A Slice of Life

“Hi, Carol,” I said to the secretary this morning.  “Could I please have an incident report form?”

She smiled as she crossed to the file cabinets.  “Interesting rehearsal last night?”

“Yeah,” I replied as I put down the five bags I was carrying (switching back and forth from the auditorium to my classroom twice a day turns me into a bag lady) and pulled out a pen to fill out the form.

“What happened?” she asked.  “Same kid as the others?” referring to the student last semester who managed to give himself a “broken” foot and a concussion in two different incidents in my class within a few weeks.

“No,” I said.  “He’s not in the musical.”

“Good thing!” she laughed.

“Yup,” I replied.  “Nope, one of my kiddos fistbumped a friend.  She didn’t realize he was holding an Exacto knife at the time.”

Carol looked back at me from her computer.  “Really.”


“Well, that’s a new one.  I’m sure Mike will love reading about that.”

“Yeah.  I just hope that people realize that my classes aren’t like normal classes.  Math teachers probably don’t fill out as many of these forms as I seem to.”  My frequent I’m-a-bad-teacher-who-can’t-control-her-classes nightmares of the last few weeks might have been bleeding through our conversation.

“Oh, you’d be surprised what happens in normal classes too,” Carol said.  “Was the cut bad?”

“Eh,” I shrugged.  “I checked with her this morning – her mom decided she didn’t need stitches in the end.”

Carol raised an eyebrow.  “It was that bad?”

“Oh, yeah,” I said.  “Across two fingers, deep enough that you could see, you know, like the cliffs of the skin on either side….”

“That sounds bad.”

“It was kind of in-between.  She didn’t want to leave rehearsal early, so I just got out the first aid kid, cleaned the wounds, wrapped them up with gauze and tape, and gave her instructions for how to take care of it and what to check for later on.  She said it eventually stopped bleeding around 10:30 last night.”

“Good thing you knew what to do!”

“Well, I fortunately sliced open my thumb a few months ago, so I had all kinds of recent, relevant experience.”  Carol chuckled with me.  “Thanks for the form, Carol,” I said as I put away my pen and hefted up my bags.  “I’ll walk it back to Mike right now.”

“Good luck with tonight’s rehearsal!” she called over her shoulder as I went past.

“Yeah, thanks,” I replied.


(Tonight’s rehearsal went fine.  No injuries, although the wounded student is taking a great deal of pleasure from telling everyone that Colin shanked her last night.  Colin, who already feels terrible about the whole thing, shrieks “I’m sorry! It was an accident!” every time he overhears her; which naturally only encourages her to find more people to tell.)

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