Every once in a while something pops into my head, and I'm like, OK that was a fond memory. Or wow, that was a little unexpected. Well, for some reason, a memory popped into my head, and I was like, oh shit, I almost burned the school down. Not really, but at the time that is what it felt like! So, five or so years ago, I needed to fire several loads in my kiln. I had an almost brand new kiln and there were no problems. So, I had an after school group make octopus with clay, and they used newspaper to form the head. After they were dry I pulled out the newspaper. Or at least most of the newspaper. Well, before STAAR testing there was the TAKS test. And the days our campus was testing, the kids taking the test didn't go to specials. Instead we went to them and relieved their teacher for a break. Early that morning I went in and started my kiln, did a few things, had my first class, maybe my second. Then it was time to go to the teachers and give them a break. Each specials teacher had about 6 people to go to. I went to each of mine, and each took about a 10-15 minute breaks. Now that I was done, I had a few minutes to get ready for the next group. As I was walking down the hall, I could smell something and it wasn't a familiar smell. I round the corner to my wing and the smell is bad... really bad, like burning my nose bad. And at the other end of the hallway is the school secretary. And I can tell she smells it too, we make eye contact for only a second and we both start running for my room. Apparently, it doesn't take much newspaper to make a lot of smoke. Thankfully, I had lots of windows in my room and I opened them up. She, the secretary, got me a box fan and I was able to divert most of the smoke out. And of course I cut off the kiln. I just knew I was going to make headlines that day for the fire department being called in the middle of the TAKS test... I could just see it, news crews and reporters, "Mrs. Pruitt, what the heck were you thinking?" Thankfully that didn't happen, but it was close! Now, I never run my kiln on a testing day! EVER...even if I haven't even used newspaper for my clay project! Can anyone relate? I'd LOVE to not feel alone here!!