Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mudslides Aren't Fun (and I'm not talking about the drink!)

As I was looking through the pictures that I've downloaded for future blog posts, this is one I meant to write about sooner. I'm guessing in this case it's "Better late than never," so I'll do my best to share my thoughts.

Mudslides (and no I don't mean the frozen drink) are not attractive or fun. Most people think of mudslides as being present in mountainous regions or perhaps in third world countries after a bad storm. This is all true, but I've found that we have those here in StarkVegas on a much smaller scale. You see, my school is built on a hill. As a matter of fact, our compound is often referred to as "The Hill." My school is old. These two things put together makes for a bad combination during heavy rains.

Several years ago (before I moved here) my school had another wing built in between the two existing wings. Back in the day, each one of these wings was a separate one grade only school. When the addition was built the two schools merged into one school. All three main buildings are connected with covered outdoor walkways. (Ironically, I was hoping that when I moved from the Keys, I'd get to teach at a real school that was totally enclosed. Little did I know that I'd be working in the same type of school here in Mississippi.)

Somewhere during the construction of the new wing, someone decided to put small wood boards along the edge of the sidewalks. These boards where put in so that they acted as a small retaining wall from the dirt on the upper side of the sidewalk. Over the years, many students have used these boards as their own personal balance beam and the result has been that the boards have lost their usefulness at retaining the dirt. When it rains, even a little, the mud slides down the sidewalk and makes a huge mess. Since my classroom is in the wing that is the farthest away, we get to walk through this mud several times a day. If you add to that the fact that when it rains, we get drenched, it makes for an unpleasant trip.

To compensate for the mud, they have laid down plywood on top of the mudslides so that we can walk over the mud instead of through it. This works a little but still doesn't keep the mud from flying up behind you as you walk. It just seems like something could be done. I'm not sure what it is, but perhaps if the right people were around during a rain storm they'd see what I'm talking about. That doesn't usually happen.

On a different note, I will say that I'm glad to have a job. With budget cuts and hiring freezes, some people are having a hard time finding a job or keeping the one that they have. In all things, I'm blessed. If walking through some mud is the worst I have to endure, then I say.....bring on the plywood, people! Watch me walk over the mud!

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