Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Rooftops of London and the Rooftops of Pleasant Grove

Hello Troops,
I saw Mary Poppins when it came out in the early 1960's. I loved the movie then and love it still.
Do you remember Bert singing Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey Chim chim cher-oo? Here are two verses from the song.

I choose me bristles with pride, yes, I do
A broom for the shaft and a brush for the flute
Up where the smoke is all billered and curled
'Tween pavement and stars is the chimney sweep world
When there's 'ardly no day nor 'ardly no night
There's things 'alf in shadow and 'alfway in light
On the rooftops of London coo, what a sight!

Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey
Chim chim cher-ee!
When you're with a sweep you're in glad company
Nowhere is there a more 'appier crew
Than them wot sings, "Chim chim cher-ee, chim cher-oo!"
On the rootops of London..
Chim chim cher-oo!


In the movie, Bert was a Chimney Sweep and a good friend of Mary. Now, you're wondering why I'm writing about a character from Mary Poppins. Well, Bert and I have something in common. We spend a part of our working days on rooftops. Bert enjoys birds eye views of London and I do the same for Pleasant Grove.


Every day I ascend Heaven's Ladder located in the 4th Grade Hallway Custodian's Closet and trek across the roof of Central Elementary to do one of the duties required of me as Space Center Director. Can you guess what that is? Am I......

1. Venturing to the rooftop to do astronomical observations?
2. Venturing to the rooftop to do astrological observations?
3. Venturing to the rooftop to signal extraterrestrials with one of our EverReady Flashlights?
4. Finding a good place to "End it All?"
5. Looking for the only place where I can find peace and quiet?
6. Resetting the rooftop air conditioner that cools the Gym?

If you said #6 then YOU ARE CORRECT!

Every day I open the gym doors to feel the exiting air and most days I find it isn't being cooled. The air conditioner has a mind of its own and needs to be switched off and on for the compressor to work correctly. We go through this every summer. We put in maintenance work orders, the problem gets fixed sometime in the Fall and then it reappears in the summer.

The air conditioner is located on the school's roof. To access the roof I unlock the Custodian's Closet, move the carpet shampooing machine and tread carefully up the worn yellow ladder leading to the rooftop.

I'm in a different world up there. I see the blue sky, trees, clouds and people going about their day to day business completely unaware of me peering down at them from behind an air conditioner.

I scale another ladder to the gym's roof, the highest point of the school. I switch the conditioner off and give it a minute or two to reset. That gives me time to take a walk around the gym's perimeter.

Today I had to check the Discovery Room's air conditioner. At 4:00 P.M. the room started heating up. The Air Conditioner wasn't cooling. While I was up on the roof I discovered the Utah Power and Light Auto Switcher displayed a red LCD light.

That meant the compressor was shut down automatically as part of the power company's program to conserve power and prevent black outs. The air conditioner came on while I was checking it out. That problem was solved.

Before descending I take a moment and enjoy the view.

I switch the gym conditioner on, descend the ladder, then reenter the school through the hatchway. Back I go into my underground world of space and simulations, locking the hatch above me.


So, Chim Chim Cher-ee and Cheerio.....

Mr. Williamson
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