While the pursuit of education is enlightenment, Central High School found itself in the dark Thursday morning. What happened? Why?
RAPID CITY, SD — As students and anyone on Katy Urban’s phone dialer list is aware, Central High School lost power Thursday morning. What few know, however is what happened and why.
Pine Needle reporters have begun combing through the wreckage to determine both causes and effects. Assistant Principal Randy Seales has asked staff what they did to cause a spike in power usage. Will someone fess up?
“It was Dr. Farrar,” senior Grace Vandesteeg said. “She was playing so many Christmas carols it overloaded the grid.”
But not all students agree. “I know it was Mr. Riggs,” senior Chris Schilling said. “He was charging his ugly Christmas sweater and it shorted out while playing Avengers for physics—trying to see how the movie incorporated the laws of physics into the script.”
These theories, while interesting, conflict with reports that the science wing never lost power. “It was Sheehy,” said senior Stephanie Shuster. “He was letting all his sophomores charge their phones at once. He says it keeps them from using phones in his class but 30 chargers clearly proved too much.”
Could such an isolated incident have caused it, or was the outage a result of converging factors? Early word from the math department indicates that teacher Michael Birkeland may have been trying to roast a ham in the department’s microwave. He says he’s vegetarian but may have been trying to hide his fall from the wagon. Did he forget to take off the tinfoil wrapper?
Secretaries Mandy Hennies and Kristina VanZee were overheard discussing an apparent incident with the wildlife teachers. “There was a sub in wildlife,” senior McKenzey Crowley said, “and she let an owl out of its cage. The owl flew up through a hole in the drop-ceiling and a few minutes later—BAM—no power. Mandy and Kristina were asking custodians to climb up and find the remains.”
Meanwhile, students spent 39 minutes in the dark. “It was scary,” junior Dylan Grundstrom said. “Elisabeth Riisnaes had sneaked her flute into the pitch black room and was playing scary chords. A freshman cried.”
How dark was it? “I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face,” senior Harrison Byars said. “And when I realized that I punched Hunter in his face.”
“It hurt,” Hunter Hufstutler said, “and I hit him back.”
“He missed,” said Harrison, “and hit himself.”
“That hurt too,” Hunter said.
Some used their phones as flashlights, but senior Kayleb Twomey found the strategy had its problems. “I dropped my phone in the toilet.” He explained more, but we chose not to listen.
Will the problem happen again? “It better not,” senior Caden Lefler said, his eyes flashing slightly. “What if the one act play was in progress when the power cut? Actors could break their legs—literally—and we’d break our streak of fifty-five million state superior shows in row. Hashtag.That.Can’t.Happen.”
“I guarantee it will happen again,” senior Ashton Walker said. “Have you seen people with those new light switches in the English department? I saw some weird kid standing there just flipping it like a strobe light. That’s gotta be a problem.”
“It’ll be fine,” senior Matte Bulman said. “We’ve got the lunch truck!”
Senior Anthony Centenio points out that history teachers claim power outages are nothing new. “Mr. Hicks says there was one stretch of time where Europe had no power for 500 years. They called it the Dark Ages.”
What should we make of our outage lasting only 39 minutes? “America is clearly great again,” senior Trinity Morrison said.
“It’s true,” senior Eli Oyler added. “If you apply that ratio of improvement to the length of the Great Depression, our next Depression will last only 17.85 minutes. Things are clearly looking up.”
Investigations continue into the extent and damage from the outage, but students are optimistic about the future.
“I think it was fun,” senior Dale Beranek said. “I mean, it’s 2,000 teenagers hanging out in the dark. What could go wrong?”
Photo: Squirrel Power by Sarah Hina on Flickr