Equality In The Boiler Room


In almost all school systems now  smoking is not allowed anywhere on school grounds. In many cases teachers are not even allowed to smoke in their cars in the parking lot although some do and I am pretty sure that I have seen some shop teachers with that telltale bulge on their lower gum that indicates that they have “a sore tooth”
Before smoking was banned, before teachers lounge’s, before teacher’s bathrooms, the boiler room was the smoke-filled room of  socialization in almost all schools. Usually controlled by a guy named Roy or Virgil it would have two or three bent rusty metal folding chairs, rescued from the trash, sitting on the rust stained un-sealed  concrete floor. In rural districts most had a   bottle of Clorox bleach that was being drip fed  into drinking water  lines to purify the well water. The boiler room was often oppressively warm, smelled of hot dust,  and was  lit by the light from one small window and a solitary 60 watt light bulb in an old brass socket hanging by a single cloth-covered wire in the center of the room.

In the boiler room there was total equality… principals, custodians, teachers, cooks salesman , the  occasional parent and even the superintendent of schools knew that they were all cut from the same cloth once they opened the heavy metal door, went down the stairs, gathered around the galvanized bucket full of playground sand,  and lit up.

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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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