There was a lock-down drill today at the local high school, where I served as a substitute teacher. It was a small class, so we crowded into a tiny room between the band and choir rooms, where uniforms and choir robes are stored. Fortunately, the room had a window, so despite being trapped between two soundproofed rooms, we had a bit of light. We couldn’t hear the announcement that the drill had ended, but were able to see through the band room into the hallway and when other kids passed by, we were grateful to emerge after 20 minutes or so from the stuffy room.
Had it been a real lock-down, I would have made them crouch and be silent, but fortunately, we’d been advised it was a drill and enough of them were sufficiently shaken I didn’t make them “duck and cover.” There were a few more than a dozen of us, of various sizes, and standing, we were already wedged in like sardines. Had it been a real lock-down, we would have been a compact mass.
We couldn’t hear the announcement that the drill was over, but after I saw several students pass in the corridor, I opened the door. Most of the kids went back to the worksheets I’d collect at the end of class, but a few wanted to be near me, the grey-haired lady with “the magic cane,” which, I assured them, while we were nose to nose, that would deflect bullets.
“Like in the Matrix,” one girl said, and we’d all laughed.
“I’m Nanny McPhee,” I’d replied.
“You are not,” they collectively thought. “You’re as terrified as we are.”