A Snowball’s Chance


My room for years was in the officially defined, “garden Level” of the building,  which more accurately should have been called a termite ridden sub-basement of a dungeon like building built in in 1910. The windows were quite literally at ground level. The asphalt of the school driveway literally running into my window sills. After school my view was of 18 inch bus wheels seen through choking black diesel exhaust, the rest of the day it was the sky.

One  winter there was still snow on the ground but it was  the afternoon of one of  those special late winter days where the sunlight was able to conquer the air temperature and snow and invite reptilian basking behavior in the sweet light breezes of the coming spring.   Days like that happen nearly  every year but tend to  get lost in our memories of weather nightmares. On this day  I had all of my windows open and was sitting at my desk correcting papers  while the class worked… yes we used to be able to do that.

Without warning a snowball, thrown from a passing car, probably a convertible with its  top down and full of at least 8 high school students not wearing seat belts and cradling a bucket of snowballs, came in through the open window (we didn’t have screens back then). The snowball  nailed me cleanly in the side of the head totally without warning.  It knocked me completely out of my chair and on to the floor.

Back then it wasn’t safe for students to laugh at the misfortunes of teachers so as I sat on the floor surrounded by bits of snow wondering exactly what had  happened the class was beset with a restless, terrible, eyes averted, chest heaving, choking silence. I remember saying “Damn” in surprise ( a serious no-no then) as I hit the floor.  Collecting myself and trying to figure out exactly what had happened I finally got back up, sat down  in my chair,wiped the snow out of my hair ( which I still had at that point) and off the side of my head with my hand  and said quietly, ” nice shot.”  The class started to laugh and continued until the passing period.

For a while I was their equal again and the feeling was wonderful.

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About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I 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. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
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2 Responses to A Snowball’s Chance

  1. Sue says:

    Hey XXX,
    Few can conceive such a state of the art facility. It seems like yesterday …or was it a dream. Great memory, rivals the In God We Trust bulletin board.
    Hope you had a great birthday.

  2. thelastgasp1 says:

    Great story…I remember at dusk hiding behind the fence and pummeling any bus (school of city) that dared pass by the our house. We threw snowballs at anything, stationary or moving, and congratulated our accomplices upon a bullseye. I am surprised more great pitchers, like Bob Feller, haven’t come from Iowa!

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