I am a teacher at a small school. I made a decision to take the job there since it had a small-town feel and they also participated in major collegiate athletics. I became an assistant coach on one of many sports teams at the school. I love the experience associated with working with the kids on a daily basis and watching them succeed in class and on the team. It is a very rewarding experience and I wouldn’t change it for one minute. One of the disadvantages of coaching for a smaller school is that they do not have the money that some larger schools have. It is quite tough dealing with money, especially in relation to travelling. We take a bus, but unfortunately it is a very uncomfortable ride due to heating and cooling equipment on it. You would think the bus full with thirty people would feel stuffy and comfy, but it is actually awfully cold. I asked the driver once to amp up the heater and he told me that it was on the highest setting for the past hour. That was shocking to me because we were all freezing. I may need to talk to an administrator about these buses. We need better HVAC equipment to help keep our athletes comfortable before their big games. How can we expect these kids to compete at a high levels if the heater or air conditioner barely functions? We need changes and we need them now. I feel it is damaging for my players when they are put through such poor temperatures before a game.
I always look forward to going Black Friday shopping at the mall. For weeks prior, I collect coupons and watch for deals. I write long lists of each item I am hoping to buy, which stores carry the items, and the best prices. I hit the sack extremely early on Thanksgiving night, in order to be able to get up and get started very early the next day. It is an excruciating and tiring morning, afternoon, and evening. I am not thrilled with the crowds, and I always debate over what I to wear. I am not trying to look dressed up or anything. I want to do everything I can to be comfortable. Unfortunately, the temperature in each stores can be quite different, varying anywhere coming from cold to hot. Most often, the mall is overheated, stuffy, and packed with people. I usually leave my heavy wool coat behind in the car. I get stuck running across the parking lot to the shopping mall, through feet of snow, not dressed warm enough, but at least, I do not have to carry the heavy coat around all day Every once and awhile, a store will have the air conditioner instead of the furnace running. It is November, and it’s very cold, snowy, and windy, but these few stores choose to surprise their customers with freezing cold air. I’m wondering if they are trying to keep the crowds of overheated, sweaty shoppers comfortable, or if they are hoping to torture us. Another drawback of the mall is the many smells. While the HVAC unit doesn’t struggle with keeping temperatures in the range of a tropical rain forest, the filtration system can’t take care of the food odors, perfume, and smell of sweat. A day at the mall always ends up giving me a headache. After multiple hours of shopping, I always look forward to going home to my own HVAC system.
For some inexplicable reason, my husband and I got the wild idea that it might be fun to take our young children in a camping trip. I have no clue why we thought it would be a smart idea to give up running water, comfortable beds, and a state-of-the-art HVAC unit, and spend a night outside, but we gave it a good attempt. We packed up a brand new tent, sleeping bags, and some provisions, and headed out. It was a very nice, sunny day, and the kids were super eager to get there. We staked our tent in an open field, and gathered wood for a fire. We cooked hotdogs, corn, and potatoes on the fire, played soccer and tag in the field, and had a perfect day. Unfortunately, as the evening set in, the weather started to worsen. By the time we crawled into our sleeping bags for the night, the temperature had dropped at least ten degrees. The wind started blowing hard, and it began to pour. The ground got very muddy, and the whole family was shivering. All of us clung together, tried sleeping, but it really was not possible. We finally packed up and crawled back into the car, and we drove straight home. We spread our sleeping bags out on the living room carpet, and cranked our HVAC system to full heat, to warm us up. Having a bathroom, thermostat, refrigerator full of food, and the television was a much better experience than a night spent in a field. The floor wasn’t as comfortable as my bed upstairs, but I was just very satisfied to have my heating system keeping me nice and toasty. I’m determined, from now on, that my family will do all of our camping in our house.