|A-205: "a vague environmental issue"|
If you were (Please note the past tense) teaching in A-205, generally occupied by the anthropologists and their skulls (well, not theirs, poor Yorick, but you know what I mean) but also loaned out to various Hum and Lang types (See, in A-200 we like to share what we got even if it isn't much, unlike some folks—sniff, sniff—better yet, don't sniff—at least not in the vicinity of A-205), well, you aren't teaching there anymore!
A-205 instructors were informed that their classes were no longer occupying A-205 due to a "vague environmental issue" which needs to be "corrected."
Most people, Rebel Girl notes, were moved to other classrooms in the aging A-200.
If you were not teaching in that room or taking a class you may not have noticed the flier taped to the door that forbade entry under any circumstance. Pretty strong language. Rebel Girl, rebellious and foolhardy as always, tried the knob. The door swung open (of course!) and she entered.
She didn't see anything out of the ordinary, unless you want to count the peeling vinyl floorboard near the door which exposed a gap or sorts, a kind of pocket between the wall, floor and floorboard filled with a tangle of hair and other detritus. But Rebel Girl doesn't really count that because as far as she is concerned, that is pretty much par for the course in IVC classrooms—peeling floorboards, hair in the corners, you know.
She sniffed. Nothing out of the ordinary. She took inventory: same skulls, same maps, the usual collection of aging newspapers articles displayed when Clinton was president and another Republican, named for a small amphibian, was holding the federal government hostage.
She wondered what the "vague environmental issue" could be.
After she left, she asked around. Nobody knew. Of course not. (Cuz it was "vague"?)
Even though the whole building is serviced by the same air conditioning unit that blasts air in and out of nearby classrooms and offices, even though walls are shared by offices and classrooms, no one else except those immediately affected had been informed of an "environmental issue"—or hazard—use the noun you prefer. And even those people were not told of what Rebel Girl discovered later as she went home and made a few calls.
"Instructors kept getting sick," one in-the-know faculty member reported, "Bronchitis. Finally someone noticed a pattern."
One wonders what, if anything, the students were told. And why workers (faculty and staff) who spend 20-45 hours a week in the vicinity were not informed—especially those with existing physical conditions who might make them more vulnerable than others to the presence of the bacteria, mold and other particles that cause bronchitis and worse. Can you spell liability? Responsibility? Responsiveness? Transparency? Weren't some of these words included on that recent survey monkey of wish list values sent out by SPOBDC? (Yup, "spob-dick.")
Rebel Girl also wonders who made the decision that only A-205 was toxic. She hopes it was someone who knows something about the spread of mold and air conditioning units and shared walls, etc. Jeez.
This latest vagueness, of course, points to the pervasive absence of useful communication at IVC. What helicopter? What parking lot fiasco? What mold?
And, of course, it brings to mind the mold monsters of yore:
Colonies of Mold (November 1, 2005)There are other stories out there (don't ask), but Rebel Girl will leave you with an unlikely but relevant one:
Mold Pie with Mouse Turd Topping (December 9, 2005)
Decomposed Materials of Organic Origin (January 13, 2006)
Tuesday night, after a wretched day at the college (don't ask), Rebel Girl washed up at a meeting of the Inter-Canyon League, one of the local governing bodies in the hinterlands. (IVC's own Chris Riegle is on the board.) Officer Garcia from the CHP was a genial guest speaker, there to answer residents' concerns about speeding on the canyon road and the recent spate of high-profile accidents from such behavior. Rebel Girl listened as her neighbors asked for the impossible—a CHP officer every mile or so, pulling over the reckless and inspiring other to obey the laws.
The officer, she soon realized, was speaking the hard truth: few resources, stupid human nature, one cop for the whole canyon area. There is is no way we're going to stop the foolish and reckless. But you good people should not behave like them. We all need to be better than those fools, and that will make the difference, perhaps the only difference we can make.
A sobering tale for this morning carpool mother, her backseat filled with kids, who is often passed by impatient speeders happy to cross the double yellow line on Live Oak Canyon or Santiago.
An instructive tale for a teacher who wonders how deep the commitment is out there to real teaching, the real work of a real college. (Don't ask.)
Hey, wasn't "intellectually rigorous curriculum" on SPOBDC's wish list too?
Welcome, sulfur dioxide
Hello, carbon monoxide
The air, the air
While you sleep