I got a joke for ya–
What do you get when you take 37 high school sophomores and pile them into a classroom with one teacher when it’s 93 degrees with a heat index of 103?
A big fucking mess.
You’re right– NOT funny.
This week was the first week back to school. The time to see old friends, meet new ones, and return to an “academic institution of learning.” Instead it was like a fraternity’s hell week.
Every day gave some new obstacle. Always present was the unforgiving, relentless, mother-fucking heat. But just to fuck with us, there was also a downpour that caught kids as they were coming into school soaking their clothes, backpacks and shoes.
I have to give the kids credit. They showed up in their super cute back-to-school outfits, their carefully chosen footwear and accessories, with hair gelled and straightened and curled, and within an hour they were all sporting a sheen of sweat.
Every school without air conditioning was in this predicament.
But we rolled with it, being the professionals we are. We came up with all kinds of teachable moments. Science experiments switched from simple machines to how much hot air will this dollar store fan push? Math changed from Pythagorean theory to calculating the heat index. Language arts students wrote placards spelling “Help me” and social studies participated in a Vietnam War simulation. For the record it was “big ol’ fat rain” and only some kids kept their feet dry. Vocab word of the week? Trench foot.
So, how hot was it?
It was SO hot, that my room rose from 80 degrees to 82 in ONE CLASS PERIOD.
It was SO hot, that my knees were sweating. Did you know that your knees sweat? I do now.
It was SO hot that during my prep I unrolled my yoga mat and got a free Bikram class minus the shower after.
Two out of those three are completely true. (HINT: I haven’t done Bikram in months)
At one point I was going through some Logic notes and all of a sudden I honestly thought I burst into flame. Sweat began pouring down my back and uncurling my water bottle arm was like unsticking sweaty legs from a leather seat.
For a split second I thought I had become a Phoenix. Minus the ability to cure injuries with tears. Although my shower walls think I have a lovely singing voice.
Each day the heat brought new hallucinations. Was that a macaw perched on my bookshelf? Was the wasp circling the ceiling trying to lead us to water? Or was he like, “Fuck stinging you sorry bastards, get me out of here!” After climbing a table (twice) to kill him with my band new planner, my hair was plastered to my face and I felt like I should call it a day.
But it was only second hour.
I wonder what would happen if people with “real” office-type jobs had to work in places where it was so humid that a rain cloud formation in the building would not seem out of place. What kind of productivity would they have?
I went to my son’s open house (in another district) and of course, his school has been plagued by the same conditions. Parents looked completely bewildered as they tried to navigate the hallways. Button down shirts were no longer crisp and had pit stains. Office skirts were bunched and heels wobbled on the tile floor. Salon hair drooped and frizzed. “I wonder if it’s been like this all week?” one parent asked as we both hustled to sign up for conferences.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that there are TONS of jobs that put employees in horrible weather conditions all the time. I feel a pang of empathy every time I pass landscapers and construction workers working in the unbearable heat or cold.
But fuck, man.
I’m trying to get kids to pay attention and learn and get excited and write and think and analyze and laugh and feel comfortable in this.
And God love ’em, they were mostly game this week.
I did my best but I’m about five pounds lighter and fifty times more worn out.
The fucking weather people better be right though.
If next week is like this I may just adopt some “new age” lessons and spend the day doing quiet, non-moving meditation. Eyes closed. Snoring optional.
If next week is like this, I’ll rent a sno-cone machine, sell them for $20 each and retire early.
But for now I’m going to scrape the salt from my face, take a cold shower, pour myself a drink and enjoy the wonder of air conditioning.
Stay cool, bitches.