Kids Are Gross. I Can Prove It.

I know, I know. Children are a gift from on high.  They are cherubs filled will happiness here to bestow upon us blessing upon blessing.  We love them. They’re still gross. But not my child, I’m sure you’re saying.  Not my lil’ darling!  How dare you!  Yes, your child.  I have three beautiful nieces myself.  They are wonderful in every way.  They are fun loving and full of life.  They have eyes that sparkle and smiles that will melt your heart.  When they laugh, you’d swear angels are singing.  But they’re still gross. To make my point, I will use examples from my time as a teacher.  To prove that it is far reaching, I will use one example from each of the 3 grade levels I have taught.  And to illustrate that I have more evidence where this comes from, I will limit myself to only using one one bodily excretion as an example … snot.  Exhibit 1 is a third grader who very innocently removed his hoodie and left it hanging from the back of his chair.  Well, that was not the only thing he left behind.  Being the caring, gracious educator that I am, I wanted to return his sweatshirt to him before recess so he wouldn’t catch a cold.  Apparently, I was too late.  He had left a trail of infected goo from the neck of the shirt all the way down the front and when I grabbed it from the chair to turn  it right-side out, I encountered the entire path.  I jumped and ran and flailed my hand.  I scrubbed my hands no less than 19 times and soaked them in pure alcohol for roughly an hour.  My skin peeled off, but it was worth it. Ehibit 2 is a fourth grader who apparently thought that sneezing and wiping his nose with his sleeve was a good idea.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a simple tickle that he was dealing with.  His sneeze had unleashed an outpouring of ick that reached his chin.  He proceeded to spread it from the tip of his finger to his elbow.  Apparently he too thought this was gross because he then wiped his shirt on the top AND the bottom of one of my my classroom tables.  I cried and cleaned the table with my tears. And last but not least, I give you a Kindergartner.  I’m not even sure what precipitated this horrific event.  All I know is that I looked over and saw a child bent from the waist looking panicked because she had- you know what?  Let’s not get into details.  I gagged.  Repeatedly.  Let’s leave it at that. I rest my case.  Kids are gross....

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Death By Pinterest

I have embraced many new things over the years.  In spite of the tendency for the aged to resist change, in my 30s, I  fought the urge to cast off new-fangled ideas.  I have been an early adopter of such crazy ideas as smart phones and iPods.  I learned to love Facebook when it was in its infancy.  I even signed on to Twitter, Linked In, YouTube and Instagram- before they were cool, hip, groovy.  But over the years, one social media site could not entice me into its offensive web… Pinterest.  I couldn’t understand the role “pinning” could play in my life.  I knew how to Google and had a basic knowledge of how to bookmark items on my computer.  I didn’t understand how this could be any different.  So I resisted Pinterest for years. Fast forward a couple of years until when I got my first classroom all to myself. One sweltering summer night, as I pondered the glory of being entrusted with a space all my own, I began to panic.  I had visited my room and was faced with blank walls, bland floors and a vibe that was altogether, “institutional chic.”   How could I expect a group of 9 year olds to come in on their first day of 4th grade and be excited to be in a room with beige walls?  I delved deep into my creative roots and thought back  to every set I had ever created.  I dug out pictures of other kid-friendly spaces I had helped decorate.  I called my friends and texted my colleagues and still I came up lacking.  I had no idea what to do.  So, as I turned to Facebook to air my disgrace to 500 of my closest friends, I saw a link.  It promised crafty ideas galore.  It beckoned to me with glimpses of limitless design inspirations.  It taunted me with its sassy icon- a playful white font on a field of red.  And I fell for it.  So began 80 hours of decorating that cost me around $450. Darn you Pinterest.  Darn you and your plethora of ideas.  You led me down a rabbit hole so deep I wasn’t sure if I would escape in time for the first day of school, let alone open-house two days before!  After that first, fateful night of furious pinning, I shopped and I shopped.   I pressured my family and my friends to help.  We cut and pasted and twisted and clipped.  We hung and painted and glued and taped.  We traced and cut and labeled and laminated.  It was a frenzy of room prepping chaos.  And finally, my room was ready for open-house.  Unfortunately,  after hours of...

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

My classroom is my second home.  I spend somewhere in the vicinity of 40+ hours a week there.  I keep a hoodie, make-up and deodorant in the closet.  I have personal pictures on display and have decorated to suit my tastes.  My teacher chair is well broken-in and soft in all the right places. I have tried to make it a pleasurable place to spend my life.  The icing on the homey-classroom cake was a gift from my parents three years ago.  On a glorious day in August, my mom showed up at school with a shiny, new Keurig coffee maker.  I laughed, I cried and generally embraced this fine device that dispenses the dark, bitter elixir that fuels my daily interactions with my students.   This honeymoon lasted for months, even years.  Every day, I would greet my Keurig with deep affection and gratitude.  I have treated it well and in turn, it has kept me knee deep in rich, aromatic, caffeinated goodness.  But one day last week, the use of this blessed appliance led to a terrible event.   For about two months, I have collected the k-cups after they served their purpose of facilitating the passing of steaming hot water water over beautiful, ground coffee.  You see, the generosity of the coffee does not stop after delivering a “cup of joe” to see me through my day.  The leftover coffee can then be added to a garden to nourish delicate root systems to ensure bountiful crops.  In short, after a day or two, I open the k-cups and empty them into a container to dry and later be added to our school’s raised bed gardens.  This is where things went awry. On that fateful day last week, I went to perk my first cup of the day when to my dismay, something SKITTERED out of the coffee grounds and darted across my floor.  This resulted in an alarming rise in my heart rate followed by some screaming (by me), general dancing around (by me) and an eventual squashing of the vial offender and its removal (by my partially alarmed next door colleague.)   Now, I have tried not to blame my Keurig.  How could such a delightful dispenser of dulce treats be at fault?  But I can’t help but feel alienated from my favorite classroom addition.  I hope it doesn’t hold it against...

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Ask Holly How To Change A Tire

Q. Dear Holly, how do you change a tire? A. Here’s what ya do: make sure EVERY time you go out, your legs are shaved, properly tanned, wearing a short skirt and your best spiked heals… when you get a flat tire, pull over, get out of the car and show some leg until a ‘gracious’ stranger comes to your rescue and changes the tire for you. Fellas- I understand this may seem awkward at first- but TRUST ME- you’ll thank me the next time you have a flat. I didn’t say my advice was tried OR true. It’s just really GOOD advice....

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