Spider in the Classroom.

It was some time last week and my classroom was quiet. Kids were working, I was keeping an eye on them and thinking about dinner.

Suddenly Lydia shouts, “Spider!” She points to the floor.

Sure enough. There’s a medium-sized house spider, Tegeneria Domestica, scuttling across the floor by her chair.

I stare in horror for what feels like several seconds, but in reality, I am up out of my seat before the spider has gone much further. In the time to takes me to skirt the table and get near the spider, my mind has followed a long train of thought.

1) I hate spiders. Isn’t there someone else to do this?

2) The windows don’t open. How did it get in?

3) The windows don’t open. How can I get it out?

4) Not humanely. Shit.

And then I step on the spider. But my aim is off. I miss and have to get it again, cringing at the crunch.

After I dispose of the poor carcass, Richard asks if it was a Black Widow. We go to the map and I show him where Black Widows live, and explain that we don’t have them here.

“But if they came, what would they do?”

I think about how territorial the house spider is. “Actually, this kind of spider would probably eat them. These Tegeneria, that’s their scientific name, don’t like other spiders moving in. They attack them. Even Black Widows. So in a way, that little guy was on our side.”

“So why did you kill it?”

Oh, the guilt! “I don’t like spiders. it’s not reasonable, I know. They make me squirm.”

And then I start thinking about the deceased. It wasn’t running as fast as Tegeneria can. It was probably hungry, maybe starving. God only knows how long it had wandered the sterile halls of the second floor offices, looking for shelter or sustenance. And all it was trying to do was find shelter. And I squished it.

I still feel guilty.

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