Ever since seeing the movie Singles (1992), when Bridget Fonda is totally in love with Matt Dillon who's a self-absorbed jerk and tests him by sneezing to see if he responds with "bless you," which he doesn't (until the end of the movie, when he's changed, of course), I pay more attention to sneezing. Even in the supermarket, an aisle away, if I hear someone sneeze, I say 'bless you." As far as I'm concerned it's the right and polite thing to do. Most people, in my experience, behave similarly as I have also been on the receiving end of those well wishes in supermarket aisles.
In my classroom?
Not so much.
I can be in the front of the class, sneezing into my elbow in what appears to be allergic convulsion, and not one out of 14 students will say "bless you" to me, as was the case today. And I don't mean on the fifth sneeze because they were tired of saying it and the chorus of bless yous was getting old. Not once, on the first, or the second, or the third sneeze did anyone acknowledge that I was sneezing.
So add to my list of complaints about students and their lack of manners--like not holding the door or letting a teacher pass through a door first, not saying please and thank you, using tones of voice not suitable for peers to speak to adults and teachers--not saying "bless you."
Thank you. Excuse me.