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Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Eyelash

Another teaching "moment":

I was in a class with some 4th grade intermediate-level students, and we were practicing reading.

All of us were sitting at a u-shaped table, with me, the teacher, on the inside, and the students sitting in a semicircle on the outside.

Part way through the reading one of the students, a girl, and a favorite of mine, looked up at me and said,"May I have your eyelash?"

The question was so out of context that my brain went into "pause" mode.

"What?" I responded.

"May I have your eyelash, please?" the girl repeated.

"Why?" I said.

She stated, "I want to show it to my friends."

Um . . . "No," I replied gently, "it hurts."

"Do this," she said, running her fingers over her own eyelashes.

Just to humor her I repeated the gesture, and, lo and behold, an eyelash appeared in my fingers.

She held out her hand and I gave it to her.

It seemed like some significant transaction was taking place, but I wasn't sure what it was..

She took the eyelash, put it on a square of tissue, and gently folded it up.

"What are you going to do with it?" I asked, intrigued.

She said, "I want to show it to my friends, because it's so long."

A clash of cultures . . . I wasn't sure whether to feel proud or not about my "long" eyelashes, but something in the request to share my eyelash moved me.

Meanwhile the other students were practicing their reading . . .

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