Creativity Magazine

A Hidden Jewel

By Vickilane
A Hidden Jewel
In the six or seven years I've been teaching for the Great Smokies Writing Program, outreach classes through University of North Carolina at Asheville,  my classes have met in various venues -- in a lovely board room decorated with African art at the Young Men's Institute in downtown Asheville, in the library of a city school, in the upstairs of a bookstore, in a classroom at an elementary school, in a meeting room in Burnsville, and in a meeting room at the Historic Thomas Wolfe House. But this term, I hit the jackpot.  I meet my classes in a board room in the library of The Asheville School, a boarding school for grades 9 - 12.
A Hidden Jewel
 I had never visited the school  though I knew of it as a well-regarded prep school just off a busy highway in West Asheville. Indeed, the Tampa prep school I taught at many years ago was headed by several men who had previously served on the faculty of The Asheville School.
A Hidden Jewel
But in near forty years of being in the area, I never had occasion to visit the campus. And what a campus it is.  Just off a busy highway, lined with fast food restaurants, car lots, and other non-upscale enterprises, hidden behind a wall of trees are three hundred acres of classrooms, dormitories, faculty housing, sports complexes, and I don't know what all.  That there is an equestrian center suggests the range of amenities available to the students.
A Hidden Jewel I was overcome with appalling  envy on first seeing this place -- the sort of feeling I got when we visited Oxford -- why couldn't I have had a school experience like this?  The answer is simple: I didn't know at the time that it was something I wanted. Not that my family could have afforded such a thing.   Of course, I probably wouldn't have appreciated it if I had been given such an opportunity. But I found myself wanting to grab a random passing kid and ask if he or she knew how fortunate he or she is to be able to attend a school like this.  I went online to find out more  about this idyllic grove of academe HERE.  I was taken aback at the tuition that tops $47,ooo for boarding students ("Pocket change for some people," said John,) but I noted that there was a fair amount of student aid. 
A Hidden Jewel
Ah, well, perhaps in another life. Though if I'm going to dream, perhaps I would put Hogwarts at the top of my list. Less field hockey, more quidditch.
A Hidden Jewel

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