Tuesday, February 25, 2014
And there were new tables. There were new seats and they were made in Canada. We could tell because each one had its own individual maple leaf.
Not only that, but the tables were all the same. The seats all matched. None of them wobbled, and none of them had chewing gum either on top or bottom of the seat part. None of them had masking tape with the names of teachers who sat there at some vital event that took place 14 years ago.
We felt like we were at a conference room in some hotel. We felt ashamed if we spilled coffee. How could we sully such fine furniture? It seemed like we should discuss serious stuff, but of course it was lunchtime. Yet there were questions.
"Is this for us?"
"Are they going to let us keep this, or are they going to take it away?"
You can't be too careful. Our school is about 60 years old, and no one had ever thought to refurbish this room. Yet there were little murals on the wall, and cheery little sayings. It was as though we were in some place that wanted us to come back, or cared one way or another whether or not we did.
The principal walked in, and asked what we thought.
"It's beautiful," said someone.
I had a suggestion. "Why don't we redesign this room every sixty years, whether it needs it or not?"
"60 years?" he asked. Then he thought for a minute. "OK, it's a deal. I promise we'll redesign this room every 60 years."
It's important to negotiate whenever an opportunity presents itself.