Saturday, March 19, 2016

SOLSC #19 What am I going to learn today?

During the month of March, I am participating in
the Slice of Life Story Challenge.
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for thirty-one days. My slices will be primarily about teaching preschoolers.
Check out the Two Writing Teachers website for many more reflections on teaching.

I turn on the classical music station as I drive and I am treated to a beautiful piano piece, just what I need. Breathe in, breathe out. Not the way I anticipated spending my Saturday morning. How long will my wait be at the minute clinic? This music is delightful. Steady your breathing, this is a small and inconvenient thing. Cloudy, yes, my left eye vision is definitely cloudy. Good thing I don’t have conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) in both eyes - how would I drive?

I felt it as I walked into school yesterday, this dry, sandy feeling in my left eye. There has been so much pink eye in my class, in the school this year. But, I’ve never had pink eye, and, besides, I had no time for it. Denial set in.

Yesterday, the long day of teaching would conclude with our Learning Showcase. There were many last minute details to attend to, and seeing a doctor on the fly was not on the list. This is the reality of teaching: let’s give you a busy, full day and then let’s throw even more at you while you are braced for the busy and full.

I checked the mirror upon arrival at school – yikes, the left eye is a little red. I slip into the nurse’s office and she says there’s a good chance it is not pink eye, because it is only mildly red...though it could be I have caught it early, that the infection is just beginning. “Slip out to the minute clinic,” she says wisely. How to squeeze it on the list? No, denial is the best bet – there are children to teach, displays to put up, cleaning and decluttering that must happen in my classroom before the families arrive.

At lunch, my eye is filmy and very red. Dang. This is real. I’ve avoided pink eye every year I have taught. I think I may have avoided it for 56 years. The jig was up. I was not to escape this experience. I call my doctor – it would mean a 45 minute drive from my school on one of the busiest days of the school year. How would I get out and back? I share my tale of woe and ask if they can simply send a prescription to my pharmacy. The receptionist laughed – “We cannot write prescriptions without seeing you.” Why not? Why not? Why not? The receptionist tells me that they don’t have any more appointments available today; she suggests I go to a minute clinic. Oh, brother!

I decide to persevere, to make it through the day. I avoid close contact with everyone, I assure myself that my eyeglasses camouflage the infection, I check with my principal and colleagues to see if they are fine with this plan, and I push through the day. I must have washed my hands a hundred times.

The Learning Showcase was fabulous. Our room looked great, the children’s projects were a huge hit with the families, and the children danced around the room, so happy to be visiting school in the evening. By the time I left school at 8pm, no minute clinics were open (and pink eye did not warrant an emergency room). This would be a Saturday morning plan. Each day, learn something new – this Saturday is for learning about minute clinics.


  1. Oh geez, my brother, dad, mom, and niece all went through a week of pink eye one after the other from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Don't touch your eyes! Use organic honey and water as a soother! Good luck!

  2. Good Luck! A minute clinic sounds they promise to see you in a minute, give a diagnosis in a minute, or is it called a minute clinic to make you think you will be in and out quickly?

  3. Good Luck! A minute clinic sounds they promise to see you in a minute, give a diagnosis in a minute, or is it called a minute clinic to make you think you will be in and out quickly?

    1. To give you the sense that you will be in and out quickly! It took me about an hour and a half. I guess this isn't too bad for seeing a doctor on a Saturday.

  4. Is a minute clinic the same as a doc in a box? They sound similar.

    Don't mess w/ the eye. I had any treated eye infection years ago that did a lot of damage to my already poor vision.

    Glad the showcase was a success. Keep us posted on the eye diagnosis.

  5. Oh dear! Our whole family got pink eye at Disney World!!! I hope the minute clinic was quick as a wink...

  6. No fun! I, too, avoided pink eye for 12 years in public schools and somehow managed to get a raging case in the middle of July in my fifth month of maternity leave. It's obvious you're a person who puts others first, so make sure to take care of yourself, too! Hope you eye feels better soon (and glad you could still sneak in your special event at school)!

  7. Oh, Maureen, how can it be that on that special day the pink eye begins to lurk. I assume you discovered how the "minute clinics" work. (We call them 'urgent care'.) And that you indeed have 'it' and got a prescription. Hope all is much better by Monday.

  8. Sure hope you got treatment. Nothing worse. Just got over an ey e infection a few weeks ago - and no students around!