My day began with a resounding beep, beep, beep. Once at 3am, again at 4:45am, and finally at 6:30am. The beeping was followed by tings from text messages and ding-a-lings from the phone. What was all the commotion about so early on a Monday morning?
A storm had hit. Roads were flooded. Panic ensued.
News reporters spoke urgently of the massive, wide-spread flooding throughout our desert valley. Cars were stuck. People were stranded. Schools were closing one by one.
My brother, safely at work, helping to report on the happenings around the valley, phoned me to ask that I let his dog out because he wasn’t sure when he would be home to do so. I obliged and Kelev and I sat watching, intently, as the television reports literally flooded the airwaves.
As APS and ADOT tweeted that people should refrain from using the roads, I checked my email to see if my school was following the countless others and closing. The minutes ticked by and I began to get more anxious. Finally, a message arrived saying we would be open for the day. Apparently the flooding was not severe enough to warrant a closure.
Disappointed by the news, I glanced out the sliding glass door to see the steady rain drop pelt my grassy lawn. What was I going to do? If the roads were flooded then how would I get to school? Would there be any students there to teach? Would I be the sucker that went out blindly into the torrential downpour only to be stuck in a ditch and paying a hefty “stupid motorist” fine?
Yes. Yes, I would. Because I was a rule follower.
Much like the character from one of my favorite biblical stories, I was willing to take direction and, no matter the cost, do what I was told. I felt a sort of kinship with my friend, Noah. Sure, he’s received a bad reputation for only saving his family and two of every kind of animal, but he did take direction. No, he wasn’t the chosen one [Abraham] who would father a great nation. He was the most righteous of his time, not the most righteous. Compared to the rest, he was the lesser of the two evils so he was spared the death and devastation of the flood.
After forty days and forty nights, the story goes, the rains stopped. The water receded. A promise was made and Noah survived.
Because of Noah’s exemplary rule following, I am here today. Because of my rule following, my students read, wrote, and learned a little bit of flexibility today. They soldiered on as the rain damped their shoes but not their spirit. They moved from classroom to classroom throughout the day because ours was without A/C. They did this all without complaint. For any of you who have ever met a pre-teen, without complaint is a pretty big deal.
Was today the greatest of days? Was it a day that changed the academic lives of my students? No. But it was worth writing about. And, seeing as this is a blog, I’d count that as a pretty significant event.