Monday, January 25, 2010

A quick update...

As I've mentioned, they are painting my school. This afternoon they decided to finish painting the teacher's room. Not in the morning when there is no one there but in the afternoon when we are all working. This wouldn't be such a big deal if paint fumes didn't make me nauseous and/or high. It brought back memories of my studio art class in Paris. One day I made the mistake of sitting next to a girl who was overly enthusiastic about her turpentine. Upon leaving class, this conversation ensued:
K (my friend): Are you okay Alex?
Me: ~Giggles stupidly~. I think so, why do you ask?
K: You keep giggling and are walking more bizarrely than usual.
Me: ~Giggles some more~. That girl next to me was using some seriously smelly stuff.
K: The turpentine?
Me: I think so...~laughs stupidly~...wait a second. I think, I think I might have gotten accidentally high!
K: ~Starts laughing with me/at me~

It didn't last for terribly long but I was fairly ridiculous while it did. The sleep deprivation didn't help. ANYWAYS. I'm sitting quietly at my desk in the teacher's room reading my usual education blogs and such when I notice the smell is really starting to get to me. I put on my face mask (and yes, it did look completely toolish to wear that inside) and tried breathing shallowly. As you can imagine, it didn't work so well. After about 5 minutes, the head teacher probably noticed my increasingly gray face told me very sternly to go home. It was the first time I didn't argue with her to stay until I finished whatever inane task I had given myself for the afternoon. I was just like 'thank you! many allergies!' Turned off my computer and bolted. My head still feels a bit funny. I have no idea how the painters go without even wearing basic face masks.

Dear Lungs/head,
Please stop hating me. I rescued you from the fumes.


Rachel S said...

Paint Fumes.... aaarrgh!! Thank goodness there are now paints available with low toxicity. It isn't just the smell, it ruins your insides (makes my husband sick for days if he gets into it). Drink plenty of water to help flush your system. Unfortunately there will be residual in your school for a few days. Open windows (even if just a crack) if you can.
Painters we use at home know every trick imaginable to remove spilled paint. But, sorry I don't know their tricks.

Alex said...

Oh man, I don't think Korea even knows the meaning of low toxicity paints. I will definitely keep the windows open in my classroom though (when I'm not teaching...not nice to freeze my kids out).