During nutrition and lunch (nutrition being a morning snack break), the library gets crazy. I should probably put a stop to it, to tell the truth. It's so crowded in here that I cannot control what's going on. Things go missing, it's hard to get kids to leave at the bell, the checkout line stretches for miles. It's been suggested that I should begin to treat library like a night club. X number of people allowed, you come in when someone comes out, red ropes, all of that. That's the most reasonable thing to do, but I just can't bring myself to limit access to the library, especially for those kids who see it as a refuge.
Anyway, today there was a very sweet, shy, timid, space cadet of a girl sitting at a computer with her hand raised. That's my first clue that she doesn't know what's going on. Her hand is raised during nutrition? How the heck am I going to see that? Well, I did, and she asked her question.
"How do I get to the student homepage?"
Oh boy. The what? "Do you mean the library's homepage on our school's website?" I ask gently.
"The what?" she says.
"The school's website. Perhaps that's what you're looking for. Go ahead and open up Internet Explorer and I'll show you."
She stares blankly at the desktop. I point to the icon. She double-clicks.
"Is this what you meant?" I ask, as the school's page opens.
"The other day, I was here, and I went to this place. I typed something in at the top. But I don't remember. I think it was 'homepage'."
I sigh inside. I close my eyes to gather my patience and love for children. I point out the school's computer use rules taped to the monitor (school website and assignments only). I tell her that I'm not aware of a website called "Homepage", but perhaps she could show me sometime. The entire interaction takes less than five minutes but feels like a lifetime. All the while, hordes of students are spilling though the entrance, through the exit, through the skylight it seems, all with questions like these. I need coffee.