Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Little Things Mean a Lot

I've been on a veritable crusade to introduce soap into the trailer bathrooms (I know it's asking a lot, but that's the kind of guy I turned out to be). I've gotten some assistance from a cooperative assistant principal who bullied the custodians into repairing the iron pipes that hung precariously from the railings. They even fixed my door, which now closes and locks, and it took them a mere 8 months.

The soap thing, though, has been a real uphill battle. One day, two bars of soap magically appeared. The next, one of my students asked me to take a look. Inside the bathroom, on the stainless steel sink, which is never, ever cleaned, there was what appeared to be rust. On closer inspection, it was an odd brownish substance which seemed to be growing out of the sink surface. The kids showed me the soap, which had a few millimeter's worth of the substance growing out of it.

I picked it up with a paper towel (which I found in the teacher desk, there being none in the bathroom), and brought it to the AP. But when I got to the office, there was a meeting going on, involving several people wearing suits. When I looked in, a secretary asked if there was an emergency. As I was almost late for hall patrol, I picked up the thing, showed it, and said, "Look what my kids are supposed to wash their hands with. Would you let your children touch a thing like this?"

The helpful AP made a note, gave a sympathetic nod, and expressed disappointment they didn't get liquid soap. I tossed the foul thing away and marched out to keep the halls safe for democracy.

Later, in the lunchroom, the secretary reproached me. "I was very embarrassed by what you did in there. I asked if it was an emergency. No one was bleeding, and it was my fault you interrupted that meeting."

"I don't think it reflects on you," I said. "I was the one who thought it was important."

While she's right it wasn't life or death, I'm quite curious what they were meeting about. What were they talking about that was so much more important than the health and hygiene of the kids I teach?
blog comments powered by Disqus