OOOOOH That Smell

September 1, 2020

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By Paloma TorresAnother school year is about to start. A new class of nervous freshmen are about to enter the world of high school. A well-seasoned class of seniors are chomping at the bit to begin the next chapter of their lives. A fresh start for all students and teachers.
But our school - not so fresh. As a matter of fact, I think it stinks! Not figuratively (as in this school sucks), I mean literally - there is a foul odor in the halls. 
Over the summer not many of us think about school, let alone drop by for a visit. If you’re on the football team, a cheerleader, or in the band you’ve been attending practices at the school since mid August. The office is actually open ALL summer, manned by both secretaries (Lezza and Carol Ann) as well as Principal Rodriguez. Let’s not forget to mention Mr. Johnson and his janitorial staff who are there all summer cleaning and repairing items.

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How do I know this? I stopped by to watch football practice for a story I’ll be blogging about in a few weeks (stay tuned for that one!!!!) and I wanted to talk to Mrs. Gills about the newspaper. Lezza, who was the office, let me in. I never thought about the school having business hours during the summer, but she told me they show up all twelve months of the year. Teachers tend to come in a few weeks before school opens to prep their rooms for the new school year.
Neither Lezza nor CarolAnn knew if Mrs. Gills was in the building, but they told me I could go and look for her. That’s when I smelled it. It was on the second floor of the new wing. For you freshmen; the new wing isn’t exactly new, but it’s newer than the “old half” of the building, and a lot brighter. If you ever thought the “old half” looked dark and depressing, you should see it in the summer when it’s not lit. I got a little weirded out walking down an empty hall filled with shadows. So I took the long way to the newspaper office; up the stairs, through the new wing, and back into the old half.  

Half way down the hall, just between the bio and chem. labs I noticed a really bad smell. It reminded me of the time a raccoon became roadkill not far from my bus stop, Ugh ,what a rank stench! It wasn’t as strong as the raccoon, but it had that same acrid bite that make your nose hairs twinge.
I saw Mr. Johnson outside the old darkroom and asked him about it. He said he didn’t notice any unusual smell but his allergies had been particularly bad lately. He also promised to send someone to sanitize the boys locker room, “just in case” as he put it. I swear, it smell like someone died in there.
Then I remembered the news report about the missing man who works for the school district and thought, WOW, what if some one really did die in there!?! What if the missing guy, Alverez, was right under everybody’s noses all the time? (Or in our noses.) I don’t want anything bad to happen to that man, but wouldn’t that just be the most ironic, unbelievable story ever!?

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