Monday, June 1, 2015



Early one morning we were awaken by the sound of sirens and flashing lights.  Coming through our many windows with sheet curtains, the lights painted the walls of our apartment with moving hues of red.  We scrambled out of bed to see what was going on and if we were in any kind of danger.  All activity was centered on the building directly across the street.  It was a church, a Lutheran church I believe.  We had been laying low, not interested in joining a church just yet.  When we did make that commitment we would like it to be a serious decision, one we would plan to keep over time.  We discussed my job, this location, the pay and future of Industrial Arts in my assignment.   The conclusion was we might look for a better job next year.

Now that the church was burning, it seemed like a sign, but I think not.  Finally the fire was brought under control and gradually the men and equipment moved away.  We got back in bed and tried to sleep, but it was difficult after all the excitement.   I had classes that morning so couldn’t sleep in.  When the alarm clock went off I was about to nod off.  Everyone at school was excited about the big fire.  I guess it didn’t happen too often.  I looked at the church when I left the apartment, but couldn’t see a lot of damage.  The story at school was that the floor was being refinished and an upright sander had collected the sanding dust which had high varnish content, and it hadn’t been dumped at the end of the day.  The fire started by spontaneous combustion.  I used the fire and its cause as discussion in my Industrial Arts class.  It made a good lesson and the students showed interest.

Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 2, Roles and Responsibilities of an Educator", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill. 

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