Today the new director of the Marietta Johnson School will meet with the public for the first time. The Open House begins at 7:30 and will go on until 4 P.M. Yours truly will be there pretty much for the whole thing. Yesterday I baked oatmeal cooking with nuts, raisins, dried cherries, chocolate chips -- these are a meal in themselves: Breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.
The parents and children will be there, the teachers, board members, and “Miss Leslie,” Leslie Mulcahy, who will take the reins as soon as we’re assured there will be enough students to even have a school next year.
The question I get asked sometimes is, “Why?” Why do I do it -- make cookies, make pancakes, make press releases, make phone calls, make board meetings, make Christmas presentations, make other people the director, constantly make the effort that yields so little in the way of visible results? Is it not clear to me that there are other things I could do better – that the world is waiting for me to write a real book, not another Fairhope memoir? Am I missing the point that a more aggressive, dynamic person would be better at this job? Don’t I realize that my many talents could be utilized in a way that made me famous, and maybe even rich?
Well, yes. Then why I am the one on whose shoulders the future of Marietta Johnson’s school and vision for the world rests? I wish I really knew. But what I think is this: I am here with some little tasks in front of me. The school may be in the most serious danger of closing in its history – and I may even have had something to do with that. What we did was clear out the people who had their own agendas and had no commitment to the Fairhope Organic School (see our website – I wrote it, by the way). Now it is time to fill the school up again, this time with bright, sincere children with committed, caring parents, a capable, creative faculty; and secure its future once and for all. I’ve thought I had the handle before; I think I have it now. I do know I’ve got a platter full of delicious cookies, a heart full of good intentions, and that they’re waiting for me right now up there on the campus to take charge of the day, troubleshoot if there is a problem, run an errand if something is needed.
I do it all because it’s worth doing. I do it because nobody else is. I do it because I think it will change this little piece of the world for the better.
Later on, I’ll let you know how it comes out.