A Day in the Life of a LEED instructor

Last Updated:
Fri, 2015-07-17 15:17
Last Commented:
Mon, 2011-10-10 16:25

We wanted to share a note from one of our Senior LEED and Corporate Sustainability instructors. Of course we appreciate Joan's lasting effort to reduce her carbon footprint and use mass transit whenever possible.


Hi all, just another funny random story from me.

We wrapped up our two-day LEED Green Associate training course in Philadelphia, and I called Paige in the office to tell her "what a wonderful group of students for Everblue!" The class had very smart people, including Max, with his masters in Sustainable Development from Utrecht University in the Netherlands and others including professionals in the areas of global tourism, renewable energy, facilities and hotel management and data center design and construction. I made my way to 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, and boarded my train. Amtrak from Philly to NY - no problem.

NY to Long Island - delays reported. Well, actually, the LIRR was struck by lightning! But there was a train boarding to my station, and many trains were canceled, so I threw myself on that train with my roll-on luggage (filled with leftover books and my projector). The train was packed to the gills, standing room only. The conductor kept announcing delays, and then I read on my phone that all service was suspended and we were all stuck on that train. After more than an hour had gone by, the conductor said, "Two cars have platformed at Kew Gardens. Anyone who wants to leave the train has to walk up to the first two cars." Now for anyone not familiar with New York's five boroughs, Kew Gardens is in Queens, and it is just a few miles from Manhattan. My station was 25 miles further. So I started walking up with my roll-on luggage that seemed to get caught on everyone and everything crowded in the train cars.

Someone asked me, "Where are you going?" I replied, "To freedom" (thinking about Harriet Tubman). Then they said, "Where's that?" and I said, "Queens" (thinking about Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in the hilarious movie Coming to America). After a few cars, another person said, "What are you going to do when you get off this train?" and I replied, "I don't know, but I will be OFF this train." More laughs - it was early and people were still in a good mood. I knew that as each minute went by and I was walking up the aisle, more and more people started walking down the aisle to use the restrooms on the train, this would only get worse.

I made it to the outdoors and walked up a street until the I found a 711 and next to that, a bar and a diner. I was on the phone with Larry, who was not very excited to drive to Queens at 9 p.m., when a man stepped out of the bar with a freshly poured goblet of Spaten beer. He was on the phone with his driver. Another woman was standing nearby, and we could hear him say the name of the train station he needed a ride to, and it was our station as well. So this nice man said, "Please let me give you a ride, and no, I won't take any money.” When the Lincoln Town Car pulled up, I was thrilled. It turns out the man, John, is from County Cavan, Ireland, and he is a real estate developer in Manhattan. The woman, Jackie, works for the Federal Reserve Bank. I sent a text to Larry, who was thrilled he did not have to drive around Queens, and he replied, "Tell John I owe him a few pints.” Indeed.


Joan Mahon
Senior LEED Instructor


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