Monday, March 14, 2005

My Amputee

Did I ever tell you about the time I cut a kid's finger off at school? I'd forgotten about it until recently when I was trying to brainstorm positive reasons that our administrators in my current distict might have used to determine that our school would not have doors. Reason # 46: A door could amputate a student's finger.
See, my old school had these big, heavy 1940's wooden doors. The old fashioned kind with the little window up high to peep through. It was the first day of school my second or third year teaching and we were practicing the art of Lining Up Appropriately. My new class obediently filed through the door and began to line up against the hallway wall. My "caboose" was apparently still in training and had forgotten to close the - big, heavy - door. So I sighed demonstratively to appropriately express my disdain and pulled the door closed.
Except it stuck. I gave it a sharper tug. Hmmm. I furrowed my brow and yanked that door with all my might. Snap! It shut. There!
"Eeeeeeee!" shrieked young boy, color draining from face.
"Augh!" shrieked his teacher, not knowing what the heck was going on. He had startled me with his cry. He gestured with his free hand that his other hand was caught in the hinges of the - securely closed, big, heavy - door. I gasped and frantically began pushing on the door until it freed my hostage. My profusely bleeding, pale faced, nine year old hostage who had just been shut in a door by his new teacher.
I rushed him to the sink. We wrapped, we applied pressure, we elevated the wound. We sent the other kids to PE, no longer concerned with hall etiquette. I rushed him to the nurse.
"His hand! His hand!" I gasped, pointing. "Blood! I shut him in the door!" The nurse hustled my victim away and shooed me into a chair. I sank into it and thought of the many ways I was about to be sued. I began mentally listing all of my other job possibilities. Soon my principal got in on the action and went in to appraise the situation. He came out a short moment later sheathed in a rubber glove and carrying a Dixie cup filled with ice.
"Going to get the piece!" he said grimly as he walked toward my classroom. The piece? The piece of what? A look of horror covered my face as I put two and two together. Well, in this case, four and one literal digits. I had cut off the finger of an innocent child. I had permanently rendered a child one finger short. I was clearly about to be fired. I sat there for a long time looking around...listening to the nurse call the kid's mom...watching the principal return with the part. I timidly stepped into the nurse's office.
"Heh, are ya, buddy?" I attempted joviality as I timidly felt out the situation. His hand was swathed in a ginormous bandage.
He looked up at me pitifully. I could see the resentment in his eyes. He would never forgive me. He was about to speak. I moved a minute step closer to him and leaned in to hear his weak words. "Am I gonna get to play dodgeball at recess?" he demanded.
I sank onto the rubbery paper-covered sick bed with him and sighed with relief. I had not permanently damaged his will to live. He was going to make it. All we needed was that little piece of finger and a deft surgeon.
Fortunately, we got both the finger and the surgeon and his mother (who had 4 boys) was very cool and even let me teach a couple more of her kids. For the rest of that school year, that clever little victim was able to give me "the finger" any time he felt that things were not going as he wanted. And I gave in every time. After all, he had me wrapped around his finger.


leesepea said...





I love that his main concern was getting to play dodgeball that afternoon.

Just one question:

What does this have to do with the doors at your current school? Did I miss something?

Pigs said...

(My current school has no doors.) Just wide, open, airy spaces to the hall. It's an "open school." Promotes...something. Not sure what. Noise, mostly.

posthipchick said...

god, i wish you'd had a blog that day!

Jen said...

I totally got the chills reading about stuck finger. I once got my hand stick in between a swinging door and the jam. While I didn't end up having my finger amputated, it hurt like a mother. Especially when I yanked my hand free and saw mangled skin and gushing blood.

A few stitches later and now I affectionately refer to my middle finger on my left hand as Franken-finger.

I'm sure the kid won't be mentally scarred or anything! Holy crap!

sandi said...

While at the pool (small community) during my preteen years i went to the snack bar to order a hamburger. Charlie was having tremendous difficulty prying apart the frozen patties. I told him to just use a knife. He did so. A sharp one. It went right through his hand, smack in the middle of his palm. At first i thought his screaming was a joke. Then i saw the blood. I ran back into the pool area hollering for Anne the lifeguard. She finally heard me, and jumped into action. Everybody jumped into action. Mrs. Hall roared off in her car with Charlie, off to the hospital 22 miles away. Everybody else took off, the place was deserted in no time flat. Except for me. I just kind of wandered around the sidewalk, feeling weird. Eventually i walked back up the hill to my home. Later, Charlie expressed no hard feelings... Sometimes i wonder if that episode was not just another link in the chain of Reasons I Stopped Eating Animals!!??