30 June 2011

Fire Drill

Yesterday was a grimy day. It was overcast and the sky was brown. Yes, brown. Chalk that one up to the mountains.

Also it turned into a Utah hurricane. High winds. POURING rain. (I have never seen it rain that hard here.) Thunder and lightning. Yes, it can occur here. It knocked over a tree branch right outside a window at work.
And then, during the apocalyptic storm the fire alarm went off.

Don't worry. This has happened before. And it talks to us instead of ringing. Yep, it talks. The building that I work in is old and beat up and had to be grandfathered in so that we could still use it and is only still up because they promised that it would be torn down. Last time the fire alarm went off because of some problem with the ventilation.

This time, I think it was the apocalyptic storm.

So after insuring that my students made it out alive and after I was seen out alive by my supervisor, we all congregated under the awning right outside the building. We are supposed to congregate at a particular tree by the parking lot, a safe distance from the building. But no, no one was going out there in that craziness.

We all just tried to stay dry. I passed the time with the office manager, Wilda, a lovely woman who is the endearing grandma of Independent Study. She said she hoped something was wrong with the building so we could go home--and get paid for it. Now that is the person I want handling my payroll.

And then one of my students got sick on the grass as everyone was filing back in the building and I went back out to help her.

Not your typical day at the office. Let's hope for more fire drills because, hey, if we have to deal with all the construction and the agedness of our building, we should at least get to reap some benefits, right?

23 June 2011

And Summer Begins

Every weekend here in Utah along what we call the "Wasatch Front" (which to those of you who don't know what that is, don't worry, I didn't get it for years; it just means all along the side of the mountain range I live right next to) there are festivals, or "days" as they are called. I first heard about this because of Onion Days down in Payson. But we have Steel Days, Strawberry Days, Freedom Days (for Provo), Rodeo Days, Art Days...you get the idea.

I happen to LOVE these festivals. I think they're great. There are concerts, and booths with cheesy stuff, carnival rides, unhealthy yet tasty food, and fireworks. It makes me feel all summery inside. I am looking forward to Freedom Days over the Fourth of July. Provo goes crazy and everything turns red, white, and blue and I feel so patriotic. It's great.

So this past weekend we had Strawberry Days up in Pleasant Grove, Utah. And it was quite pleasant. I got a group of friends together (larger than I had anticipated, but still super fun) and we headed up. I think the last time I had been on carnival rides was when I was about twelve and my sisters and I went to a carnival in Iowa and we got stuck on this ride called The Chainsaw. It was not pleasant. I thought that riding carnival rides was just unpleasant. But no, I was just misinformed. They're actually really fun.

We rode the ferris wheel, a ride called The Zipper, and another one with really loud music and it spun us upside down. When we got on the ferris wheel it just felt like summer. I got to look out at the valley and it was beautiful and warm and sunsetty and I laughed and smiled and felt so free. Summer had just begun. Never you mind that I've been playing outside for months. Summer was actually here.

Although the ferris wheel was so pleasant, I will say that the highlight of the carnival was riding the Zipper. I went into this ride with some trepidation. The Zipper was the Chainsaw reincarnated. I worried about being trapped and feeling claustrophobic. False. I don't remember when I've laughed so hard. Well, we really just giggled really hard. (Apparently boys giggle too.) We were flipped all around and I would lose track of what was up and what was down. It was fantastic. Although we wondered if they had ever cleaned the inside of our little cage. And really, what is keeping those things together? The constant question as to the safety of carnival rides must be part of their appeal we decided.

The whole night I felt that I had been transported to another place and time. Carnivals do that to you. They make you go back to your childhood or to Big Fish. Either one. But for me it just felt that after the months of rain we've had and cold weather, summer had finally arrived.

Let the games begin. May there be more events that serve strawberries and cream is my hope.