School meeting: a time when most of us are asleep. But what wakes us up and gets us there? Our alarm in the morning gets us up and forces us to deal with the reality of school, but what reminds us to wander into school meeting? As a writer for the Aff No (albeit an inconsistent one), I like to talk about the important issues—even if they aren’t the popular ones. That’s why I’m bringing to you, Hawken, the truth—the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—the truth about the mysterious bell that I only heard for myself at the beginning of my senior year.
Though you’ve probably never actually wondered about this bell and likely just accepted it as your signal to mindlessly file into the auditorium, if you actually did sit and contemplate it, you would probably be left with a few questions. Your questions would probably be a lot like the ones my editor wanted me to answer, like, “why does it ring near the pronto room and Ireland, but nowhere else?” “Why does it ring at all?” “What are those poor kids in the AC left to do, without the guidance of that bell? How do they live their lives without any direction?” Another question you might inevitably be left with could be, “why am I wasting my time wondering about this bell?”
Well, wonder no more! The bell never actually rang in the AC Lobby, and can only be faintly heard on the ramp. It seems that it can be heard in the Pronto Room only, and that general vicinity. I needed answers to this conundrum, so I went to Cheryl, as one often does when they need answers. Cheryl directed me to none other than Doc Smith. He “got a laugh” out of my investigation. I’m not really sure why that was. Eventually, I got an answer out of him. Apparently, the bell has always only gone off once. Yep, always. Don’t ask me why, and don’t ask Doc Smith. It’s just always been that way. However, at one point, the bell did go off at a different time. And the plot thickens. Back in the day, when Hawken didn’t have the block scheduling system yet, there was a period system, kind of like a real-life high school. Back then, the bell went off after second period. Why, you ask? It when off for no other reason than school meeting—not in the morning, but in the middle of the day. Eventually, when the block schedule came into being, administration moved school meeting to the beginning of the day, so that way we would suffer a little more. Also, when it was after “second period,” the third class always ended up getting shortened. That was probably the main reason.
That’s logical and all, but why can’t it be heard in the AC Lobby? Well, they never actually installed a bell system
there. Amazing, if you ask me.
With that information, you may be left asking yourself, “How in the world do any of the kids in the AC ever make it into the auditorium? What poor unfortunate children.” Well, the answer to that would be as follows: Mr. Cleminshaw. He noticed that the wearisome freshmen, sophomores and juniors were left to govern themselves, and he took action. “For a while I supplied that voice by walking around the AC announcing like a town crier that meeting was starting soon,” Mr. Cleminshaw said. “However, all the professional town criers have bells to get the community’s attention.”
Thanks to Dr. Ialacci, who happens to have a bell mounted in his office, we all find our way to school meeting in the morning, however dazed and confused from the night before we might be. Of this bell, Mr. Cleminshaw proclaimed, “It is nice and loud and at least gets the attention of students on that side of the AC.” However, there is one drawback to this bell. In order for Mr. Cleminshaw to fully pursue his dream of town crier, he needs a bell that isn’t mounted to a wall. Unfortunately, he can’t walk around with his bell, announcing to all that will listen that school meeting will begin. This is a modern tragedy. This dire situation is in need of remedy, so the sooner someone starts a GoFundMe account for Mr. Cleminshaw’s new bell, the better.
So, did I get an answer? Sort of. But did you learn something? Sort of. And that’s what is truly important. God bless America and god bless the bell.