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No Birdsong Today
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No birdsong today, only the sound of the chainsaw is heard in our land. Or in my yard, anyway, as the tree service is seeing to the pruning of the trees: mulberry, pear, cypress, olive. The brave little hummingbirds are still flying and feeding, though.

Oh, and just now, as I write this, we have added the roar of the chipper. I let my next door neighbors know what was planned for today, and they're OK with it. To sweeten the day, I gave them some of my Christmas cookies (which I shouldn't really be eating anyway, making a virtue out of necessity.)

The school across the way isn't too happy with the noise. I reminded them of the months that we endured backhoes, asphalt spreaders, etc. without a peep of complaint, while the school's entire grounds were being landscaped and the playground torn up and repaved. "Hmpfh," she said.

I forebore pointing out that I and my neighbors are subjected daily to inane intercom messages on the loudspeaker which blasts out onto the yard. Messages like, "Teachers remember that today is a shortened day and you are to report to our professional enhancement class after the children go home. Be sure to bring your...uh...the things that you need...uh...notebook."

First, teachers get memos and written reminders. It's not necessary to interrupt instructional time, nor is it appropriate. No adult should have to be reminded; it's part of the job.

Second, know what you're going to say before getting on the horn. You sound like an idiot.

My neighbors and I have complained to the principal and to the Regional Director, but complaints resulted in no change of behavior. So we put up with it--announcements, assemblies, special events--all on loudspeaker. Thank heavens for weekends and holidays!

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