Something funny is always happening in middle school. And it often involves something happening outside the classroom. Lately, I feel like we have all seen and heard enough about the COVID-19 virus and its impact on our lives. I do not mean to minimize the reality, but it is high time for us to share a smile and possibly even a laugh. So, I share with you two funny stories showing how goofy things can get here in middle school.
The 100-metre Dash
This year we are holding chapels in a very modified format. Basically, we have one cohort live in the gymnasium while all the other students watch chapel in their classrooms via Zoom. For the past number of weeks, Don Kowalchuk and a few other parents have been putting together chapel video clips on the theme of the character of Christ. They have done some very creative things with interviews of people in the broader community combined with worship videos and engaging speakers.
Mr. Kowalchuk sends the video to Mr. van Eerden and then we do a live opening followed by playing the video and broadcasting the cumulative chapel over a Zoom session. Recently, we were in the middle of chapel when a message box came up on the screen (everyone’s screens!) that the laptop battery was running low on charge and was about to shut down the computer. The next thing we all saw was Mr. van Eerden sprinting from the sound room upstairs to the downstairs office to get his computer charger.
Unfortunately, Mr. van Eerden is not Usain Bolt, and just as he arrived back in the sound room to plug in his laptop, it all shut down. Of course, everyone watching the Zoom session in their classroom saw nothing but a black screen until Mr. van Eerden re-started his laptop and re-started the video that was playing. Still, the visual of the race down the hallway was epic! If only we could have included that on Zoom for all our students to see!
The Grade 7 Lake
Little did we know that by installing the “new” temporary playground outside of the grade 7 portables, we would be preventing rainwater from draining away properly. The result has been a large, deep puddle that is formed between the playground and the stairs to the portables. This lake needs to be navigated any time a student or staff member enters or exits the portables.
The water obstacle has become so large, that Dan Verbeek asked if I knew I was assigning him lakefront property when we informed him of which portable was to be his homeroom!
Subsequently, a few students decided that they are going “all in” on playing in the lake. We actually had a couple of students who were ready to demonstrate their shallow water swimming technique, and there has been talk (jokingly, of course) of hosting a swim competition by installing a few lane markers.
To alleviate some of the challenges of traversing the lake, a few raised concrete paving stones have been strategically placed to be used as stepping stones. Regardless, students and teachers with “sneaker soakers” are still a regular occurrence. We are also learning that because of this, lockers inside of the classroom lend themselves to a new “different” type of middle school odour…wet shoes!
As you can see, learning new things and adjusting to the curve balls that construction and COVID brought to our routines and rituals also brought some damp humour to our campus.