Last week when I visited Mark Twain, I remembered things about the place that I do not miss. At all. The photo above shows one of them.
My classroom was on the second floor. I had to walk up the stairs to the landing, turn, and continue upwards on these stairs:
On a typical day, I walked
1. upstairs as soon as I got to school
2. downstairs to take my class to music, art, or P.E. (midmorning)
3. upstairs so I could work in my room while the kids were at their "specials"
4. downstairs to pick up my kids from the special class
5. upstairs to the classroom
6. downstairs to take my class to the cafeteria
7. upstairs so I could work in my room during lunch
8. downstairs to pick up my class after lunch and recess
9. upstairs to the classroom
10. downstairs to walk my class outside or to buses at the end of the day
11. upstairs to work in my room
12. downstairs to go home
That was the minimum. There were other times when climbing stairs was necessary, too.
Did all that stair climbing keep me in shape? No. My generous students, who knew of my chocolate addiction, kept me so well supplied with goodies that my intake of calories far exceeded my caloric expenditure.
These stairs (and the pain they caused to an old, fat teacher with bad knees) were a large factor in convincing me that it was time to retire.
And guess what Mark Twain has, now that it's been remodeled? That's right! An elevator!
Oh well, kids aren't allowed on the elevator. Since I had to accompany my students on most of those upstairs/downstairs trips, it would have eliminated only half of my pain.
I enjoyed trying out the elevator. And I enjoyed remembering one of the many reasons it's good to be retired.