Today's assignment is to do a free write on a specific place. Here goes!
It sits low, at the bottom of a very steep hill and is flanked by running trails to the left and a bridge leading to more trails at the right. As you continue on, a small parking lot and a large concrete building suddenly pop up to your left and your path is narrowed by a brick building at your right. You follow this designated path to a set of red gates, which you cannot enter unless you press a button. If they are open, someone is on guard duty and they usually greet you with a handshake and a smile, unless they are amicably chatting with a group of students.
You walk through and the first three people you usually see are Kristine, Ryan or Andreas. Kristine is probably wearing a blazer, a scarf tightly wrapped around her neck and a long, flowing skirt. Ryan is definitely always wearing a shirt which is coming unbuttoned at the end, slacks which are a bit too short and a tie that has some food stains at the wide base. He is always wearing a smile. Andreas is most likely sporting a sweater vest over a long sleeved dress shirt, slacks and brown shoes. His hair is impeccably parted and seems to never move. Kids are already there too, even at this time in the morning, kicking around a soccer ball outside, wearing their gray hooded sweatshirts and charcoal slacks, encouraging each other in German to kick harder, higher and run faster. Some girls might be skipping rope, the familiar, rhythmic "clack clack"sound is barely audible over their German skipping rope songs about a bear turning around and touching the ground.
Suddenly it's 8:20 and you hear Ryan ring the bell, a loud, intrusive, aggressive clanging sound that goes on for a bit too long, making the bell teeter dangerously on its hinges. There's a thunderous pounding of feet as they run to their lines and shout "bis spaeter" to their friends in other classes. The smell from Mike's baking broetchen in the kitchen wafts through the air as second grade parades through glass double doors.
Ben struggles to hold open one of the heavy glass and metal doors in front of the third grade line. He is already smelling sweaty and salty from his morning soccer game. Rose, her little braids, looking like antennas, sticking every which way, bob up and down as she leads the class inside. She gives me a tight squeeze for a morning hug. This creates a chain reaction and I feel two little arms wrap around my waist and I pat a little curly blond head with a cat barrette.