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GOING AIRBORNE

Only weeks into her second semester, the first-year middle school teacher who writes east meets west has settled into a well-honed routine for treating the frequent illnesses that come with the job:

First, I take an Airborne, an Alka-Seltzer-like tablet chock full of herbs and amino acids. Then I drink water. A few hours later, I take another Airborne. I continue taking Airborne and other vitamins every four to six hours. I close the deal by going to bed early thanks to one NyQuil pill. In the morning, I take another Airborne. I have another Airborne with lunch. Then I go home and leave offerings on my shrine to Airborne. Then I take more.

Hmm, we sense a certain pattern. …

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