Caussey's Corner

Caussey’s Corner: Safe from the Storm When the Lights Went Out

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The front moved in quickly. Winds would reach a hundred miles per hour before the storm would pass. Thousands of trees would be broken or uprooted. Roofs were damaged and debris filled residential streets, while power to nearly 400,000 customers would be lost for several days.

The storm hit just as my 7 p.m. American History class at Mountain View College started. We lost all power in seconds. Only a small amount of emergency power provided enough light for personnel in the building to move to the basement. The wind blew the rain horizontally, impacting the windows and causing them to shudder and appear to bend from the tempest.

Scores of other classes had sought refuge in the basement. My 30 or so students huddled together under a mellowing light and reviewed for the final exam to be given the following week. Even during the storm, students continued to come to school, trying to find our class among the hordes huddled in the basement. Many would arrive late, dripping wet, but came anyway because they were enrolled in my American History 1302 class that followed the 1301 history class.

The lights never came back on that night, and wouldn’t until sometime later on the second day. But the class sat there for some time as the other class joined them. We didn’t discuss much history, but we talked a lot about our dreams, hopes and futures. Finally, after much coaxing, I shared the brownies that two of the students had brought me.

Caussey's Corner: Safe from the Storm When the Lights Went Out
Photo: @Lightman via Twenty20

The students got closer and closer with each lightning strike and roll of thunder. Even after we were told we could move upstairs, there was a reluctance to leave. They asked all kinds of personal questions of me. They, in turn, wanted to tell me about themselves. We talked of our fears, failures, and the joys we took for granted.

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