23 February 2009

Every morning I have to go through this

There is really nothing like teaching in a classroom with a small window in the winter time. Because then, when a student comes into class every day with some gastrointestinal problems, there is nowhere for the air to go.

Every day. The same kid. Passes gas. Really loud. Really stinky.

And every day, I try to be the mature one and not make a big deal about it.

Tomorrow I don't know if I can take the higher ground.


  1. Good morning and thank you for the laugh. I just can't resist this old joke.."why do farts stink?...So deaf people can appreciate them too!" And I can relate to the one window...I have never yet been in a hospital where the bathroom had a window, so if you're stuck in there helping someone, you would pretty much sell your first child for a gas mask! But over the years you discover that there are other things in that setting that smell much worse.
    Our sense of smell is located in a very primitive portion of our brain and is closely tied to memory, and it makes sense when you think about it because there are many times when our survival is linked to smelling possible dangers. I have a theory about why you intuitively know sometimes that a patient is going sour; it may take 20 molecules of an odor for our conscious brains to be aware of something, but perhaps 5 or 10 molecules will tickle our subconscious mind, enough to make us worry or feel uneasy.
    When I was a child, I was given some slices of fresh pineapple and sent to sit out on the front porch. There was a hard, driving rain that day, and to this day I can't eat pineapple without thinking of rain. Unfortunately this probably means that 20 years from now, somebody's gonna cut one and you're going to think of this kid!
    If you think he does it purposely I don't know what you could do, but if he is embarrassed and it is beyond his control, maybe you can buy him a bottle of beano.
    hope your afternoon smells better than your morning!

  2. After the fact it is very amusing. I was laughing last night about if I took the class on a field trip to the White House and they were asking the President questions to the sounds of noises and seeing faces being made by the President that have not yet been photographed.

    Can't imagine grown-folk smells in a hospital -- must be awful.

    Interesting about scents and memory. I think that there are several smells, that, upon smelling them again, take me back to places of my past -- some good, some bad, some wonderful.

    And no, he doesn't ever seem embarrassed by it all.

    I had a student a couple years ago who was lactose intolerant and didn't know it until he would come into my class after lunch everyday with the bubblies and I kept trying to find out what he was eating to cause it all. After we figured it out, though, he still chose not to invest in some Lactaid or other such digestive aids. So he had to be sure for the rest of the semester to not drink milk at lunch before he came into my classroom.


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