It was one of those days when everything seemed to go wrong.
I mean, the day had started off badly enough–missed breakfast, late to class, failed French quiz (pourquoi, oh pourquoi?!), et cetera. Not good things, definitely, but not huge catastrophes or anything as unfortunate as that.
It wasn’t until the afternoon when things got…interesting. I solemnly swear, hand on the bible, that I had no intention of burning miss Catherine Miff’s eyebrows off.
How does one ever start a fire with a magnifying glass unintentionally, much less BURN THE SUBSTITUTE BIOLOGY TEACHER’S EYEBROWS OFF WITH IT?
It started innocently enough. Mrs. Merrier (who was definitely not called Mrs. Scarrier behind her back) was out sick, and so we had this twenty-two-year-old sub who, let’s face it, knew nothing about biology.
In all fairness, Miss Miff was told that she would be showing us a video. No one warned her that the DVD player had been broken for the last month and a half, and she’d have to give us an impromptu activity to do.
After a good twenty minutes of research on my part and staring at a blank sheet of Geometry homework on my part, we were seated with magnifying glasses, tape, pencils, paper, and our fingers. The point of the exercise was to take rubbings of our fingerprints and examine their differences under the magnifying glass. A somewhat rudimentary experiment that I’d done in second grade, but I mentally applauded Miss Miff for trying.
However, there is only so much finger-print-identifying a fifteen-year-old freshman can bear to do for forty-five minutes, so I, understandably, became sidetracked after a (short) while.
I examined split ends with the glass for a little while, before proceeding to examine my neighbor’s split-end-less hair (note to self: ask Shelby where she gets her shampoo and conditioner. Dang!)
After I absentmindedly played around for a few minutes, Miss Miff came over to inspect my progress on the lab. I’d been done for upwards of twenty minutes, and when I told her this she looked both happy and disappointed: a mixture of approval that I was the first student done with the assignment, but uncertainty about what to do with me for the rest of class.
She leaned in to look over my work. I moved my magnifying glass out of her way. It ended up right next to the window, the sun streaming through it, positioned inches or so from her left eyebrow.
The more she nodded, the more intense the odd burning smell became. What was that? Had there been an accident in the back kitchen again, with the microwave (long story)? Was it… Oy. Her left eyebrow, so neatly plucked, was smoking. In order to stop the smoldering, I hit her eyebrow with my palm, shouting, “OH MY GOSH, YOUR EYEBROW IS ON FIRE!”
She didn’t seem grateful that I had just saved her life. In fact, she seemed downright angry as she told me to leave the room.
So now I’m sitting here, in the principal’s office, trying to figure out what to tell him about what went down in the science room, because “I-accidentally-caught-my-sub’s-eyebrow-on-fire-and-now-she-hates-me” doesn’t seem like the paramount answer to give your principal.
I guess all I can do is tell the truth, and hope the sub doesn’t give me a bad report, because I promise I didn’t mean to hurt her. It was just that kind of day, and I hope she understands.