Friday, November 30, 2007

An embarrassing moment, with worse disaster averted!

The fifth-graders in our catechism class were having a hard time remembering our names, and I realized that was because we'd never really written them out. So a few weeks ago I printed our names on the whiteboard: "Mrs. Julie --------" (the teacher), and "Miss Rachel Gray" (I'm her helper). It wasn't until I had neatly finished this task that I realized I was writing not with a dry erase marker, but with a permanent sharpie.

You know that sinking feeling of impending horror that comes when you realize you've just done some incredibly dumb thing that's going to be very hard to fix? I tried to ignore it. But half an hour later, Julie attempted to erase the board and our names insisted on staying put in all their colorful glory. She was surprised but went on teaching. I stood to the side and reflected that we were in the very same classroom that Fr. Ed uses for his class on the Ignatian exercises. I go to that class and I know most of the people in it. And they know me. I envisioned us all gathering there, bright and early on Sunday morning, and finding a whiteboard proclaiming in red marker: "Miss Rachel Gray!" I had to get the names off before then. Alcohol would help, but I didn't have any on hand. As the class broke into groups for a project, I was making desperate plans to drive the hour plus to work and bring some ethanol back to church...

Then I reflected that if you have dried, set nail polish on your nail, and you paint over it with a fresh wet layer and immediately wipe the nail with a paper towel, both layers of polish come off. Weird but true: the top layer liquifies the one underneath. It was worth trying, so I grabbed a genuine dry erase marker and traced over our sharpied names. And then they erased! Cleverness cancels out stupidity! :)

1 comment:

Eanah said...

I was just about to reply with that very tip, as I wrote on a white board with a Sharpie as a kid and discovered that trick out of utter desperation to fix it before Mom found it. ;-) That trick comes in very handy and it's good for impressing people too! Hee hee. Glad you fixed the board!