“You got any more tissues?”

“There’s a box on of tissues on my desk.”

“It’s empty.”

“I just brought it yesterday.”

“It’s empty.”

That’s because there’s a clump of tissues on the floor, a clump by the microwave, and a clump on a desk.

Believe it or not, there is a wrong and right box of tissues to buy if you’re a classroom teacher.

When I was really broke, I didn’t buy any.  Kids had to go to the lav or wipe their nose with a sleeve.  “No, I don’t have any,” I said.  I stuffed a couple from home in my pocket because I didn’t want to get stuck in a school bathroom again without toilet paper.

Now, times are better.  I can buy tissues.  That’s a sign that the economy’s improving.

What’s not improving is student conservation.

I did a two week plus two day study of tissue use and noticed something.  There are two types of tissue boxes–the type where one tissue at a time artfully pulls through the top, and the kind that opens big and wide, inviting people to take a clump.

The kind that lets you pull one tissue lasted for a week or two.  The kind that opens wide, two days.  Students naturally walked up to the dispenser box and pulled one out.  The wide open box–took a handful.

I don’t want to lecture kids on conservation or sharing–once in a while the size of the clump got to me, and I mentioned I didn’t think anyone had a schnoz big enough for twenty tissues.

They don’t get it, though.  Best thing to do is to get the box of tissues with the fancy “take one” slit in the top.

Use the coupon, buy generic…do whatever it takes to get through cold and flu season and out the door for summer.