Last March the junior high school I spent almost 20 months driving to closed. The building was not up to any current building codes (though I do not think too many buildings around here are). Somehow no natural light made it into any of the rooms and the staffroom either smelled of kerosene or was unbearably hot.
I now have to actually be at work at 8 a.m. which is both unfortunate and difficult. But the new school is close enough to walk to. Spending the first 10 minutes of my day walking to work as opposed to driving improves everything about the very beginning of my day.
I listen for my neighbor to leave, wait a moment, and enjoy 10 minutes of solitude, in the sunshine, on my feet.
I walk past the weird old liquor store. Up the hill, staying to the left of a temple. I watch the elementary school children, who clearly do not want to go to school, pick up rocks or take a long pause while they drink from the water bottle that hangs around their neck. I can completely empathize with those students.
I then walk past the elementary school and the nursery school.
Then I get to the new junior high school building. Which uses solar energy and has a ton of windows allowing for natural light. The staff room and many of the classrooms smell like new wood.
And once I get there by foot it is a little easier to deal with the weird things that go on inside, despite the buildings pleasant appearance.