Expressions of surprise and delight in a classroom are easy.
When unexpected things happen, though, you need to be prepared.
Once I was teaching a kindergarten class.
Kindergartners are cute and the call stuff as they see it.
At the time I had those acrylic nails.
I think I was possessed by a Secrets of Charm demon, because I have no idea why I thought this might be a good idea.
Back to kindergarten.
It was Story Time. If you value your life, you make sure that Story Time is conducted exactly the same way every day. Kindergartners are serious about their Story Time.
This is generally a good thing.
Teacher sits on the Story Time Stool. The kids sit on the carpet. Teacher reads.
I went to get the Story Time Stool and my (acrylic) nail slid under something.
Since I am not a patient person, I yanked.
A potent combination of physics and biology met in an Unholy Union and I ripped that nail from tip to nailbed.
A banner of choice words, some of them almost poetry and none of them appropriate for the classroom, blew by my mind's eye.
"Oh dear," I said. "Whoopsy-daisy."
I held my finger and went to get a tissue.
"Is teacher bleeding?" asked a tot.
"Holy tomato," I said. "Teacher is bleeding a little. It is okay."
I grabbed a handful of tissue and swathed my finger.
All of this engendered keen interest. Comments and advice poured out to me from the Story Time Carpet.
"Do you need a bandaid?"
"I have a bandaid. I hurt my knee."
"I have a bandaid, too."
"Mine is Spongebob." Attention diverts from me for a second. Spongebob bandaids were new then, and cool.
Nailbeds bleed impressively. I got a stack of paper towels and entombed my finger. It was a large and awkward digit-dressing.
I tried to discreetly wipe my eyes.
"Is teacher crying?" Horrified looks from the wee folk.
"Oh, no just watering a little,"I said. "My eyes do that when unexpected things happen."
Relieved looks from the Story Time Carpet.
I picked up a book--I have no memory of what the book was.
"Don't get blood on the book," said a boy.
"Aren't you going to sit on the Story Time Stool?" asked another.
They were worried.
"I'm going to sit on the carpet with you guys today," I said.
This break in protocol made them a little apprehensive.
"Sometimes doing unexpected things can be fun," I said.
I read the book with the precise diction and flow of expression that Story Time so richly deserved.
All was well.
And then it was time for recess.
We lined up and I set them free to run around and get milk and stuff.
I shut the door.
I kicked the Story Time Stool across the room.
I rinsed my finger in cold water and went to the nurse.
"That looks like it hurts," she said.
I wanted to say something sarcastic and full of expletives. I bared my teeth and hoped it looked like a smile.
I didn't get a Spongebob bandaid, either.
And after school I went to the salon and had every one of those motherless (expletive deleted) Satan's (expletive deleted) tits removed.
Maintained at (almost) any cost.