Dear Amy: I am a high school math teacher. I am having frequent and intense hot flashes in class while standing in front of a group of juniors and seniors.
How do I address with my students the fact that I am suddenly bright red and soaking wet? I do not think it is appropriate to explain that I am having menopausal hot flashes.
Dear Teach: You know your students and their capabilities and maturity level, so if you dont think its appropriate to disclose the very commonplace and factual reason for your sudden and obvious physical manifestations, then I suggest you keep a fan handy and simply deal with your symptoms with no explanation. Just say Excuse me a minute and peel off your sweater, take a drink of cool water and fan yourself until it passes.
However, I think you run the risk of creating confusion (or rumors because of misinformation) when it could be dispatched and dealt with fairly quickly. Lets say you have a sudden hot flash in fifth-period calculus. You can say, Sorry, class, Im having a hot flash. Let me fan myself and take a drink of water and it should go away in a minute. Whew!
Any students who are sufficiently fascinated can very easily do an Internet search to discover whats going on and the reason behind it. Soon enough this will become just another aspect of the natural and quirky progression of your day.
When I ran your question past a high-schooler in my life, she said, Nobody really notices whats going on with the teachers anyway. This is a reminder that what happens to you in the moment might not have a proportional impact on your students.
Dear Amy: Acting Foolish was thinking about skipping his stepdaughters wedding because she was choosing her biological father to walk her down the aisle.
If he doesnt attend the wedding, he will regret it. He should put on his big-boy boots and be there for his stepdaughter, regardless of whether he gets the honor of walking her down the aisle. Who knows? He just might be the one she chooses for the daddy-daughter dance. And that would be a really big win for everyone.
Dear Carole: The large response to this question tells me that many families have dealt successfully with this tricky situation. Offering the stepfather the father-bride dance is a great idea.
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