• Viva Sarah Press

It hurts where? Laughter is the best medicine for imaginary pains


The Passover holiday break ended... so, Oshi, went back to school for educational clowning.

First day back after so much family time also meant the pupils felt somewhat homesick.

At the elementary school where Oshi works, children from grades one through six used the day to create dozens of imaginary pains and aches.

They congregated in the secretary’s office every recess break.

Oshi came to hear about the amazing, creative and fantastic ailments. She wanted to help make the kids feel better.

One girl called Oshi to come see a piece of pencil lead that she managed to poke into her skin, just above her knee. Oshi saw a potential mark suggesting her story held true. The girl brought an entourage with her – and the friends, eager to show every teacher who walked by the pencil wound, accidentally lifted the girl's leg too high and toppled her over. Oshi pointed out that her friends actually gave her a real reason to be in the office.

Another boy showed Oshi his bottom teeth, pointing out that he had fallen during recess on his bum and that his teeth were hurting. Oshi prescribed an ice cube, to be chewed slowly. He accepted the offer.

A girl came crying into the office holding her finger. There was no sign of even a scratch. But the secretary and Oshi acknowledged her distress and put a piece of masking tape on her finger. A smile quickly appeared on her face.

The girl holding ice on her elbow, however, really confused Oshi as she explained that she had fallen on her ankle during recess but that it felt better to cool her elbow.

Oshi often doesn’t fully understand what is going on. After all, Oshi is an English-speaker clowning in Hebrew. But on this day, at this educational clowning stint, Oshi was sure that she was not the only one with the full understanding that something didn’t make sense.

All these weird and incredible ailments made amazing fodder for Oshi’s first day back after the holidays.

As Dr. Seuss says in the Lorax: “It’s not about what it is. It’s about what it can become.”

And Oshi had great fun adding to the pupils’ stories of how they should treat their made-up scratches and sprains… and even offered to help make them sound even worse!

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