Friday, May 14, 2010

The Curse of the Seventh Grade

I am beginning to think that this class of seventh graders has a curse hanging over their heads. Or, if not a curse, one big black miserable cloud.

First, their camping trip was canceled due to The Flood we had at the beginning of the month. Some of these kids had been looking forward to this since December and were besides themselves with excitement. I am still amazed at how well they took it when I gathered them up and explained that we just couldn't guarantee their safety and since the camping area was under water, there wasn't much we could do. They didn't whine, fuss, or complain. They just sucked it up.

Then, the kids in drama, most of whom are seventh graders, received the news that their play (a musical, no less) was going to be postponed until we return to school in the fall. They had lost precious rehearsal time, many of the kids still didn't know their lines, and The Flood just complicated things. Another major disappointment.

And then there was Field Day.

Field Day is a big deal for these kids. I mean who couldn't love a day of running around, screaming, eating snow cones and just having a grand old time with your friends and not being stuck in a classroom all day? (I'm not including the teachers in this statement. Most of us tolerate it. Barely.)

So, due to The Flood, instead of having field day on three successive Fridays, they had Field Day on three successive days. Sixth grade was on Wednesday (warm and clear), eighth grade was on Thursday (hot and clear) and ours was today.

Any guess on the weather?

They had been predicting thunderstorms and rain (NO! WE'RE TIRED OF RAIN!) all week. It wasn't raining this morning and so we went ahead and tried to give it a go. We got the volleyball tournament started in the gym and while that was going on, the skies opened up. Great. It was raining like mad.

But then it stopped.

And they decided instead of 15 point games, they'd do 21 point games to take up time in the hopes that it dry up outside. And it sort of did so we were able to take the kids out for the kickball portion of the day. The PTA had hot dogs and Gatorade for the kids (free with a ticket from their teacher), they had other snacks to buy, and although it was a tad muddy on the field, the pavement was dry, the sun was shining and it was hot and muggy.


And then we could hear thunder in the distance. And it got cloudier. And we just finished up the last game of the kickball tournament and had taken the kids inside for lunch when it began to rain again.


But it gets better.

The kids are in the cafeteria eating lunch, we're down the hall in the teacher lunchroom eating pizza (delayed Teacher Appreciation Lunch which was supposed to happen during the week of The Flood), and Mrs. Sparrow, the assistant principal is there with the radio. All of a sudden were hear The Principal come on the radio and announce that she's going to have to pull the tornado drill alarm as we were under a tornado warning. She then mentioned that all the teachers who had kids in the cafeteria had to go get them out of there and into the hallway where it's safer.

Most of us were sprinting out of the lunch room and into the cafeteria before the alarm went off and we hustled the kids out and into the hallway. I got in there so fast that my kids looked like they didn't know what was going on. They figured it out pretty fast, and hustled toward the door. We got all 300 kids out of there in record time, into the hallway, and down into the tornado position. Getting them quiet was the tough part, but they finally quieted down and we stayed in there for nearly 45 minutes.

Let me tell you, being in a long hallway with a bunch of kids, and insisting they be quiet so we can hear directions on the one radio we had, is tough.

Finally it was over, we let them go back and finish their lunch, and then we went back to our classes. It was still raining. We finally gave up on finishing field day and got the word that they are going to try it again later next week when the weather is supposed to be better. The remainder of today we basically let them relax and watched some videos. Of course, being the science geek I am, I had them watch one on tornadoes.

Appropriate, eh?

I hope next week everything works as planned. I really, really do.

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