A Morning Reflection
by Chris Dier, Language Arts 7th Grade
If I had thought twice about this I wouldn't be telling it publicly. Lucky you, I don't think.
This morning I was enjoying a chocolate chip Eggo waffle, perhaps the most delectable waffle in the Eggo family, when an unnoticed chocolate chip fell into my lap. Unaware of the disaster this chip would cause, I gathered my bag, jumped into my car and drove to work before the sun even began it's journey across the sky.
About three stoplights into my drive I noticed a crumb in my lap, lit by the glowing red orb above me, and naturally I attempted to brush it away. The light turned green, I gently tapped the gas and continued my journey to O'Farrell. "The Mikey Show" was particularly funny this morning, so the remaining two miles was filled with giggles and the occasional full belly laugh. I was enjoying the morning talk show so much that when I pulled into the parking lot I decided to remain in my car for a few last chuckles.
It was during these final happy moments that the sun crept over the eastern hills and shed a new light on the mysterious lap crumb. In this new light, and forgivingness of the rear view mirror I began primping myself. You know, the typical brushing of lint and dog hair off the sleeves of the sweatshirt, the finger brushing and straightening of the goatee, leveling of the hat brim. But when I looked down, I noticed the real mess.
The crumb I had so nonchalantly disposed of had left its mark in the most noticeable of places. I panicked. I reacted without thinking. I licked my finger and tried to wipe away the stain.
After only one pass, I realized my mistake. The stain smeared. Now because I left my Martha Stewart: What To Do When You Have a Chocolate Chip Eggo Stain On The Crotch of Your Pants Kit at home, I panicked again. I grabbed my bag, placed it strategically over the stain despite the awkwardness it created, and stealthily maneuvered to my classroom.
In the safety of my classroom I had time to consider the situation, to analyze it completely. Just because I had this time, doesn't mean I used it. Instead I did the most ridiculous thing imaginable. I headed straight for the sink where I splashed cupped handful after cupped handful of water on the pot. This did not have the desired effect. I now had a chocolate smear drowning in a puddle pond Lake Superior size watermark.
I began praying for a bottle of Oxy Clean and blow dryer, but the best I could come up with was dish soap and a paper towel. In keeping with the theme of bad judgment and thoughtless decision-making, I began scrubbing away. I quickly found that dish soap is a poor substitute for Oxy Clean and that when you apply enough pressure to a wet paper towel it will actually splinter.
Here it is now 6:50 am. In only a short, twenty minutes students will be strolling up to my classroom door, begging for shelter from the morning cold. In only a short, forty minutes I will be standing in front of these students attempting to get them to understand how changing the point of view may or may not affect the theme of the narrative. What is a man to do?
The easiest solution would have been to go home and change. Seven minutes to get home, assuming I hit all green lights. Two minutes to change. Seven minutes back. In less than twenty minutes I could have avoided humiliation and saved my reputation. I also considered the "John Cirina technique," where the name badge is placed wherever the stain is, but who wears a name badge on their button fly. The cogs were finally spinning. The light bulb was there; It was faint, but it was there.
I grabbed the oscillating fan from the cabinet. I wiped it clean of summer school dust with the leftover paper towel, turned it on high, and aimed it low. The sun was up now, lighting even the darkest shadows of my classroom. Had anybody walked by and glanced through the windows to see me doing the MC Hammer dance back and forth in front of the oscillating fan, I would have had a hard time explaining myself.
My legs were burning from the squat position I was holding, but the spot was drying. Surprisingly, the smeared chocolate was disappearing as well. I couldn't believe my luck. By the time the morning bell rang and students began knocking at my door all that was left were a few paper towel dandruff flakes and a faint reminder of breakfast. I had avoided the inevitable. My dignity was left intact.
If you would like to turn this into a lesson about stain removal, feel free. If you would like to use this as a statement about the decline of our educational system, be my guest. If you would simply like to hold on to this and use it as ammunition the next time I offend or annoy you, I wouldn't blame you. But the greatest lesson you could possibly learn from this is that breakfast is the most hazardous meal of the day.