Sensitivity Chip

 Sensitivity Chip

By Beth Hanning

I recently saw a Meme that stated: “I think I died once when I was five, but my mom made me walk it off and I did.” This quote resonated with me due to the fact that my friends tell me that I am missing a sensitivity chip. Well, you know how we blame our parents for our problems and shortcomings?  That is exactly who am I going to blame for my insensitivity. Here is why I am insensitive to many people today.

For grades 1-4, I attended St. Camillus. The first day of first grade my mother walked me to the library and looked for an older student who had on a similar uniform and my mom asked that student to make sure I got off the bus at the correct stop. In one of those years, I do not remember what year, I took the Q22 bus to St. Camillus when it was snowing. When I got to school, the custodian alerted me while he was shoveling that school was not going to be in session that day. I then returned to Rockaway Beach Boulevard to wait for the Q22 to return home. One would think that my mother would have felt guilty and made sure school was in session on future snowy days. Well, you would be wrong. My brother and I made it to Beach 120th and Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Brian Fabry was trudging home and informed us that it was in fact a snow day.

I then attended St. Francis Prep High School and took either the 6:20 or 6:40 Q53 bus each day. I set my alarm clock each night and got up each day on my own. My mother loved her sleep, and she did not get up with me EVER. Today’s teens (and my twentysomething daughters) are picked up in private buses and some are even driven to the bus stops only a block away!

As a teacher, I worry about the students and them holding down a job one day and being able to overcome obstacles. I get the strangest emails regarding why they are absent. This past year, one student emailed me to tell me that she was stung by a bee and would be absent. Now one might ask: Was she allergic? Did she have a reaction? I do not know, she did not say. My mother would have made me take a Benadryl and maybe if she was in a good mood given me some ice to soothe the sting.

So, I asked a few different teachers from other schools and here are some reasons students are absent:

1. Bee sting.

2. Ingrown toenails.

3. One teacher told me her student is not allowed to walk to school until it gets light out. SO, IN THE WINTER, SHE MISSED FIRST PERIOD EVERY DAY. Please do not tell me about crime. I took the Q22 bus alone at six years old in 1978, without a cell phone.

I could go on and on as to why students are absent. But just know this: Ed Rooney, the fictional principal of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, would be appalled how many kids are absent way more than nine days!

Rockaway Stuff

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