I spent the morning with Nan Pate and her 10th grade advance placement U.S. history classes at Brookstone School.
All the Ledger-Enquirer reporters were sent to various parts of Columbus, Phenix City and Fort Benning to see what people thought of today's inauguration of Barack Obama.
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I was sent to Brookstone School.
I have to tell you, there's something to be said about private school. Not just that the kids will get a good education. That's a no brainer.
When I walked into the class, all of the boys stood up. And all of the students came up one-by-one and introduced themselves.
I've been to practically every school in Muscogee County and to schools in the surrounding counties.
Never have I been to a class where the boys stood when I entered. Never. Ever.
And every single one of them was articulate and polite. Every single one.
Recently, I was at a school, which will go unnamed but is a top magnet academy, where a child mocked my Asian background by making what I'm sure she thought was funny "Asian" sounds and pulling her eyes up. I almost told the principal, but I didn't. After thinking about it, I should have reported the child. The sad thing is, she was black.
But at Brookstone, I'd bet a week's salary that incidents like that would never happen.
One of the kids I saw was Ryan Chitwood. I've known his parents for years, and his Uncle Tim is a colleague of mine.
But I haven't seen Ryan since he was about 6. He's 16 now and very, very tall and very, very good-looking. And smart and articulate.
We had a marketing director who thought it would be a great promotion for the newspaper to see if any of our readers wanted to ride the Ferris wheel with me at the Greater Columbus Fair. So on the opening day, anyone who wanted to ride with me got to do it free.
Pat, Ryan's mother, who works in circulation here at the newspaper, volunteered him to ride with me. Did I tell you he was about 6? He thought it was great fun.
But after about an hour, even he got bored.
We quit. I'm not sure John Mark was that pleased, but he didn't have to ride that thing 85 times in an hour.
Ryan and I did have fun. At least I thought he had fun!