Egyptian Fire Drill


We used to have fire drills a couple of times a year not the standard once a month we have now. They were usually held on bright sunny days, one in the fall and one in the spring,  when everyone enjoyed the time outside anyway. One spring day the fire drill alarm sounded and my class  quietly moved towards the door, the students closest to the windows closing them and for some reason I have never quite understood closing the blinds as well.  It must have been the right thing to do because they were just  following the instructions in the ubiquitous but all powerful white card with red outlining on the wall next to the door. In moments all were in line except Chris who sat in his seat bent over with his head under the desk. We had gotten past the duck and cover drills that students practiced in the 60’s that were laughingly supposed to  protect us from nuclear attack so I knew he wasn’t, “just confused.” I called his name with no answer so I walked back and found that Chris had apparently spent the previous few minutes before the drill  tying his own shoe laces to the legs of his student desk and had now in a panic turned the shoe laces into a knotted mess. In a world where most boys wore high top tennis shoes or heavy stiff leather shoes slipping the shoes off was not an option and untying them after Chris’ panicky removal attempts was not an option either. So with one student on each corner we carried Chris and his desk out of the room, down the hall and outside for the fire drill a perfect modern day parody of some ancient Egyptian King in a sedan chair. It was a sign of the times that because it was a fire drill and talking was not allowed, not one student in my class or the other classes that were outside commented on the situation but a video would have been a you tube sensation. Scissors finally solved the issue and in another sign of the times no one called from home later that day to complain about the destroyed shoe laces and demand payment for them. Probably because things were different then and  Chris was smart enough not to go home and tell that story to his parents.

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About safrisri

I have been a teacher since 1971 and have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. My writings will reflect on my past mistakes and successes and what my students have taught me about education.
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