When the lights go out, do you need to talk louder in order to be heard clearly? Well, according to about 700 elementary students, the answer is a resounding YES! This morning was scheduled to be the awards convocation for my children's elementary school (they hold an awards convo at the end of each 9-weeks grading period to honor the kids who made A/B Honor Roll as well as a few other awards). DH & I went over to watch the convo this morning as both DS & DD made the A/B Honor Roll this 9-weeks. About 15 minutes before the convo starts, they start bringing the kids into the gym to get seated (the kids sit on the floor, the teachers wheel their chairs in to sit on, and they have folding chairs set up for the parents to sit on). This usually happens in a fairly orderly, yet somewhat noisy, fashion as the kids get situated. I've always been fairly impressed with how well the kids behave and how quiet they usually are throughout the entire convo each time I've attended over the past 5+ years that DS has attended this school. Well, this morning showed a different side to these children when something unexpected happened just as the last kids were being seated. What happened? The electricity went out! And yes, this made the gym (with no windows to the exterior of the building) virtually pitch-black. Immediately, kids screamed.....700 of them! The teachers were able to get them quiet amazingly quickly by doing a clapping rhythm they do at the beginning of every convo that indicates it's time to be quiet (the teachers/faculty start the clapping and the kids all join in until everyone is doing the same rhythm). Once it had been announced by the vice principal (the principal was not at school today) that the electricity had gone out and that the students needed to stay put until they figured out what they were going to do about the convo, that's when it got LOUD. Before, when the kids had been talking, it had been a dull roar. At this point, it became painfully loud. I had to chuckle when DH commented that the kids "seized the opportunity to disregard all personal responsibility for orderly conduct as soon as the lights went out." Although I was unable to see how DD's class was behaving as they were seated clear across the gym from us and it was completely dark, DS's class was seated directly next to us. I pointed out to DH that DS's class, in contrast to the vast majority, was sitting politely, quietly, and very well-behaved. So kudos to Mrs. B for teaching her class well enough that they were behaving properly even with the lights out!
So what happened with the rest of the awards convo, you may be wondering? Well, after contacting the electric company and being told that the electricity wouldn't come back on for about another 1 1/2 hours, they dismissed the classes (which went off well, considering it was done in the dark!) back to their classrooms and told the parents that the convo will be rescheduled for another day. Of course, no sooner had all the kids returned to their classrooms and most of the parents left the school building.......then the electricity came back on! Hopefully the rescheduled convo will go much more smoothly than today's attempt. Nothing like a little excitement to start off a Monday morning.....life is never dull!