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2015 04.02

What This Place Really Needs

During a Saturday evening not too long ago I was stopped next to one of our basketball courts by one of our 5th grade visitors.  Looking up and without preamble she asked me, “Do you know what this place really needs?”

That question always stops us in our tracks.  In order to remain as fresh and relevant as possible we continually seek student feedback and are always ready to listen when one of our visitors is willing to give us their opinion.

“Why don’t you tell me what you think we need,” I responded, smiling with encouragement.

“Penguins,” she replied, like it was the most obvious answer in the world.  Unblinking.  Deadly serious.

My mind immediately went to the ramifications of having a colony of penguins in our building.  Penguins being tossed back and forth over our volleyball net.  Penguins on skateboards.  Penguins demanding anchovies on their pizza.  Penguin diapers.

She must have realized that she had lost me for a moment because she immediately added, “Wouldn’t that make this the coolest place ever?”

I couldn’t argue with that.  “Yeah, it would!” I replied.  But having had a minute to think, I was pretty sure I had found an out.  “But where would we get them?” I asked.

“The internet,” she replied without missing a beat.  “You can buy anything there.”  And away she ran, on to her next adventure.

Just to be sure, I typed ‘penguins’ into the search box on Amazon the next Monday morning.  I found stuffed penguins, penguin books, penguin duct tape, and even penguin Pez dispensers, but no live penguins.  I’m hoping they become available around the same time that Amazon starts using their flying drones for deliveries.  How cool would it be to see a penguin flying above the City of Walker on the way to its new home at the 3 Mile Project?  And forget about us, what about that penguin?  After millions of years of flightless existence that little guy would be the Orville Wright of his species!

Anyway, no penguins yet.  But you never know.

– Stan, Executive Director