Too Cold For Fire

It’s too bad that I gave up on having something to write about yesterday so early in the day. Not an hour after I posted my screenshot I found myself standing outside with the entire student body in below zero temps waiting on the fire department to show.

I had gone down to another teacher’s room to ask a Google Docs question. We heard a fairly startling bang. It was loud enough that I made a face and said, “what the crap was that?” (See how I clean up my language at work? I’m a mature adult.) We then heard some students laughing and yelling and decided that we were not under attack or anything.

(How unfortunate that the first thought we must have when anything happens is that we are finally going to be the school on the news this week. Actually, my school made news years ago because of a school shooting plot, so maybe we’re all done with that.)

After a minute or so the fire alarm went off. The teacher I was with asked if this was for real or just a drill. I responded that surely we weren’t having a drill on such a cold day. She grabbed her coat and after my -36 degree fire alarm experience last year I took the time to run back to my room to get my coats (plural) as well. I did not take the time to change out of my inside shoes.

I slid all over that parking lot. My inside shoes are any of a few pairs of flimsy flats that I wear with no socks. They are not protective against the cold and have no traction in the snow.

We were outside for about five minutes. It was very cold, but not quite like last year. Still, most students had no coats on at all. We had to switch to our secondary plan. (You have to love living in a place that requires a secondary plan to protect people from frostbite.) We all walked over to the pool building that is connected (but not very connected) to our school building. By the time we guided all the kids, walked over ourselves, and waited our turn to get into the building, my feet were blue.

The reason we could not go back into the building is because it was not a drill. It was an accidental potassium explosion in a science lab. This is the second time a science teacher has forced me to go outside against my will in Alaska. I think maybe we need to change our curriculum to better explore scientific theory rather than hands on experiential learning. This is the only time I will ever say such a terrible thing. Being forced outside during an Alaskan winter will do that to you.

(Everyone is fine and it was not a big deal. That teacher is even more popular now than she was before.)


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