Tuesday, March 21, 2006

You? Are Smelly People.

Ah, spring. Budding flowers, rising temperatures, warm breezes, and stank ten year olds. My (previously documented) rockin' awesome sense of smell faulted me again today when I was assaulted by the stench that was my classroom. We were of course testing again, so I was stuck with my homeroom all day, no switching.
As I strolled around the room, I began to gag a little on my breakfast. We're not talking a little bit of kiddie B.O. here, we are talking straight up, unwashed, sour, dirty unkies fourth grader. About 4 of them. Sick. It's really sick.
I hastily walked over to my candle burner and selected my strongest scent: cinnamon bun. If they were going to raunch up my professional space, I was going to fight back by making my room smell like Cinnabon in the mall on a hungry Saturday. Lunchtime was a long way away and I had snacks to tide me over.
I also dashed off a quick email to the nurse requesting my annual personal hygiene lecture, this afternoon if possible. She immediately replied that she couldn't think of anything she'd rather do and was in my classroom with deodorant samples at 2:15.
The problem? My students all think we're talking about someone else. And their teeth. They were very focused on teeth. The nurse began the talk by reminding them how in first grade, they learned about hand washing, second grade, teeth brushing, and so on. Now that they are in fourth grade, it is very important to shower - every day! - and to wear deodorant (Hee hee hee! Deodorant is hilarious in the fourth grade.) Her talk was perfect, except my students never got past "in second grade, you learned to care for your teeth." When she asked if there were questions about hygiene, she got:
"My teeth are really, really bad. They're yellow."
"Where do grown up teeth come from?"
"Why are top teeth bigger?"
"Do you pull your teeth or wait until they fall out?"
"Why do gums bleed when you floss?"
She fielded all of these questions like a professional, gave out a few deodorants and left, with a shrug and a laugh for me. I summed it up to make sure the point got home as we lined up for PE.

Me: Okay listen, people. Here's the deal. You? Are smelly people. I? I have a sensitive nose. You need to take a shower every day and you have got to wear deodorant. In your armpits. Because they stink. And I don't like my room to be stinky. Okay? Kay.
There will be stinky people in there tomorrow. I just know it.

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