I work in a school in a very hot part of the country. Like many public schools, we are on a tight budget that seems to be shrinking every year. Even though the news tells me the economy is doing great and our country’s GDP is higher than it has ever been, we somehow do not have enough money to pay decent teacher salaries, have good schools supplies, and perform regular maintenance in our aging schools. I could go on a rant about how our legislative system has been hijacked by corporations and special interests, but I will save that for another time. Along with everything else in the school, our air conditioning system is so old I consider it a minor miracle every day that it keeps the teachers and students cool. One especially hot summer day, however, the A/C unit burned itself out. We had to open windows and run fans donated by teachers and generous local citizens, but even with that, students and teachers were passing out due to the heat. No one could pay attention in such hot conditions, and the only thing on anyone’s minds was when we could get the A/C fixed. We ended up having to cut the kids a break and let them relax outside in the shade, because it had gotten so hot inside we were getting nothing done at all. The rest of the teachers and I called our local government representatives and demand that they find a way to finance a new A/C system or else we would strike because it would be impossible to teach without air conditioning. Luckily this worked and they were able to scrounge together the money to finance a new A/C system by the beginning of the next week, and school was back in session.