Pedagogic Stigmata

For the past several weeks I have been uneasy about the presence of some dark red spots on the palm of my right hand. They come and go and are rather small, about the size of a caper or a fat bee-bee. At first they were exclusively on the my right palm, but I glanced down yesterday while in class and saw that they were now showing up on my left palm as well.

I was making a distinction between prescriptivism and descriptivism, but the startling sight of three new red spots stopped me cold. "Are there any nursing students in the room?" I asked. A couple of hands went up and I flashed my palms to the class.

"What the heck are these?"

A nursing senior in the core capstone took a look, pronounced them to be blood blisters and told me not to worry. Later another student pointed out that I repeatedly tap the butt ends of the Expo Dry Erase markers into the heel of my palm during class. I checked, and sure enough on the bottom of the marker there are sharp little interior fins that form a round void about the same size as my spots.

Mystery solved.

This may be the Dry Erase equivalent of an almost extinct college classic: the chalk dust stripe across a professorial backside.


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