It was luxuries like air conditioning that brought down the Roman Empire. With air conditioning their windows were shut, they couldn't hear the barbarians coming.
The building where I teach is 98 years old. Built of brick and cinder block, with high ceilings and long, windowless hallways, the place is a sweat box when the temperatures and humidity levels start to climb as they are wont to do here in Cincinnati. There is NO air conditioning. Oh, there is a window unit in the principal's office, and the cafeteria is a later addition, built with AC, but the classrooms. Nothing. Remodeling of the classrooms over the last few years has included ceiling fans, but that's it.
A first world problem, I know.
School started for us, on August 20 -- and after what was a remarkably cool and rainy summer, I was hopeful that maybe, this year, we would avoid the sweltering, brain-melting weeks of late summer here in the almost-but-not-quite-south. Wishing, really. How does that old nursery rhyme go? "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride..."
Outside temperatures reached into the mid-90s. Humidity levels upwards of 50%, the air in the building was soupy at 7:15 this morning. With the addition of about 130 young adolescents, we quickly advanced from soupy to stifling to utterly awful. By the end of the day, every one of us was a droopy, drippy mess. I can't think in that heat, and neither can they. How am I supposed to convey the wonder and magic of math when the only numbers any of us can focus on are the temperature and the number of minutes until we can escape from the misery?
If I ever, EVER said that hot was, well, HOT. I didn't mean it. Not like this.