Friday, June 22, 2012

My First Impression of I.S. 318

In the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, a castle grows in Brooklyn.  It goes by the name of Intermediate School 318. 

At least, that was my first impression of I.S. 318, where I visited last week for a screening of the documentary film Brooklyn Castle.  One parent - a complete stranger - smiled at me and raised her arm skyward in a gesture of optimism.

I have looked at after school chess from both sides of the demographic spectrum now - from the affluence of Morris County in New Jersey (where one kid gets picked up after class by his au pair, driving a luxury vehicle) to the poverty of Kings County in New York City.  Driving home after the screening, I could not help thinking how unfair life seems at times.

People say chess is complicated; but, compared to life, it is a simple game.  Just play the right moves, and you win.  Unfortunately, in life, you can play all the right moves and still wind up losing.  I hope such a fate does not await the kids from Brooklyn Castle.