Let me take you back in time to fifth grade on a beautiful summer day. It rained the previous day, so seeing the sun shine in the cleaned out classroom made our hearts sing for joy. We were making cards for our future teachers, expressing how excited we were to advance to middle school in the fall.

Laughter and conversations filled the classroom. I was quiet, occasionally smiling at some of my classmates. I finished writing my card and moved to the back table where everyone added details to their cards. Glitter covered the table, and smiling stickers stared back at everyone. There was only one glitter pen left, so I grabbed it, unaware of how it would change my school year forever.  

I slowly turned the nozzle of the glitter glue to face the paper. One minute I’m about to put glitter glue on my paper, the next it exploded all over me. Shocked, the classroom fell silent. Until laughter erupted. 

“Jaliesa, what happened?” My friends Molly laughed.

“I really don’t know,” I said loudly as my teachers checked over me and tried not to laugh. The glue began to harden, and Mrs. S helped me get up from my chair so I wouldn’t get glue all over. We carefully made our way to the door and the nurse’s office, the laughter of everyone following closely behind.

“How exactly did this happen, Jaliesa? Was the nozzle broken or anything?” Mrs. S’s bright blue eyes looked at me with slight amusement but mostly concern. If I were her, I would have burst out laughing dropped to the floor.

“I…I really don’t know what happened. It just happened. ” Imagine seeing a ten-year-old girl wearing a shirt with weird characters, dark blue jeans, black shoes, and covered in almost a whole bottle of glitter glue. You get the picture? 

And then we ran into the principal. “Jaliesa,” he asked. “What happened to you? Are you bleeding?” Apparently, red glitter looks like blood.

I shook my head and Mrs. S chuckled.

“She just had a little incident with glitter glue. She’s fine.”

Thank gooodness I was covered with red glitter glue because my face could not have turned any redder.

At the nurse’s office, we were unsure whether to wait for her to finish with another student or head to where she stored the extra clothes.Surprise then amusement filled their eyes.  

“Oh god, Jaliesa! You look like someone turned you into a Christmas tree,” said Kylie, a friend from Unity Club.

I thought, At least this moment can’t get any worse. The nurse directed me to the extra clothes, and I grabbed whatever I could find, hurrying to the bathroom to change. I look at myself in the mirror and realize I look like a monster from Monsters Inc. There’s no denying it.  Except I wasn’t the monster to scare people, like what the monsters did in the beginning of the film. Oh no, I was there to make people laugh. 

I changed into a shirt two sizes too big and jeans that seem made adults, not fifth grade girls. I wet several paper towels and try to get most of the glue off my face. Even after many tries, you could still see glitter sparkling on my cheeks. I then tried getting it out of my hair, but glitter glue and hair is not good pairing. I decided to just deal with the glitter glue until my mom picked me up later. And so, the rest of my day went like that. Me looking like a mini disco ball at first and then like I just sprinkled glitter all over myself.  

At the after school program, I felt like I was waited forever for my mom to pick me up. I tried to act like everything was normal, but on the inside I was so annoyed by wearing  jeans that were too big on me that I decided to wear the glitter covered jeans instead. After almost four hours, my mom picked me up and I have never seen her look so confused in my whole life. After getting home and immediately taking a shower, I called a family friend to see if she could advise me on removing glitter glue from my hair. Is there even a good way to get glitter glue out of your hair?

“Just keep washing it,” Helen said, laughing. “And if that doesn’t work, just call yourself glitter head.” She sure did know how to make me feel better. Can you see the eye roll?

Regardless, I learned a lot that day. Like be more careful when handling anything with glitter. Also, embarrassing things happen to all of us, but it’s good to laugh them off. Not everything will be serious forever, and you’ll have a good story to tell when it’s over.

By Jaliesa Quinones, Class of 2020

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