Working in a clean environment is a blessing recognized by one that spent 28.5 years in an understaffed, sometimes ill-repaired facility. The purchase of my own vacuum, floor scrubber, and cleaning supplies kept my little corner of the world fit for the hundreds who crossed the threshold of learning into my classroom. Attaching points to cleaning duties, including emptying the trash, cleaning windows, and wiping the grime off walls is justified by the inventive educator.
Even after the beatings, threats, grade disputes, and then good-natured compliance, the environment in aforesaid structure pales in comparison to my current place of employment. BYU litterally sparkles.
How does this magic occur?
In the black of night and bitterness of winter, the nightime elves swoop in with rags, brushes, dusters, and good cheer to prepare the spaces occupied by 10s of thousands of feet. On occasion, I've heard their singing resonate throughout the cavernous, empty halls. But this morning, I caught one.
As I entered from the lowest parking level I heard humming. There bent at the bottom of 16 flights of stairs a single elf dipped a scrub brush into a bucket of water and was busily and fastideously removing the grime from the treads and grit strips, just one tiny effort reminding me of a saying that my great grandmother used to motivate the sometimes hasty worker to dig in with a little more vigor, "Clean the corners, the middle will take care of itself."
Job well done, cleaning elf, job well done.