Wednesday of last week was crazy.
The craziness started at the beginning of the week when the walkie-talkie’s that we use for communication were stolen over night. Now, we are part of an afternoon program that sees 300+ kids everyday. They are broken into multiple groups based on age and they rotate across our campus. In addition, our music program and tutoring pull kids away from their regular rotations. The walkie’s allow us to just radio for the kids we need as every leader has one. Without them, we have to go and get kids by hand. It’s definitely made things run a little slower, though we’re all chipping in to help each other out.
I got to work Wednesday afternoon for us to find out that we were having a surprise visitor from the mayor’s office. His director of education actually. Now, we get visitors all the time – we’re a non-profit so it’s to be expected. Donors, board members, and the like are always coming by. Still, someone from the mayor’s office is a pretty big deal. It could be some really great publicity for us. I remember thinking at the time that the lack of walkies would make things a bit crazy, but manageable…it’s like I tempted fate or something.
Our esteemed guest showed up with her two kids and the minute we walked in the door I knew something was wrong. Namely, the classroom smelled very wr0ng. I still did our standard walk-through of our staging room and instrument room. When I opened the door into our classroom the smell was worse – acrid, burnt plastic smell – one of our interns was already coming out to ask me to call the site’s maintenance man. I escorted our guest to her seat and then made the call. By the time I was off the phone with him the classroom was hazy. We opened all the doors and moved the kids outside. The maintenance guys came through and immediately went into the main building evacuating it as they went. We were moved to the far side of the campus as the fire department showed up. They confirmed that we had an electrical fire. The motor on the air-conditioning burned out – luckily the fire didn’t spread.
We ended up holding class out under the gazebo – but, because of the fire we couldn’t get any more instruments for our kids. Which meant that we couldn’t rehearse all of the kids that were going on field trips. We arranged to hold an extra class on Thursday and called it quits for the day after we restocked the classroom. Still, it was crazy. Definitely a day I was glad to see the end of…