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  • Writer's pictureRachel Terlop

Fall Alert

When I was in elementary school, I felt like that at some point or another, every kid got to use crutches. For some reason, I was ridiculously jealous of this fact. Maybe it was because they got to leave for lunch 5 minutes early with a friend so they could crutch down there at a glacial pace. Maybe it was the attention. Maybe it was because it looked like a really cool toy. Maybe because it was because they got an awesome cast that everyone got to sign and doodle on. Either way, I apparently was too busy painting rocks to anything adventuring and get injured.

Fast forward to Cinco de Mayo 2018. While on a scavenger hunt, with two teaching colleagues, around the embassies of DC - I got distracted by ice cream, and fell. While falling, I punched my co-worker in the back - but the point of it all is that apparently I am old. Old enough, at age 26, that I sustained an injury by falling. An injury serious enough that I had to go to the ER on a Sunday morning to be given crutches and an air cast.

Luckily, this ended up being the perfect end to a week.

Let me explain...

For the final unit of the year, we are working on Technology development over time. We started the unit by talking about cars, and appliances, and how our household chores have changed over time. This week, we moved onto medical technology. We read about the difference in surgery at the dentist from the 1800s until now (think rock based chisels), and how the Ancient Egyptians used to drill holes in your head as a casual treatment procedure.

Then we moved onto bones! Protecting bones, mending bones, and how doctors make those brightly colored casts (that for some reason I wanted as a child). Using papier mâché (6 parts water, 2 parts flour), we dressed in our surgery gear and went to town on some ridiculous clay arms.

I do not think I have ever seen such serious children... They spent 30 whole minutes working together on their casts. First was the newspaper layer, to build a sturdy base. Then came the colorful layer that had to look perfect because it would be seen by everyone. The room was covered in goopy flour chunks, newspaper floor glue, and rubber gloves - but the results were fantastic!

As I sit here, in my air cast, waiting to go to the orthopedic doctor - I am thankful for the kids who asked to call me today and wanted to know about the type of cast, and what an x-ray machine really was like. Yes, its awful to have to have your husband take care of you 100% (it's actually great), and crutches are not as fun as they looked 20 years ago (my armpits hurt) - but hey, at least I have pictures of the ER to show my kids when I go back to work!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week - nothing makes learning come alive like spraining your ankle to demonstrate cast technology.

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