If I had to sum up my life in one word right now, it would be so simple. It’d be “Battle.”
No, not the literal battling (though maybe a little bit because school feels like a warzone right now). For the most part, I’m talking about the soon to open Muriel Williams Battle High School.
For the past month, I’ve been completely focused on organizing an eBook that will be published in late May. Essentially it’s going to be everything you could ever want to know about the start of a new high school. Let me tell you, it’s been a lot of legwork. And friends outside of the Missourian (those do exist) don’t really understand why I’m making such a big deal of this. Let me tell you, there are a lot of reasons.
Battle is going to change Columbia Public Schools in more ways than just its existence. Take, for instance, the fact Battle will pilot a one-to-one technology initiative next year. Every student that walks through the Battle doors this fall will receive an iPad Mini. This will act as their textbooks and their notebooks. And if all goes well, this initiative could spread to the rest of Columbia high schools. Read more about it here.
I got to tag along for the first student tours of Battle last week. The students are current sophomores and will be the first graduating class of the high school. I got to see how Battle would change their lives. (You can read more about that here).
Students said they were excited about the new technology at their fingertips, excited about the brand new building, with floors “shiny enough to see reflections”, and excited to look outside of their floor-to-ceiling cafeteria windows at the vast, green football field.
But perhaps most of all, they are excited to be first. They are excited to be remembered.
“As part of the first class, I know my name will be left somewhere on this building,” said Kyra Moss, a Hickman sophomore. “I didn’t want to leave Hickman because of the traditions they have in theater. But Battle will be here for forever, and I want to be remembered. I want to help create traditions, so people won’t want to leave Battle.”
What an incredible place these kids are in. They get to create something from the ground up. They get to be remembered as the first. When Battle is well-established five years, 20 years, 100 years from now, my hope is that Columbia will be able to look back at this eBook we’re creating. My hope is that we’re documenting this big change in history as accurately as we can. I think we are. And that’s why I’m excited my life is all about Battle right now. Because isn’t reporting history one of the best parts of being a journalist?