American Fork Junior High School: Choir and School Fire

Only one class today, but that’s okay. I got to sleep in. Besides, I’m teaching resource here tomorrow and Monday.

It was very exciting today. A boy lit a fire in one of the bathrooms. I just missed the firetrucks. The police were interviewing the boy in an administrator’s office and waiting for his parents. The rest of the school was electrified. Jittery, crazy energy is normal with junior high kids, but today was abnormal. The halls were clogged with kids gossiping or trying to assure their parents over cell phones everything was okay. Emergencies like today are the reasons schools don’t outright ban cell phones. If the parents couldn’t call their kids when they see something scary on the news, then the school halls would be filled with gossipy, jittery and pissed-off parents.

The kids in class were little better. It was very hard to get them under control. I was actually there only to help the pianist. She thought she could handle it at first, but was very happy I was there because I can project very well and am louder than any gossiping kid. I did not conduct or anything like that of course. I can play stringed instruments, but I can not sing my way out of a paper bag. My kids can, I can’t.

They are already preparing for Christmas concerts. The piece they were working on was an adaptation of something by Mozart (sorry, I don’t recall the exact piece). It had all the Mozart complications and thrills and obviously the kids were loving it. One girl was having a hard time. She told me her mom sent her to school with a one liter bottle of Pepsi (many parents are mad at the soda ban). She drank the whole thing at lunch and was totally wired. She just could not calm down. I wish there was one of those large red exercise balls in the classroom (some classes have them). A few minutes bouncing on one of those and she would have worn away any excess energy. To some people, caffeine is like tweaking out on meth.

By the time class was over, the pianist was drenched in sweat and I had changed the seating of about fifteen kids who could not calm down. As they darted off to their next classes, all they were talking about was how so and so had burned down the bathroom. What a great day.


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