Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Smell Well

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Smell Well

Tomorrow I and the rest of the adults at our camp have been instructed to bring in our deodorants, antiperspirants, perfumes, febreezes and any other olfactory bamboozlers as props for a talk to our increasingly ripe 6th graders about the basics of personal hygiene.

Some of them really smell like ass.

I know that schools have programs for grades nearing puberty to talk about the changes that go on in our bodies--hair growth in surprising places, the maturation of reproductive systems, and general funkification--and I'm honestly surprised at some of the odors that are left in my classroom at the end of the day.

It's bad enough that my music room often smells, as Nicole so astutely observed, like a giant mouth. Thirty kids shuffle in at a time to talk and sing for an hour, most having "forgotten" to brush their teeth in the morning (or in some cases, at night as well). The humidity, the general lack of ventilation, the temperature reaching into the 80s and sometimes 90s, and of course the rampant halitosis make my classroom seem like one nasty oral cavity.

I can't let it become one giant armpit as well.