the room with a hole in it

My student’s asked me to contribute to the yearbook by writing up a lil’ bit about what I was like as a student. It took a while to search for the perfect memory to share…

I was a pretty bad student in school. I went to a Jewish* school, kind of like Hyewon: we didn’t have any classes with boys, we had uniform skirts (that we made shorter when the teachers weren’t looking), and we couldn’t dye our hair.  I guess you could say that I wasn’t fan of the whole school thing. But, there were some good times too.

My high school was about 5 stories tall, but really small. There were 120 students in my whole school. When I was 17, I had a class on the 5th floor. This class was in “The Room With A Hole In It” – a normal classroom, except that there was this hole in the floor, just big enough to put a hand in. Why was there this hole in the middle of the classroom? I have no idea. We just ignored it. Sometimes a girl would forget that she sat near the hole, and accidentally push her chair into in, causing her to PLOP onto the floor. Hahahaha! When we moved our desks for activities, the teacher would always tell us to be careful of the hole. It was kind of funny.

I sat behind the hole – close enough to admire it, but I never had to worry about my chair falling in. My friends and I would try to put things in the hole without anyone noticing.  We started small: paper notes, grammar worksheets, chocolate wrappers.  If you could crumple it up and throw it in, we sent it down the hole. We threw in bigger and bigger things: pencils and pens, cups, lunch boxes – WOOSH! They disappeared down into the hole!! We didn’t actually think about WHERE everything was landing. The hole was like some kind of alternate dimension! Once you sent something down, it was like it never existed at all.

One day, I was in a class on the 4th floor, and three men came in with a ladder. This classroom was twice the size of – and directly under – “The Room With A Hole In It.” The men didn’t say anything to us or the teacher. They began to set up the ladder in the back of the classroom. It was hard to ignore them, and us girls watched as one man climbed up the ladder and removed a tile from the ceiling.  It was then that the smell hit us-

From the ceiling, trashed rained down into the classroom like some kind of sadistic storm! Turns out just about everyone was putting stuff in the hole, and that the schools’ weird smells could be traced back to our humble 4th floor ceiling. As the men excavated pure trash from the ceiling, this is what they found:  a pile over 180 centimeters tall of countless notebooks and teacher handouts, pencils, pens, markers, chalk, textbooks with their covers ripped off, one shoe, three men’s undershirts, two hairbrushes, three doorknobs (!), one keyboard, two computer mice, one desk leg (!!), one uniform skirt, a soda bottle of pee(!!!), an old pizza, twenty empty cans, four water bottles, one sock, and seven lunch bags. It was snowing garbage into our classroom! My teacher just stood there, with this look of shock on her face. After the men gathered everything into three giant trashcans, they left as silently as they came in. How in the world did students get a keyboard in there? How could there be a table missing a leg??  And the clothes. . . We couldn’t stop laughing!

Out of all the exciting, funny and weird memories I have of school – the subtle rebellions against school regulations, the comic books I made staring my friends, the prizes I won, and my constant butting heads with certain teachers – the day I realized where the hole went (and what it contained)  is my favorite memory.

*Judaism is a religion, and Jewish is what we call people who follow that religion. Jews believe in the Old Testament of the Bible. Most Jews live in Israel and in America, but there are Jews all over the world!


1 Comment»

  Sparrow wrote @

Ahh, a classic RASGHA story. (I think the mess was primarily soda cans, actually…)

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