Working in the Dark

I can’t say that I relish working in the dark. I can’t say that I ever thought I would have to. A student prank left the building containing my office without power. At first I thought it was one of my own students who didn’t like the last grade I gave them on a political science paper. But I know my people and I couldn’t envision this happening with one of them. It had to be some other evil doer in for another teacher. I have good relationships with students and pranks are not their last resort for a response. They have voices. Some immature students may think this is the way to get attention, but take it from me, it is not. When you find out what the grievance is, you are bound and determined to ignore it or do the opposite of what they are asking. Let’s say they don’t want a mid-term exam. The prank is to cause a power failure so the teacher can’t prepare one. This is truly ridiculous. The teacher can always go home, go to the library, find another well-lit office, or take other appropriate and prompt action. Surely the teacher has a copy from the exam for last year. Who would remember the questions? Not likely the average pupil or the prankster. Memories are not that good. If yours is, you probably already knew the exam material and can pass without fuss or bother.

The custodian of the building brought over a small generator to power the computers and some lights until they could get everything back up and running. It was ingenious and fast and it worked. That only took about an hour. Reading portable generator reviews, we discovered that the model in question had enough juice to keep things in play at least that long. What a great invention. If I were the teacher writing the makeover exam, I would have had no trouble at all. The prankster would have been mighty disappointment to attend class the next day only to find the mid-term exams being distributed. We all searched far and wide for the culprit, listening to all the rumors circulating campus. We wanted to know so badly that we offered a free portable home generator to the person who divulged the name. It was a kind of a joke of a prize. We didn’t expect a winner. After all, if the winner knew the name, he or she was most likely in on the prank. If he or she had just been a witness, what took so long to give up the ghost? In any case, I will remember that night the generator saved the day.

Update: a month later, we found the prankster caught in the act of attempting the same power outage during another exam period. You would think that he would have been smart enough to avoid the same time and place. The student was promptly expelled and wouldn’t have to deal with mid-terms ever again. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t have to deal with power outages either.