Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lockers aren't for humans

In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I am also the publicity coordinator for the Performing Arts group at the high school. This year's show is the perennial favorite, The Sound of Music.   (If you're local, and available the weekend of March 13th, showtimes are 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2 pm on Sunday.)  PR has gotten much easier over the years, especially now that most press releases are accepted electronically, eliminating the need for envelope-licking and stamp-sticking, but several of the tasks still require something akin to Sherlock Holmes himself to solve the mysteries.

Case in point, THE LOCKER PLACARDS.

It is tradition that two weeks or so prior to the show, placards listing student names are placed on their lockers, recognizing their involvement in the show.  In the olden days -- and by that I mean before we moved into the gorgeous new building and became victims of a dictatorship that forbids the use of anything but UHU putty on any surface -- we would make loops of scotch tape and merrily smack the placards on the lockers, and go back to living our lives.  

UHU putty sticks to nothing.  And by nothing I mean, especially not paper, wall surfaces, or metal lockers.  But we'll try, again, tomorrow -- and maintain the tradition, minus the tape.

Lockers aren't for humans.

You might be surprised to discover how few lockers are used in high school.  Kids find places to conveniently store their various worldly belongings -- music kids use band cubbies, athletes use lockers near the training or weight rooms, kids adopt shelves in classrooms, etc.  In fact, it's really only the freshmen who seem to have a clue what their combinations to their government-issued masterlock is.  Most of the rest get the lock the first day of school, put it on the locker as required, and then retrieve the combination from their homeroom teacher the last week of school to remove and return the lock, so as to be free of obligations prior to the end of the year.

It amazes me that this happens, but it truly is the norm.  When I was a kid, our lockers were a full five inches wide, and it was difficult to wedge one's coat into said container, let alone shuffle the books in and out between classes, so we all swapped books and learned each others' combinations, storing books in the communal locker in the appropriately-close hallway.  My students have lockers large enough to hide in.  Like on Saved by the Bell, when someone would get bullied into a locked locker (a great fear of the claustrophobic), or jump out to surprise a friend.  

A lot has changed since I was in high school.  I get it.  Kids are still carrying backpacks that weigh more than my combined grocery order for a week, rather than opening a combination lock and using a locker.

I'm feeling a little like Emily Litella or Roseann Roseanna Danna  on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, feeling like I'm just not clued in on the real reason for this current avoidance phenomenon.