Tuesday, May 24, 2011

30 DoB 2: The Storm

So I've been writing a paper for the last few hours, only interspersed with playing my clarinet at a local school's choir performance, and my eyes feel like they're about to be burnt right out of my skull, so I'm going to keep this brief. But man. Yesterday was pretty stinkin' crazy.

So I teach an after-school band program for beginners. It was started because beginning band was cut in the local elementary schools and a wealthy man really wanted to preserve them, so his corporation personally paid all the teachers and bought all the materials necessary, and the students could participate for a very low cost, and if they couldn't afford that, they received needs-based scholarship. Anyway, I've been teaching clarinet for them this semester, but the head honcho (my cooperating teacher for student teaching) was visiting his daughter yesterday, so I was put in charge since I knew best how he would run things.

The band room is set up such that I was the only one facing the only window in the entire room. This was a big plus, for reasons I am about to explain. At about 5:00 (the program ends at 5:15) I saw the sky turn a very interesting shade of green and the trees all bent directly facing the window. This was a huge red flag... anyone from the Midwest can tell you that green skies are a sign of bad things to come. When the time came to release the students, the lights flickered and they all turn and go "Oh no, will the power go out?" and I said "No, of course not! The school has emergency generators."

Boy was I wrong.

Not ten seconds later, the room goes completely pitch black. Fortunately by this point, most of the students were already out being received by parents. When I looked through the band room door, there was dirt, dust, and debris flying straight down the hallway and all of the children looked... bewildered, to put it kindly. The only thing I could do was to trust that the parents would have it under control... as I am incapable of driving, I couldn't offer a ride home or anything.

I rode home with a friend from Hawaii who had never driven in heavy wind, and he was worried about his car being unfit to drive. I assured him that the bigger problem would be the flash floods that seemed to be occurring (way to go, me--always giving confidence), but neither of us expected the havoc it would wreak on the trees. There were trees downed everywhere. There were three in a row, in fact, right in front of my house, which were not cleared until about 3:00 this afternoon, if that tells you about the response they had to get. I felt like I was in the movie Twister with my friend dodging all the fallen trees and barely able to see the road. In retrospect, it was probably a bad idea to drive... but we're impulsive college boys so you can't really be surprised.

When I arrived home, the power was out and I didn't know what to do... I couldn't see well enough to read because it was already the evening and the cloud cover was immense, and I couldn't do anything else I would normally do while bored, because those all involve electronics. I ended up calling my mother because we had talked about calling on Skype and it looked like that wasn't going to happen in the near future.

When that call was over, I realized how hungry I was, and how I had nothing to eat because I had only just gone to the grocery store and everything would involve some level of cooking. So I called another friend who said she was starving, and we decided to go out to dinner together. The storm had calmed down significantly, so it was more just inconvenient than dangerous to have to leave the house to get food. I did have to tell her to come up my street the back way to avoid the tree, which was fun.

In any case, when we were driving around, we saw that block after block was out of power and every single restaurant's employees were standing around outside, wondering what to do. This was bad sign number 2. Bad sign number 3 was that even the stoplights, which usually blink during losses of power, were completely off. The only, and I mean only place that we saw in town with power was Taco Bell. Decision made.

Unfortunately, it seemed that many in town had the same idea, and there was a 20-minute wait for orders. Bad news bears. It was fine, though, because it wasn't like we had anywhere to go. We were just starving. So we ate and complained about the stuff that we were incapable of doing (most of which involved coursework we didn't want to do anyway) and ate and went back home, and the power was still out.

So I sat down on my bedroom floor and called Raquel and we talked for a while and I got the grand idea to organize my footlocker while the sun was up. It was like 8:30. I didn't have much time to work, and to make a long story short, it looked like the storm took place inside my room rather than outside my room. I had to give up because of the light, so I just opened all my windows and went to bed.

Unfortunately, my room is still messy because the project I couldn't do yesterday had to be done in its entirety today. I. Don't. Want. To. Clean.

But I only have three minutes until my bedtime so I gotta go!
Sleep: X
Blogging: X
Homework: X
Reading: O (so far...)

1 comment:

  1. We got that storm around 8:30; as we were getting in the car to go home, we could hear the sirens going off in the next county. It got ugly, fast. And stupid me, the one with the minor in meteorology, goes "Oh no, we should be able to keep ahead of it."

    Uh, no. At one point we were about to get on the main road that would start the three hour trip home, there was a wall of water coming down. From one streetlight to the next, it separated them, it was crazy. It was like driving home in a waterfall, and since we were driving due east, we were going in the same direction and stuck with the system for about two hours straight. If I had been in a sturdier car than my own, it wouldn't have been nearly as bad, but that was a monster of a storm.