Spending second through 12th grade in a class that was barely larger than a dozen students at any given time has been quite an experience.
At no other school would you walk into the office to see the math teacher standing on the principal's desk doing the Macarena. At no other school would you walk into the cafeteria to see the elementary lunch has turned into a full-scale dance competition. You wouldn't see the students in a brawl over what radio station to listen to during study hall. You wouldn't see high schoolers trying to build a human pyramid in the cafeteria. You most likely would not have stoned a classmate with chalkboard erasers.
At our old school, located inside the patchwork of the old Steamboat Springs junior high, the building's advanced age made for stories on its own.
Few can say they have broken a window just by spraying it with Windex. Study hall was actually in the hall, the math room was always at 90 degrees or higher (even with the windows and door open in sub-zero temperatures). I can promise you've never seen a bunch of kids more scared than when their ball rolled into the old locker rooms.
Throughout elementary school, we were convinced a murderer lived in the closet. At recess, we would pass the time by innocently hurling each other off a giant hill of snow. Only at my school would the students take the unscariest place in the entire building (which was a pretty scary place) and label it "Spook Hall."
When we were in elementary school, the girls built a highly complicated pulley system between their desks, and then they would attach a rather large envelope to it with clothespins and drop notes into it. They would wheel the envelopes across the room to another desk. I don't know how the teacher noticed the large envelope slowly moving across the room, as the girls would try to act innocent while pulling on the string.
You would never gather as an entire school and sing songs like "I just wanna be sheep."
These are just a few of the crazy scenes I've encountered/instigated/participated in, in the halls, classrooms, lounges of my school of just more than 100 students.
The senior class doesn't remember much from sixth grade except for "Initials in the Peanut Butter," "The Prune Song" and saving the planet Juno from the invading pronouns. Get us started on the old building, and we'll talk and laugh for hours. Eventually the conversation will drift to our new building.
The stories from the new aren't much different, except we're older and more "mature." I have been with Deirdre and Jane since the second grade. Eddie since the fourth, Laura since fifth, Casey since eighth and Austin since last year.
I wish you all good luck.