Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I threw out my shoulder teaching writing.

You know, I've always heard all my life about worker's compensation from my dad, the insurance guru. He tells fascinating stories of workers in factories losing various parts of their anatomies, or of Hooters waitresses falling through floor vents up to their, well....hooters, which is apparently worthy of a workman's comp claim. My dad makes his living preaching safety to employees of various companies, factories, or trucking institutions. He never failed to involve his family in his safety ventures either.
When I was little, I genuinely believed each night that there was a strong possibility that my house would burn to the ground. I had an escape plan in every home we lived in and would drift to sleep each night not with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, but more like flames. Flames engulfing my home, particularly my Pooh Bear that I clung to tightly each night in case of the inevitable evacuation that I knew was looming in my future.
I once tumbled headlong down a flight of stairs after a particularly windy night set off our smoke detectors after I had gone to bed. I was pleased to find that I still had Pooh Bear clenched tightly in my arms when I reached the botttom. It was almost a disappointment to find that our house was not, in fact, on fire. I had been prepping for that moment my entire life.
Back to my dad. It's not uncommon to be in a (public) restaurant with him and see him reaching up to test their smoke alarms. He'll interview strangers on their safety plans and give gems like fire extinguishers or stainless steel braided pipes to prevent bursting to my friends or boyfriends. He convinced my sister and I when we were young and impatient that ringing the doorbell more than one time would immediately burn the house down.
So you'd think that growing up under the Regime of the Safety Nazi that it would be unlikely that I would have a worker's compensation claim. Particularly since I work in a relatively safe environment. Except I have limited coordination and a knack for bizarre accidents. Which brings me to today. Today I had an injury while teaching writing.
How does that even happen, one might query. If it's an injury and it's within any realm of possibility, odds are that I can figure out how to do it. So there I was, teaching writing to my class and another which had come over to watch this particular lesson. Boy, I was teaching my heart out! This lesson was about grabbing your reader's attention at the beginning of a piece of writing. We had covered the usual dialogue, sounds, and description....I had moved into action. My kids are heavily into tetherball when the temperature allows us to go out to recess, and I thought it would make a pleasing example for an action beginning. I should have stopped with the writing of the beginning, instead of the acting out of the serving of the tetherball.
"I tossed the ball high into the air," I dramatized, acting as though I was throwing the ball up, "I pulled back my fist," I continued with great emphasis on my facial expressions as I drew my fist back, "and I POUNDED the ball into a dizzying spiral!" I concluded with exquisite form and vigorous follow through as I laid waste to my imaginary tetherball. I really should have stopped with the writing of the words because that was when I heard a questionable sound and felt a sneaky little pinch up in the 'ol ball and socket region. I gimped my way through the end of my lesson and cradled my wounded wing for the remainder of the day.
I threw out my shoulder teaching writing. Is that not the most nerdtastic injury ever? Is that seriously a worker's comp situation if I caused it myself? It was in pursuit of the highest degree of teaching! I did it for the kids, after all. Now I can't dry my hair, pick up a glass, or open the fridge. It utterly destroyed my tennis game tonight and I'm embarrassed to tell anyone at school how I did it.
How does the daughter of the Safetymeister Extraordinaire find herself in quite this predicament? This is stupider than the time I broke my finger in the port-a-john or the time I cut my forehead when an egg ran into me while I was rollerskating. If I have to go to the doctor, do I tell someone, or do I just slink away quietly and make up a new story? If I create a new story, what should it be? I need a superfabulous way to throw out my shoulder. I'll be here. Waiting. And not picking anything up.

No comments: