Time Warp One reporter delves into mystery surrounding the BV West clock system.
t is a regularly occurring phenomenon in the BV West attendance area. Every day (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and occasional Mondays and Fridays,) more than one thousand young adults set off for what they expect to be an average day of school, but sometime between 7:00 am and 9:00 am they find themselves mysteriously falling from the space-time continuum. These students have entered another dimension. Their next stop: the BV West Time Warp. Any member of the BV West community that owns a cell phone, or, in other words, everyone, has likely noticed something unique about the clocks that virtually cover the walls of the school. The mischievous timepieces use their grotesquely disproportionate little arms to throw the entire community into a state of confusion by totally refusing to ever display a time that is in accordance with any other time keeping mechanism of relevance. They are always three minutes fast. This disagreement, SCOTT MULLEN though often overlooked, is a serious issue facing us here in Johnson County. It seems as though it is a problem that should easily be remedied, but the clocks continue their inevitable march forward three minutes ahead of everyone else. In the interest of protecting a public that he cares deeply about, this reporter set out on a mission. A mission to find out why we upstanding students of the Blue Valley School District still aren’t synchronized with the movements of the celestial bodies as we deserve to be. In my quest to find a solution to this problem, I decided to begin by investigating the true effect that the time warp has on the students and staff of this school. I took the issue up with Attendance Secretary Anne Sykes. After some casual conversation, I got to the point and discovered that as many as a dozen students a day arrive to school shortly after the first bell of the day. This can be attributed to one thing and one thing only: the fastness of the school’s clock system. I became genuinely concerned for the welfare of these students. “Are they losing valuable instructional time?” I found myself ask-
ing myself. “Is this unfortunate lack of harmonization between school clocks and the rest of the world causing them to arrive to class late, get detentions, and fall into a pattern of delinquency from which they cannot rise? Will they be able to get into a good college and succeed in life?” Sensing my unease, Mrs. Sykes decided to share her opinions. “If you’re not giving yourself more than three minutes in the morning you’re just silly,” she said. But isn’t silliness our right in this free country? Shouldn’t I be able to arrive to something just in the nick of time without experiencing dire consequences brought on by a system that is out of my control? I think so. Thankfully, she does see the other side as well. “It is annoying,” Sykes said. Many echo this sentiment, but unfortunately Mrs. Sykes has no control over the issue. I had to go higher. My next step was to talk to an administrator who has lots of responsibilities, one of which is the oversight of school maintenance. Most people know her as Cindy Roach. Ms. Roach invited me into her office. My frustration with the issue at hand becoming apparent, I immediately got to the point. “I have not experienced this issue myself because I don’t carry my cell phone with me at school, but I have heard of it before,” Roach said. “But that’s where the difference between the teenage and adult mind set comes into play. As an adult, you always arrive early, so this isn’t an issue.” Her comments seemed eerily similar to those made by Mrs. Sykes, but she also saw the benefit to resetting the clock system. Unfortunately, the problem was still not fixed. Though Ms. Roach oversees the maintenance of the school, she also has no control over the clock system. I had to look higher still. The interview was not in vain, however, and Roach sent me away from the meeting with two valuable pieces of information. The first was the fact that the BV West clocks were not synchronized with the clocks of other
schools in the district. This discovery came about during a phone call between Ms. Roach and BV Southwest Administrator Gary Howard in which Mr. Howard said that the school clock in his office was displaying a time of 2:36 pm, while the school clock in Ms. Roach’s office read 2:39 pm. This surprised me, as I had previously believed that time settings were controlled at District Office. The other piece of information was a name, the name of one David R. Peterson, Director of Operations and Maintenance for the Blue Valley School District. I called Mr. Peterson on a rainy afternoon. After a short game of phone tag, I was able to ask him a few questions. This interview yielded some surprising results. First, I was told that the clock system at BV West was not satellite corrected as cell phone clocks and the clocks of at least one other school in the district were. This finally proved definitively that the school clocks really were the ones to blame for this issue. Second, I learned that as older clock systems began to reach the ends of their life spans they would be replaced by satellite corrected systems, but that still left BV West without an immediate solution. Finally, I learned that there is a master clock. One clock to rule them all, one clock to bind them. It is located somewhere within BV West. The end of this ordeal was in sight. My last action was to find this master clock and speak with the one to whom it was charged. Based on the words of Dave Peterson, my first guess was that this person was none other than our esteemed principal, Mr. Dr. Tony Lake. I found Dr. Lake loitering in the commons one day. I hoped he would be the one who would finally fix the problem with the go[sh] da[rn] clocks (welcome to the world of “ethical journalism,” folks,) and when I asked him about it he said that he had heard of the all-powerful timepiece. This excited me. Unfortunately, however, he was not sure of the master clock’s exact location or how he might manipulate it, but he did say that if we could find it and figure out how to harness its dominance over lesser clocks he’d be willing to change it. Our encounter concluded with Dr. Lake pointing me to one final source. A source that we both hoped could help us find the elusive master clock. The source turned out to be two people. Scott Thompson and Albert Woods: members of BV West’s janitorial staff. The two men were excited to hear that this problem might be drawing to a close. Finally I received good news. They knew that the master clock was hidden somewhere in the main office, and they knew who to talk to to get it changed. With the end of this meeting, my investigation drew to a close. I walked a way with much more knowledge about the inner workings of the clock system, and I walked away with hope. It seems to me that this problem, which I set out to correct, stands a good chance of being fixed. Everyone who I talked to about the problem agreed that they wanted to see synchronization between school clocks and the rest of the world. It would appear that we at BV West have the power to make that happen right at our fingertips. I am now counting on a coalition force of administrators, janitors, and other district employees to scour the main office until they find the master clock, and then figure out its advanced technology to remedy the problem. Until such a mission is accomplished, however, I would advise all members of the BV West community to keep watching the time. Hopefully, there will be a point in the near future when everyone can look at the wall clocks and then look at their cell phones without wondering how they jumped back in time.
spotlight I One reporter delves into mystery surrounding the BV West clock system. bvwnews.com Managing Editor page SCOTT MULLEN