I sometimes think my students wish me ill.
I'm sure it's just a figment of my conspiratorial imagination. They don't blatantly hang buckets of pig blood over the door, or double-dog dare me to stick my tongue to a frozen flagpole.
However...I have noticed that when a student sneezes, several in the classroom call out, "Bless you." When I sneeze, there is silence. Dead silence. It's like E.F. Hutton is about to talk. What's up with that?
Do they want me unblessed? Am I seen as The Devil (not the proprietor of The Devil's Playground, either) and unworthy of a blessing? Am I Elaine's boyfriend, David Puddy, all decked out in red face paint to cheer on the Devils? Do have a blue dress on? Am I going down to Georgia? Am I about to make someone do it?
I can't ask for a blessing, either. That would take away the goodness. I suppose I could shout, "Hey! My heart just stopped for an instant! Does nobody care?" But that's kind of like fishing for a blessing. Shaming them into one. Which I am pretty sure takes away the magic as well.
It's not like I can hold in a sneeze to avoid hearing the hurtful silence. Nobody wants an aged Violet Beauregard exploding all over the white board. Well. Mostly nobody.
I really must try that index finger under the nose trick.