The Day the North Building Stood Still

By Tegwyn Hughes – Editor

Monday, May 30th was the quietest day in Lisgar history. Don’t believe me? I was there.

My name is Mark Johnson, and I am in the 10th grade at Lisgar.

I have the worst schedule ever. Every single one of my classes is in the North Building – two of them are even on the second floor! Each day, I get shoved aside by grade 12 students bustling to get to their lockers, to their next class, or to the cafeteria. It’s torture! Once, I was so exhausted that I just had to sit down on the airport chairs. Boy, was that a mistake: five grade 12s immediately appeared and started screaming at me. How was I supposed to know that any chair touched by the backside of a junior was considered cursed, and needed to be deep-cleaned by a custodian? My bad!

But May 30th was different. Blissfully, blissfully different. At first, I didn’t know why. There was a certain pep in my step. I felt safe in the second floor hallway. I wasn’t late to any of my morning classes, my torso was free from elbow-related bruising, and I didn’t feel myself cowering beneath the shadow of a grade 12.

That’s when it struck me – where were the 12th graders? Had they all mysteriously disappeared? I felt a grin spread across my face as I remembered hearing some older students talking about Prom the week before; it was on Sunday night! Almost all of the 12th graders had stayed home, exhausted from partying the night before. I nearly jumped and yelled with happiness.

As the second period bell rang, I walked into English class. Mr. Hodgson, my teacher, wasn’t pacing across the floor and biting his nails like he usually did after teaching Writer’s Craft, a senior-level course. He didn’t have that crazed, almost manic look in his desperate eyes. In fact, he seemed almost… happy?

“Good morning, Mark!” Mr. Hodgson exclaimed, smiling brightly at me from his desk.

“Uh, hey Mr. Hodgson,” I replied, “How are you doing?”

“You wouldn’t believe how peaceful my morning was! Hardly any of the students arrived. The class was silent, and the few students that were there actually listened to me. I’m not saying I hate my grade 12 students… but sometimes I need a break.”

“Don’t worry Mr. Hodgson,” I said with a conspiratorial grin, “Your secret is safe with me.”

Of course, the grade 12s returned the next morning. They were even louder and crankier than usual, but I found I didn’t mind. Whenever I got shoved into a locker, I just closed my eyes and thought back to the amazing time I had on Monday.

I can’t wait for next year’s Prom! ♦