The Old School

school

I spent my middle school years wearing white polo shirts tucked into dress pants – prayers three times a day, service at the church every first Friday. It’s a routine I only came to know once my parents suddenly decided to pull me away from Piscataway’s public school system and plop me down in a private Catholic school for a few years. Nowadays, they’re (my folks, that is) as devout as ever, and I’m a tad less so, but there’s a lot of good tied into that old school building. The more I think of it, the more I appreciate exactly how good those years were.

Of course, everyone yearns for their childhood to some extend. Hope you’ll indulge me a little here.

The grade system in the school was a bit odd – it was a K to 8th institution with a grand total of one class per grade. That meant that if you started school there in Kindergarten, it wouldn’t be bizarre to go through your middle school graduation ceremony with a majority of the other toddlers you were bopping around with. Couple that with a small class size (I only had about thirteen kids in my graduating class) and you have a number of groups of kids forced by right of proximity to forge a relationship pretty close to family. There were no cliques, there were no factions – just little people constantly in extended interaction, unknowingly making some of the best friendships they might ever hope for.

I don’t talk to many people from there anymore. I don’t think my case is too different from the others.

But ask me if I have any stories left over from that time, and you’d keep me talking for days. I’d be able to quote countless games of football on hard parking lot asphalt. Countless shitty inside jokes that would find themselves repeated and circulated into oblivion. The time we all took a field trip to a shrine and collectively got a stomach bug from drinking the “holy water”. Playing baseball with tennis rackets because our gym equipment was utter shit. Being part of a weird little family, at least for a little while.

The school closed a while back.

Catholic and private schools really aren’t doing so great around where I am, so the story’s rather common. The doors shut from an inability to keep the place running sufficiently. Now the place operates as a…hell, I’m not even sure what it is, anymore. I see people going in there to use the old gym for community basketball games, and the smaller rooms being used for pre-k sessions. But I’m not even sure when and if the other rooms are even still in use. It’s hard not to hope sometimes that I’ll sneak in there one day and find the old desks still in place – marked up in pencil, familiar handwriting and all.

It’s odd walking by places, knowing they’re not what they were. Buried somewhere underneath is the memory. The old routine. The page from the scrapbook. The simplest of things.

 

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The Old School

[AudioCoffee]: Storyteller

See –

when I was a kid, I

used to draw little

comic books

and make faces when

something dramatic came up.

Looking back, I figure it

was just my

head

breaking onto my lips

but

I wonder if little

me really got what was

going on there.

Unsuspecting pup

playing god without knowing –

a whole world

in his hands

before he would even spell the word properly –

P-O-W-E-R

the

means to hold sway

over the life you’ve created

still vibrant

and

buzzing

on lined paper,

blanketed with dust

in a closet

somewhere.

[AudioCoffee]: Storyteller

A Modest Venture

Before things get started around here, I figure I should take a moment to really introduce the concrete side of what Fernway does. I find myself chuckling whenever I try to call it a company, and it comes across sounding cult-y if I call it a group. In its most literal sense, Fernway is a YouTube channel that I started with my friend Patrick around February of this year. It’s a tiny channel that still only has one video on it: a modestly shot tribute to the town we’ve called home for nearly all our lives.  Since then, we’ve been working hard on project number two, an ordeal of slightly larger scope, but still with similar thematic choices to the first. It’s a bit more work intensive, but it’s getting done, little by little.

Now I may have the order a bit skewed here, being that Patrick was taking pictures before we started the YouTube channel and I only really started afterwards, but it feels to me at least that testing the waters of tromping around town and taking pictures and videos of everything really sparked my interest in taking pictures. Eventually, I found myself commandeering my father’s Rebel T1i camera, paying out for a Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom subscription, and posting whatever I worked on to Instagram. Patrick and I both post up photos often, but I’m pretty sure the guy’s got at least three or four times more followers than I do. If you ever get the chance, definitely give the guy’s page a look. He’s come a long way in such a short amount of time. Or you could toss my page a spare glance. Maybe. Please?

But more to the point, I’ve been thinking lately that Fernway is more than just the FernwayFilms YouTube channel. It’s more of a network of creativity and expression that we plan to lay out with every new piece of work we put out there for people to see. Videos, photos, and even the contents of this blog all have their place in this figurative collage we’re laying out…all working towards making something, anything, resonate in whatever audience we reach.

This is what we’ve chosen to put our talents and our time into. Sitting here right now, I don’t even know if it’ll pay off in the end. But that’s not something that comes even remotely close to making me second guess this modest venture. Right now, I know it’s just something I love doing.

What else matters?

A Modest Venture