The recent Chicago teachers strike reminds me of another walk-out which gave me a break from the struggles I had in grade 8. That time, it was the cleaning staff who struck and gave us students a week off school.
During the strike, I stayed at my parents house instead of where I boarded during the weekdays. My sisters and I played records, watched TV, and enjoyed other pastimes while negotiations continued. To us, it was a welcome break.
Making things more exciting for us, a blizzard roared across the province. It knocked the power out for several hours. As Mom made dinner by candle light, our neighbours knocked at the front door. Mrs. MacLean had an electric stove so she couldn’t use it. With Mom’s permission, she used one of our gas stove’s burners. This taught me that electric stoves were useless when the power failed.
During that week, we conducted an experiment on our dog, Bunny. I recorded her barking when the doorbell rang. Later, I played back the recording. Bunny cocked her head and sniffed the machine. We giggled as she tried in vain to smell and see the other dog.
All too soon, for us anyway, the strike ended. The principal welcomed us back over the public address system but I certainly didn’t share his sentiments. Even so, that week stands out in my memory as a time when we enjoyed a break from the usual grind.
In my Deliverance from Jericho memoir, I wrote about my experiences of adjusting to public school after leaving that institution. More information about it, and my debut memoir, are at the Bruce Atchison’s books link. It’s on the top left hand side of the Blogspot page.