January 6, 2018
Well Color Me…A Wet and Soggy Mess
Yes, that’s right, I’m a soggy mess. Well not me actually, but my classroom at school. Earlier this week, there was a frozen pipe in the sink in my classroom. Well, facilities brought a space heater over and said that would take care of everything. Me being the freaky overly cautious person that I am chose not to leave the space heater running over night, because well, that’s freaking dangerous. Well just before the bombocyclone blizzard struck, the temperatures warmed up and guess what happened. Yep, the pipe burst.
We had no school on Thursday or Friday because of the weather, but Friday morning I got the call from my assistant principal telling me that my room was a mess. So I decided to brave the cold and head into school. As I got there, my phone rang and it was my friend, who is in the classroom below me. She was upset of course, but I was hoping and praying that soggy mess wasn’t as soggy or as messy as we had been led to believe. Boy was I wrong. My friend’s classroom is totally destroyed. She has lost virtually everything from computers to supplies to the irreplaceable – that would be things made by students or given to her by students. I cried when I saw her room, and then steeled myself to head upstairs to mine.
The water in my room was above my ankles and the custodians were doing everything in their power to get it cleaned up. Amazingly, I didn’t lose much in the way of school supplies. My old hand me down metal storage cabinet is a loss. It’s rusted. My 4 drawer file cabinet which was also a hand me down seems to be okay but very rusty. The chairs in my classroom which were covered in cloth and padded are also a soggy mess and a total loss, as is the old wooden bookcase. However the books are ok so that’s a win. I had just purchased 3 floor lamps for my room so we didn’t have to use the overhead lights and they’re ruined as is my desk lamp. I’m pretty sure the two desktop computers I had in there are a loss as well. I was afraid to turn them on to find out. I also lost my mini refrigerator and microwave. Those may seem unimportant, but a lot of my students come to school hungry and don’t have money for their reduced lunches, so I feed them a lot and they are things that I need
Like my friend down downstairs my biggest loss isn’t a computer or a school supply. Hanging in a frame on my wall was a puzzle of the Las Vegas strip my students myself and other staff had completed. Everybody who worked on it signed the back and I used puzzle saver to save it. This puzzle
My poor puzzle was huge. We had started working on it in the spring and didn’t finish it up before school had ended. I broke it up into large pre-assembled chunks when I had to clean up my room for the end of the year and before the kids came back, I put those chunks back together. When we finished it, we were missing ONE piece, but we didn’t care. It happened to be an insignificant black piece so I put a black piece of paper in it’s place and when we framed it and hung it up, you couldn’t find it. In fact, that missing piece served as a great ice breaker every year for new students. I would challenge them to find the missing piece. Very few of them did, but those that did were incredibly proud of themselves and would then challenge any new person who walked into my room to try and find the missing piece. Right now it’s a soggy mess. I’m trying to dry it out and hopefully we can save it, but even if I can, I don’t have a classroom to put it in.
The nice cleaning company isn’t sure if they’ll have my room ready for Monday, and my friends room won’t be ready for weeks. And sadly classrooms are limited in my school. Not because we’re over crowded, but because the superintendent has decided he is moving the school district offices into our third floor, causing us to lose 22 classrooms. So while there is an empty wing in our school, it is off limits to us while we wait for it to be renovated for the school district offices. And in an ironic twist of fate, a donors choose project I had to get another chrome book for my classroom got funded while my classroom was being flooded. So now I have the chrome book and no place to put it.
But it isn’t all bad. When I got home, I shared pictures of my friend’s classroom on facebook and explained what happened. The results were astounding. People started sharing and re-sharing and the donations started pouring in for her. She is a teacher in the autism program and she also teaches the art classes for the special needs classes. She needs everything, and because people are so wonderful she will be well on her way to rebuilding her classroom. It’s funny, I was more concerned about her and what she needs than I was for me, but people, as I said are astounding. Someone hooked me up with the mini fridge and another friend has a microwave. We also go admin approval to accept donations of money so we started a gofundme. The outpouring of support has been incredible. People are truly amazing!