Question of Dread

A student asked me one of those questions no one trains you to answer. No professor, mentor teacher, or administrator ever alerted me to one of these. As I was setting up my classroom for the day’s activity, a student looked at me, raised his fist over his head, and said, “Dr Pezz, smell my hand.”

Obviously, I did not want to smell this high schooler’s hand, so I honestly explained that “I had never been asked that question in my teaching career, and it frightens me.” Everyone laughed and we started the lesson.

Looking back on it, I just can’t help but think how many jobs do you have where someone asks you to smell his hand? These are the moments that keep educators on their toes and create those lasting memories. There’s no way to explain this type of thing to non-educators. I guess I might expect a mother to hear something like this but not from a high schooler.

What an odd start to the day!

5 thoughts on “Question of Dread

  1. Jim Van Pelt

    Odd moments continued (more things teaching classes didn’t prepare me for):

    -I had a student ask me if I wanted to see her new tatoo. Before I could answer, she’d unbuttoned her jeans and flashed a tiny tatoo of a dancer just to the inside of her pelvic bone.
    -I was walking toward the urninals in the boys’ bathroom when one of my students was walking out. He said, “High five, Mr. Van Pelt!” We were in between the urninals and the sinks, which he hadn’t reached yet, so I declined.
    -I had a student throw up in class today. That’s only the second time in 27 years that has happened. The oddity was that it was in Honors 10 English. We were taking a test. The student had his head in my trashcan a foot from the desk of one of the girls in the class. She clearly was totally repulsed by what was happening, but her test taking ethic was so strong that she wasn’t going to leave. I quickly dismissed her before she lost it too.
    -A girl in one of classes, out of the blue, announced that she’d had sex with a guy she’d just met, in his truck, in the parking lot at K-Mart. She wondered if that meant she was a slut.

    Now that I think about it, almost every day something happens that my education classes didn’t prepare me for.

  2. Melissa

    Last week I had a girl loudly declare that she might pass gas, and then a day later, after burping loudly, that “some throw up just came up in my mouth.”

  3. Kristel

    I’m a science teacher and somehow we got on the topic of diabetes and how sometimes people with diabetes can start losing their limbs due to problems in circulation, so they really need to take care of their feet and such. Anyway one of my students asks if he can talk to me privately to ask a question that he is embarassed about asking in front of the whole class. While the other students are working on their assignment he asks me very quietly, while blushing a whole lot, if guys with diabetes can eventually lose their “genitals” if they don’t try to regulate their diabetes. I had no idea what to say, I eventually told him that I didn’t think so, but that he could try to google it at home. Later that week I also had a student come in after school asking me if I knew what masturbation was, I wanted to die, but I told him that that was something he might want to ask his parents about. Meanwhile his friend had just come into my room and when he heard him ask that he looks at him and says “I can’t believe you just asked her that!”


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