Tag Archives: Temperatures

School, Suddenly Silent, Slightly Spooky

For the past year or so, I’ve been able to see what life is like on the other side of the desk. Well, not the desk so much. I mean, I probably spent more time sitting on a floor than I did anywhere else when I was working as a Title 1 Tutor at Awesome Elementary, but I think you dudes get the idea.

Anyway, what I’ve been facing is that my school year didn’t end with the school year.

All the students got to leave on Friday, content that their school year was over and excited that their summer had begun. On Monday, when every other school-related person was sleeping in, I was getting up early. After all, I had to be back at school to help shut it down for the summer.

It was very, very strange, dudes. Let me tell you.

The hallways echoed with the sounds of my footsteps, rather than the sound of hundreds of voices and feet pounding out a constant wave of sound. Everything seemed so big, without the students there to fill the place up.

It is, to paraphrase a title I’ve read around here recently, a bit spooky in there. The teachers are hard at work, taking down posters from their walls, corralling books left behind by students, even cleaning out some desks that students did not. Which, let me tell you, is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. One young girl left behind somewhat finished milk cartons, somewhat finished Capri Sun pouches and half-eaten foods. In her desk. Yikes!

And there I am, wandering through it all.

It’s a lot cooler inside without the students producing all that body heat, making it much easier for the school’s old HVAC system to cope with the suddenly very hot temperatures.

But still, I miss it. I miss the unselfconscious smiles. I miss the surprise-attack hugs. I miss the laughter.

It’s been a heck of a year, dudes. A heck of a year that I spent learning from some wonderful teachers, some astonishing students and, oddly, from myself. It’s something I recommend to everyone if you have the chance. Go into a classroom, volunteer and get to spend some time with younger little dudes and dudettes. I guarantee you will experience something pure and wonderful, no matter the kid or the school.

Teachers do not teach for the money. I’ve always been told that teaching is a calling, rather than a job.

I think, this past year, I’ve come to understand what they’ve been talking about.

By the way, if this post comes out looking all funky-like, please excuse it. For some reason, I’ve not been able to actually write on the blog hosting website. I’m having to send this in via e-mail and, this being my first time with that, I have no idea if it will actually work. Or, if it works, how well it will do so.

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Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

by Richard

We’re coming in on the last part of August, which means fall is around the corner, dudes. But it’s a long, long corner and we’ve got lots of ground to cover before we get there.

Which means it’s still summer out there and you still need to be careful.

Although the killer days of more than 100 degree F temperatures seem to have calmed down a bit, at least here around Charlotte, it’s still at or near it’s summer peak, and that means you’re going to be taking your life in your hands when you go outside.

Well, all right. Probably it’s not that drastic, but you do need to take some precautions you don’t have to do in the fall or spring. Or the winter for that matter.

There’s two things you need to do before you go out in the summer. You need to put on some sunblock and you need to make sure you drink enough water.

You’re going to be in the sun and, if you don’t put sunblock on you and on your little dudes, you’re risking a big problem later on down the line. You do not want to have to keep going to the dermatologist to get skin cancers taken off. Or worse. And you certainly want to do everything you can to make sure your little dudette keeps the soft, silky skin she was born with for as long as possible.

Wear sunscreen. You know the drill by now. I’m just here to remind you that it’s a good idea.

Secondly, make sure you drink enough water. No, I’m not going to push the 8 glasses of water a day theory, because I’m pretty sure that’s been, if not debunked, then at least slightly discredited.

However, remember that it’s summer and you will sweat when you go outside. If you’re outside for a while, you’re going to sweat for a while. And when that water rushes out your pores to evaporate in the hot summer air to cool down your skin, you’re going to need to replace it. If you don’t replace the fluids you lose while sweating, you’re heading for some severe medical problems in the immediate future.

Two simple things that can prevent so much harm to you and to your family.



Get to it.

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Devices Won’t Protect Kids From Being Left In Car

by Richard

In this country, almost 40 kids each year die when inattentive parents leave the little dudes and dudettes strapped inside a car during the hot weather after the adults/parents leave.

It’s a nightmare scenario – a parent returns to his or her car after a day at work or even a short time running errands to find an unconscious child strapped into the car seat. Most times, the parent thought he or she dropped the child off with a caregiver, or left the child with someone else. Even on a relatively cool day, the temperatures in a car can soar, and babies have died in as little as an hour.

NHTSA says 527 children have died of heat stroke after being left in cars since 1998, or about 38 every year. “In 2011, 33 such cases were reported,” NHTSA said in a statement, citing Jan Null of San Francisco State University, who tracks the reports.

“We aren’t only talking about the 98 degree day when you leave your child for eight hours while you are at work,” said Dr. Kristy Arbogast of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who led the research. “This can happen very quickly.”

I’m not condemning these parents. I’m sure they didn’t mean to leave their children in the car, or not for as long as it happened. The folks who left their kids in the car with the car off while they ran an errand, I have less sympathy for just because of their idiocy. As the adults, we have to start thinking ahead. We have to plan for the worst so we can avoid it. Which means we’ve got to get our minds in the game.

To help with that, a number of companies are coming out with devices that are supposed to help remind adults that they have a child in the backseat. Too bad they don’t work worth beans.

Special seats and other devices designed to help prevent parents from accidentally leaving babies and toddlers behind in cars don’t work well, a team of experts said on Monday. They said parents shouldn’t rely on them to keep children safe.

Their review of 18 commercial devices, including systems integrated into a car, shows none works well enough to rely on.

“While these devices are very well-intended, none of them are a full or complete solution for making sure a parent never leaves a baby behind in a hot car,” David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), told reporters in a conference call.

Instead, we’re told, parents need to “layer” behavior into their driving habits that will help to remind them of the child they carry. For instance, put a teddy bear or other toy in the front seat, or habitually keep your briefcase or purse in the backseat next to the little dude. That way, when you see the toy, or reach for the briefcase, you’ll remember you have a very quiet child back there.

There’s more at the link, but I’m not sure how necessary it is. Get your mind in the game. Stay focused on your responsibility and you should be fine.

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