We’ve had Market Days at school this week from over a year hiatus. This is where the kids who have been accumulating a our little school money from doing well on tests and such get to spend it on merchandise that we set up in a classroom. Chris P.’s classroom was used for that, so we rearranged our classes. I had a small class, so we just hung out in the teachers room, working on speeches for the speech contest.
While I was finishing the spelling quiz with that class, I heard Chris W. yell, “JOY!”
He was calling for our manager. He ran into the office carrying a limp child in his arms. The secretary ran in there. Chris P. darted out of his office, where he was helping kids with speeches, and ran into Joy’s office. It looked serious.
I told my kids to stay put and to use my sheet to check their spelling test answers. I went into the manager’s office, and Chris W. was holding this poor girl up. She still had on her heavy coat, and her eyes were open, but her hands were purple, and she didn’t have much color in her face. A steady pour of drool was trickling on the floor like honey. He was trying to revive her. I guessed she was having a seizure, but the only previously seizure I had witnessed involved convulsions. This girl looked like she had something caught in her throat and was breathing funny.
In hindsight, Chris was holding her upright and preventing her from swallowing her tongue. I haven’t asked him yet if that was what he was doing. Chris P. said there was a clinic down the street. Chris W. tried to carry her in his arms, but she was too limp. Chris P. took her and flung her over his shoulder as both Chrisses ran out the door at full speed.
Joy and the secretary were getting in touch with the girl’s parents.
This all happened so fast. I noticed that Ian hadn’t even noticed anything wrong yet. I told him what happened. I then realized that two teachers were gone, which meant that two classes were unoccupied, including a class of girls hysterical and scared by what had happened to their classmate.
In the commotion, kids trickled out of classrooms. Joy and the secretary were too busy. I herded the kids back. Chris P.’s class was the youngest kids in the school. The boy he was helping in his office was, admittedly, not one of the brightest kids in the school. I found him licking the window to Chris’s office and told him to go back to class. He protested because Chris was helping him with his speech. I told him that obviously Chris was too busy at the moment, and I needed him back in his classroom.
I brought him in, and the kids were playing Candyland. I set him down, and another kid gave me a ddongjjim (where Korean kids jam their fingers into your anus). I hadn’t received a ddongjjim in three years, and I don’t brush them off. The perpetrator was immediately against the wall with his arms up. He wouldn’t hold them up, laughing. So I took him back to the teachers room, where my kids were. I faced him against a wall and told him to stay there. I asked my kids to keep an eye on him.
I should note that my kids were acting surprisingly mature during all this, thank God!
By this time, Chris W. had run back, out of breath and shaken. Joy had gotten in touch with the girl’s parents, and they said that she had had a seizure three years ago. Chris ran back out for something else. Before so, he got some blank paper and told his class to draw.
After he left, I helped focus the girls. This is where that child psychology in college comes in handy. I told them that it was scary, and it was okay. I told them that they could help by making “Get Well” cards for their classmate. That worked.
Now I had all three classes occupied. Ian had taken his class to the Market. I thought I’d better file a few classes there myself. So we did that. The girls in Chris W’s class generally made sure they got something for their sick classmate. Some of them even pooled their money together.
We have since heard that the girl has recovered. Chris P. and Chris W. both looked like they had had one of the scariest days of their lives.