Monday, September 24, 2007

97 Degrees and Freezing

Today's temperature broke records in Chicago today. It was something like 97 degrees, which is HOT for late September! I need it to cool off, but not for the reason you'd think. I need it to cool off outside so my classroom will HEAT UP!

This is my third year in my particular classroom. I spend half of the year freezing and the other half melting, and neither at the most obvious times. While it was 97 degrees outside today, my classroom was 62. It's always 62. 62 is c-o-l-d to be sitting in for 6 hours. By midday, I literally cannot feel my toes. Now you know if I, the teacher, am complaining to you all , you know the kids are complaining to me. It's annoying, but I've basically learned to ignore them. Actually I tell their parents to complain to the administration, but I don't think anybody has.

Every year I complain to the chief engineer, who I'm sorry to say, is useless. Every year he tells me it's because I have such a small room and it cools easily than the other "big" rooms. Then he goes over to the thermostat (which is literally under lock and key because god forbid they allow me to control my own temperature), adjusts the knob, and tells me it should warm up soon. It never does. Ever. Until winter.

In winter, my room is unbearably hot. I, who am usually cold, can't even stand it. I could probably wear a bikini and still be hot. So meanwhile it could be negative 12 out and we're boiling.

So last year in mid-January, I had just had it with the heat. I was hot, uncomfortable, and was about to LOSE IT! So I called the office through the intercom and asked them to send the engineer to my room. I was expecting the useless chief engineer, but up comes some guy I had never seen before. He identifies himself as someone from the regional engineering office. Ooooooooooh! I may get somewhere here! This guy's from the region! So I ask him to come into the sauna which is my classroom and tell him that I absolutely cannot stand it anymore. He unlocks the thermostat, starts to adjust it, and then remarks, "Hey, this thermostat's not even connected!" So for the past 3 years, stupid chief engineer man has been pretending to adjust the thermostat even though he KNEW it wasn't connected. Grrrrrrrr. The region guy never did anything to help me in the long run. He did turn off the whole heating system that day so we could get some relief, but it was right back on the next day so we could continue to melt.

Since then I've learned that the heating and cooling system have 2 settings: on and off, no inbetween. Seriously. I heard through the grapevine that when they built my wing (5 years ago), there was some kind of payoff to pass inspection in order to get the building done on time.

That's your tax dollars at work, Chicago!

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