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 . . .