Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Try To Get A Mental Picture Of This...Its Worth It!

We have learned in the worst possible way over the last decade or so of the importance of safety planning in our schools. I'm behind it...honest! And should the day come that I, your humble Sheep, need be the one that is responsible for keeping your child safe in a crisis you'll be glad we practiced our emergency evacuation today.

That said, if you can't see the potential for absurdity in having to assemble 300 or so children and march them two by two a quarter of a mile down the road to the safety of the Middle School...well, you're just not trying.

We were given ample notice to prepare. The plans were reviewed and the drill was scheduled for 9:00 this morning. My job was to hand off my small classroom to the tender, loving care of my staff and take over transport of a fifth grade classroom. The regular teacher, being unable to make the walk with the rest of us is generally taken by car and meets her class at the "safe spot." I was given explicit directions as to how I was to do this and strongly admonished to "not lose any of them in the woods." This part was repeated several times.

No pressure or anything...

With the street safely blocked off by friendly local police officers and all students present and accounted for, the principal "set the pace" and led our merry band of staff and students to mock safety. I only just met my new principal, but he appears to be somewhere between the ages of 60 and 182. I had hopes for a leisurely stroll in the sunshine.

I was wrong.

This was a death march at Mach speed. I'm 99% sure that my new principal is, in fact, a cyborg sent to Earth by some unfriendly and super healthy planet in a solar system bent on punishing us for our having invented cupcakes. I'd confront him on it and send him packing back to his home planet where steamed broccoli and lentils are considered a treat save for that 1% doubt. That's the percentage that could maybe get me funny looks or fired. I'll just have to hope that NASA or the CIA figures this one out.

In the event that one of the staff or students proved unable to hobble the short distance to safety, the whole procession was followed by the school nurse complete with medical kit and wheelchair. That added a nice "emergency" touch to the whole affair, I must say.

The most disturbing part of this little exercise was my realizing just how many of the fifth and sixth graders in my school had difficulty walking this distance. I'd expected complaining, but was concerned when I saw several who had to actually stop and were unable to continue until they'd caught their breath. I think I may view those "Dateline: America In Crisis" specials with a less jaded eye.

The final element of absurdity was my ill-fated decision to make today "Cute Strappy Sandals" day. In fairness, I often wear these to work in the summers where the job entails the chasing of toddlers 'n such. I never had a problem. But these little numbers were not meant for sprinting to safety while shielding children from flames or creeping mold attacks. My only consolation was that, in the event of my falling and snapping my ankle, I would be the best shod gal in the emergency room.

But The Sheep was able to safely get the kidlets from point A to point B and back without incident. The woods are free of misplaced children and my feet survived the journey intact. I did such a good job that I almost talked myself into skipping the cardio part of today's workout as a reward. I thought the better of it, though. My summer vacation flab still needs to be attended to. (Dang it...)

So we got us one tired widdle Sheepie tonight what with all the excitement. Knitting on the Chevron Stripes Towel continues despite my having sworn that I will not knit another stitch until I have procured a circular needle more conducive to the project. But it is just so addictive!!! I also have some yummy new yarn to share but will wait until I have the energy to present it in the manner it deserves. "Pretty" is an understatement here, folks.

I will rest my weary hooves and report back tomorrow. I'm sure that, once I've slept for a day or so, that I will be able to muster up quite the show for ya!

And you can all rest easy knowing that I stand ready in the event of a pretend crisis...

SA

11 comments:

Geraldine said...

Aaaauuuhhhh....hope the hooves are feeling better by sunrise! Those tikes are gonna need some serious exercise, they shouldnt be huffin' and a puffin'......Time to strap on the trainers!

Huggs,G

Teri S. said...

That sounds like quite the morning adventure. "Don't lose any of them in the woods"? Is is that wild around your school? Would kids that can't walk a quarter of a mile actually have the gumption to get lost in the woods?

Can't wait to see the new yarn!

Debby said...

It always scared me how precision-like these emergency drills were. We were never far enough away from the school to be safe...glad you have your little lambs organized and hope you recover soon!

Beth said...

Maybe the wheelchair and medical kit were for teachers in cute strappy sandals. You know, in case there was a shoe problem. :)

missemilysmom said...

I heard about this happening... Yes your new principal must have been a site! :0) And i know who that 5th grade teacher is!! Be VERY VERY VERY glad no cherubs were "lost" :0) I can fill you in later if you wish... To give you the warnings.

Julie said...

Thank Gawd you survived the pretend crisis!

Anonymous said...

The stresses of your job never end. Glad everyone survived.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Kate said...

You need to lay a trap for the cyborg. Bake something and bring it in. See if he eats it. Nothin' like a nature hike while herding kids in strappy sandals!

trek said...

I have contacted MIB - they tell me that Agent J is busy with an unauthorized landing in New Mexico but that they will be sending Agent K to investigate the activites of the Principal. He is actually from Alpha Centuri, in case you were wondering.

Sheila said...

Glad all are well after the safety drill.
It is alarming to ear how out of breath those little ones got....they are supposed to be faster than lightning at that age!

SCarrGo said...

I feel your pain--I used to work in a school. I WISH our drills were that organized...

Hey, if you would have snapped the ankle, the nurse could have hauled you back in the wheelchair. When you choose style over substance, someone always has your back.