15 October 2009

My mind is playing tricks on me

Monday I had a kid start coughing really hard while working on an internet assignment I had given. I looked at her to see if she was ok, asked if she needed to go to get a drink. She said she was fine. Stopped coughing. Soon after, she started coughing again. I didn't really look up this time, but soon heard more than a cough.

I heard gagging.

I looked up and saw her puking yellow goo onto her desk and onto the chair and onto the filing cabinet next to her desk and onto her laptop; which she had fortunately closed prior to her semi-projectile ejections.

Somehow I didn't verbalize my thoughts about the situation and appeared to the students to be a calm and collected teacher. (I had initially wanted to yell some expletives and ask her why she didn't leave to do that, try to get to the trash can, and why she was at school if she was feeling sick) I called the nurse, then called a custodian. Fortunately the class was about to dismiss to lunch within the minute she started puking so that the area could be thoroughly disinfected without the students getting in the way. The custodian brought in that sawdust stuff I remember from my childhood to put on the vomit and found something to disinfect the surfaces and the laptop.

Yesterday I was sitting in the same hour class and a student came in with about 10 minutes left in class. I was sitting in the front of the room leading a game of review BINGO for the class.

He rushes into the room, kind of out of breath, and charges over to me.

I am in one of the student desks, so he leans over the desk and starts to try to whisper in my face.

"I just finished throwing up in the hallway."

"Then you need to go to the nurses' offices." I really had a harder time with this situation than I did with the girl -- I don't like close talkers and I don't like germs. This dude was combining all of those, as well as some stank-ass, electrified breath to top it all off.

"I don't want to go to the nurses because they will send me home."

This is what I almost said, "Mu-fucca, you need to go home, because clearly you are sick. You need to take your face away from mine and step back before I stiff arm you all the way through the door on your way to the nurse."

Instead I told him that regardless of his desires, he needed to go see the nurse because there are a lot of students at school coming down with sicknesses and that I didn't want him to be spreading his germs to the lot of us.

He left, I got up and got some hand sanitizer. I got it for two reasons:
  1. To cleanse my hands (though I wanted to wipe some on my face as well)
  2. To sniff (the stuff smells like the gin and tonic that I wish I could have had at the moment -- I can almost understand how the Canadian government didn't want to send the stuff to some of their reservations for fear that they would ingest it for alcohol use)
Now I feel like I am in the remix to the old Geto Boys song "My Mind Playing Tricks on Me". Only instead of being a strange looking little person getting beat up by imaginary people, I am getting sicknesses from strange looking adolescents.

Every time I hear a kid coughing I actually really see the germs flying out of their mouth. When they sneeze, there is a spew of cartoonish green stuff that I have coming out of their nostrils. I have visions of Skittles-colored liquid flying toward me like the Maiden Mist of Niagara.

But I really don't want to taste the rainbow.

I am stocking up on water, hand sanitizer, orange juice, echinacea, and all kinds of good foods. I am sleeping earlier, and if I get sick, I know who to blame.

Well sort of... it has to be one of my 120+ students.


  1. I'm with you on the germs! Yesterday I got snotted on and sneezed on. No puke yet.

    In their defense, I work with preschools, who don't exactly know any better. We have big bottles of sanitizer in each of the classrooms. I clean my hands each time I walk by a bottle.

  2. Preschoolers have an excuse... they may not have learned to keep their germs to themselves.

    High schoolers should not be presenting their sickness to others as though they have no knowledge of how germs are spread.

    Wishing you lots of health!

  3. "Mu-fucca, you need to go home..."

    That was funny; if they could read our minds they'd cry, or at least be surprised.

    Go 'head and catch those germs now, A.Eye. Nothing like a little immunity before the holidays. Lol.

  4. That is funny.
    It never ceases to amaze me when people don't make the least effort to just, say, lean forward and aim for the waste basket. Even the floor would be more convenient than all of your clothing. My patients always seem to be wearing a pullover when they do this!

  5. @ sisterstation

    The thought of even getting close to a person's shirt after they vomit is really disgusting to me. You are super-brave for being able to do that.

    @ Kit

    I wouldn't mind too much being sick... it is the difficult task of making sub plans (it is way easier to teach than to do that).


I share my thoughts and would love to read your thoughts, too.