It was an 11th grade special ed English class. They were reading Of Mice and Men. Or, actually, their teacher was reading it aloud to them.
The lesson plan called for the instructional aide to read the last chapter. When she stumbled over a couple words, telling the class she wasn't used to reading aloud, I got the hint that the teacher usually did the reading. So, I asked if she would prefer it if I read the last chapter to them.
I don't know if I've ever actually read that chapter before. I've been in classes that were studying it, so I knew what was coming.
I read. They sort of followed along. And most of them knew what was coming as well.
Perhaps it was the anticipation. Perhaps I was just overly tired. But I felt myself tearing up. And I tried to hold it in.
I did an admirable job... for a while. And then I lost it.
The instructional aide had to jump in and finish the chapter for them while I went in search of a tissue. And hoped my makeup wasn't running.
I don't cry in front of classes. They can do their worst to me. I hold on to it until I'm alone in the room or at home by myself. But this time I just couldn't hold it together.