19 September, 2012

A Woman So Heartless

This evening, I was enjoying actually being able to breathe. (School by 6:45, faculty meeting that runs 25 minutes late, activity days for 90 minutes, finally home.) I set myself up on the couch with an episode of Top Gear on the television and a small pile of papers to grade on my left.
I was beginning to get a tad bit hungry. (One of my students asked me the other day if I ever eat lunch...I may not be eating as much as I should be right now.) After texting Wolfie for a few minutes, I decided to join him for a romantic dinner consisting of a salad in the setting of the mall. I grabbed my teacher bag and slipped on my favorite pair of ballet flats as I headed for the door. Suddenly my phone announced that an unknown caller wanted my attention. Normally I do not answer unknown numbers, but today I risked it.
I heard a muffled voice and giggles on the other end.
"Mrs. Jaeger?"
.......slight pause.......
"And who is this?"
"This is E."
"Hi! How are you? What's up?"
"I was just calling to tell you that I broke my collarbone."

Oh. Dear.


I was enjoying my 40 minutes specialties break. My aide and I were chatting about my students and life as I mentally prepared for what my students would be like as they came back from P.E. As I heard the bell that signifies the end of lower grade recess and the end of 4th grade specialties, I put down my snacks and went to retrieve my little ones.
They walked, bounced, and shuffled down the hall to my classroom as I observed the damage done by chasing each other around in a game of steal the flag. Most of the class had passed when I noticed one of my girls comforting another as she sobbed.
"E, what's wrong?"
As my darling little E with the help of her classmate relayed to me the story of how she accidentally fell or was tripped or something, she valiantly tried to stop crying while grasping her shoulder.
"So your shoulder really hurts? I am so sorry. Do you want to go down to the office with C to get some ice?"
A sad nod followed and I watched the two go down to the office.
At this point, I was not sure if my little girl was they type to milk her injuries and get the most out of her sorrow. She arrived back in my classroom with a bag of ice and more tears. Her head was bowed as I gave instructions for the next assignment. Sobs escaped occasionally she avoided eye contact with everyone except myself.
She approached me as the class began to work on their project.
"Mrs. Jaeger? Can I call my mom and leave?"
"Oh, E, there are only 20 minutes left until lunch. Can you wait until then and see if you feel any better?"
"I don't think I can."
What to do, what to do. I was dubious. From the few weeks I had gotten to know her, I thought she might milk it a bit. I was torn.
"Okay. If you think you cannot wait, you can head down to the office."
Off she went and the rest of the day went on.

Then I received my phone call.
After talking to me about it for ten minutes, I learned that she had fractured her collarbone, a chiropractor was the one that diagnosed her, she had a homemade sling from an apron on her way to the doctor, they couldn't find the particular sling that the doctor suggested, she was a crazy sleeper, her mother was going to let E sleep in tomorrow, one of her friends calls her sister, and that she loves talking.
We decided that the class would have to hear her story tomorrow and that we would also make her a get well soon card.

So. One of my students broke a bone and I did not believe her.
(Reminds me of the time my sister Rebecca was babysitting a crybaby and when he broke his leg--or arm or some other bone, she did not believe his cries and his parents discovered he broke his bone later.)

(Can I just say I am glad she was not in my care when she broke this bone?)

Anything exciting happen to you this week?