Fridays at my school are extra special because we get to leave early - 2:10pm instead of the normal 4:00pm. Awesome...unless there is an electric storm. My school is very safety conscious. We have a group of teachers that make up La Brigada. They are responsible for training and preparing the school on how to respond in the case of an emergency - any emergency. The biggest "emergency" we typically have is thunder and lightening. Don't get me wrong, I understand that lightening can be a very dangerous thing and have no desire to be struck at any point in my life, but to consider it a school-wide emergency remains something quite new to me. In my 20+ years in education (as student and teacher), Colombia is the only place where I have found electrical storms affecting my day-to-day life.
We have a device that measures the presence of electric storms and their distance from the school. At a certain distance (not sure what that is...maybe 15 km?), La Brigada has determined that the risk of getting electrocuted is too high. That is too high to use technology, too high to have the windows open, too high to leave the room you are in (we don't have hallways at our school to get from one place to another you must walk outside).
So on Friday, at 2:09pm, the alarm sounded signaling a state of emergency. Most of the students had already gotten on their bus but us teachers, all waiting with bags packed were NOT on the bus nor in our cars and had the pleasure of staying at the school for an extra hour to wait out the risk of this passing electric storm.
Here's how we passed the time:
About 5 teachers participated in this great event of office chair racing before we were able to leave. We each presented our own region/country. You will all be proud to know that I, representative of the grand ole' US of A, won with a record time of 13 seconds... my competitive spirit is alive and well. ;-)