Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I am a high school teacher, having once been a high school student, so I am well aware that I am probably known for things--and by names--I'd rather never learn. Smart Board technology has practically eliminated my need to turn my back to the class and thereby display both my ample a*s and jiggle my flabby arms in order to write (more anatomically appropriate) vocabulary terms on the board, but my instincts tell me students don't talk about my colorful array of v-neck cashmere sweaters. A few of the girls I know covet my Tiffany jewelry, and others love my nails, but none probably think her grammar is impeccable! What I am most known for, by my current and former students, is my sneezes.

My odd, no-two-are-alike sneezes provide daily entertainment for my students, especially those in my first period class. With my blessing. Well, they bless me, but I give them my blessing to laugh without risking detention or my death stare. I laugh at my sneezes too. Some are downright embarrassing. I sound tortured, startled, or tickled. Some sound like mating calls of yet unidentified species, and some of my long, drawn out ahs are never followed by a choo. Like trying to get a car to start and after the initial sound of the ignition struggling to catch comes the click.

Just the other day, after one of my first-period sneezes, my phone rang. I answered and heard “Bless you” on the other end. “Thank you,” I replied. “Excuse me.” Apparently, three doors down, one of my colleague’s Chemistry students who is a former Biology student of mine, heard me sneeze (as did the other 20 students and my colleague)and said “That’s Ms. K.” From there, they decided to have a little fun and call me in my classroom.

Well, those dust allergies that got really fired up before vacation in my dry, heat-less classroom successfully ignited a full-blown cold for me to suffer through this vacation. Bummer, right? Well, on one hand, it’s unfortunate that I’m not feeling 100 percent while I’m off from school. On the other, my tissue at home is much softer than school-issue tissue. And my sneezes aren’t nearly as cute, or odd, or funny these past couple of days. They’re more productive (I know: eww) than they are entertaining.

So I’ll let my sinuses drain while I’m home this week, and when I go back to school I can still be teacher with the silver jewelry and the funny sneezes. Among other things, I'm sure.

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