Monday, June 29, 2009

Old Habits Never Die

With temps soaring into 100 degrees last week and the heat index hovering at 108 deg. our 13 year-old air conditioner compressor decided to die a slow death. We were unaware that the coolness had declined by Friday. One of those mechanical failures you least expect. Like everyone else, we've become accustomed to home air conditioning. We are into Day Four of the art of staying cool.With July Fourth looming, we may spend a lot of time in the mall reading.

How reminiscent this is of the temps I faced teaching school. No matter how neatly dressed and made up I was at 8:00 a.m., by 8:30 my makeup was sliding towards my waist, strands of hair were losing their stance on my head(no hair spray has been invented to ignore heat), and the light starch in my blouse was wilting. In one hour my appearance likened me to a Rip Van Winkle nap. No fans were provided for the classrooms, so I contributed one.There was such a fuss made over the direction the fan should face I eventually turned it off to avoid classroom conflict. I was fooling myself that this medium-sized fan would offer relief. But the psychology was worth more than the actual cooling. By the end of the day exhaustion filled our bodies like a tank of hot water. The difficult part of teaching was keeping students alert in all the heat. The next difficult part was maintaining control with humor.

For some inconceivable reason architects of early schools chose to face the buildings where a lot of sunlight floods classrooms, not taking into account heat that often begins in mid-to-late April. Yet, you check the buildings and those that do face south have tall windows that create havoc in the classrooms with students jockeying for a seat on the other side of the room. Those days are memories.

With a tall glass of ice water and a good book, I sit near a fan that does its best to make me comfortable. I can't complain. Some people don't have the luxury of one fan.

Waiting. There's bound to be the fridge, the washer or dryer or the hot water heater ready to blow its valves. Doesn't it happen in pairs?


CountryCouture said...

I figured you'd be long gone to the cabin by now! We're suffering here too. My a/c isn't broken, yet I still plugged in an old Emerson fan b/c the a/c was struggling to maintain 72 degrees. I hope your a/c is fixed soon! P.S.-With such great people-watching in the mall, who could possibly read a book?

20th Century Woman said...

Oh, yes, I think appliances conspire.

Don't they make schools without any windows at all these days to avoid vandalism?

When I was a kid in school I used to spend a lot of time looking out the window thinking how much nicer it would be if I were a squirrel in the treetops.

CabinWriter-- said...

No such thing as leaving out windows in the South. They could have made them shorter and nearer the ceiling, but someone would complain.

CabinWriter-- said...

Country Coutour--I've been cleared by doc(bad case of sciatica) to go to NY and we hope to leave just as the temps are getting to 75. It'll be good to get away from this heat. You must have a time with chores in this weather! Our A/C was repaired today--can't believe we found someone to do the job so quickly.