Wednesday, September 01, 2004

On Toilets, Refills, and Refilling Toilets

I despise going to the “comfort rooms” at the school where we work. I have been known to hold it for hours to avoid using the toilets here, especially if my personal roll of toilet paper is empty. Yes, I have a personal roll of toilet paper. We all do. The bathroom, excuse me, comfort room does not come stocked, thus, if you want it, you bring it. Each stall in the comfort room does come equipped with a sprayer, which you use to wash off the toilet seat (and your seat if you are so inclined) when you are finished because a wet bathroom is a clean bathroom. Sometimes I use it to wash the muddy footprints off of the seat.

Recently in our weekly teacher meeting, we were asked to instruct the students on proper toilet use, i.e. to pee into the toilet instead of on the floor. Since that discussion, I have been even more hesitant to enter the stalls there.

Where we live it is very common to not have water for hours or even days at a time. We have a large tub in our bathroom that we keep filled with water (as do all houses here). We use that water to flush our toilet when needed. I have learned that it takes three scoopers full of water to fill the toilet tank. I have also learned to be aware of where the toilet paper is before splashing water about.

We find ourselves refilling many things here. All liquid soaps come in bags. You buy the container for them once, then you buy the refill. I go to the store and pick up a bag of fabric softener, a bag of dish soap, and a bag of hand soap (all of which are very messy to try to use out of the bag).

At school we are given one board marker in ever color and bottles of ink to refill them. Since acquiring supplies from the office is such a difficult task, when I saw the bottles of ink that I needed the other night when we were in a store, I bought them. I refilled all of my markers the next morning, happy to have three colors (blue, black, and red). The blue marker was writing especially well, so I used it a lot. Usually I have students erase for me after I leave the class, so I didn’t notice that the blue ink was not erasing well.

All day I wrote in blue ink until I finally realized that it was not erasing. I had bought the permanent ink instead of the dry erase ink. I have since gone back and cleaned all of the five boards I wrote on. The worst was in 4th grade. We were studying friendly letters in there and I had written an entire letter on the board—in blue.

Today in 4th grade we talked about thank you notes. The assignment was to think of something nice that someone had done for them and to write a thank you note. I thought I would share this one with you:

“Dear Mrs. Melody Lumpkin,
Thank you very much because ma’am teaching me. And then me smart.”

1 comment:

Adam said...

OMG, I am absolutely cracking up right now! I had totally forgotten the "a wet bathroom is a clean bathroom" rule. That is so freaking hilarious!!! Wow... well.. at least ya got plumbing AND a seat!!

Thank you for being there and for doing what you are doing.