In which I make a new rule

I did not go to work yesterday, and I left early the day before, and apparently my room did not get vacuumed either day. As such, there was a bit more debris on the floor when I came in this morning than I’m generally used to, both because 1) my kids are pretty clean for the most part and 2) the room does generally get cleaned every night. However, I keep a dustpan and a broom in my closet for just these situations, and as I was cleaning up I discovered something that I don’t normally find on the floor of my classroom.

A tampon wrapper.

That’s new, I thought. Not necessarily alarming, or anything, but … new.

What did prove alarming was when a couple of minutes later I found the applicator. That’s what it’s called, right? This thing?

It had been, uh, discharged, so there was nothing inside it, which actually was kind of alarming, because I’m pretty sure you generally don’t keep those when you’re done with them, right? So somebody either put in a tampon in the middle of Math class, which even in 2023 seems kinda unlikely, or they put it in in the bathroom, brought the wrapper and the applicator back to class with them, and then dropped it on the floor? Or was there a tampon floating around the room somewhere as well?

I didn’t find the tampon.

Fast forward to 6th hour. One of my Honors groups. My favorite class, but I will deny it if you tell them that. They are fucking obnoxious, but they’re somehow obnoxious in exactly the right way? I’m not sure how to explain it.

Anyway, after hearing someone saying something about “the tampon yesterday,” I investigated, and … well, now there’s a new rule in my classroom. No one who does not possess the proper body parts to successfully use a tampon is allowed to use, distribute, touch, throw, or taste tampons in my classroom, nor are they allowed to say the word “tampon,” given that I heard it more in class today than in the entirety of my teaching career up until today. And those verbs? I needed all of those verbs.

Also, I discovered that one of my boys was unaware that there was a difference between a tampon and an IUD, and in fact thought both were contraceptives.

Anybody else wanna teach middle school?

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.