I had a near-death experience today. I suppose it could be argued that any day in Oakland is a near-death experience, but that would be another lengthy dissertation. And yes, I'm almost certainly overstating an event that will be referred to later as "My Boo-Boo." It was, however, significant trauma for the end of my week.
I bumped my head. To be more precise, I slammed the left side of my head against the divider of the shelves where my students usually put their coats and backpacks. If I had done this on purpose, I don't think I could have achieved a better result. I was standing up and turning to put a piece of paper into the recycling bin - curse my ecological conscience - and as I made my graceful pivot to the left, I found the corner of the shelf with my temple.
My cat-like reflexes and spider-sense must have taken off for the weekend early, because I didn't even see the offending chunk of wood before the impact. I found myself abruptly on my back on the tile floor of my classroom, eyes shut, and fingers fumbling for the spot where I was certain to find blood and gray matter leaking out of my skull. I do not recall what expletives I uttered, but I know that they were more vehement and expressive than any that I have used when children were present. If there was a bright side to this blunt force trauma, it was that it occurred after school hours and I did not have to explain my salty vocabulary to any of the gentle ten-year old souls who came into contact with me in the moments after my collision.
As is my custom, I got back to my feet, found the form that I needed to deliver and headed up the stairs. When I reached the office, I was greeted with great concern and fear: "That's grotesque!" and "Have you seen yourself?" I had a pretty good sense of just how large the swelling was on my forehead, as I had kept my hand over it most of the way up the stairs in case it happened to rupture.
I was given ice for the swelling and sympathy for the pain, and I started to focus both eyes for the first time in several minutes. Soon I was told that I no longer looked as though I had a growth, and that I no longer appeared to have spawned an additional being - not unlike Athena from the head of Zeus. When I finally got a peek at myself in a mirror, I understood the concern. I approximated the circumference of a silver dollar - the old Eisenhower jobs, not these new-fangled Susan B. Sacajawea deals - and imagined the reaction I would receive at home.
Dad found something with his head again. Yup. Happy Friday.