Tuesday, October 25, 2022

A Salute to the Quarrymen


"Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants, so long as it is black.", Henry Ford

And you can have a new high school as long as it has Quarry in the name. Think I’m joking?

The possible names for High School 13 which made it through the naming committee process are as follows:

Gabbro Quarry High School*
Granite Quarry High School
Quarry Field High School
Quarry Heights High School
Quarry Hill High School
Quarry Ridge High School
Quarry Rock High School
Quarry Run High School
Quarry View High School
Rock Quarry High School

They have been submitted to potential students for their feedback. As for parents…

For some this was particularly irksome because of their concerns about the school being built near a quarry in the first place. Naming it after said quarry felt like adding insult to injury. 

Yes, this caused a bit of a buzz online as parents expressed a sense of disbelief that nothing but “quarry” names were being considered. I learned that over 1400 names had been submitted by the public. Of course, a substantial number were dismissed outright for being just plain silly or irrelevant. Then other names were rejected for having negative connotations. 

At any rate, when all  the sorting and sifting was done, the naming committee assessed the ones that remained and arrived at this list of possibilities. There’s a specific policy for the naming of new schools and the work of the naming committee is a part of that. Frankly, I thought naming a new school would be more fun than this.

Then again, any activity which requires serving on a committee is a punishment unto itself. What was I thinking?

The reactions I saw to the list of names seemed to be: oh my goodness, this is ridiculous. They’re all terrible. Where are other non-quarry choices? There wasn’t any meanness or name-calling or vilifying the naming committee. Just a sense of: are you kidding me? At over two hundred comments in the thread, things got a little punchy. Fred Flintstone and Fraggle Rock may have made an appearance in the discussion.

That’s when my brain hared off and dredged up memories of an absurdist play by Eugene Ionesco, entitled The Bald Soprano. In one scene, characters Mr. and Mrs. Smith have a conversation about a family in which every member is named Bobby Watson. Every single one, male and female.

For example:

But who will take care of the children? You know very well that they have a boy and a girl. What are their names?

Bobby and Bobby like their parents. Bobby Watson’s uncle, the old Bobby Watson is rich and he loves the boy. He could easily take care of Bobby’s education.

That would be natural. And Bobby Watson’s aunt, old mother Bobby Watson could easily take care of Bobby Watson’s education as well, the daughter of Bobby Watson. That way the mother of Bobby Watson, Bobby, could remarry. Does she have someone in mind?

MR. SMITH Yes, the cousin of Bobby Watson.

MRS. SMITH Who? Bobby Watson?

What? The naming of a high school in Howard County didn’t make you think of theatre of the absurd?

Someone suggested that our local students could have come up with more creative options. If they did, and submitted them to be considered, then they clearly didn’t make the cut. Ah, well.

In the end, there will be a new high school. It will open with a brand new name and quite a bit of old and complicated history about it came to be located there in the first place. Believe it or not, I have actually seen it. (The high school, not the history.) After the rather extended drive to find it I would be willing to name it “The Long and Winding Road” High School or maybe “Journey’s End.” 

But I hope that, despite all this, High School 13 will be a positive and supportive learning community where students grow and take on new academic challenges and engage in fun and rewarding personal adventures. 

Oh! I almost forgot. They’ll need to name a mascot, too. May I suggest Quarry (Something) High School, home of The Rockers?

*Gabbro is the kind of rock that was mined at the quarry for which the new school is (apparently) going to be named.

Columbia Community Care Restaurant Week, Day 2: 

Pipilinka Charbroiled Peruvian Chicken, 

11 am to 8 pm.

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