It has been a long couple of months. I was given a student teacher for seven weeks, which, contrary to conventional wisdom, does not make teaching any easier. It in fact, makes it even more stressful. But that is another story for another day.
A little over a week ago I was down in the basement where I teach, helping a student after school learn how to make source cards for citing research and chatting with another teacher in code about craft beer. In the midst of explaining that copying the URL on a website wasn’t a sufficient citation, I heard some sort of banging noise in the hallway.
I looked out of my door, and I didn’t see anything, but the sound was getting louder. It was the pounding violent sound of hammers on metal. Oh, no. Hail.
You see, here in Texas we do everything bigger—including weather.
The sound grew to a roaring blitz of ice on the roof so loud that I was sure it was falling straight through the building. I got up on a desk and checked above the ceiling tiles to ascertain whether water was leaking through the upper floor. No water, but the noise was deafening. There was nothing I could do until the storm passed over, so I continued to tutor my student on the ways of citation and talk to my coworker about tasty libations.
A few minutes after the terrible sound subsided, a fellow teacher ran into my room wide-eyed and frantic.
“I’m so sorry to interrupt, but you need to see your car.”
“Destroyed?” Considering the cacophony, it would be no surprise.
“It’s pretty bad.”
That was as good of a time as any to call it a day, so I sweep the student out of the room and walked upstairs with my coworker and out of the building to the parking lot, where half a dozen teachers were staring in disbelief at their cars. It looked like an act of vandalism—cars pockmarked and dented; cracked, spiderwebbed, and shattered windshields; hailstones lying like golf balls around the grass.
I came to my car. It had no back windshield anymore. The front windshield was cracked. Every panel on my car was as blemished as an adolescent’s acned face.
No small number of other teachers had their cars looking just the same, and one car even had a hole punched through the top of the trunk. The storm has been the talk of the town, and a picture of my poor car even made it into the local newspaper. Now my students are pelting me with questions about my car: Is it ruined? How are you going to get to school? Want my dad to fix it?
Within the next few weeks, there will be a whole lot of teachers pulling up to school in their sweet new (and by that I mean used) rides.
Hmmm…maybe we should lobby for covered parking.
(Just kidding; we don’t even have enough money to pay for remediation materials!)