Saturday, December 12, 2009

Blue-Collar Day

I began my Thursday at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. It was 17 degrees, and some of the sixth graders (the girls) were holding their noses and zipping their jackets over their faces, while other students (the boys) were crawling all over the rails around the pools of poop.

Bill came out and showed us where the waste comes in, and how it's mixed with "good bugs" before being blasted by a UV light, then spit into Bear Creek. Bill had on a baseball hat and a Carhardt coat. His beard froze as he talked about detritus feeders, and the diapers that come through the system. He was a good guy, Bill was, anyone could see it: the kind of guy who worked hard all week and appreciated a 20-ounce Budweiser on a Friday night.

After I had almost thawed out from the field trip, The Husband dragged me halfway up Highway 62 to slap some drywall mud around a woodworking shop. (Yes, Dave had quit. There was a little relapse here. Any drywaller could tell you the craft is a disease.)

My man's Wolverine boots clunked across the floor, as I sat outside with my face to the sun, and gave gratitude for clean water and warmth from walls, and all these workers who keep the world going. I'm telling you, there's nothing like a few hours with freezing BM and drywall dust to take you down a notch from being a college professor.


anjie said...

I still trying to be a blue collar writer. Maybe I need a trip to the treatment plant.

anjie said...

Yeah, that'd be I'M still trying to be a blue collar writer... I OBVIOUSLY need to get going on that, starting with the basics.

Jennie Englund said...

I'd say you've definitely got the vernacular down, Anjie!