A Tale of Two Trees: The Truth Beneath the Tiles

A Tale of Two Trees: The Truth Beneath the Tiles

Students from years past will remember the glorious days of yore, brain breaks spent frolicking beneath the boughs of the peppercorn trees. Yet anything more than a cursory glance at the present state of PCS’s front courtyard reveals a distinct absence of greenery, instead a patchwork of mismatched tile veils the scarred earth from which staples of the PCS environ were ripped. When exactly did this occur? Late last June I passed by the campus, and by happenstance saw the crime in progress. The trees had already been felled, but stumps still jutted from the ground. It is no coincidence that this act was perpetrated while school was out for summer break, as students would no doubt decry the removal of such treasured topiaries. No, this was scheduled when no bystanders were present, when no student government could convene, and with enough time to pave over any evidence of their presence. In fact, different members of the staff give mixed messages about the presence of the trees at all. 

Dean Friend, who is notably quite high up on the PCS chain of command, claims to have no memory of the trees ever existing. When asked for comment she stated “I know nothing.” Further questioning had her claiming that she “[didn’t] even know what a tree is” and alleging that wood comes “from eggplants buried in ages long past.” After these questionable statements she acted highly evasive, leaving shortly afterwards.

 In contrast, more salt-of-the-earth teachers had no problem corroborating my reporting, with Mr. Walker saying “I recall those trees. I had to remind my seventh graders multiple times last year to stop swinging from their frail branches.” Why is there such a discrepancy between the stories told to us by Dean Friend and Mr. Walker? Why has student government made no attempt to protest the removal of two staples of school culture? Why has the school administration made no mention of their destruction? Why was the retiling done in such a slapdash manner? Why do people take Intro to Engineering? These questions, and many more, have not been answered to my satisfaction, but I will not rest until the truth is uncovered. 


First They Came For the Trees, a sonnet by Stuart E Jackson III:


A slice of nature close at hand

Greenery for all to see

Yet destruction was darkly planned

A great old oak, never to be!


In summer, when we were away

A great injustice was performed

And unknown even is the day

Our frontal landscape was transformed


Who did this act of tyranny?

With what reason and what gain?

And why a great conspiracy

To hide those who saw two trees slain?


Though I lament I also strive

To find who did this act connive

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