|Friday, August 25th, 2006|
6:10p - "Tempest in a Teapot" Time
The school has to apply every year for permission to start before Labor Day. Nearly every year, late August weather is hotter than late May, so the suffering that goes on when temps top 90 are self-inflicted.
This year, we've had a bit of afternoon heat. I have an aide in my room around noon, and she reported to me that some of the parents of the junior high were HORRIFIED to learn that I use a fan, but have none for the students. (I should point out that the junior high students are in my room 1st and 3rd, when it is relatively decent... as these things go. I have been here for 30 years, and been using one fan for most of those years -- after the other old one got broken, by students...)
"Yes, I use a 35-40 year old fan that is a relic from my horse show days."
"Mr. Miller bought new fans for his classroom."
Well, that's GREAT. His room is up one more floor, which means even hotter. Like mine, it is a corner room, but it gets morning sun, so is not as hot as the afternoon sun rooms. I calmly pointed out that I'd offered to DONATE a 2 year old, high energy efficiency rated window air conditioner for my classroom 10 years ago when I moved out of the old house at the bottom of the hill, but it was TURNED DOWN because "everyone would want one" and "it used electricity".
As I think it over, I discover that I am being blamed for events over which I have no control. I have a few words of advice to those parents: 1) try their "in" with the man upstairs, who is, ultimately, responsible for the weather.
2) contact those people in charge of setting the school calendar, and those whose responsibility it is to see about dismissing for bad weather.
3) put their money where their mouths are. I will gladly accept a donated fan (assuming that plugging it in doesn't blow the circuits), as will many other classrooms.
I AM, however, responsible for my own health. I know that I am prone to heat stroke, have been hospitalized for it in the past, get so sick that I can't stand without vomiting, and have NO INTENTION of getting into that shape in my classroom, as I CAN'T TEACH IN THAT CONDITION. When I was the age of their children, indeed, until somewhere around 35, I handled it just fine.
If I could afford a fan, I'd put money in my lunch account and be at least drinking milk at the reduced prices available in the lunchroom... But I can't say I've missed not eating at noon. My body is still on summer schedule, it seems.
I'm still paying the vet bill for the two fillies I lost in early June. I still am 30-40 bales short for next winter if some of the hungry heads here don't move on. Currently, I've had to do two fence repairs I'd not planned on doing until next year. I also have a gate down that will have to be repaired before winter. I've only sold one $500 horse this year, and have a "possible" for a second at about that amount this fall... Outlook for the personal purchase of fans for the classroom: nill.
Truth to tell, if every desk had a battery operated personal fan provided, the parents would simply find something else to gripe about, if past performance is anything to judge by...
I did go down to the girl's rest room at noon and splash cold water on my face. I DID NOT wipe it off. It disappeared quickly enough.
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