stewart is just an ass. (Buist Principal) Mrs. Ballard’s brain must have left the building. I despise this type of fear and paranoia that terrifies people into behaving like they must police every situation, and mere child’s play is made into some terrifying nightmare.
ARTS IN SCHOOLS
In Response to Mr. Goldsmith’s “Facts for Facts Sake” (Nov. 30, Letters) regarding Patrick Sharbaugh’s “State of The Arts” (Unscripted, Arts, Oct. 26), the numbers Mr. Goldsmith wrote about of students involved in the arts are impressive, however, I believe not enough opportunities are out there in the schools.
As an artist and parent myself, I find it difficult to see what art programs are available in the public schools. There are a lot of families missing out on art in the schools’ meager programs. Maximum capacity in the art and magnet schools with limited seats available to the select few fuels this problem. Sure, there is an art class at my daughter’s school, and a music class. I am grateful for her art teacher. However, I wonder what would it be like to be the only art teacher for an entire middle school? I imagine a school that size should have two or three art teachers. Compared to the School of the Arts, where creativity is a way to educate, enlighten, and facilitate growth in a child through art, our public schools are lacking, and yes, “deplorable.” For most, it probably means art getting put on the back-burner of life, and eventually, if not encouraged by someone, art in our children’s world may not happen at all. For the rest of us, being proactive with the arts is an added challenge but welcomed regardless because our children grow so fast. As Pablo Picasso said, “Though every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE
Much has been written, published, and propagated regarding the proposed Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston for George Street. Most recently we heard from Pat Jones, president of the Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association (HANA). Mrs. Jones is concise and careful to point out Clemson University’s “insensitivity” to the neighborhood while requesting respect for its residents, facts, and due process.
I am in full agreement with Mrs. Jones in that the residents should serve as a large part of this critical process if the realization of this center is to move forward. Whether these residents participate with open minds or adverse predispositions is, however, a whole other matter.
I detected little respect in Mrs. Jones’ referring to Clemson’s support at the Nov. 7 BAR hearing. At this meeting, I was the very first to speak in favor of the design of the school after what seemed like 20 negative opinions. In fact, I was only able to make my own opinion heard after the board chairwoman quieted down an Ansonborough resident who began speaking above me.
I am a proud alumna of Clemson’s School of Architecture (May 2003) and of the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (Fall 2001). After having been raised in the Lowcountry, I feel not only entitled, but empowered to be one of the few Charleston residents to stand up to the staunch opposition for this school — because at Clemson, they did not teach their students to sit quietly at the back of the classroom.
Michelle Bellon Smyth
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