Monday, February 23, 2004

The Eagles Nest
As I write I am looking out of a small attic window, high atop a 120 year old home in the middle of Ross County. This home was built sometime just before a large prison was established around 1900. It was built for the warden to live in along with his family and has seen several familys throughout it's history. It now stands dark and empty, and occassionally houses training, meetings, etc. for the prison just a few blocks away.

I will be teaching in this old house two days a week for the next few months. It's really not a bad place to dwindle away time. Very quiet. Very scenic (except for the large ugly prison up the road), and almost livible. I say "almost" because although it has it's share of livible features like a large full kitchen with appliances, several bathrooms, about 6 bedrooms, etc. it is missing some necesities such as "heat". It's colder than hell up here. Maybe because I am in the attic.

There is a small signed nailed above the door as you enter the attic that reads "Command Post". Not sure what that means exactly. Maybe it's some kind of inside joke. As I understand it, this attic used to house the Wardens regulation size pool table. And the shuffleboard grids are faded, but still visible on the hard wood floors up here.

This house is in desperate need of repair. It seems that the present warden decided to abandon this house for the most part, and very little happens here. It is a shame really, because this large home is heated all winter long, and checked in on several times a day for fires, vandalism, etc. I would love to live here. Not sure I would want to pay all the utility bills though.

Aslame as my work has gotten recently, it's really nice to be somewhere cool. Especially when I have to be locked up here from 9:30AM to 8:00AM.

So I have another hour before my next class. Should I got downstairs and take a nap? Go play basketball in the cold (did I mention the hoop?)? Or maybe I will call the office back in Columbus and tell them only one person showed up this morning. Yeah, and then I will study.

And Later ...
Okay, so I never studied. I got to looking at the material I will be teaching this evening and realized that nothing was set up for it. All the course really requires is notepad and a web browser. They also want for you to have installed Netscape. God I hate Netscape. Installing Netscape to all of these doggy old computers took a good long while. So long, that before I knew it ... my next classes students should be showing up.

I hurried back and forth between my Netscape setups and the attic window. Yet, my students never showed. After I was done setting up, I started to get bored, and I began wandering around this house. Most of the doors are locked (and I shouldn't be wandering around anyway) but there is some cool stuff laying around this place. On the first floor there are two nice glass cases that have been ruined with bolted on padlocks. But inside is a wonderful collection of prison "break out" stuff. There is a small collection of home made knives (shanks), some ripped up and knotted sheets (escape ropes), and even a little black mans face with some facial hair glued on. I'm not sure what it was made out of, but they did a pretty good job. All of the items look to be the real thing, so I have to wonder if they aren't from the prison up the road. Next to this collection was a sign reading "contraband". It had some bullets and stars underneath of various examples. Fun.

Behind the contraband collection was a small coat closet under the stairs. I couldn't resist looking inside. The smell about knocked me down when I opened the door. It was a FOUL odor. It looks like at one point someone had stored some dry kitchen items in this closet and mice had discovered it. The closet was full of popcorn and mouse droppings. Gross. I won't open THAT door again.

After I was done poking around, I decided to grab the basketball from the basement and shoot some hoops. The ball was pretty flat and probably hasn't been used since they held pot lucks here a few years back. Still, it had enough air to get a few dribbles out of it. I shot some hoops, and headed back inside. Strangely, as cold as it is outside, I think it might actually be colder in this attic. Isn't heat supposed to rise? Where is my heat?

Well, I guess it's back to waiting. I am supposed to have a class at 4:00 (about 40 minutes). We'll see who shows up.

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