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Category Archives: pollution

Teaching or Writing with Pain, Pollution and People – Part 2/4

When I left the office to find a moment of peace, I covered the computer and printers with a bed sheet. The noise reminded me of combat but worse, because I was nineteen and then twenty when I was in Vietnam—noise did not bother me as it does now.

Concrete dust floated through the air and my sinuses and lungs rebelled, so I put on a 3M mask with two pink HEPA filters attached.

The last time I wore a mask like this was when I was teaching.

I searched the garage and found a noise suppresser to slip over my ears and it helped mute the pounding and drilling.

I looked like an explorer on Mars or a survivor of trench warfare struggling to write while the frigid air froze my fingers.

The crew had arrived to bolster the foundation against future earthquakes that might never arrive. Even if a hard tumbler did visit, I doubt that all that work would hold our sixty-year old hillside house together. It still might slide down the hill into the middle of the street blocking traffic.

Continued in Teaching or Writing with Pain, Pollution and People – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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Teaching or Writing with Pain, Pollution and People – Part 1/4

It’s difficult to teach or write when I’m gasping for air and exploding my sinus.

When I was still teaching (1975 – 2005) there were years when walking into the empty classroom in the morning made me sick—and no, I wasn’t allergic to my students.

Then I retired from teaching (but not from life), and I have been free of wheezy lungs and sinus infections that always arrived with the start of each school year when I worked in those old buildings at the high school where I taught. Have you heard of sick building syndrome?

I lived it.

This new, peaceful world changed when workers came with power tools and mud-caked boots.

I should have fled, but I stayed at my computer as a stupid, stubborn, former United States Marine would.

My office has three doors. One that leads to to rest of the house and one that opens to the outside.

Then there is the door that opens to the space under the second story.

Once under the house, that crew drilled into the foundation, pounded, cut and tracked dirt from room to room—always in my office.

I had trouble concentrating. I suffered memory loss. Plastic tarps covered most of the furniture, and I couldn’t find things.

Continued in Teaching or Writing with Pain, Pollution and People – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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Bookie’s Dream, Old Faithful and Chewing Gum – Part4/4

The biggest part of the day supervisor’s job was to drive a flatbed electric cart around the school starting at 6:00 AM and paint out fresh, overnight graffiti.

Then Bookie’s Dream loaded the empty trashcans to place them where kids congregated at lunch.

However, spitting out gum, getting rid of empty soda bottles and greasy bags of French fries was too much of an effort for most of our students to put in trash cans, so the school was usually littered.


In Japan, the students clean the classrooms and the schools.

Back in my classroom after school, I wore out the knees in my blue jeans crawling around the classroom floor scraping gum off that crap-colored carpet.

Mr. D, who supervised after school detentions and Saturday schools, attempted solving the litter problem by taking the high students that earned detentions and make them clean the campus instead of sitting around watching a clock.

One of the kids complained to his or her mommy or daddy, who complained to the district office. The district office then called the principal.

The result–Mr. D. was told to stop making the students serving detention to work as if they were custodians. It  was considered cruel and unusual punishment. Discover Wyoming Park Students Expelled for Vandalism.

Return to Bookie’s Dream, Old Faithful and Chewing Gum – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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Bookie’s Dream, Old Faithful and Chewing Gum – Part 1/4

Custodians are guys that clean classrooms and schools. They come in two models—those that do a great job and those that check in then as soon as the boss is gone, read a book, sleep, or call a bookie to place bets on long shots at the track.

Lucky for teachers, the second model is in the minority and should be recalled. Over the years, I had both.

When I became the high school journalism advisor in the early 90s and started working fourteen hour days, my night custodian, Old Faithful (although I was older), did a great job. As a reward, the student editors often left him food: candy, cookies, cake and pizza slices.

Old Faithful used to say we were making him fat and his girlfriend didn’t like that.


How they keep schools clean in Japan.

Then Old Faithful was replaced by Bookie’s Dream, who only emptied the classroom trashcan and the floor slowly grew a crop of dirt. The carpet was brown, so Bookie’s Dream thought it wouldn’t be noticed.

However, the chewing gum ratted him out.

Even though the school district had a rule  against chewing gum, that didn’t stop the students from chewing it. Discover one example of the cost of graffiti.

Continued in Bookie’s Dream, Old Faithful and Chewing Gum – Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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