The law school had a fire drill today. It was good to see how it would all play out. Because if it had been a real fire, I think we'd be in trouble.
There's only two stairwells in our 17 story + ground floor + basement building. And possibly a thousand people spread throughout. (Several hundred, at least. Figuring that there's about a thousand people in the student body, even though not all of them are in the building at any one time there's also quite a few also faculty and staff to be counted as well.) I was on the 14th floor. It was smooth sailing down until about the 7th floor when all of a sudden there was a bottleneck in the stairwell. I thought perhaps it was because everyone was trying to reach the ground floor, although that might not be true because there's another exit on the first. The bigger problem seems to be that there are two 100-seat classrooms on the fifth floor (and one on the 6th), and all of those students needed to feed into the stairwell streams too.
But we managed to get everyone out of the building. At which point it was time to get everyone back in. I figured there was no way I was going to catch one of the 5 operational elevators back up any time soon, so I decided to walk. All 14 flights of stairs. Carrying my backpack which is about half my size and weight. (My evidence professor passed me at one point. I called him a wimp because he only had to go up 11 floors and wasn't carrying anything.)
So here I am, back on the 14th floor, writing this. The odd thing though: I understand why I'm winded, but why do my teeth hurt?
Immediate edit - This just in from the Dean:
The fire alarm system today was triggered by a contactor’s refilling of the sprinkler system on the 17th floor. This should not have happened and we hope will not happen again. Thank you for your patience and good humor.
Then she invited people to email with any comments about how the inadvertant drill went. I did.