My office/classroom is freezing.
I usually have more important things to complain about, like students not being able to understand simple sentence structure or to be able to identify cause and effect in a piece of writing. But those thoughts are fleeing in the face of the Arctic blast that greets me every time I enter my room.
Just so you know, I live near Houston, and in this part of Texas, there’s no autumn. We don’t have that lovely time of gradually decreasing temperatures and the leaves slowly becoming golden before drifting to the ground. No, in southeast Texas, it stays hot right up until the end of October (and by hot I mean in the mid-90s) and then suddenly the temperature drops 25-30 degrees when November begins. There’s no fall unless you count the sudden leaf dump that seems to happen at the beginning of December when the winds start.
So it’s still hot outside, but you wouldn’t know it to step into my room. I’d say the temperature here is about 68 degrees. I’m wearing a long-sleeve turtleneck sweater and a jacket with close-toed shoes. I will be sweating the minute I step outside, but them’s the breaks.
Why is my room so cold? I have no idea. Even my principal has commented on the fact that the cold air seems to sit in my room and nowhere else. He actually showed me that he had the A/C set at 76, and the rest of the school feels fine. Or maybe he just dislikes me and is screwing with me.
I wish I knew whether it was a punishment from the gods of air conditioning or just a mistake, but by the end of the day, my shoulders hurt from hunching over in response to the frigid air and my hands are about ten degrees cooler than the rest of my body. One of the students offered to bring in a space heater, because he felt sorry for me.
I’m trying to find the upside in this situation, which is that either cold air burns calories or that my can of Coke Zero Sugar (!) stays cold now all on its own. But it’s hard to do when I have to step outside the building to get some relief.
One student and I spent the other day working through the short story “To Build a Fire.” The main character keeps commenting to himself how cold it is outside in the Yukon. The student said, “Ms. Marlowe, that sounds like you in this room."
It does. But there’s no story that will be written about slowly succumbing to frostbite in a school building.