Archive for April, 2013

April 18, 2013

Post 45 — Scratching the Surface

More random palm trees.

More random palm trees.

Chrissie gnawed at her hand like a wildebeest caught in a snare trap. She had never heard the term “coyote ugly” before, but she would have gladly chewed off her own paw if it would only stop the itching. Her fingers were swollen with tiny blisters that burned with the intensity of a million fire ants attacking at dawn. Popping them with her teeth would alleviate the pressure momentarily, but then the open wounds would throb and seep. Plunging her hands in ice water sometimes helped, but this was the tropics and there wasn’t an abundance of ice, and anyway most of it was reserved for cocktails. The rash appeared only on her hands and would show up randomly, although math tests seemed to accelerate it. Her father suffered from the same condition and the doctors treating him had mentioned stress as a possible cause. This made sense for him, given the workload and problems at the TV studio, but she was a nine-year old girl living in paradise who was seldom required to wear shoes. It would be difficult to imagine a less-stressful environment.

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April 11, 2013

Post 44 — The Tutuila Trots

A helpful poster shows young people exactly how it's done.

A helpful poster shows young people exactly how it’s done.

The educational television experiment was proceeding at breakneck speed. Programs were taped and broadcast at a staggering pace, the workload increasing as the teachers tried frantically to keep up with the curriculum. The United States Congress had given Governor Lee permission to expedite the TV operations, so phase two of the program was accelerated and plans were made to go into effect one year ahead of schedule. While the news was an endorsement of the work, it was not met with much enthusiasm by the staff.

Feb. 6, 1965
This means we are to have three new channels next year, and the entire high school program is to be converted to television programming. None of the high school teachers will have their contracts renewed since they want the system turned over to Samoan teachers gradually. 

This creates many new problems for us at the studio. After this July, we’ll have about six additional staff members coming in with no extra physical facilities. We don’t have enough office space as it is so no one knows where the new people will work. Also, we’ll have only four studios in which to tape programs so the rumor is that we’ll have to go on shift work, perhaps taping around the clock. It’s physically impossible to do this with our present facilities so it’s going to be touch and go for the next year or so.

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April 2, 2013

Post 43 — The Turtle and the Shark

kathyon rocks“Get off of me!” shouted Carolyn as she pushed her little sister off her lap. The children were crammed into the Datsun, the backs of their legs sticking to the plastic seats. In those pre-seatbelt days, Karen usually rode in the front on her mother’s lap but today she had insisted on riding with her sisters. There was enough room for three pre-pubescent Broquet butts in the back, but all four would not fit. Karen smirked as she climbed over the tangle of legs trying to find the lap to snuggle in that would most annoy the owner. She eventually ended up lying across all three of her older sisters with her feet sticking out of the window, giggling the entire time, while her mother in the front ignored the chaos behind her and just appreciated not having a sweaty child on her.

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