Thursday, November 17, 2011


Yes, I realize that my words in the title are not in the correct order. There's a method to my madness. Whatever.

In our new building, the interior lights are motion-activated. Not just the hallways, but in the classrooms and bathrooms too. I realize they were installed as energy-saving features, and I appreciate them for that.

Sometimes, though, I find them a little disconcerting. Several times in the last few weeks I have been the first person to arrive, at least on my hall. (I know, right?) As I proceed down the hall, first the main one and then our little short one, the lights come on as I pass the sensors. But the timing is what creeps me out. The lights always come on JUST AS I've decided they aren't GOING to come on. It's that fraction of a second that I find just a little spooky. You would think I'd get used to it, the lights coming on while I'm walking (or rolling my bicycle) down the hall. But there's that one little tiny bit of hesitation every. single. morning.

The same is true of the lights in my classroom. Some mornings when I open the door and flip the light switches, the lights come on. Some mornings they don't come on until I'm walking around my desk. I haven't figured out the difference yet. I'm standing in approximately the same place every day when I turn on the lights, so I don't know why they come on immediately some days and not others.

I will have to say that the motion-activated lights can come in handy. We have carpet in the halls this year, which we haven't had before, and we could always hear someone approaching. Particularly our principal, who wears clip-cloppy heels a lot of the time. Not that we have any reason to FEAR her approaching, we could just tell when she was coming down the hall. And not that she has any reason to sneak up on us. Now, though, after a time delay of I don't know how long, the lights in the hall go off. If we are having a meeting or eating lunch and the lights come on, we know someone this way cometh. Maybe something wicked (a student) and maybe not (the principal or counselor). At least the students can't sneak past us, at least not when the lights are off.

I also like the fact that the bathroom lights are motion-activated, too, in addition to the classrooms and hallways. If the lights are off in the bathroom, we can safely assume the girls aren't huddled up in there, using their cell phones or plotting the demise of one of their classmates. Not that we wouldn't hear them anyway, because THEIR VOICES ARE SO DAMN LOUD. And I'm pretty sure not one of them is clever enough to note the location of the motion sensors and stand still long enough to make them go off.

I've decided that instead of being creeped out by the lights coming on when I walk down the hall, I'm going to put a regal twist on it. I'm going to pretend the lights are coming on like they would for royalty. Or at least someone famous.

Give me a break, it's the last brief moment of superiority I get to experience all day long, and it's over by 8:15.

No comments: