The other day in class, one of my middle-school boys tripped, knocked over some desks and got a bloody nose. I figure since it wasn’t actually inflicted by another student, I’m still a good teacher, right? When he got hurt, I didn’t know what to do for a moment, I mean, do I look after the hurt child, Daniel, and leave the other 29 unattended? In a room full of furniture that clearly dislikes students? My school has no policy on this kind of thing, because China has no guidelines for anything that hasn’t happened yet, and this was my first classroom injury.
In China, you can’t just take the kid to bathroom to clean up, because Chinese bathrooms are BYOTP. (I carry tissue packages in my backpack, but since I was teaching class and not, you know, backpacking, I didn’t have my bag with me.) So I sent another student, Andy, to get paper towels, which is more difficult than is sounds. Our school keeps paper towels in the main office, but they’re locked up with other controlled substances like ink refills and printer paper. I literally had a student dripping blood on my hands while the office assistant comes in to ask if I really gave permission to Andy to use the school paper towels? (Because he might have made up a story, and by the time the authorities find out there really is no bleeding classmate, Andy’ll be halfway to Mexico with his contraband Bounty!) And if I did give permission, then do I know where the key to the supply cabinet is?
I had my coat with me in class, because the school’s heat isn’t working properly, and I started fishing through the pockets looking for emergency supplies. Poor Daniel was seconds away from having a maxipad on his nose when the office twit came back with the paper towels.
Oh, the title? I bet you thought my new superpower would be something lame like “staying calm in a crisis” or “coping under pressure”. No way! My new superpower is the ability to make someone known as Maxi Pad Boy for the rest of his school career! Thankfully, the office twit brought the paper towels in time, and Daniel is still known thoughout the school as Dumpling Head.
With great power comes great responsibility.