Case Closed: The Secret of the Staff Room


Several teachers caught socializing in their natural habitat.

It was the cloudy morning of March 26. The Mirador room was quiet, too quiet, so we decided it was time to solve the mystery of the staff lounge once and for all.

What exactly is the “staff room?” Mirador ventured deep into the mysterious room, where no student has ever gone before. Arcade and hot tub? Not exactly. A dungeon to torture students in? Close, but still not there, yet. Who knows what really goes on in there?

“I’ve always been curious about what really goes on in there,” said junior Grace Barosky. “Teachers always come out with food and goodies. I bet they have parties all the time.”

First, we needed professional disguises. Only a teacher can get into that room, so we chose to take on the typical everyday substitute teacher look.

Dodging behind doors and water fountains, we drew closer to the door across the hall. It was a long and treacherous journey, but we finally reached the door. But before we could make our move, a janitor come out from behind the door, looked shiftily around, and continued on his way. Once he had gone, we ventured closer, grabbing the handle. We exchanged looks. This was it; the big shebang, happening here and now, at this very moment.

We whipped open the door casually, hiding our trepidation and excitement behind our “substitute teacher” glasses. The room was empty. All was quiet.

Standing two feet from the door, ready to bounce at any second, we crept over to the kitchen area, to find a box of half eaten bagels and donuts. Staff meeting that morning? Most likely. Sneak a bite? No, too risky.

We ventured to the fridge, to find literally nothing good but the smell of some nice old-fashioned cream cheese.

Looking around, we spotted a television in the far corner, a grouping of questionably comfy couches and a coffee table stacked with various magazines. The wall was lined with labeled cubbies, filled with suspicious papers. The kitchen was a disgusting amount of messy.

We must have missed something. There had to be a hot tub or foosball table behind some door, maybe the one marked “women’s bathroom.” That would be a grand cover name!

As we grabbed the handle of the women’s bathroom door, we heard a creak from the front door. We shot each other a look of horror, but then remembered we were in disguise. We just had to play it cool.

It was time to be confident. We were ready to amp up the role-play. We casually smiled at the entering teacher, not saying a word, praying she wouldn’t say anything to us. We were not so fortunate.

“Oh, hello!” the teacher said. “Are you guys substituting today? Have you guys tried the new soap in the bathroom? It’s worth checking out.”

We both gave a little chuckle and hesitantly responded, “Oh yeah, we were just on our way to check it out. Word on the street is that it’s dope.” Wait what?

“I mean, we mean, got to run!” We both quickly shuffled into the bathroom, hearts racing. We took a deep breath, and calmed down our heart rates, and looked around. Wow. A two-stall, completely normal, yet oddly clean bathroom… Real classy in the staff lounge.

We looked at each other with disappointment, looking down at the sink. Might as well try the soap while we were there. We both took a squirt of soap to the hand. Our phalanges tingled with excitement. The soap must have been quality. We put our hands under the surprisingly warm water: a strong aroma filled the whole room. Mmmm… White fig and aloe, what a delightful smell.

We exited the bathroom, still fawning over the newly found wondrous soap when we saw five teachers sitting at the tables across the room. Forgetting our disguise, we full on sprinted out the front door, across the hall, and into safety, a.k.a. the Mirador room.

So what we’ve concluded from this long, treacherous, dangerous, horrifying endeavor is that the staff room is two couches, some computers, two smelly fridges, a dirty sink, a few tables, cubbies and a nice smelling bottle of soap in the bathroom. No student torture chamber, no hot tub, no big screen TV.

Talk about luxury.