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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Don’t Read This Unless You Have a Strong Stomach!

So there I was in front of my Grade 4 class last week ranting hysterically about a history assessment task they were about to complete. 

I try not to be too dogmatic when I’m delivering such rants but I can’t help it. 

My eyes go all bug-like and my voice becomes as shrill as a fish wife. 

It’s just that I want them to do well.

“So we all know what ‘Trepang’ is don’t we?”

There were quite a few blank faces staring at me (what with sausage rolls at morning tea and hand ball on their minds).

We’ve been studying the arrival of the First Fleet and the First Australians you see and I was sick to the gills of seeing the answer to this question on test papers over the past six years.

What did the Aborigines think the people on the First Fleet were when they first saw them?

(a) Spirits

(b) Europeans

(c) Aliens from outer space

(d) Trepang

For the whole term we’ve learned that ‘trepang’ are actually freakin sea cucumbers, but you would be gobsmacked the amount of students that answer ‘trepang’ on this question.

You probably don’t think that’s funny and I agree, it’s not.
It drives me insane.

“Do you really think that anyone would be mistaken for a sea cucumber?” I asked in an exaggerated Russell Brand type, highly dramatic impersonation.

Anyway, I carried on so much before the test I failed to notice that one of my minions was turning grey in his seat and had spewed up in his hands at his desk.

Two girls either side of him suddenly sprang from their seats shrieking and I was forced to cease my Nazi-like tirade about sea cucumbers.

It was a bit disappointing because ‘Snug’ the spewer had broken my ten year record.

Remember in Seinfeld (I’m a huge fan) when Jerry broke his ten year non-throwing-up record.

The Entire Collection!

In a decade of teaching primary school kids, no child has ever vomited in the classroom on my watch, but thanks to Snuggie that inimitable record is now broken. 


Fortunately, my teacher aide, Mrs W. happened to meander into the classroom about two seconds after the unexpected, exorcist-like purge and took full control of the situation.

“Were there any chunky bits?” I cautiously enquired after she’d been to the office, commandeered the special stuff to cover it, and … you know… get rid of the smell and just conceal it all completely so I couldn’t see it at all...ever.

“No, it was just bile,” she answered, just a bit too nonchalantly for my liking.

Bile reminds me of livers and I don’t like thinking about livers, or anything to do with bile, or liverish substances (except pate which is delicious if you don't think about it too carefully).

Later, I worried that I’d made Snug so nervous about the ‘trepang’ question, I’d been the one to make him spew, (I'd hate to be one of those teachers... shout out to Mr Hudson in Grade 7 circa 1971) but Snug was away for the next three days with the flu so I don’t think I caused it after all.

Don’t think I’m a sook because I spent a decade washing my own children’s chunky bits off quilt covers and poking it down the drain in the early hours of the morning. 

I’ve seen more spew than you've had hot chunky dinners. 

Sorry about that analogy.

The big question of today is:

Do you think spew or poo from kids other than your own is more objectionable?