Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is that why I'm sweating?

I've heard it said that our school is a green school. I know academically what that means, but it took me a long time to figure out how we got the title. After all, our cafeteria still hands out plastic spoons and forks, and the teachers still make 145 double-sided copies for class the next day. This week, I discovered another reason why we're called a green school.

First, our beautiful, brand new grass lawn is turning a sad shade of yellow. Since the heat wave started, our school has elected to stop watering the lawn because it wastes water.

Next, we have this piss-yellow desk cleaning spray that doesn't disinfect (remember, they wanted us to use it to use it daily to help counteract the spread of swine flu until someone reminded them of that fact). In fact, it doesn't really clean either, now that I think of it. I have two nearly full bottles of it under my sink, one of the few items in my classroom that isn't grimy.

Here's another big oversight: our school has no air conditioning.

Sure, we have heating (it does snow up here every year), but this is Washington. Land of the perpetual rain. Heat waves tend to be rare (though we have record-breaking heat waves more and more often it seems. Is that global warming in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?). The district thought air conditioning was a luxury. But we've had a week and a half of sun and our uninsulated, steel roofs are absorbing all the heat from the black roofing material on top. Tom Warring has the hottest room in the building, a record-breaking 88 degrees at 2:00pm. With only one tiny window to provide a breeze.

So now, no one's learning anything. To alleviate the suffering, the district gave us some fans. Some Hepa-filtered, motorized, rotating, weak as hell floor fans that look better than they work. I'd give my eye teeth for one of the ugly steel floor fans that look like they'd chop a finger off but are powerful enough to flatten your hair at 20 feet away.

15 more days. Dear God, let me make it.

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