But the “telephonic narration” never came

     Back on the 7th, we were informed about the coming “Great California ShakeOut.” In an email (from theVPI, I think), we were told:
Major earthquakes may happen at any time, nearly anywhere in California. Help us keep our students and community prepared and safe by encouraging participation in this year’s Great California ShakeOut statewide annual earthquake drill. At 10:16 a.m. on October 16, 2014, millions of Californians will practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” along with millions of others in many other states and countries….
     There were instructions. Before the drill, we’re supposed to read stuff about how Cal is earthquake country, etc. Then we’re supposed to explain to students what they can do when an earthquake hits: drop to the floor, that sort of thing.
     “When the drill begins,” we’re told, “loudly instruct your students to
• Drop to the ground now, before the ground jerks strongly and throws you down.

• Take Cover under something sturdy to protect yourself from objects being hurled across the room. Or stay low and protect yourself from flying objects with your hands and arms.

• Hold On to your shelter or hold your position until the shaking stops.
     OK. Then it says:
Once the telephonic narration is over, all buildings will be evacuated….
     Well, anyway, I kind of forgot about the drill when I got to the college this morning, though I had read through the instructions and was prepared to tell the students to drop and grab onto something, etc.
     So, just after 10, the buzzer (loud!) went off. Students looked amazed and bewildered. I told ‘em to drop to the floor and hang onto something. They resisted. I had to insist. They kept giving me this look: “Really? You’re not kidding?”
     Nope, not kidding. Over the din, I explained that the exercise is a good thing. Everybody should be prepared for the Big One, which is bound to come.
     The kids complied. I was impressed. I told 'em they look good down there.
     I told ‘em about how stuff would fly around in a real big quake. You don’t wanna be hit by that clock over there and the glass over here, I said.
     Meanwhile, that buzzer sounded.
     BUT HERE'S THE THING: the “telephonic narration” never came. I kept waiting for it. Nope. Nothin'.
     After a bit, the students started to look at me for direction. “Now what?”
     I said, “We’re supposed to get directions over the phone. Doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.”
     I’ve been through this before. During the last ShakeOut (I’m in room A202), the phone refused to utter a sound, though we were told it would, and so, afterward, I complained.
     Wasn’t fixed, I guess.
     So, again, over the din, I explained that the Big One is REAL and it is important to stop and think about it before it happens, get prepared for it. Get a kit for your car. Coordinate with friends and loved ones pre-earthquake. Etc.
     I was pretty compelling, I think. I meant everything I said, and students saw that.
     But that telephonic narration never came.
     So, whatever.
     Have a nice day.

Comments

Anonymous said…
First in this month’s news from IVC, I and my lovely wife Kiana are glad to hear that you blog readers enjoyed the Great American Shakedown. This year, we introduced high-decibel sound cannons to drive any recalcitrant students or faculty from the buildings, and I want to thank our police chief for picking these up from the Department of Defense, along with some nifty tanks, tear gas canisters, and missile launchers, all surplus from the war in Iraq. We got them to deal with any peaceful demonstrations that might crop up at IVC, but the Shakedown gave us an exc—er, opportunity to test them out on students and faculty, and it looks like they worked great! Our college nurse reported five cases of hearing loss, and I saw on the surveillance cameras several students writhing in pain on the ground. Hats off as well to my good friend, former O.C. Sheriff Mike Carona, who helped arrange the equipment deal. I was going to make him next year’s commencement speaker (AFTER, that is, Sheriff Joe Arpajo sent in his regrets), but they went and jailed Mike.

Next up is the Solar Decathlon. We’re going to spend a lot of money building the house of the future, and what a great learning experience for our students—three or four of them, anyway. Our team has big plans for this baby. I hear that all the toilets will flush, there will be plenty of paper towels, the ventilators will be mold free, and the floors mopped every six months! You’re invited to the ground breaking ceremony next Saturday, featuring me jumping out of a helicopter—Rocky the Flying Squirrel, they call me. And you won’t want to miss a very special presentation of authentic education jibberish from our own vice president Bullwinkle, that master of the acronym and buzzword, with his remarkable ability, learned years ago in the orient, to cloud men’s minds. Of course the military recruiters will again be on hand with their trailer, teaching our students that war is a fun video game, and helping us trim those long waiting lists.

Well, that’s all we have time for this month. Just remember that my door is always open (although I may not actually be there, even if the lights are on).

At Ease!

General Glenn R. “Rocky” Roquemore


Roy Bauer said…
Andrew, you devil you!
Rebel Girl said…
That was NOT Andrew.
Anonymous said…
This was confusing in my classroom as well. Why is there no follow-up to assess the weak points in the plan?
Anonymous said…
The reason the phone didn't ring in your classroom to tell you and your students to get off the floor was because it was decided that your building had collapsed in the quake and recovery of survivors was impossible. Didn't you get the memo?

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