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From: Jean Eger Womack (jeaneger_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Nov 04 2001 - 01:20:13 PST

A few weeks ago another art teacher and I traveled to Folsom, California, to
purchase gourds from a farm. Last night I cut the end off a gourd to start
preparing it as a shekere. I dumped the contents into the sink and got
gourd dust in my nose. I immediately started a strong allergic reaction
which lasted well into the next day. Now, come to find out I should have
worn a mask to clean the gourd! That was in a couple of my books, but I
missed it. Does anyone know what is in those gourds that makes them cause
such runny nose and sneezing and even little flashing specs in front of my

Also, I resigned my job as art teacher because I was working from 7 am
until 4:30 or 6:30 almost every day and also a student was threatening me.
I didn't walk off the job. I gave them notice and they found another
teacher to replace me. I miss the kids a lot, but I just couldn't go on the
way it was. They are letting me go back to subsitute teaching, thank
goodness. I hope this is not the end of my career as an art teacher. It's
very upsetting and depressing. However, it seemed to be the right thing to
do at the time, and that is what everyone has told me since.

Jean Eger Womack