Saturday, November 2, 2013

The runaway eye

So, this is seriously hilarious. An oldie, but a goodie. I'm pulling this one out of the vault for you... it's just a good story.

We were sitting around the dinner table last night and this story came up. I could not tell it without laughing out loud. I really need to go back and tell some of these old stories on my blog. I don't want to forget them, and I know they'll make someone laugh. So... here we go.

My second year teaching, I had an awesome little guy in my class with a unique medical history. He had a glass eye -- but honestly, you would never know! It was so real -- looked just like his other one. I moved when he looked different ways. None of the kids even noticed. In addition, he wore sports goggle-like glasses to protect it.

Because it didn't hinder him in any way, and because it was so realistic, there was no reason to have a discussion with the kinders. They didn't ever notice, and honestly, he was too young to explain and probably to truly understand why he had it. Having this eye was all he had ever known, so it was simply normal to him. No need to make a big deal with the class... he was just a normal everyday kindergartner with cool glasses. :)

The only "issue" he would ever have with his eye is that it would occassionally turn or maybe get a little uncomfortable. He was a very intelligent and responsible little guy, so him and I worked out a "deal" -- he didn't need to ask to go to the health room if his eye was bothering him. He could just wave to me and go out the door. Easy enough. No one noticed, no disruptions to the class, and best of all, he was developing great independent self-care skills.

Well, one day around Christmas, that all changed. One fateful day that I'm pretty sure traumatized one of my students for life.

The kinders and I were doing an art project. I love the last couple weeks in December at school -- a time when I feel fully comfortable embracing the season with my class through art projects, service projects, and gift-making. It was a warm and fuzzy type of day in our room -- Christmas carols playing on our CD player, kids singing while they were cutting and gluing, me complimenting students on their darling work.

My little guy with the eye suddenly stood up and quickly walked towards the door. No big deal. He was heading to the health room -- standard practice in our classroom. I moved along with other students and made a mental note to make sure he returned in a few minutes.

After about 2 minutes, I noticed one of my other students had turned ghostly white. I had noticed he had his hand over his mouth earlier, but attributed it to a sneeze. But, the hand hadn't moved. His eyes were bulging. His face was white. I walked over to him and asked him, "What's wrong, bud?"

No response. His mouth moved, but no words came out.

Hmm... curious. I asked again, "Are you sick? What's wrong?"

No response. He was seriously shocked. Just staring.

That's when I realized it. He sits directly across the table from my little guy with the eye. Everyone else in the class was coloring away, singing and laughing. Not this one. He was sitting with his hand over his mouth staring at the empty seat.

Oh no. What happened?

I told the teacher next door I was leaving for a minute and I rushed down to the health room.

When I reached the office, I found a couple more confused and shocked kids and a couple hysterically laughing co-workers.

Long story short... his eye fell out while he was coloring. Literally fell out. Imagine the little guy across from him's shock. He had no idea the eye was fake. Out falls his eye. BUT... not only did his eye fall out, in his rush to get to the health room, he dropped his eye in the hallway. Naturally, the round little thing rolled away from him. So, now we have a shocked little guy in my room who just witnessed his friend's EYE FALLING OUT and a couple more kids who just witnessed a kid chasing his eye down the hall.

So, after the laughter and the explanations died down, I pulled my ghostly white student to the side. I thoroughly explained to him that his eye could never fall out. However, it took a few days and a couple e-mails to his mom before he believed that that could never happen to him.

One of my funniest moments teaching.

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