School started Monday. We have hours from 8-4, and when the classrooms with thermometers registered over 100 degrees on the third floor, the administrators, whose offices are air conditioned, gave not one second of time up. We were not used to saving up the summer heat, were not allowed to leave windows/doors open so that the night air would flow in, so many of us were really feeling it by the end of the day.
Last year, when schools around us got out for weather-related reasons, too hot, too cold, icy, snow too deep, we stayed in session... we missed a grand total of FOUR HOURS all year to weather related causes... Very hard nosed...
So, everyone was quite pleasantly surprised when we received email to the effect that we'd be getting out at 1:30 and running a shortened schedule the rest of the week. The short classes on the first day are actually kind of nice. You don't have to start into a heavy lesson right off.
I had to gas up the Beemer, which meant driving to Centerville, Russel, Corydon, or Chariton, as Seymour does not sell diesel gas. I chose Centerville, as that has the best shopping and is closest to Seymour, although it is 25 miles back home. While I was in Hy Vee getting fresh bread to make into lunches, I bumped into a parent (normal).
"Are the classrooms hot enough for you?"
"I didn't hear today, but the English room was 101, and the science room 106 at 1 pm yesterday."
"What are those people thinking, starting school in the middle of August?"
"I'd rather wait, but they don't ask me."
Of course, we're supposed to support the school board and its policies... no matter what we REALLY think... I really think 100, 90, even 80 with high humidity, is TOO HOT. When I offered the then-new air conditioner from my old house to be installed in my corner classroom with NO cross ventilation, I got turned down, as it would use too much electricity, and then everyone would want one. What I REALLY think is that EVERYONE needs one, it is NOT a frivolous request, and it is time to rewire the building (we went without electricity for several hours several times last year, when the town was not having electrical problems...) and upgrade the wiring so we can have outlets around the rooms for all the electronic gadgets the modern classroom supports, and can ACCEPT DONATED electrical appliances that EVERYONE recognizes would make learning easier... When I have more than one thing going on in my classroom at one time, sometimes the people who need to watch the learning video can't as the TV and VCR have to be unplugged if another kid needs to listen to the listening activities on a CD. When more than one student needs to access the server at the same time, they can't, as we only have two connections (three computers). We use a power strip to plug in that many, and a science table to be able to plug in both the TV and VCR at the same time. Once when the Spanish class was cooking, we plugged in a hot plate to cook one thing, and used an electric skillet for another part, and BLEW THE FUSE for the whole floor. Oops!
When a kid puts his arm across his book, lifts it up, and has the print from the page ON HIS ARM, it is too hot. Copy machines use the heat transfer method, but that's not what I want to send kids home decorated with. (He could put a mirror under his arm and read the answers off...if any were found in that section of text.)