Monday, September 24, 2012

False Alarm

I was the study hall monitor over at the kids cooperative today. Two days a week some of our kids go to classes with other home-schooled kids and experience 'socialization' and have a ' classroom experience'  complete with tests and grades  and experiments and lunchtime - you know all those thing us backward home-schoolers neglect to give to our kids. 

This year I have 14 slots of study hall monitoring to fulfill, and since I know myself well enough to realize that doing this after Christmas will be sheer torture, I front loaded the whole work load. I signed on for full days instead of half days to speed the process up a bit more. Of course the difficult part of this is you have to open the place, stay all day, and then close up as well. But I did enlist the help of the older boys and they agreed to work around those seven days so they could at least be there at the days end to help me close up the building, wash blackboards, yadda yadda.

Initially the day seemed to be going well, but one should always be cautious when study hall monitoring. The fates can easily conspire against us.  I should have realized things were starting to go down hill when Andrew who was supposed to show up at 2pm, hadn't arrived at 2:20. I hadn't wanted to call because I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. When I finally did and he answered, I was happy he wasn't dead, but instantly wanted to kill him for screwing up the time. "I thought you said leave at  twenty after  two not twenty to two! AGHHHHH!

OK, so the big end of the day push was gonna take a tad longer than I wanted it to. Adjust, shake it off, move on. He did eventually show up and dug right in to help me out.Friends asked if I needed a few extra hands to which I replied "we are a virtual army!"and watched them as they vanished into cars in the parking lot to go home and ready supper. The little ones were restless by this point and who could blame them. I told them I'd finish up as quickly as possible and asked them to be patient. Mike and Tom volunteered to wash the blackboards and turn off lights. I really felt like we were making progress until Mike mistook the fire alarm for the light switch.

Yup, I just said that. 

He set off the fire alarm in the building. We were the only ones in there, and all the little ones began crying and screaming from the noise.  The screaming kids didn't bother me too much since I couldn't hear a blessed thing above the piercing siren going off right next to my ear drum.  I fiddled with is as best I could but it was one of those old fashioned ones that defy any outside interference.

 Andrew finally came running and we tried to talk over the alarm. I told him to go over to the rectory office and tell the secretary so she could help us ( the alarm is no longer connected to the fire department). Andrew, not able to hear me properly due to intense noise level, thought I told him to go to the fire department. He left the building and drove off in search of the fire department. John-Paul coralled the girls into the van to prevent hearing damage,Matt and Joe did the same for Mike and Tom ( Mike incidentally looked like he was going to go into cardiac arrest and was convinced he would be arrested any moment- TERROR)  and I was then left to close up the building.....alone.

Finally-Terry, the secretary/angel of the parish heard the noise and came to help me. She was so kind, and good, and unflustered. She told me it was not the first time this has happened and went to get a handy man and a screw driver to dismantle it.She was genuinely calm. God bless her soul. 

When I finally got out to the parking lot and found Andrew still missing, I drove home without him. Matt asked me why I wasn't waiting, I assured him that Andrew would figure out by an empty locked building and parking lot that I had gone and assured him that he would follow us home. Maybe next Wednesday will be less dramatic.

I'll make sure to let you know how the cochlear implants take. 

1 comment:

  1. I've set off the alarm SO many times in my school building that when the alarm company would call, I'd say, "Yeah, it's me again..."