Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

A Little More Exciting...

Well, today was a little more exciting than yesterday. Third hour of tutoring, with seven kids in the class, and someone starts up with a large jackhammer right next door. A second later I realize it's an earthquake, and order all the kids under the tables. It takes me another second to debate if I should go under as well, feeling out the size of the quake, and under I go.

It was a rather long one, if mild. Shaking that felt like construction next door, movement, but somehow off. I've been through Whittier and Northridge (those were real earthquakes), and this felt like the kind of earthquake you experience in a dream. In Northridge, we had liquefaction, and Whittier had the benefit of echoes across the hills, coming in waves. Here, everything is dulled, as if one's senses could not truly operate, as if you could not see or smell or hear or feel.

I counseled the kids as we were under the tables that they had all grown up in SoCal, so this wasn't a big deal; this was a mild quake. After what felt like 30 seconds, but I'm told was 10, we all came out, and I lead them through the post-quake ritual. Every area and culture has it's own rituals. Here, if the quake is small enough, you ignore it, and after, you take bets on the Richter Scale. But since they are children, no bets, just a prize. The kids were all guessing between 2 and 3. I and the youngest kid guessed a 4. I pointed out to them that a 2 was more of a sonic boom, like I've often experienced in San Francisco. The news said it was finally a 5.4. Brandon gets a chocolate bar.

2 comments:

drh said...

I’m glad everyone is safe. I wish I could have gotten in on the bid for the chocolate bar.

@bdul muHib said...

Why- would have been closer to the right magnitude? :-) It's an ancient SoCal tradition; you're welcome to take it on too. :-)

Yeah, it wasn't a Whittier or Northridge- this was a wimpy NW style quake, like the one they are still talking about as the "big one" in Seattle in 2001, where a few items fell of the shelves. Just a little shakin goin on.