NTE Winter Carnival 2016
Posted Saturday, February 27, 2016 02:46 PM

NTE held it's 2016 winter carnival Friday evening, and I attended.  One of my co-workers, a current NTE student, clued me in.  The proceeds went to a Habitat for Humanity project run by the students.  It was well-attended and parking was problematic, but I found a spot on the street between the building and the field track with not much trouble.  The campus is undergoing extensive renovation, especially in back.  I entered through the main doors in front, and purchased 5 tickets for $1 each, plus one raffle ticket for $1.  A supervisor, a teacher I assume, explained how things worked, and was congenial, particularly after I remarked that I was an alumnus from 40 years ago.  Mostly families were in attendance, with little kids running about, as the event was billed as "family night."  As the entertainment was geared for children, I decided to use the tickets on food - vanilla ice cream, a sugar cookie, and cinnamon doughnut.  The events were in the classrooms, with hand drawn signs on the walls directing you to your preference.  I only realized it today, but I think I purchased my cookie in my junior English classroom on the 2nd floor (the late Rose Moreau was my teacher), and my ice cream with Hershey chocolate syrup in my sophomore English classroom on the 3rd floor (Barb Buchanan/Schellhardt).  Now that I think about it, it's a strange coincidence that the cookies and ice cream were offered in those rooms.   The rooms seemed smaller than I remember them being, strange as I'm hardly an inch taller than I was as a high school senior.  The hallways seemed narrower, too, maybe because as students, we were all slimmer and took up less space.

Generally, there was little to recongize; certain classrooms had been converted to office space, for "student services" and other functions.  The students wore special T shirts so you could identify them as staff.  I was struck at how much energy they displayed and how fluidly they moved, when  they had to run, for example.    For me, it's an ordeal just kneel down to tie my shoes. 

There were some Winnetka police roaming the halls and I chatted with them for a few minutes.  Actually, their interest in me was mostly professional, as they wanted to know my motive for being there and who I was.  We made a lot of small talk, but they inserted some basic questions to satisfy their suspicions, which I allayed with ready and logical answers.  I'll admit I was a little out of place there.  They asked how I spent my tickets, and I recited my 3 desserts, and they remarked how I got my sugar allotment for the day.  (After I got home, I checked my postprandial blood glucose - and it was surprisingly good). 

All in a all, it was a worthwhile experience, if only to satisfy my curiosity.  Actually, apart from the basic school layout, I felt somewhat lost there.  The middle stairwell, with it's dreary green walls, was just as I remember, and also the gym, which was always depressing, as its architecture dated back to the era of Ty Cobb and Jack Dempsey.  I recommend a visit to NT next year if anyone is curious about how their mind stores memories, which is why I went, being a psychology grad.  The hallways were teeming with families and their kids, so I felt out of place, and was likely one of the few actual alumni present.  But I'm OK with that.  It was my experiment in mock time travel, and it was worthwhile.