When Nature Calls
One of the most unfortunate aspects of public schools is that the bathrooms aren’t directly beside every classroom. This isn’t kindergarten or preschool. The big kids and the teachers are expected to be able to hold their bladders, sphincters and any other bodily fluids for a greater length of time without suffering any tragic consequences.
Unfortunately, expectations don’t always meet reality.
Take what happened at the Integrated Science class I was subbing for during 5th period today.
A boy raised his hand and asked to go to the bathroom and I said yes, but just as he got up to move towards the bathroom he hurled all over his hands and the floor and even splattered some of the vomit all over this girl’s backpack.
I could tell he was trying hard to contain himself, judging from the way he tried to catch his spew before it fell, so I followed him outside and gave him permission to let it all out on the dead grass.
Class resumed as usual and we continued reading about cacao plant shortages and their effect on the chocolate industry, and I rather enjoyed being a science teacher today, mainly because I was actually teaching instead of just babysitting the kids. Thank God for real lesson plans.
And then, I became very, very tired. It may have been because I was in such a hurry that I didn’t pack water or anything to eat and I ended up having the leftover breakfast foods the kids from homeroom didn’t eat: pears, cartons of pasteurized orange juice and these grape jelly-filled Pillsbury Crescents. I had 3 of each.
I decided to take a nap at my desk during my lunch break.
And I was ok!
It was the last 10 minutes before the end of the day and then, this thing my brother Pancho and I call THE FEAR happened.
It suddenly and violently hit me: the deepest urge in the universe to empty my bowels completely. I hadn’t felt such a violent need to take a shit in at least 5 years. Maybe it was the pears, or the non-vegan crescents, or the cheap orange juice, or a combination of all three, but I suddenly began to panic.
You see, teachers are expected to keep their shit together, literally, until the end of the day, or to strategically utilize their bathroom breaks at lunch, snack or in between periods. But nobody understands what a vegetarian/vegan girl goes through when she needs to go. We are expected to cultivate what is known as “teacher bladder” aka the talent of holding our bowels and bladders for indefinite amounts of time. But when you try to lead a healthy, fiber and water-filled lifestyle, you can’t possibly achieve the enviable talent of “teacher bladder” and “Sphincter of Steel.” Fuck no.
So there I was, embarrassed as shit, crouching down away from peering and possibly suspicious eyes as I tried to keep it together until 3:02. There was a small office/storage space between the two classrooms, mine and the neighbor’s, and there I waited until the feeling passed. I stood up, and walked out as if I’d never experienced any loss of dignity.
And then the feeling came back. I realized that if I didn’t find a bathroom in the next minute or so, the bucket I’d been staring at in the storage room would become my future privy. I tried using the phone and it wasn’t working. I was too embarrassed to go next door and ask the teacher to watch my kids for me. I had no idea where the closest bathroom was because I’m a SUB and don’t know where anything is here because I can count on both hands how many times I’ve actually been here.
And then, like a sign from God, I spotted a female custodian across the hall. I looked at her sheepishly and asked if she’d do me a favor because I needed to use the bathroom, it was an emergency and I was dying. She put down her broom, rolled her eyes and agreed to watch my seventh graders for the last three minutes of class as I sprinted to the front of the school where the only teacher’s bathrooms were, since all others were being worked on. I went into the counseling office, sweetly asked for the key, and finally made it right on time to the crapper, letting out a loud, hyperbolic sigh of relief as what seemed like three days of entails escaped me.
Feeling like I’d just left a colon hydrotherapy session, I allowed my normal swagger to return and sauntered back to my classroom where the nice custodian lady waited. I profusely expressed my gratitude for her time and she was very sweet about it… She asked me if I’d be staying there as the new teacher and I explained that I was only subbing for the next two days.
I left the school realizing how lucky I’d been that I’d not only run out of gas on a damn bridge and made it out alive but that I also managed not to soil myself in the middle of class like that unfortunate boy who spewed in front of all of his classmates.
God is so good.
But I’m gonna go pack my lunch now and my gas tank is already supplied for more than enough trips to Palos Verdes and back.
Good heavens. May God continue to teach me to be better 😂😂😂
Anyway, here’s another testimony about Teacher Bladder y'all can enjoy…