The Paper Heart

Last week, a large wasp found its way into my classroom and the students had the usual reactions-- panic, terror, and the rapid fluttering of arms-- but despite this flurry of activity (and my attempt to lure it out the door by shutting off the lights) the wasp landed on the sleeve of a sophomore boy . . . but he did NOT panic, he remained calm and gingerly held the fabric of his sleeve away from his arm so the wasp couldn't sting him and waited patiently until I flicked it off his shirt and then I swatted it dead with my folder (heavy from freshly collected essays) and so, for his grace under duress, the next day I presented him with what I called "The Paper Heart," an official certificate of bravery that I scrawled on a piece of scrap paper, but I'm not sure anyone got the joke.

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