Fire drills are a part of life in a school. Every school I’ve been at has been required to do several every year. Yesterday was the first time I’ve ever been involved in a complete evacuation drill. Where we get the entire student body and staff across the street to the amphitheater in the middle of the Community College.
At lunch afterwards, the usual suspect did a fair amount of bitching about how things went. (Soooprise, sooooprise!) From my perspective, having never experienced this before, things went incredibly well. Nobody got hit crossing Redwood Road, the kids pretty much stayed on the sidewalks and did little, if no, damage to the college’s grass and other plantings. And after the head count at the college, only one (that’s 1) student was unaccounted for, and he was found quickly when the principal called for him over the P.A. system.
As we were getting everyone seated, about a third of the students started an impromptu round of “Happy Birthday” for two teachers. First it was for Mr.B (TV weatherman gone teacher) and the second round was for me. I spent the rest of the day saying “Thank you, but it’s not my birthday today” to students and staff alike. Monday I have to thank C, one of my students, for that. (The kind of student that you have to like despite his behavior).
All in all, an interesting experience. Of course I brought my camera, and of course I have some pictures for you all, including another addition to the “Parallel” assignment from Carmi. Here they are, with captions even. (Can you call them captions if they are above the picture?)
In the beginning, heading along the small street in front of the school towards Redwood Road.The student body filling up the amphitheater at the community college.This is one of the two pairs of brother-sister teachers we have at our school. She saw me with my camera and asked “Catch me trying to kiss my brother.” I did.Our half-time intern Vice Principal. With all the fluorescent green vests, walkie-talkies and red flags, it looked like some sort of police raid. Or maybe a rock concert. One of the students was completely unfazed by the ruckus going on around him, lost in what must be a captivating book. The English teacher you saw kissing her brother pointed this out to me, I think she wants to use the picture to motivate more students to read. Before heading back to the school, the Principal had the students do a few rounds of “The Wave” The red flag, signaling that all is clear and it’s time to head back to the school.The people in the green vests are our staff members, the people in the orange vests are from the Community College. Here’s my “Parallels” picture. The fountain was turned off when we came to the college, but, as you can see, was on for our trek back to the school. The whole scene just jumped out at me as ‘parallel’. Information by denial. It doesn’t tell you what it is, but defines itself by what it is not. Crossing against the light. Of course, having 3 police cars blocking traffic made it a lot safer than if we had just marched a slew of kids across the road. At least we didn’t back up traffic too far. Yeah, tell that to these people who were late for work. About a third of the students took the pedestrian bridge over to the college. It would have caused too much of a bottleneck to bring the entire student body across this way, which is why most had to go across the road.
Fun times at Ridgemont High!