Scarlett and I both have that really bad kind of cold where you feel like your nose has become the primary part of your body. You know--the one where you can't breathe through your nose, so you have to breathe through your mouth, which makes your throat sore. Yeah, that one. It keeps you up at night and makes your voice sound like either a squeaky mouse or a gravely old man. I hate colds so bad and the past couple of days at work have been tough--I can't even make my voice loud enough to be heard over the din of thirty squealing pre-teens. I really thought about calling in sick. But I didn't.
I took the little darlings to the computer lab to do some research, and the students who finished early were allowed to go to one of the county-approved educational websites. About two minutes before we wrapped up, one of my students looked red in the face and alarmed. When I asked her what was wrong, she said. "Mrs. Smith, I just went to the science page and looked up how babies are made. Wow--that was wrong on so many levels...don't you have a baby Mrs. Smith?" Now all of the students are looking at me expectantly, and I feel as if I am standing in front of them nude. At first I was horrified by the whole thing, wanting to wring the neck of whichever county cirriculum "expert" chose that page as a great one for 6th graders. Now I can laugh about the whole thing. In fact, every time I think about the ridiculous things these kids say and do, I feel a little better. Maybe laughter really is the best medicine. Or maybe I am just glad that I am no longer a pre-teen. I don't know why for sure, but they really are great people.