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Monday, August 18, 2014

Lend Me Your Ears!

My face blanched to a beyond pale, Julian Assange shade of Equadorian Embassy Ivory this afternoon when two of my boy-ling students casually sauntered up to my desk. 

One of the jaunty lads, pointing at his small comrade, cried “Look Mrs. Poinker! There’s something wrong with Hector’s ear!”

I stared in horror at the sight before me. A myriad of questions flashed through my panicked consciousness. Are my union fees up to date? Do I have personal insurance? What has this boy done to his ear for the love of God? Will I be culpable for whatever has happened when the shit hits the fan? Are there many jobs around the traps for unregistered, disgraced teachers? Educational supplies sales rep perhaps? I’d have to travel ‘on the road’ three weeks out of four… That wouldn’t suit at all… I’d have to travel to rural western towns and stay in motels and eat horrible breakfasts in service stations…

My mind was suddenly snapped back to the present at the sound of the raucous laughter.

And so did Hector’s ear. Snapped back like an elastic band. The entire class cackled even louder.

“Look Mrs. Ponker! I can tuck my ear in!” Hector chortled as he shook his head like a wet puppy.

“Do it again! Now!” I demanded, squinting at him through my glasses in disbelief.

The gifted Hector affably performed his unique talent once more with not a small amount of superior pride.

He can do it with both ears… at the same freakin’ time. I thought in barely concealed awe.

I remember the boys in my primary school peeling their eyelids back then tapping the girls on the shoulder and leering through pared lids. This would incite we girlie sooks to run, repulsed and shrieking, directly to our teachers to tattle-tale in outraged, shrieking voices, “Bruce Helmbright is being disgusting again!”

But I have never, in my twenty-five year career of teaching rugrats, seen anyone insert the top part of their ear into their ear canal. I didn’t know it was physically feasible.

As a dedicated teacher of promising younglings, it’s my assigned duty to recognise and acknowledge unique ability. We, as custodians of the future generation, are mandated to pinpoint any particular flair we notice, encourage and nurture this forte and play to its strengths.

I’m wondering what I can write on his end of semester report…

Hector has a great ear for flexible ideas.

Hector is competently able to block out the distractions of the world with ease.

Hector has potential in the field of niche gymnastics.

Hector has a real ear for everything.

Who knows how far this boy will go BUT… What I’m really wondering is... how many of you tried to squish the top of your ear into your earhole while you were reading this?