Today, I went to the high school, Comanche High School, the place where so many of my younger adult days were spent. This time, however, I did not enter the building as Mrs. Jones, the teacher. Instead, I was just Fredda Jones, a member of Revitalize Comanche, and a citizen very thankful for the work of a lot of CHS students.
Of course, you’d have to be living on another planet not to have heard that the CHS Ag Dept. has been busy the past several weeks as it created the first metal art that the town of Comanche has ever sported. Now that the first of two projects has been completed, I wanted to have a chance to sit and visit with those who did the work. I wanted to know first of all if they had enjoyed it, if they had gotten anything out of it, and if, knowing what they know now, they would do it again….not necessarily easy questions for high schoolers to answer.
As it turned out, only Trent Strickland and Cody Constancio were available to talk to me, but that was okay since I had seen just how hard they had worked on the project.
It was the quieter Cody who spoke up first.
“Ag class is my favorite class to go to because we got to work on the metal art,” he told me.
“Well,” Trent interrupted in his very verbose Texas drawl, “I really think we have brightened the community a lot. The metal art has helped the town stand out more. I have really enjoyed working on it because I like working with my hands.”
The more practical Cody jumped back into the story with, “I just thought it was fun because I love making things out of metal! I got out of other classes when I could so that I could go work on it.”
And I must admit that when I would drop by the Ag shop at all different times of the day, there was Cody, cutting away. And then I asked a question that has concerned me for a while now.
“Is there any way that you believe doing all of this work has helped you in any way on your contest work?”
Both boys immediately answered in the affirmative.
“We will be going to contest in January or February. Our whole class period will be on the team, and we will be building multiple projects, including both hoof cleaning and hydraulic chutes.”
“And you believe the metal art has helped prepare you for contest?” I asked again.
“It has really helped me get better in my cutting skills with a torch,” Cody said.
“And me too. My welding skills are much better than they were,” Trent jumped in.
Both boys went on to tell me that they actually believe that they will score higher on their contest pieces because of the work they did for Revitalize Comanche. AND…they both said they would do it all over again, making me feel much, much better! In fact, both boys openly said that they would like to create more pieces of the art so maybe before school is out and after they are finished with their contest work…
“We can probably make time,” they both said, even offering to stay after school.
And when I asked them to leave me with something I could close with, Trent spoke up. “It took a lot of hard work and effort, but then it made our community look a ton better and it brings a smile to my face looking at our accomplishment.”
The much quieter Cody looked at me and grinned, “What he said…”
And then Trent, being Trent, looked at me from beneath the brim of the cap that I feel sure he was not supposed to be wearing in the school, “The only negative that I have seen is that the grass needs to be mowed more often now that they are there.”
And yes, Trent, we’ll see what we can do about that!