I had just taken my students down the hall to the cafeteria and sneaked back into my room. The lights were mostly off so as not to alert anyone to my presence, and I sat behind a file cabinet, finally checking my phone, drinking some water, eating my lunch, and enjoying the comparative silence.
Then there was a knock at the door.
Children tend to just barge in unannounced, so I knew it was a teacher. The question is always who? and what do they want? It was Miss Morton, and her face was already laughing. Definitely out of the ordinary, but a good sign nonetheless.
“Miss R- I’ve got something to tell you. You’re really going to appreciate this!”
“…okay.” I waited. She sat herself down on a student desk and prepared to tell her story. My anticipation almost started to build.
“So we’re in science class,” she began. Uh oh, I thought to myself. “…and we’re talking about the muscular system and how if you are paralyzed, your voluntary muscles stop working. The kids wanted to know if there was a way to get the signals to and from the brain some other way, so I told them you can wire electrodes to the brain sometimes, but I really didn’t want to get into it.” (Miss Morton was a Bio/Chem major at university – she could go on forever!)
So I’m sitting there nodding, not really sure where the story is going.
“And I told them that this sort of technology is still mostly theoretical science – it isn’t widely used. We were just about to drop the subject when one student says, “BUT WAIT! It does work! Miss R- has a bionic eye and it’s wired into her brain and it lets her see since her real eye died!””
Miss Morton didn’t quite know what to do with this outburst, as you can probably imagine. Other students were piping up in agreement.
“No she doesn’t…” Miss Morton began. “BUT SHE TOLD US SO!” overwhelmed her voice. “Did you really tell them that?” Morton asked me, chuckling.
I was already in fits of laughter, realizing what I’d done. I couldn’t believe they’d believed me!
So I told her.
Yesterday in Enrichment class (which some of each of the other 3rd grade classes come to my room for at the end of each day) one girl had woefully mentioned that one of her adult teeth had fallen out and now she had a fake one. Since the kids had mentioned my eye before (…the white part is a dark greyish purple – almost black – and it’s a birth mark) and since this girl needed cheering up, and since my day had been long and I was desperately in need of a chuckle, I told her not to be self-conscious about it – after all it could be worse: it could be her eye.
This peaked their curiosity, so I continued. “Yes, my eye died so I had to get a new one. It’s fake, which is why it’s the wrong color.”
“Does it work or are you blind in it?”
“No, it works. It’s wired into my brain so I can use it. It’s actually better than my real eye. I can sometimes see through things.”
And somehow the subject was dropped. We moved on to talking about what was being discussed in class, and because of the series of dubious and doubting comments that had quickly circled after my announcement – I thought they knew it was a joke.
Miss Morton said these details enhanced the story and she walked away laughing. It was only then that we both realized that since I have some kids from each 3rd grade class, there was no doubt that all ~80 eight year olds to be found, thought that I, Miss R-, had a bionic eye.
I don’t know about Miss Morton, but I’m sure not going to tell them otherwise.