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Ashes to Ashes - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Ashes to Ashes
My institution has taken to saving money by sharply curtailing janitorial services. It hasn't been a big issue in the building my Department uses, since the crew assigned to it does a nice job of making do. As long as I remember to empty my own trash can, I don't notice the change. But the building I teach my undergrad course in is another matter.

It's a terrible room to begin with, so wide and shallow that I can't see everyone at the same time. It lacks most of the technology I like to deploy in the classroom. As the semester progresses, however, those faults are coming to seem minor in contrast to the state of the whiteboard. The ledge at the bottom, where the eraser and markers can rest, is so thick with particulate matter that I end every class with my hands, face, and book looking like props from Mary Poppins. That's deeply annoying.

What really concerns me, though, are the clouds of dry-erase marker soot that I inhale every session. Given my proclivity for respiratory trouble -- no, it's not in my head flw -- absorbing all that chemical residue through my lung tissue can't be a good thing. Sure, I could spend five minutes washing the board before class, but then I'd still be inhaling the stuff. And besides, I don't have that time to spare these days.

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Current Location: 85721

14 comments or Leave a comment
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: October 12th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I've been noticing the same thing! I've taken to wearing a lot of black when I teach so that the white board marker dust doesn't show. Which reminds me, I kind of miss the chalk board dust I'd always be wearing after teaching at UK.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 15th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Tell me about it. I made the mistake of wearing an ecru shirt one day. Oh, and I miss chalk as well. At least it washes out easily.
flw From: flw Date: October 12th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

That's not fair!

It may not be in your head, but I'm glad to know that I'm in your head saying it's not in your head! Ahhhh... I probably sound like your Dad...

I bet you could make a student do it. I mean, clean the gook. That's gook, not "Gook". So many words for smudge, and I gotta choose the only one that's an ethnic slur... I really am an asshole.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 15th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: That's not fair!

I tried. No one volunteered. The prospect of extra credit isn't what it once was, apparently.

Great to see you the other night, BTW. It was nice having someone I know there.
schencka From: schencka Date: October 12th, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I channel Kafka: Insitutional interest in clean surfaces has markedly diminished.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 15th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Nicely put. You're a fine Kafka channeler!
danthered From: danthered Date: October 12th, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
saving money by sharply curtailing janitorial services

Yargh. That's a giant, flashing, bright red Neon MBA "solution" if ever there were one.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 15th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yeah, we have those types and a dearth of funding to go with them. It's pretty depressing, as KDD's recent entries also indicate.
jstgerma From: jstgerma Date: October 13th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Honestly ...

isn't that a pain in the ass? I'm a board-leaner, myself, so I wind up walking around with dirty hands and black-and-blue-and-green dust lines all over the seat of my pants and the back of my shirt. Even worse, I have a weird habit of rubbing my nose when I'm nervous, so after bad class sessions I look like little Tom Dacre.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 15th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Honestly ...

One class I ended up looking like Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer. I touch my face even when I'm not nervous. My serious look involves propping my chin on my hand.
From: ex_benlinus Date: October 13th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
My math teacher started with a smock, then decided she needed rubber gloves. I'd imagine that if you add protective gear incrementally, an N-95 face mask wouldn't seem all that strange to your students after the first month.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 15th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I want one of those shiny silver suits they give the Hazmat teams!
xmoonbunnyx From: xmoonbunnyx Date: October 16th, 2006 03:04 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
What undergrad courses do you teach??
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 16th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
380, typically. Sometimes other courses. Next semester I'm doing 484B as well.
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