I wandered between small desks crowded throughout the rooms, noting the water line was near shoulder-height. In all directions, poignant scenes emerged; the "Brain Storm" poster depicting the city underwater, a fish tank still full of sludge, textbooks on climate and ecology scattered like fallen leaves on the floor. Everything under four and a half feet tall was tainted by the sewer-contaminated floodwaters and took on a grey, monochromatic appearance.
Upstairs, I would have imagined the classrooms were still neatly organized and unaffected by the flood, but they were in complete disarray. Perhaps ransacked by scavengers looking for valuables, or kids just messing around, or both. Paintings on the wall by the seventh graders signed with their hand prints haunted the hallways, and Venetian blinds smacked into their broken windows in the wind. In the former art class I was able to see their faces in carved blocks, staring back from a different time, from before the flood.