Get ready for Dave's Self-Esteem Rollercoaster Ride in three acts:
1) last Thursday afternoon, and a cold Thursday afternoon it was, my wife called from her school to report that her car was dead-- totally dead, the vehicle remote wouldn't even lock the doors-- and she wanted me to come jump start the engine, but I told her that it sounded like the battery was kaput and advised her to call AAA-- they replace batteries-- and I said I would come over and wait in the cold for AAA to arrive and she could drive my car back to our warm and cozy home, because I'm a great guy and she had a bit of a cough and some laryngitis and she called me a "hero" and thanked me for waiting . . . and it was very cold and AAA was supposed to arrive within the hour, but that turned to 90 minutes and I was closing in on the two-hour mark, shivering heroically in the car, reading and listening to podcasts, when the AAA truck finally arrived;
2) a stout African-American woman got out of the truck, and I told her the situation-- that the car had just had some bodywork done on it, and perhaps the mechanic left the lights on or something, and I believed the battery was totally dead-- and while I was telling her this, she was looking under the hood, and she jostled one of the battery wires and it sparked and she said, "Looks like this wire is loose" and she grabbed a socket wrench, tightened the screw, everything in the car came to life, and she asked me to put on my brights-- they worked fine-- and I suddenly felt totally dumb and emasculated, if I had checked the battery connections, I would have fixed the car in ten seconds and avoided this whole scenario, and if I had actually tried to jump it, I would have noticed this . . . but the AAA lady was gone before I could even apologize-- I'm sure she sees stupidity like this all the time, and my self-esteem really took a hard hit;
3) until this morning: we had a lock-down drill first period, which is when I'm in the cafeteria, monitoring the late-in seniors-- and the janitor told us all to go into the staff lunchroom, so my students and a study hall from the other side of the cafeteria, and a number of teachers who were on duty in the vicinity all poured into the staff lunchroom and we were standing there awkwardly in the dark, shushing the students, and I asked the lady next to me if the door was locked and she said, "I think so" and I said, "I'd better check" and the door was unlocked so I spun the little locking mechanism and locked the door and moments later the door handle shook-- the security team was checking to make sure all the doors were locked . . . because that's the most important part of a lockdown, that you lock the door . . . and the lady who told me she thought the door was locked reacted as if I actually saved the entire room from a brutally violent massacre, she said,"That was awesome, you locked it right before they tried to get in! It was so close! You should play the lottery today!" and so I had to remind her that it was only a drill, and that I didn't actually save everyone from bloody death (and so I probably didn't deserve to win much in the lottery . . . maybe five dollars) and while I'm the first to admit that this was not a genuine act of heroism, it was certainly an ersatz act of heroism . . . and I also passed a second lockdown drill test, but one I'm not sure I agree with-- after they rattled the door to check the lock, then the security crew knocked-- very crafty-- and we've been told that once the door is locked, we should take a utilitarian stance and not open the door for anyone-- the lives of the many are worth more than the lives of the few, especially if they aren't punctual for the locking of the door . . . and so I didn't fall for this malevolent ruse, I did not open the door, but I think if it was a real lockdown, and a person in danger (or a school-shooter posing as a person in danger) knocked on the door and pleaded for me to open it, I'd probably open the door and take my chances, as it would be hard to leave someone in the lurch just outside the door . . . but that's a dilemma for another day, the important thing here is that I acted (hypothetically) heroically and depressed that little locking mechanism in the nick of time.