On Friday, December 11th, the power supply to Briarcliff Middle School was cut, while that of the high school remained functional. As you probably know, much to the chagrin of older siblings, middle-schoolers were not required to attend classes that day, yet high-schoolers had a normal school schedule. What you may not be aware of, however – especially if you aren’t blessed with younger siblings in the middle school – is that children in grades 6 through 8 were in fact present in the building that Friday, engaging in one of the largest recreational events in Briarcliff history – that is, a schoolwide game of hide-and-seek.
The withholding of power from classrooms was a conscious decision made by the board of education in order to assist in the start of the activity. Students arrived in the morning around 20 minutes earlier than normal time and were gathered in the cafeteria for attendance purposes. Following that, teachers and staff read from the official rulebook to acquaint those who had never played before. Finally, just before the first high school students started to arrive on campus, their younger counterparts were directed to watch as each sector of the building went dark before their eyes. After the last light in the cafeteria was extinguished, the middle-schoolers were left to commence their daylong activity of finding a suitable hiding place.
You might wonder why these kids would need an entire school day to find such secluded nooks and crannies. I sure did, until I had a chat with Tommy Praeger, local math superstar, who was kind enough to put things in perspective for me.
“You see, Feroze,” the wunderkind began in his usual genial tone, “the higher-ups in the district really planned this whole shebang out. The math and formulae they used are almost beyond me! Almost. It’s obvious that they started with a base model of a standard game of hide-and-seek; let’s say, for example, one existed with 4 people. After consulting the official rulebook, they determined the adequate hiding time allotted for participants in the game. However, as there are quite a few more than 4 people in the middle school,” he chuckled, “they had to scale this time for the 408 members of the event. I’m a little rusty, but after working backwards, I’ve deduced that they used a Keynesian spending multiplier after applying Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures to arrive at the allotted time of 348.32 minutes, which is just a tad shorter than a normal school day.” Unfortunately, we had to leave Tommy before he could conjure his PhD thesis and explain how the multiplier effect in instances such as these inevitably triggers a larger decline in business activity, and thereby, creates economic instability.
At the end of the day, power was reapplied, and the teachers went off finding students in bathrooms, lockers, and filing cabinets. They operated with such a veracity that within a few hours, almost all the children were found. According to English teacher Mr. Desmond Groarke, the experience was ‘the best day of the year.’
All in all, 402 out of the initial 408 middle-schoolers were retrieved, a new school record. Said Superintendent James Kaishain, “The kids are really upping their game this year. I’m excited to see this new generation of students develop into productive members of society.”
By the request of several parents, the Bulletin would like to notify all former participants of the activity: The game is over. You can go home now.