17 May

I kicked in my first door today.

You’ve gotta understand a few things. First of all, SECAP has been in this ongoing strike since May 3rd or 4th. Since then, I have arrived at class about 9 or 10 times to find the building shut down completely. No way to enter. Then, after we were allowed to enter the building the next problem was finding staff to open the locked classrooms. Some days, such people didn’t come to SECAP; seldom did they come before 8:30 or so. Last week, Westra was having her classes in the CEC, so I could use the classroom that doesn’t have a door. This week, however, Westra’s 7:00 class beats me to that room. I’ve arrived at SECAP probably about 12 times only to find the classroom door locked and with no way to get in. We talked with Jess, the WorldTeach director, and she called up the SECAP idiots-that-be and they promised to turn over a new leaf.

Well, the new leaf turned out to be no better than the old one. Last Friday, after a half an hour of waiting, I had to search for a different room in the other SECAP building. On Monday, again after half an hour of waiting, we went to the office of one of my students. Finally, yesterday, the director gave me a key to the classroom. So when I came to SECAP this morning, I figured, “okay, nothing can stand in my way now.”

When I got to my office, however, I discovered that the door knob wouldn’t turn. I unlocked the two padlocks and tried to see if I could somehow get the knob to turn. No luck.

Ok, then. The second thing you need to understand is what I saw in the brief 15 seconds wherein I looked around myself in hopes of getting inspired by some sort of MacGyveresque plan. Instead, I saw the men’s room, with its unflushable toilet full of brown water, its black sink which hasn’t been cleaned in years, and a broken window over looking the courtyard. Kicking the door in and possibly breaking something would just be one more paint swab on a painter’s smock.

It took two kicks.

After the first one, I reconsidered. Then the sum total of SECAP’s idiocy flooded over me and kicked the door one more time. Once in the office, I learned that the knob was just plain broken. There was no unlocking it from the other side. Nothing.

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