Have you ever seen something a million times but not really noticed it? Then one day, as you're absent-mindedly staring out the window at that same thing, you realize you have no idea what you're looking at!

That happened to me recently.

I was sitting in my van, waiting in the afternoon pick-up line at the J.F. Doughty School in Bangor. Admittedly, I was totally zoning out.

My youngest asked from the back seat: "Mom, why does that girl have a tail?"

Needless to say, that question snapped me back to the moment, and I searched around the schoolyard for a girl with a tail.

Not seeing one (of course) I asked my daughter what it was that she was looking at.

She replied "the school wall."

And as I looked up at the side of the building, sure enough, I could see it.

Cori Skall
Cori Skall

"Huh," I thought to myself. That does look a little strange.

Then she asked me "Why is that boy trying to hide under that girl's skirt in the other picture? Or is that a horse person? (Centaur!)"

Cori Skall
Cori Skall

Once again, I could totally see why she was asking that question. It kind of does look like that...even to someone who is not 5.

That got me wondering: Who was the artist that created this piece? What was the history behind these images? Where did the idea come from? When was it put up? And how did no one at that time step back to review the art and not see what my kid did? (I will, from this day forward, only ever see a centaur when I look at that image!)

Out of curiosity, I asked her to describe what she thought was happening in the other pictures.

Cori Skall
Cori Skall

She said this one was of boys trying to punch each other.

Cori Skall
Cori Skall

And she said in this one that the teacher was trying to poke the first kid in the head for stealing all of the student's chairs!

Art; it truly is open to interpretation. And while I do think it is absolutely impressive and entirely better than anything I could come up with (I mean no disrespect whatsoever towards this piece or whoever came up with it) it is even more interesting to me now, seeing it through the eyes of my child.

Naturally, as any curious person would, I asked the internet if they could tell me more about this. And I can tell you, I learned a lot. Quite a few people not only had their own interpretation of the piece but remembered when it was installed!

Elizabeth Leavitt That section was added on in the early 90's right?
Jill Gardner This was the racket (and addition) that was happening during English class every day of school life one year and then, we were transferred out into trailers temporarily. And all summer construction was happening...you could hear it from
Emily Woodman Adams' house and it woke us up in the mornings...
Emily Woodman Adams Yep we were in 7th grade. Our 8th grade year we got the new school.
Michele Richardson Lol, I never noticed!
Debbie Lawson Laferte I always liked the murals.....
Cathy Cox A certain percentage of the money allocated had to be spent on art...and he is getting things out of a locker.
Stephanie Howe They put those. In. The original 5th Street school. When they added the addition
Stephanie Joslin Writing something or reading something on wall in line
Aimee Shellhamer Looks like the kid is getting something out of a locker.
Danny Day They're huddled around their lockers
Leigh Perry It was new when the renovated the school in the early 90s. They are getting stuff out of lockers...never noticed that it is a bit of an awkward depiction.
Megan Bridges Yes. The renovation was mostly done during 89-90. The new gym and auditorium were in use for the 90-91 school year. In 6th grade, we were so jealous that the 8th graders had trailer classrooms!
I still have more questions than answers, but this gave me a good place to start.
What do you think?
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