Yesterday, while sitting in the library, one of my students and her friend were giggling in the room adjacent to the one I was in. I glanced their way and then gathered my things to go.
“Ms. C,” my student said, giggling uncontrolably. “My friend thinks…”
At that moment, her friend clapped a hand over my student’s mouth to keep the words in.
But the words escaped anyway: ‘My friend thinks you have a perfect nose.”
I nearly choked because my laugh came out so suddenly. “What?” And in this moment I couldn’t determine if the friend was being sarcastic or not. “Is that the truth?” And the girls nodded, however red their faces were.
I could do nothing but laugh. The girls, as girls will do, kept giggling, and I left the library shaking my head with wonder. I quietly hugged the 12-year-old, Italian, pre-pubescent memory of myself, struggling through the bizarre phases of growing up and thinking that my nose was the one thing I would change about myself if I ever had enough money. (Now, clearly, that’s changed since I have encountered Brazilian avocadoes.) If only 15 years ago, I could have known that someday, someone would tell me that the weird growth on the front of my face would actually be called “perfect,” I may have actually been able to learn things like Algebra and Chemistry, what for the lack of stress.
Today, my student approached me again to tell me that the conversation between her and her friend actually went like this:
Friend: Is that your teacher?
My student: Yes.
Friend: I hate her.
My studednt: Why?
Friend: Because she has a perfect nose.
My student: Ms. C! My friend thinks…
Friend: [claps hand over mouth}
And you know the rest.