Monday, November 03, 2008

It's Just The Gas

My afternoon, once school let out, began with 8 phone calls home. Two were for neutral issues - standard updates on students. The others were to inform parents of students' misbehaviors. So that should give you some idea of how my 5th period went today.

I had planned on a long afternoon at school, since I needed to write up my lesson plans for the week, rewrite my curriculum maps (I have a meeting with one of the curriculum coaches tomorrow), and do other such things that are meant to, you know, make me a better teacher.

You know what would make me a better teacher? Getting home in time to exercise, cook dinner, and get to bed at a decent hour!

Anyway, I was working away when the assistant principal dropped by to return one of my dictionaries to me. He warned me, as he brushed off the cover, not to "smell it too closely".

I arched a curious eyebrow at him.

"You know, unless you want to drive home a little..." he trailed off, miming a stoned driver.

"Ah!" I said. "So that's why there were cops in the hallway after school."

"Yes," he said, "the kid apparently 'forgot' he had that baggie in his backpack."

The AP set the dictionary up on a desk near me, and after we chatted for a bit, he took off to GO HOME. Freaking annoying.

Anyway, after the AP left, I resumed working on my lesson plans.

About 10 minutes later, I noticed a strange smell. Boy, I thought, the AP must not have been exaggerating about the drugs spilling onto that book!

(NOTE: I do not have a very strong sense of smell, nor am I good at identifying drug smells.)

A bunch of kids spilled into the hallway from basketball practice, making a terrific amount of noise. One of the rattled the gate that separated them from the classrooms and their lockers and yelled "Miss!... Miss!"

"What?!" I yelled back, while typing.

"Come unlock the gate and let me run to my locker!"

"No!" I yelled, continuing to work.

About 5 minutes later, the secretary got on the PA and announced, "Anyone left in the building needs to leave immediately."

Thank goodness, I thought. The kids will leave and I won't have to go out there and deal with them!

About 10 minutes after that, I grabbed a workbook and headed to the office to make copies. I let myself through the gate, crossed the hall towards the gym that connects my side of the building to the office, and smiled politely at the two firemen standing at the door outside, with axes over their shoulders and some kind of monitors aimed at the ceiling.

"Uh.. Ma'm?" I heard as I opened the door to the gym.

"Yes?" I said, stepping back out into the hallway.

"You need to leave the building. Now."

"Okay..." I said, looking out the window past them at the students and teachers and janitors and secretaries gathered on the dirt across the parking lot from the building. "Can I at least grab my purse?"

"No," he said. "Now."

"Okay." I headed out of the building, walked past all of the firetrucks and police cars surrounding the building with lights flashing, through the conversations about the gas leak, and joined some of my fellow teachers on the "lawn".

"You were in there this whole time?" Jessica asked, incredulous. "Didn't you smell the gas?"


When they let us back in the building, 20 minutes later, I grabbed my purse, threw my books into my bag, and headed home to do the work.

Maybe, one of these days, I should figure out what marijuana actually smells like.


  1. waterhouse! holy cow! that's crazy! we had a gas leak right outside my neighborhood a few weeks ago and they thought my neighborhood would blow up! don't get yourself killed in colorado! *just kidding*