I don’t blame the pit rings on Mr. Murphy. He couldn’t control the excessive sweat that poured off his body during History class. It wasn’t his fault that he taught in the hottest room of the middle school; a middle school that didn’t have air conditioning. It wouldn’t be right of me to mock the fact that he looked like he’d just left a summer camp in the Mojave Desert.
Classes from May into June were simply excruciating at Mt. Jordan Middle School. I have a hunch that if the Division of Child Protective Services had seen how hot the school was in the afternoon they would have cuffed those school officials and carted them off to jail. Or at least I’d like to think so.
When we didn’t think things could get worse, some brilliant individual thought it would be a great time to re-tar the roof of the school. It was likely a sick joke to see how high they could get the temperature of the school. “Do you think we can get the water from the drinking fountain to boil?”
Mr. Murphy’s room was in the corner of the building that caught every ounce of afternoon sunshine. We felt like chicken nuggets frying in an oven. We’d have to peel the clothes off our rumps when we stood up from the desk.
And poor Mr. Murphy. The students had to be there for one period. He had to be there all day. He had to write on the chalkboard…..fully exposing the enormous sweat rings radiating from his armpits.
It wasn’t his fault. Fortunately for him, the kids in the class were all debilitated with heat stroke and didn’t have an ounce of energy left to make fun of him. Middle school kids can be mean. Unless they’ve sat in a sauna for an hour while hearing about the Revolutionary War.
In a way, I think Mr. Murphy was cheated. I can only imagine how much he must have dreaded going to work each morning. I can only imagine the hurt he must have felt when he got home from work and his wife wouldn’t even talk to him until he took a shower. I can only imagine what portion of his monthly paycheck was spent on deodorant.