I sit here in one of the new grey office chairs and listen to the voices outside the door. There are little girls playing a pretend game in the Kid Nook; they are giving precise instructions to each other as to how to play the game they just made up. The voices continue. I can hear there is a meeting going on in the room next door, but can’t hear the words that are being said, just mumbling and pitch. Every once in a while a new face peeks in the door and gives a greeting to start the day. Some days there is such an intense game going on in the computer room down the hall, I can hear almost every word being said (whether I want to or not!). Among other things, I frequently hear singing, chanting, yelling, lots of laughter, and sometimes even crying.
From my chair, I watch the students play games in the hall. There are intense games of hide and seek, and the office desks are always a popular hiding places. I have been asked many times to turn a blind eye to the hider and lie to the seeker. Down the hall I have witnessed forts of all shapes and sizes being constructed with every age group engaging in the many possibilities a fort can bring. There are games that encompass every room in this part of the building, games where every room has a purpose: one room is a house, one room is the place they all work, and so on. I have been a witness to many new games, ones never seen by the outside world that were played only once, but played with such intensity they may never need another day.
From this grey chair, I have a perfect view of the games outside. The games they play outside the office windows always make me smile. I never know exactly what they are playing but there are a few distinct categories. The first is hand to hand combat. Sticks are magical swords and staffs, clashing with force and vigor. The next type is a group or team game, I think they call it “Counterstrike”. Serious thought is given to every move, ducking behind walls, slinking behind trees, signaling their mates until it’s time to take out the enemy! There is hide and seek outside too. The office windows seem to be the designated counting spot. Finally, my personal favorite is when they are playing a game with me and I don’t know it at first. Lucky for me I am a quick learner.
There are varying degrees of emergencies on any given day. There are scrapes and bruises, cuts and bumps, anger, and hurt feelings. They are usually accompanied by friends and onlookers trying help or find out what happened. I can sometimes hear it coming down the hall; there is an unusual bustle of noises and crying growing in intensity until they reach the door. Other times it is silent until they actually reach the office, waiting to unleash the tears and sadness within the safety of these walls. It has only been minor injuries since I have been in this chair. I am glad for that because I don’t care for the sight of blood.
I spend most of my time in the grey office chairs. I answer phones, respond to emails, order office supplies, file paperwork, enter JC reports, and try to keep the law book current. I am also called upon by some of the students to help them write up grievance forms. I enjoy doing all those things, and they keep me busy. But the part of the day I enjoy most is when the students stop in for a few minutes to tell me about what they are doing. I hear about friends outside of school, and the things they do together. They tell me about movies they have seen recently, and they predict if I would like to see it or not. I find out about projects they are working on like paintings and photography. I learn about interesting writers, artists, political views, foods, fads, natural wonders, and games. The subjects are endless, but my favorite things to learn about are the students themselves.
I wonder if they are learning from me or am I learning from them; it must be both. I can say I have learned a lot from behind this window inside the door.
Assistant Business Manger