Tuesday, November 20, 2007


The sharp crack from outside the window left me wondering if someone was outside shooting a gun. The last time I heard a gunshot at close range, I thought it was a bike tire exploding, and then a guy came out of the bowling alley bathroom with a bloody hand complaining about the guy who just shot him. My brain changed after that Monday night at the bowling alley. Now any loud crack is considered gunshot until proven innocent.

The loud crack four stories below my classroom wasn't a gunshot. It was a wooden drawer from a science classroom laboratory-desk turning into splinters after being heaved out of a third story window. When I leaned over the radiator and stuck my head out the window, there it was, a ring of splinters and shattered planks with butterfly joints.

A hand full of students and I hung out the window for a few minutes waiting for more action until I was convinced the show was over. I got all the students away from the window and was not even back behind my desk when there was another crack and two seconds later another. We all ran back to the window. Every classroom on our side of the building had groups of students and teachers hanging out the windows gawking at the growing pile of kindling.

Everyone, with the exception of adult in the room with the rampaging students, secretly loves it when something like this happens. The students love it because it gives them something to talk about. The teachers love it because it gives them something to talk about, and in comparison to the near riot going on in the 3rd floor science lab, their classroom looks like a Harvard Law reading room. And the Principal, well actually, he probably doesn't love it either.


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