Wednesday, July 30, 2008

colorado: day 22 (wed 7/30)

Things are winding down, in a way. Although the students have homework they've just turned in to us and homework due in another class and the completion celebration is Friday night (and I am one of the interpreters for the event) and then the students are taking the EIPA (Educational Interpreter Proficiency Assessment) on Saturday (there is a benchmark they must pass with in order to get their certificate). So, while the time here is nearing an end, the activity is not slowing and the stress for students is not easing. A few have had some melt-downs, which is to be expected in any three- to four-week summer intensive program.

Something I will absolutely not miss from here at all is the smell. I won't even attempt to describe the name sign for this town (for those who don't know: a "name sign" is how people, towns, countries, sometimes businesses, are referred to in American Sign Language and usually relate in some way to the personality or some characteristic of the person) -- but it fits. And the smell? Surrounding this small town are some cattle ranches and some Con-Agra slaughterhouses. When the wind blows in particular directions (I think up from the south, but don't quote me), the one or the other of the smells waft in. On particularly "pleasant" days, the winds will bring them both on.

I have to admit that, while I would never go out of my way to seek out the smell of cow dung, it is not as gruesome as the other one. When I was growing up, we had family who had a large cattle ranch outside of a very small town in eastern Oregon and my family went often to the state fair ... so the smell of cow dung is not foreign nor something that makes me queasy. But the slaughterhouse smell or the smell of the two combined. Gross!

I will not miss that smell.
Picture at top: Temple Brandin with cows before the slaughter