Woody Packard

Words + Pictures

Warming Our Windows

After class, Davaa flagged me down in the hall. “I need to talk to you,” he said, and waved me out of traffic. “How was class,” he asked. Then "What are you doing on the weekend?" And then, in a serious tone, he began with “In Mongolia, . . . ”

I was bracing myself to hear what rule of etiquette or hierarchy I had violated, but he continued. “ . . . the windows are not always so good, so before winter we do things to get ready for the cold. We get sophomores to warm the teachers’ windows.”

“Warm the windows?” I asked.

Warming your windows involves cleaning both the inside and outside sashes, scraping out the old sealant, sealing them up again, and adding a layer of sawdust in the space between the bottom of the two sashes. The sealant looks like plaster but does not set as quickly and it is softer and less permanent.

“What time will you be home so we can warm them for you?”

So, this afternoon, a little later than we were expecting them, the sophomore window warming crew showed up to warm our windows. It is not a quick project. As they were getting started, I prepared dinner and put it on to cook. An hour later they were still working. We have three windows, and they will come back tomorrow to finish the other two. I'm not sure whether they are skipping the sawdust or just haven't gotten to it yet, but I'm including a picture of a window at school that has the full treatment.

Close Story—Back to Pictures

Warming Our Windows

Long Process

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It took several hours to complete the first window. The rest will be done another day.