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Sneezing in front of a large group!


K.Matsuri

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I know I said I wasn’t going to post on here from camp…but…this was too good to pass up.

All right, so, I’m working for a language immersion camp. There are a whole bunch of counselors gathered for orientation, and today we were doing stations to learn about teaching techniques and immersion and whatnot. I had volunteered to write the ideas we were brainstorming on the large pad of paper in the front of the room, and was dutifully copying down what people were saying. In an off moment where the dean of the French camp was talking, I stood there holding the uncapped Expo marker and all of a sudden sneezed quite audibly into my hand.

In front of one third of the large-ish group of counselors. There were easily 30 of them in that room alone. Oh, let’s not forget to mention the dean of the Finnish and French camps.

Holy crud, I thought I was going to die.

(Details on the sound: It was a failed stifle into my hand. For once I sneezed through my mouth instead of my nose, there was no build up and it was a simple, mostly unvoiced “hetchhh”)

Anyway, as if sneezing in front of a large group wasn’t bad enough, I got some random blessings (in English) from various people in front of me (And, as I was informed later, a “Gesundheit” from one of my cabinmates).

WAIT! IT GETS BETTER!

The French dean announced that everyone should bless me in the language they would be teaching at their respective camps!

OH HECK NO.

I thrust my hands forward dramatically in an action that clearly said “Stop!” and called out “No no no, don’t! In Japanese when someone sneezes, you don’t say anything, and I’m cool with that! I mean, if they sneeze more than once you can ask ‘are you all right’ or something, but usually you just ignore it.” Accompanied by frantic waving of said outstretched hands.

The dean was apparently satisfied with this, saying that she didn’t know that. Yes, you learn something new every day. I am so, so glad that a few years ago I thought to ask my Japanese teacher what you say when someone sneezes. As they say in Japanese, tasukatta! I was saved!! :drool:

Usually when something like this happens, where I’m put in a position where I could be easily embarrassed, I do so and really freak out. But this time, I just laughed it off!! Maybe now I’m memorable… though I’d rather be the amazing Matsuri-sensei as opposed to “the weird Japanese camp counselor who sneezed during the immersion workshop” ;)

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That was quite a near-death experience. :winkkiss: To have your sneeze (just 1 little sneeze, mind you) almost turn into an international incident. I'm glad you took charge and got them to drop it. Can anyone say, "Get your blessings off of my sneezes"????

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Well done for not panicking. Very nice obs.

But I suspect that no-one present, except you, will remember the incident for more than about a millisecond. And anyway you certainly won't be remembered for snezing, except by us of course; though I suppose you might become the weird person who didn't want to be blessed...

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