Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Naked sneezing and no more people pleasing

I teach at a school designed specifically for children with life-threatening food allergies and asthma, although not all of the students are affected. I am forever washing my hands and know better than to put my fingers near my eyes or nose, one of the fastest ways to transfer germs. I teach my students to cough or sneeze into their cough/sneeze catcher, the inside crook of their arm. But we all know that the world is a preschooler's tissue, so I am careful not to touch a sleeve at the wrist. If someone forgets to cover their mouth and they release their germs into the air, I fan it back to them with a piece of paper and laugh and say, "You keep these germs, they're yours. I don't want them." It's a nice way of saying, Cover it!

With cold and flu season upon us, I have more control in my classroom than out in public. Adults who were trained to cover with their hands, think they are doing the right thing, but those hands transfer fistsful of little buggers (not boogers) to shopping cart handles and every other thing they touch.

So many times I've been tempted to use non-verbal communication, raise my arm and point to the crook. But they'd think I was deflecting, asking for the time, or merely a confused old lady. I've thought about actually saying what's on my mind to the dumbasses who hack and cough and naked sneeze (completely uncovered) in tight spaces, but I figure if I let loose with my words it would be more viral than their sneezes.

Did you ever turn the corner at the grocery store only to run into someone who speaks thisclose in your face? " 'scuse me, hack-hack-hack, do you know where the cold medicine is?" I mean, really!

I was in the toy aisle when a woman coming directly towards me, and not two feet away
bellowed at my eye level for her kids ... out of her mouth into mine. Yuck!

I used to smile, be friendly and speak, you know...'tis the season and all that. But now, when I see someone approaching, I turn my head, and exhale through my nose until we pass.

I've had to swallow enough of my own words over my life time. I am not about to start eating other people's.

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