‘The wound was pink and puckered.’ They Had A Bad Head Injury And Wore A Hat To Cover The Surgery, But a Teacher Told Them to Take It Off
by Matthew Gilligan
Some teachers just can’t get out of their own way when it comes to reprimanding students.
So what’s a student to do who’s been through a traumatic experience?
Well, just follow the rules, of course!
This student was in a bad car accident and it left quite a mark on them…on their head, to be exact.
Fresh stitches under my hat, teacher has a no hats in class policy. Sure thing!
The car accident was of the side impact variety and it was brutal. This was in the days before airbags and seatbelt laws.
One second I’m driving and the next I’m halfway out the passenger window watching blood run off my head to pool in the glass of a previously closed window. Another second ticks by and I’m in the ER receiving thirteen crude stitches for eleven inches of wide open scalp. I lost more than two pints of blood and a large patch of hair. I also lost my favorite white fishnet t-shirt, but that’s a separate tragedy.
That Friday of a Labor Day weekend was how my name shows up in the newspaper list of “Labor Day Weekend Accidents.” Tuesday comes and I go to class at the local college. Being a teenager gave me the gift of immortality.
So they decided to sport a certain hat, because this was the 1980s, after all.
There I was, fully ambulatory, just four days after a serious car accident. For the sake of propriety, I’m wearing a hat to cover the fresh injury. It was a whitePanama hat with a bright 80s style hatband. As this was 1983, everything was 80s style, but that’s a separate tragedy.
Hobbling along, I make it to Sociology just as class was beginning. I take a seat at the back of class and settle in.
And then the teacher had to try to flex their power.
The conversation went something like this:
“Excuse me? Could you remove your hat please?”
The teacher had her own sense of propriety. My hat didn’t fit with proper classroom attire.
“I was in a car accident,” I replied.
Did she hear my words or was one of her rude students muttering another in a career-long list of excuses? Likely the latter was the case.
“Take the hat off. You cannot wear that in my class,” indicated she was not happy with my hat. Not at all.
Well, okay then.
Okay, if you say so!
Off comes my hat. Roughly a third of my hair had been shaved off. The wound was pink and puckered. The seam had a line of dried blood in it. The wound began an inch beyond my missing hairline and continued back, branching into a ‘Y’ shape.
The surgeon’s instructions were to keep the wound clean, dry, and unbandaged. Lucky for all in attendance, my mother had washed my scalp the previous day. She used the word “gore” at some point to describe what was washing off.
Imagine you’re one of my classmates. Whatever you would say at that point would be something I heard from my classmates and friends.
“Ahhh, you can put your hat back on,” said the teacher.
Not before a little malicious compliance, I won’t.
“But I can’t wear hats in class,” I replied. “I mean, I can do it, but not if I’m breaking the rules.”
The teacher ended up changing their mind pretty quickly…and they ended up with a below-average grade and a good story!
“Please put your hat on.”
“Okay. If you insist,” and the hat went back on my head.
My advice is not to engage in malicious compliance on the first day of class.
Not in a course where the teacher gives essay questions.
That was the only ‘C’ I received that semester, but that’s a separate tragedy.
Check out how people reacted.
This reader had a bad accident story to tell, as well.
Another individual found this person’s theme song.
Another Reddit user had a similar story to tell.
This person was impressed by their writing.
And one reader thinks there’s a new catchphrase on the horizon…
Hey, only doing what I was told!
I’m glad this teacher got put in their place…