Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dark Ages Scuttlebutt

Scuttlebutt is that next year, all Newmentia classroom thermostats will be enclosed in lock boxes. And that only one person, not on site, will have a key.

That's just crazy talk. It will be like the Dark Ages, except that back then, there were no thermostats, or furnaces, or air conditioners, or dehumidifiers, or baloney sandwiches, and people believed the earth was flat, and women were subservient to men, and the bubonic plague killed one-third of the population...but other than that, just like the Dark Ages.

I can imagine the horror. Half of the teachers, like me, will be frying. Sizzling in their own juices. Hair plastered to head in a dripping, hairy helmet of discomfort. Clothes will be drenched with sweat. Note To Self: don't wear white. We will need IVs for hydration purposes. A substitute should be on call in case one of us goes down with leg cramps.

The other half of the faculty will be teachercicles. They will wear long johns and insulated boots, parkas, Elmer Fudd hats, battery-powered mittens, and Everest mummy sleeping bags with the bottom cut out for walking. A warming bench will be needed in the hall, like those on NFL sidelines.

This is cruel and unusual punishment. I remember back in the day, when I first started teaching, when central air was not the norm. One school let teachers buy and install their own room air conditioners. Even with mine running, the room temperature was 98 degrees. That's the benefit of having a double room on the second floor in a brick building with windows overlooking the tarpaper roof of the gym. Sad thing is, you could actually feel how much cooler it was when entering my room from the hall. People don't learn well in those conditions. People don't teach well in those conditions.

Further down on the scuttlebutt list is the banishment of personal appliances such as mini-fridges and microwaves. Which makes me not optimistic about the use of personal fans or space heaters.

If we are in such dire straights, I say move to a four-day work week. We already keep half of the students until 5:00 with our after-school programs. Don't heat or cool the building on the fifth day. Don't run the bus routes.

It's the Dark Ages all over again.


Mommy Needs a Xanax said...

Mine was in a lock box, but I had a key. If I were you, I'd find a way to break that box on day one. Screw the man!

They were about to banish our mini fridges and microwaves when I left, or at least that was the talk. We had some meeting about how we wouldn't be allowed to have anything not used for teaching. They also said it was a fire hazard. What a crock. It's no more of a fire hazard than a computer or a printer or a 50 year old projector that shoots sparks out when you plug it in. Also, the classrooms were a long hike away from a working soda machine. As long as they don't ban coolers with ice in them, I'd get one and hide it under my desk. Haul a bag of ice in there twice a week or so, and keep a few Diet Cokes cold.

They wonder why people don't want to teach. You get no lunch break. You have to eat whatever's being served because you can't take a lunch to work because you can't have a fridge in your room and can't get to the main fridge in the teacher's workroom on your way to escorting a bunch of kids to the lunch room, where you're required to sit with them and keep them from talking. Your "free" hour is always taken up with a meeting or tutoring some underachiever. You have to stay late to be anything close to caught up, but you can't stay as late as you need to because the janitor kicks you out at 5:30. Now they wanna make you do this in a 98 degree classroom. And somewhere, right now, at this very moment, some total moron is bitching about how you're paid too much, have too many perks, and shouldn't complain because, after all, you have summers off.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Before I became a business owner here at the kampground, I worked for a time in the WalMart Pharmacy. I counted pills and gave advice on menopause symptoms. The heating/cooling systems of all the WalMart stores are controlled in Bentonville, Arkansas. I was told this when I complained about the stuffy heat build-up in the small area designated to the pharmacy. Locked in this small area with towers of shelves of pills and two other women of menopausal age ..... I finally called the home office myself (a lowly pill counter) and explained to them that the wisdom of this system was questionable and that I had already shed as many articles of clothing that would be considered to be respectable. I went on to suggest that if they wanted to keep me there, they should override the system and allow me to control the temperature. They did just that .......

Hillbilly Mom said...

Thanks for the rant. Now I can loll about without working up a sweat, dreaming of my summer off.

My heart started racing today when Mr. Lockbox himself walked into my room, asking The Broomsman for a shop vac. I had surreptitiously turned on the HEAT due to our morning temperature of 43 degrees. Thank the Gummi Mary, Mr. L didn't notice that his thermostat was not set to cool at 72.

How some people can wrap The Devil around their little finger like that, I'll never know. Maybe it has something to do with that shedding of clothing.