Plummeting Values

rwr-1.pngAt Carrot Ranch, the May 17, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about property values. Perhaps its a home, business or pencil museum. What makes them go up or down? Go where the prompt leads. Respond by May 22, 2018. Go on over there for some good flash fun. Here’s my flash response with some background this week.


Plummeting Values

They sat together in their one bedroom apartment with their laptops, looking at real estate listings.

“There’s lots of listings that have everything we want, but are out of our price range.”

“Yeah… wait, look at this. It has a porch… big backyard…. family room… plenty of bedrooms and storage… and it’s less than our maximum.”

“Oh, it sure looks nice. That is the exact place I’ve imagined raising a family. Where is it?”

“Let’s see… located close to schools…”

“Stop. We can’t raise a family close to schools.”

“What, why not?”

“Why not?! Guns. Schools are dangerous places.”


“This is not a drill, evacuate the building!” With only that direction and information I escorted my math students out of the building, evacuating along with all the other students and staff. As it turns out the cause for the evacuation was that a man suffered some sort of medical incident and passed out at the wheel of his truck, striking the front of the school quite hard. No one was hurt. The noise was horrific and the building was, as they say, compromised. For many reasons of possibilities, evacuation was the right call. It quickly got sorted out and parents notified that all was well despite the sirens and cops on the scene.

Back to the students and staff evacuating the building before having that information. Both groups have drilled for the worst, knowing we were drilling; all we knew this time was that this was not a drill. Naturally, in the moment, imaginations filled in the blanks where there was no information. It turned out to be an unfortunate accident with no human harm done, but the kids were traumatized because they knew what it could have been. The students (and staff) were in a real situation of wondering if there was a shooter in their school, targeting their friends, targeting them. They were scared. This was about the same time as the Texas school shooting, which I heard about later.

Another learning opportunity; it took less than a class period, but we did not go back to dividing fractions when we returned to our classroom. My eleven and twelve year old students learned today how we respond to emergency, and how it feels to contemplate mortal danger. They’d learned enough for one day.

When will our lawmakers learn?

15 thoughts on “Plummeting Values

  1. Such a sad, sad story, D. Your last line left me cold. Then to read your article. School shootings are such a tragic reality at the moment. Another one in the past week. What was gained by the student protests and walk out just a few weeks ago? When will something change? When will they realise that something must be done? That prayers and “being with” the people are not enough. You and your students should not have to live with these drills, with this fear. My heart bleeds. Innocence of childhood? It’s been blasted to smithereens.

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  2. Pingback: Property Values « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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