On one particular occasion, when involved in a heated discussion a rather enlightening aspect of crime fiction, I was shocked and surprised by a blood curdling squeal from the back of my classroom. Amanda seemed to have either just witnessed a violent murder, or was trying to compete with fingernails on a blackboard. A shiver ran down my spine, and I spun around immediately to face her.
And it turns out that it's not a super-evil mega mass murderer, instead, it's Lola, the huntsman who's been living in my classroom for the past two weeks. She's made her way out of the crack where the wall meets the ceiling and put herself on public display. She's about the size of the lid of a jam jar, but apparently, terrifying.
I assure Amanda that Lola will in fact do nothing to hurt her. That she's been sitting on the ceiling for over two weeks, and won't move for the duration of the lesson unless someone disturbs her. A small paper ball suddenly impacts the wall about 10cm from Lola's front right leg. Someone has disturbed her.
Lola began to descend the wall. Amanda began to freak the hell out. I had been made a liar, and as the tears rolled down her cheeks and I tried to regain control of my lesson, half the class was in stitched, and the other half was migrating to the opposite side of the classroom. As Lola sat above the door, escape for the fearful was impossible.
Amanda is now unable to move while Lola climbs across the wall towards her. I calmly explain to the class that Lola is an animal, and if I need to remove her from the classroom I will, but I don't want her harmed. Most of the boys continue their great amusement, and one makes the Darth Vader death march while Lola continues her amazing ability to head towards Amanda. I honestly think she was doing it on purpose, and finally, when she's almost directly above the hyperventilating red-head, she begins her descent. Fight or flight takes over, and before I can react, Amanda has flown to the opposite side of the room. She's halfway out the second floor window when I shout 'hey!', and approach the downward travelling spider. I ease her onto my fingers, and am quickly surrounded by the male component of my classroom.
Amanda proceeds to vomit into her lunch box.
I decide to approach Amanda with the spider, to attempt to show her that it's harmless.