Friday, September 21, 2012


It's a fairly standard classroom. On a northwest corner, which means it has a splendid view of the main green area and a parking lot, and that the sun gets in everyone's eyes if no one draws the shades in the afternoon.

There's a clock, though it is perpetually frozen at 7:15. I've never been sure if that was 7:15AM or PM, though I wonder every time I go in the room. Chances are good no one knows--it's been stopped long enough to be relegated to, "No one considers telling maintenance" status, and chances are good that there had been no classes between 7 and 7 the day it stopped, so even the first class who saw it stopped probably wouldn't know.

I'm the timekeeper, because I always wear a watch, and because I check it nigh-compulsively, so I might as well be. Classes end ten minutes before the hour, so the church bell that chimes on the hour only tells us when class starts, not when it's finished.

The timekeeper is usually more important than I am, I'm told. Someone has class just after choir, and so we have to end at ten minutes before the hour on the dot, or else they'll be late to math, or biology, or whatever else. This year, no one has class after choir is supposed to end, so the whole affair is rather more casual.

Our director doesn't keep us. Or rather, she doesn't make us stay. Every time, she'll ask, "Do you mind staying a few more minutes?" If someone says yes or has an uncomfortable look, she'll dismiss us. If everyone is just looking around, checking for anyone else to have an issue, we'll sing for a few minutes more--five or ten, twenty once when we had a concert the next week.

In an old room, where the sun shines too brightly in your eyes and the clock hasn't told time more often than twice a day for some years, I have my favorite class.

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