I walk into my office like any other day on Wednesday and I wasn't in my chair for 60 seconds when one of my kindergarten kids, Charlie, comes straight to me and says, "Teacher!" I swivel around, he opens his mouth indicating I look inside and it's filled with blood. My first thought is obviously to get him some help, but the second thing to cross my mind is that this kid who is bleeding considerably from somewhere in his mouth can speak about 10 words of English that may or may not include things like "cow" and "sunny", neither of which would help in this situation.
This small office contains myself and five or six other Koreans normally, three of whom are present and only one of whom is a fellow English teacher. I let out an audible gasp, steer him over to Korean #1 (incidentally the one who has been mentioned in my previous post) and say, "His mouth is filled with blood!" hoping she could, you know, speak to him in his native tongue to help him out. All she does is squeal, throw her hands over her face, lean away from us and say, "No, no no no no". Fail. I turn him around to Korean #2 and she also throws her hands over her face while gasping and leans away.
WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE!??!
Something inside me like, snaps. All my focus goes to poor Charlie. He's obviously not getting any help from someone who can actually speak to him, so I grab my bottle of water from my desk and lead him over to the sink that is located in our office. Because I can't properly give him directions on what to do, I demonstrate drinking some water, swishing it around and spitting it into the sink. He does it three times while I'm patting his poor little 7 year old back. I lean down to him, say, "open" (this word he knows!) and I see that he has a huge gash cut into his cheek and I'm guessing he fell and bit it. The Koreans are nearly ignoring everything that is happening here, seemingly not even caring. I took him back over to my desk and I sat down in my chair so I was at his eye level and shrugged my shoulders trying to ask how? He made a hand motion that looked like falling so my guess was right.
You know those cheap kid tissues with prints on them that you can get in little packs around the holidays? Those tissues suck and are thick and stiff and just hurt your nose further if you're sick and need to blow it. Luckily my mom, who wonderfully sends me a care package nearly every month, likes to throw completely random things in the bottom of the boxes, things she may or may not have had laying around her house for years. One of these things she sent last Halloween was a pack of those horrible tissues, emblazoned with smiling pumpkins. I took them to school last fall figuring you'd never know when you'd need a tissue and whaddya know, I have a bleeding child that could use a thick, cardboard tissue. I dug it out, wadded him up two pieces and showed him to put it in the back of his mouth, gave him the other as a spare and sent him on his way.
When he left, Korean #1 was like, "Oh, Sam, I'm sorry I just don't like blood." Ummmmmmmmm, what? There is a bleeding child in here and you can do nothing to help him but shriek in horror at him? I was more than slightly appalled at their behavior, if you can imagine. But then I thought, why did he come straight to me and not to a Korean? Maybe he knows that's how they would react and he would get no help so he thought he'd try Sam Teacher? Whatever his reasoning for coming directly to me, I'm thankful I was there to help him.