Monday, February 21, 2011

(un)Natural Disasters

Last week started out with a day dedicated to hearts, but rapidly took a turn in a different direction.

I wrote the following entry last Wednesday to correspond with a Valentine's Day-inspired digital postcard created for my masters class.

If I were sitting down to make a postcard now, I would create a piece about the elements, not of art, but the ones more familiar to me as the kids from Captain Planet. Earth. Fire. Wind. Water. Heart.

Our arts building experiences these in unique ways.
     A flood in my classroom (water).
     A cloud formation* in the ceramics room (wind).
and today
     A fire in the music storage room (fire).

Yes, the music teacher and I walked into our building today to find that the heater in the storage room had an explosion/electrical fire overnight. The guards found it this morning and had already called the operations department, but the building was filled with smoke and a layer of soot covered my classroom.

What a day it was! But since I'd almost finished my postcard yesterday, I decided to work it to completion today rather than explore the Planeteers that plague our building. You're stuck with a postcard about the fifth power in the cartoon of my childhood---heart.

And here's to hoping earth doesn't make an appearance next year...

*How to explain the freak weather phenomena that occurred in the ceramics room...
Essentially, it was my fault (unlike the flood or the fire). I left the air conditioner running in the classroom. Not central air and not a window air conditioner, this stand up machine functions as both cooling device, dehumidifier, and heater. Unbeknownst to me, it was on the dehumidify setting. And also unbeknownst to me, that has no temperature limit. So the machine kept working all weekend, cooling that room down to some unreasonable temperature. And the rest of the building was warm and humid. Cold dry sealed classroom. Warm humid hallway. Meet in the small space for air to pass through around the door. Condensation craziness! I created a cloud. Inside. And like all clouds, it had to rain eventually. And soak the classroom, grow mold in the ceiling tiles, and create a stream in the hallway. A rather large object lesson in the water cycle, all in one weekend...

And so now, almost a week later, the clean-up continues. I am a refugee, displaced from my classroom and teaching in a spare room in the elementary building. Boy, do I miss my sinks! But the major work in the hallway is done now and the music department is finished using my classroom as temporary storage. I have the afternoon free tomorrow and hope to spend it getting my room usable for Wednesday's classes. I might look like a chimney sweep by the end of the day, but the layer of soot that currently covers every shelf will be gone!

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