Thursday, June 6, 2013

Guarding the Door

In our district, seniors get done earlier than the rest.  This year they were done on Tuesday and we have finals with the rest of the students Wednesday and Thursday.

Our admin finds it necessary to assign duties to those teachers with senior classes; I surmise they are concerned with seniors coming back into the school to cause trouble.  They ask these teachers without students to guard doors and bathrooms - and report any funny business.  It is a very important duty that our teachers take very seriously.

These are the daily reflections of one such soldier.
There is an eerie silence as I begin the first shift at my old friend; Door E. Returning to this post brings with it a warm familiarity akin to that of a steaming bowl of Brussel sprouts. As I look out the smudged glass of the beleaguered door, I am reminded of the experiences of yesteryear with great fondness. The dandelion ensconced softball field, the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn Boulevard, the occasional bathroom customer all serve to remind me of the glories of the past.  It is with guarded optimism that I look forward to what my post has in store for me as the 2013 school year comes to a close. Would it be students trying to use the bathroom without a pass or perhaps intruders trying to re-enter the building to conduct a re-take of a failed test? Whatever the case, my attention is keen. My ear is drawn to the sound of scratching. I turn to see a small, brown, field mouse gnawing innocently on a well-worn sneaker near the gym door. I say, “hi little buddy” as he continues gnawing unfazed by my presence. Re-focused on the job at hand, I review the preparations that I have done for today’s task. It started yesterday with a trip to Coco Beauty Supply where I met with the manager to go over the schematics of their physical plant. The intent was to understand how their infrastructure interfaced with that of Park Center. I surmised that this knowledge could save lives. With that knowledge in hand, I began my shift at precisely 0930 a.m. by securing the perimeter of my post assuring that all access and exit points were well within my sight lines. Once satisfied with the safety levels surrounding Door E, I settled into the misty morning with the calmness that comes from careful and faithful planning. Rest assured, no ill will come to Park Center via Door E.
There is a pall in the air shrouding Door E this morning fueled by the shame of a failed mission. It is with great sadness and humiliation that I pen this morning’s log. The subject of this entry is one that I never anticipated writing given my storied tenure as guard of Door E. The morning began, as most mornings, with a walk around the perimeter (both inside and out) of my area, a check of all locks and door hardware, a security ‘visual’ of CSB (Coco Beauty Supply), a BWT (Bathroom Walk Through), and a cheery good morning to the night custodian as he mounted his bike for the damp pedal home. All appeared well. Upon returning to the well-positioned chair of my post, I slunk to begin my watch. Eyes fixed, head on a swivel, all was as it should be. That is, until the laughter began! As if etherized, I opened my eyes and ears to the sound of laughter…the laughter of students who were pointing and jeering as I struggled to lift my head off the desk. Yes, I had fallen asleep at my post; a Sentry’s worst nightmare! Not since Macbeth had a guard fallen asleep at his post. I quickly shooed the students; with them, went my dignity, my pride, my self-respect. I had failed at my mission. In those sleepy moments, although few, Park Center became vulnerable at Door E! Granted, not a soul has ever passed this door during my watch, and in all likelihood, no one ever will. But, it is the ‘perceived’ threat that matters most. What if…yes, what if a threat posed itself while I slept dreamily at my station? For this, I apologize. As a penance, I am committing myself to a 24 hour vigil. Although the rest of PC will retire this evening with thoughts of summer, I will remain a constant beacon shining a light of safety on Door E. Long live the Pirates!
Reproduced without permission from an earnest & anonymous warrior.

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