i was a teacher, and i spent some time paying attention to a student who was obsessive-compulsive (she did everything completely symmetrically, and my brain created some lovely blossoming fractal patterns to describe her). after class was over, i was sitting on a chair that was leaning against the wall. there were some other teachers in the room, and i was talking with the child.
she had a loose sort of grip on my hand, and i absently picked up my hand to scratch my nose, and she went slamming into the wall, the back of her head hitting. she kind of bounced and then stood there—wasn't seriously hurt.
and i just sat there and looked at her and at the other teachers, and i said, dumbfoundedly, "i didn't just do that."
they all kind of stared at me hostilely. after some confusion, i explained that i had just lifted my hand to my face, not slammed it against the wall, and then i understood that the teachers had thought i meant, 'i don't believe i just did that,' rather than, 'i didn't just do that.'
then i asked the student what her experience had been, and she said that she felt me grabbing her hand and pushing her back into the wall, but that she was ok and didn't feel the need to tell anybody.
i explained that if i didn't tell anybody, once someone found out i would lose my job for sure. so i got up and started seeking out the principal, so i could tell her what had happened, both my perception of it and the student's.
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