Monday, October 7, 2013

Trapped in the Library

“Mr. O’Neill!  Mr. O’Neill!  It’s raining!!  Come look!”

It seemed like a pretty obvious statement.  It had been pouring when I’d escorted my 5th period class to the library, walking single-file in the center of the covered walkways to avoid puddles and raindrops, and the rain had continued the entire class.

But Ana Alicia didn’t mean it was raining outside.  She meant it was now raining inside.  She stood a few feet from the wall, looking up, and sure enough, fine droplets of water were somehow making their way through the ceiling to filter down into the room.  Two computers were right there, so the girls working on them shut them down and moved away from the wetness. 

That wasn’t the worst of our problems, though.  As I started telling kids to save their work and shut down their computers, Mr. O’Neill came over to me to inform me he wasn’t sure we’d be able to leave.  Sure enough, a quick glance out the window confirmed that the sidewalk was now a 6” deep river of brown water. 

I didn't have my camera with me, but this is Carrie's
photo of what it looked like outside the 6th grade rooms.
The library sidewalk was just as flooded.  

The kids begged and pleaded.  It was the end of the day, the buses were coming, some had Conferences starting.  Couldn’t they just take off their socks and shoes and make a run for it? 
No, definitely not.

We were trapped in the library. 

There’s a back way out, of course, and that sidewalk wasn’t so flooded.  But the pathway there also isn’t covered, and it was still sheeting rain. 
Definitely trapped.

Hyung's photo of the middle school area.
That brown pool of water is usually grass...

We were soon informed that the buses wouldn’t be coming for another hour (because the parking lot was even more flooded than the sidewalks) and conferences were cancelled for the night.  So we shuffled into Multipurpose Room A, and popped in a movie.  Between that and allowing some of them to use their ipads to entertain themselves, a semblance of “order” was maintained for the next 45 minutes until the sidewalks cleared and we were allowed to head back to the middle school section. 

I can tell you one thing.  I never expected a flood to trap me in a school library.    

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