Thursday, February 21, 2008

What a day!!!!!

Having a little time away from the TV- my son has confiscated it for Lost and I am not a fan- I decided to post about my day.

Some fool (I could say worse, but not on a family-rated blog!) decided that 7:45 this morning would be a great time to call in a bomb threat at the school where I teach. Just the right time for everyone to have their coats off, most people already in their first class and the rest on their way there. Why are coats an issue? Because at 7:45 this morning, it was 19° with a wind chill of about 11°.

The fire alarm went off, the loudspeaker immediately announced "this is not a drill", the faculty all knew it was serious because there is never a drill during first period, and so 1000 people piled onto the sidewalks outside our huge school building.

It was immediately apparent that no one could stay outside for long in the weather and equally apparent that no one could go back into the building. So, we were all off to our emergency evacuation site- a large church 4 city blocks away, the only place in the area big enough to hold all of us. It was quite a sight, watching 1000 people marching down the street in the arctic temps with no coats. Actually we would make quite a sight even with our coats, lol!

It all went extremely well. The kids were GREAT!!!! They were cooperative, followed directions, and behaved wonderfully in the church for about an hour and a half while the police bomb squad and the dogs searched the building. Then everyone marched the 4 long cold blocks back to school, met in the auditorium for announcments of exactly what had happened and how the day would be finished out, and finally went back to classes.

So, the fool accomplished nothing. Stuff like this, handled well by the adults and dealt with terrifically by the kids, just makes our community stronger.

Then, serendipity struck in my physics class today. The lesson that came up for today, in the normal course of the book and the semester, was satellites. Being able to talk to the kids about how and why satellites stay up on the very morning it was announced that the Navy had exploded the decaying-orbit satellite was amazing timing. The kids decided that everyone who worked on this was a hero who had "saved the planet". The best part though, was that after they understood the basic principles and then we talked about how complicated the calculations had to be to have a missile launched at the exact time to intercept a satellite moving at 17,000 mph, I could say to them that everyone involved in the success of this project had started out at some point in a classroom just like theirs learning that distance= velocity x time. The looks on their faces were priceless- I think maybe a few engineers were born this morning.

All in all it was quite a day!

1 comment:

Lee said...

OH my!! What a DAY you had!! And how proud of your students you must be!! I'm so glad everything ended well!! Now about that whole velocity and engineering thingy.......all I can say is...........NOT ME!!!! LOL