Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is that Manure?

Today fires in the San Gabriel mountains (I think) have caused Los Angeles to be covered in a cloud of pungent, hot smoke. The temperature is high, and even walking from the library to the classroom building is extremely uncomfortable. Now add in manure.
For some reason, the school district has chosen this last week of August, one of the hottest of the year, to spread truckloads of manure over our school's PE fields. Particulates are flying through the air, mixing with the smoke and the heat to create a wall of hot stink. A few minutes ago the bell rang for lunch. More than a thousand children poured out of their (mostly) air conditioned classes to eat the fried, greasy, school-issued lunch in the heat and manure. They are almost all wearing heavy, black hooded sweatshirts which they refuse to take off. This is the only personalized clothing item they can get away with and still be in uniform, so they insist on wearing them no matter the conditions.
After they get properly sweaty and steamed up, the bell will ring again and they will march back into windowless classes (or the library) to sit and cook for the next three hours. They will smell and the rooms will heat up to the point that there might as well not be AC at all.
Sometimes this job is disgusting.

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