The machines are against me.
Not in a Transformers Dark Side of the Moon* sort of against me. There aren’t huge talking robot cars breaking into my house or anything.
It all began when the air conditioner at the school broke. My classroom A/C worked just fine mind you. But when the men in coveralls came to fix the school-wide A/C, mine stopped working. Stopped working as in it was eighty-eight-lord-have-mercy-degress inside my classroom. Dear ones, let me tell you that there isn’t a tougher crowd than 30 five and six-year olds who are too hot to move and/or think. Due to the smoke from the fires blazing around us, we couldn’t even open a door or crack a window.
Teaching Sweating profusely for upwards of 10 hours a day and then driving home in a cauldron of smoke made me contemplate 2 things:
- How hot can hell really be?
- Am I in hell right now?
Truth be told, it also made me long for my days in Uganda writing with my sons and daughters in their beautiful open air classrooms that don’t need pesky things like air conditioners or for that matter, electricity. It made me long to sit under the trees with them, looking out over the bush while they entranced me with their stories.
Once word got out that one of my machines had gone rogue, the others followed suit. My router went on the fritz, taking my internet access and printer with it. No amount of cajoling could bring the router back to life. Believe me I tried. I tried to fix it with the help of customer service agents from all over the world. I was on the phone with customer service for 5 unholy hours which led to me saying very bad words and entertaining thoughts of taking the business end of a screwdriver to my router, which I may or may not have done while having a full on fit in my garage.
So while I would have loved to write about said ridiculous fit in detail here, the last thing I wanted to do after sweating through my clothes all day was vagabond myself out to free WiFi spots. The only thing I wanted to do was come home and take an icy shower. Trust me, sparing the public of my presence during those days was really an act of community service because let me tell you, the funk rising out of my skin was so strong it sometimes brought tears to my eyes when I happened to catch an errant whiff of myself. There aren’t deodorants strong enough for that people, there just aren’t.
After the A/C, router and printer went on strike, my classroom projector and camera followed suit. I swear it’s because they were melting in the heat. My classroom A/C has now been out for 2 weeks. Luckily for me I have a student teacher who climbs into the spiderwebby A/C closet every day and manually starts the thing up. What better way for him to get a glimpse of the realities of teaching that to do that every morning, right? Unfortunately once it’s on, it will not be stopped, so we’ve moved from the sweltering fires of Mordor to the frozen tundra of Antarctica.
But today, dear ones, is a turning point in The Great Machine Strike. Perhaps they saw the damage I can do with a single screwdriver. Perhaps their little metal innards were scarred by a full-grown woman melting down in all senses of the word. Today two men in coveralls came and banged on things in the A/C closet outside of my classroom so I’m hopeful that tomorrow it will be humming away again. Also a man with a jangling tool belt came and did things to the projector and it’s all bright and happy again. I bought a new router that is speedy and quick and smiles at me with a pretty blue light.
The last hold out is the printer, but I think it knows I mean business because it’s beginning to perk back up and make clicking sounds and flash cheerful blinking lights at me like it wants to be friends again. Just in case it needs a little more convincing, I left the screwdriver out in plain sight.