This picture isn't from 2001 but it gives you an idea of what we were dealing with (this is before checking books out to the kids at the beginning of the year)
As requested by Mother Theresa, here is the Tale of the Great Textbook Tragedy of 2001 ….
In that long ago summer, when the school district actually had money to buy lots of brand new textbooks, a huge shipment arrived at MoHi. There were so many books, in fact, that even after all the students had checked out their books and class sets had been delivered to classrooms, we still had stacks of books on the tables and floor of the library reading room.
Students and teachers were pounding down the door (well, not literally, but you know …) to get in and check out library books and do research (and print things out — the main reason any self-respecting teenager goes to the library) so those books had to go somewhere. Therefore, they were banished to the dark realm known as Textbook Land (aka the shelves in the back of the textbook room).
The library ladies were pressed into hard labor, loading books on carts and wheeling them across the border between Library Land and Textbook Land, then shoving them onto the groaning shelves (okay, the shelves weren’t groaning, we were). With the ravening hordes pounding on the gates (erm … students knocking politely at the door) it was a race against time to get the fields of Library Land cleared so that the minions could roam freely through the stacks and sprawl across the tables “doing their homework.” In our haste to finish our grueling task, we loaded and unloaded books from the carts by twos and threes instead of one at a time. Now, remember, these books are THICK and my hands are wee.
By the end of the ordeal, my hands were aching and sore all the time. And so, even as the Ordeal of the Biology Books ended, the Saga of the Workmen’s Comp Claim began.
To make a long story short (if that’s possible … I’ve been rambling on for a while now, haven’t I?) I spent about a year and a half in and out of doctor’s offices, taking various anti-inflamatory medications; getting cortisone shots; wearing an assortment of splints, wraps and even a cast; taking prednisone and other dubious treatments; and having surgery on my left hand that didn’t really do anything at all. By the time my claim was discharged, I’d been to at least 4 different doctors (including one at USC Medical Center who couldn’t figure out what the surgeon had done and basically told me “You’ll probably end up with arthritis in those joints”) and had no firm diagnosis. I was, however, declared legally permanently partially disabled, which meant I had to go to the District Office and explain how I could do my job (which I had continued to do for roughly two years) with my “new” work restrictions.
Bottom line, I was left with a pair of very sad and pathetic hands with weak and angry thumb joints. The best explanation I got was that my joints are naturally “loose” and picking up those two and three book stacks stretched the joints beyond where they should go and basically ruined them. I can no longer hand write for any length of time; after a minute or so, my thumbs start aching and I have to stop. I also can’t do requires that sort of grip, like crocheting or pretty much any other sort of craft. This is part of the reason why I don’t write as much as I used to, because now I have to have a keyboard if I’m going to write anything longer than a short note.
So, there you have it: the Great Textbook Tragedy of 2001.