“Do you get déjà vu?”
CB West is channeling Olivia Rodrigo’s newest hit song “Déjà Vu” with both the ceiling being mysteriously removed and, the next day, a fire. It calls to mind the mold and fire that both occurred earlier this school year, interrupting the already-bumpy transition back to in-person learning.
On April 15th, word spread that the downstairs and upstairs A hallway’s ceiling was missing. In many classes, teachers and students addressed the absurdity of this event and joked about the exposed pipes and wires. Could this be an ode to the mold that was discovered in the fall of 2020? Though this would be interesting, with the mold contained and removed in October, the exposed ceiling is a result of air conditioning work that will be finished this summer. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you like the aesthetic), it’s likely that we will have the exposed ceiling at West for the rest of this school year. I do believe that everyone would benefit from a fixed air conditioning system so we do not have to suffer the heat of the shifting seasons.
A sleepy, overcast Friday morning took a turn when everyone was jolted awake due to the blaring of fire alarms at 8:55 AM. Students were told the previously scheduled fire drill for April 16th was canceled, therefore drawing confusion when an unannounced “fire drill” occurred. However, students were shocked once fire trucks, the fire marshal, and police appeared at the school. As students in the A hallways exited, they noticed the amplified volume of the alarm due to the missing insulation in the ceiling.
Being a virtual student, I was not bothered by the fire alarms going off, although I noticed the sound of fire trucks by my house. I can see Main Street from my window and saw the flashing lights of the trucks rush up South Main Street. It had to be a coincidence, I figured. It turned out that it was not. I realized the fire trucks I saw were heading to West once I went on my social media and scrolled through text messages from friends that were at school in person. They shared theories on what had possibly set off the alarms and led to the visit by the fire department. Many students are now saying the fire began in the cooking hallway due to burnt food. Mr. Donovan, West principal, soon put out a statement explaining the fire alarm to parents and guardians, initially reassuring them that the safety at West was maintained: “At 9:05 AM, the fire marshal determined the building was safe for students to reenter and continue their learning.”
Of course, many of the students were not expecting this fire, though with the crazy events of this past year, it was quickly accepted. Why wouldn’t the West community have two brushes with fires in the same school year? We are all so used to the unexpected that, when things like the removal of the A hallway’s ceiling and another fire occur, it’s hardly anything new. In the words of Olivia Rodrigo, I ask again, “Do you get déjà vu?”