No, I wasn't arrested or anything.
Today was a long day. Or maybe it just seemed that way. With finals coming up next week, everyone is in a crazed state... not excluding yours truly, of course. I can't wait until next Wednesday, when I can finally breathe. Wednesdays are my long day to begin with. A class from 8:30am till 1:10pm, and a class from 6:20 to 9pm... that's a good extended day with a fair-sized break in between, mostly used for studying. rxfastfind.com
After studying for a couple of hours at the local bookstore café, I headed down to campus for my Japanese class. I was barely gonna make it, watching the clock as I parked my car in the garage. I had just enough time to run to the cafeteria to warm up my coffee.
I made it to class right on time, to find everyone in class having a heated discussion. I thought maybe they were discussing the upcoming final exam, or maybe there was some debate about the homework. Normal night in class, I assumed.
Then I heard the key words. "Security", "Police", "Contamination" and "Terrorist". Uh oh. I figured I should open up my ears a little more.
"Maybe we shouldn't let any more people come in the classroom," I heard the sensei say, very meekly.
Okay, so here's the deal. Before class was to begin, sensei was talking to the people who were already arrived... I guess about the exam, or something similar. There was an unmarked envelope on the table at the front of the room, and she inadvertently picked it up and opened it while continuing the discussion.
*poof*... a white powdery substance spills out of the envelope, onto the table and onto sensei's hands. In the envelope, there is a map of some sort. Those who saw it close up said it was some sort of terrorist map... locations, perhaps? Some believed it to be from another class, but no one was sure. There was some of the substance on the floors of the room, as well... supposedly pre-existing before the envelope was even open.
After many minutes of debate (and a very nervous sensei), a student, who had gone to contact security, instructed us to evacuate the room, as per the campus security office. We were not to leave the vicinity of the room.
A mere few minutes later, an officer from the local PD shows up and tells us (in a possibly over-protective, extremely serious tone) to remain calm and stay where we are. He breaks out the yellow tape and blocks us out from the rest of the world. Undoubtedly, a crowd starts to form. No one's taking this too seriously, except the officer... I guess I gotta hand it to him for being so serious about it. We're all sorta joking about the whole thing, shooting pictures and giggling... no one was freaking out, but the officer felt the need to say "You're doing just great, don't worry, sit tight and we'll be with you soon".
So the FD shows up... a few small trucks. Then the big haz mat truck shows up. Whoo... we're getting into the big tax dollars here, folks. Some really nice firemen and women show up to question us and take our info down. We were cold, confused and hungry at this point... I guess that's no big news for a group of college students. ;)
You could pretty much scratch any lessons for tonight. Sensei's books and such were still inside the room. Horrible timing, since the final exam is next week. The haz mat team needed to take these items for testing... wait, our grades are in there! I have no idea what's gonna happen... hopefully by next week, we can pass the course alright!
We're supposed to know in 48 hours if this was something to worry about. Some people were instructed to bag their clothes as soon as they got home. I'm not too worried about it... this just made my night pretty interesting.
Whoever pulls pranks like these should be tarred and feathered. I mean, heck, finals aren't THAT bad, are they? You can think of something better than a damn powdery envelope to get outta it...
I received a call on Thursday afteroon from my sensei, sounding kinda shaken, but she was extremely apologetic about the whole ordeal. Of course, this was a hoax. I had also discovered a message on my voicemail later from the officer in charge.
Apparently, there was a class earlier in the day that was studying and discussing terrorism. I have no idea why someone had made mock terrorist letters, but it was a big mistake, cos they left it behind for unsuspecting people (such as us) to find, with no explanation whatsoever. The white substance was cooking flour.
So life goes on. Sensei's message continued on, letting me know that we will be receiving full credit for that day, as well as the removal of an oral exam from the final exam, "if that is okay with you", as she said. No biggie, really... I do feel bad for her still, cos she had a really horrible evening that day.
I, along with some other students are going to bear gifts on this upcoming Wednesday... Japanese treats and such, to help ease the mind of sensei and our fellow students. Nothing like fresh mochi to soothe the soul. :)