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Last Zombie Standing November 14, 2009

Posted by alwaysjan in Life, Teaching.
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Zombie-walk-kids.JPG

I’m pumping that hand sanitizer like a lab rat desperate for a reward.  So far, so good.  I feel like I’m the only person who hasn’t come down with IT. Whatever IT might be.  So far I don’t think anyone’s been diagnosed with H1N1 at my school.  Just the usual prelude to Thanksgiving flu and chronic bronchitis that dogs you when you’re a teacher and never get to rest your voice. (It’s true – There is no rest for the wicked.)

My husband and son went to see Zombieland the other night.  I passed, since I work in Zombieland.  Just when one kid comes back to school, another goes down.  Pump, pump – More hand sanitizer.  I’ve taken to slathering it on my neck and arms. One boy came back after a week out and promptly announced he felt like throwing up.  I tossed him a plastic bag along with a pass to the nurse.  I have my students trained. I told that straight out, “If you think you’re going to get sick, don’t come to me, cause I’ll run from you.” They laughed, but I was dead serious.  I just don’t want to be undead. Seriously.

The school nurse donned her face mask on Friday when she had a roomful of germ factories sick children all complaining of being “hot.”  The school librarian told me she’s glad she’s already had IT.  “I got it over with early, ” she said, though she said she’d paid dearly for her immunity.  I mumbled something about how quickly viruses mutate, to take that smile off of her face.

November is always a tough month for teachers, what with report cards and all those parent teacher conferences.  I’ve just got to make it to Thanksgiving.

When I wrote my post Time Zone Zombie – Asleep at 30,000 Feet, about the world’s longest trip over the Atlantic Ocean, I was looking for a picture of a zombie.  Who knew there were thousands of them on Flickr from Zombie Walks around the world?  Here’s an activity the whole family can do together.  The cool thing is that I wouldn’t even need make-up to play a zombie.  I can just crawl out of bed.  As a big fan of Shaun of the Dead, I’d be up for the zombie pub crawl myself.  That is, if I make it to Thanksgiving.

POST MORTEM:  Officially zombified on Nov. 18th.  Tried to pass as human for two days, but finally succumbed.

Photo Credit:  Zombified Children from Wikipedia’s Zombie Walks

Swine Flu in a Classroom Near You August 9, 2009

Posted by alwaysjan in Health, Teaching.
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6 comments

vomit

I’ve read three articles in as many days advising schools how to handle an outbreak of the swine flu.  I had my pig Maisie do some research, and she’s reported back with her findings:  Although it might not be on your initial class roster, it seems the swine flu is set to enter your classroom this fall.

Federal officials at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are recommending that schools be closed as a last resort.  The New York Times has all the news that’s fit to print, so if you want to check out more stats, acronyms, and some recommendations, click on that link.  You can also check out flu.gov.

Fortunately, the initial panic about the swine flue as a pandemic that could potentially kill millions has subsided.  But the swine flu is still no laughing matter. Over one million Americans have been infected so far.  If you’re a teacher, you’re already accustomed to being on the front lines.  Or should I say the first in line to get “what’s going round.”  Children have an uncanny ability to sneeze, cough, hack, spew, vomit…  Okay, I could go on, but you get the picture.  To date, the flu aka H1N1 has been mild and has not mutated – yet.  (Cue scary music.)

I, for one, am marshaling all my resources.  All teachers are issued a first-aid kit at the start of the year.  The first year I kept looking for this “kit.”  I finally realized it’s a Ziploc bag containing a pair of latex gloves, some band-aids, and a few cotton balls thrown in for good measure.

The CDC suggested that schools might want to issue masks to personnel. Sounds good, but I’d settle for kleenex.  Last year, my students were reduced to blowing their noses on art tissue paper.  Hey, it works.  But when I tore off a piece of bright green tissue paper and handed it to my new student from Korea, I was shocked when I saw the dye had rubbed off on his upper lip.  He had a bright green Charlie Chaplin mustache that wouldn’t wash off. So, kleenex would be good.

It was also suggested that teachers could move students’ desks father apart. Now, my students don’t have individual desks.  They sit at tables for two, and now that my class size has been upped from 20 to 24, I’m still trying to figure out where to put THOSE kids.  My cup may runneth over, but the space in my classroom does not.  The CDC recommends that schools might want to offer web-based instruction for students out sick.  Can you hear me laughing hysterically?

One final note.  My pig Maisie wanted to make sure I mentioned the CDC said “People cannot become infected by eating pork or pork products. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Farenheit kills the virus as well as other bacteria.”  Maisie doesn’t actually recommend EVER cooking pork.

She also wants you to know she’s never been sick a day in her life.  Okay, there was that time she ate five pounds of butter set aside for Christmas baking.  But that would upset your tummy too.  On a more positive note, Maisie smelled like a butter cookie for a week.