Retrospect: the main door

Self-tutoring about people and events from the past: the tutor reflects…

When I went to elementary school on the base, we never entered by a hallway entrance; rather, we had to wait outside our classroom to be let in by its own door, which couldn’t be opened from outside. The teacher let us in at first bell, about five minutes before start of class. Three to four months of the school year were during winter conditions, so the waiting outside was a noticeable situation. (However, since it was in eastern Canada, we all had snowsuits, snowmobile boots (or moon boots), hats, gloves, etc.)

At the end of the day, we’d once again leave by the classroom door. The teacher would still be at their desk, making sure everyone got ready and on their way. When the door last swung open – who’s to say? Although not quick to leave, I don’t recall being last.

The point is that, in grades one, two, and most of three, I hardly ever used a “main” entrance to the school – one of the big doors that led into a hallway. Yet, I walked by one each day, and thought about it. It intrigued me that I’d never used that door.

In an ironic twist, however, another “entrance” – not to a classroom – I did discover and start to use. It was a service entrance that said “Janitors’ Entrance” above the door. One of the janitors told me to enter that way when I needed to collect stuff from the classroom during holidays, etc. It was unlocked most weekdays, even when school was closed, and always during school hours. Much of the time it wasn’t just unlocked, but actually stopped open, so you just walked in. Unlike the other entrances, it wasn’t monitored, for some reason.

Sometime in grade three, I went to school and just walked in through the janitors’ entrance. Since no-one stopped me, I walked the halls, looking purposeful, until the bell rang. Then, while the teacher was letting the kids in at the outer door, I entered the classroom from the hallway – she never noticed.

While I realized I probably couldn’t get away with using the Janitors’ Entrance every day, I did use it often. Interestingly, people get used to you in a setting, then come to feel you belong there. No-one ever asked me what I was doing. I’m the only kid I know who took on that habit.

The main door I mentioned – the one I passed each day in grades one, two, and much of three – I think I did exit through it once, on the last school day of June, grade three. Interestingly, its glass was amber-colored, so it gave the outside a yellow appearance that disappeared when you walked through.

To my knowledge, that building still stands. Likely, that door does, too.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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