Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My First Day of School, or Earlgirl's Descent into Hell

Look at me! I'm all excited, not knowing what humiliations are in store.

I was so prepared for today. I'd printed my schedule, walked the route I needed to take, packed my bag the night before with a bazillion pens, water and trail mix (just in case). It didn't make any difference. My day was the BOMB. Like Hiroshima. It started out great, I got pictures of me with my backpack, heading off to adventure. I left home at 8:05, which was cutting it a bit fine. That put me there with 5 minutes to make it from the parking lot to my seat. Do-able. Especially for the first day. Just as I was pulling up, I grabbed my schedule from my bag. To my horror, it wasn't my schedule, it was a receipt for my parking pass. I knew what building to go to, but I had no idea what class it was, or what room number! My heart did a little herky jerky thing, then the mom in me took over. I'd walked the route on Friday. I would remember the room when I saw it. I made it to the right building, but couldn't recognize the class room. Curses. By this time classes had started 5 minutes ago. There was nothing for it but to head to the registrar's office and get another copy. But I didn't have my pin memorized, and I didn't have it with me. I still raced to the office, and found an empty computer. I guessed my pin correctly (THANK YOU THANK YOU!) and after two tries, printed my schedule. I dashed back to the right building and made it to the exact same room I'd been hesitating over 10 minutes before. I took a deep breath, and interrupted the teacher 15 minutes into a 50 minute class. Nice. Naturally, the only seat available was front and center. I slid into it and tried to disappear. I grabbed my text and notebook and pretended that I'd been there all along. The teacher resumed his lecture, and mortification turned to horror. I had no idea what he was saying. He was using terms and symbols I didn't know existed. Was this Math 107? How could this be? Was this a dream? I need this class. NEED IT. I can't get into the Ed program without it. And he's speaking Greek in the first 15 minutes of the first day. I'm screwed. I wonder, am I in the right room? I look around me, and everyone has the same text as I do. All the while, the teacher is looking at me strangely, like "who are you?" Then I start to notice other things, like this girl to my left has pages of handwritten equations. He's calling students by name, like he already knows them. Something is wrong, very wrong. He's asking them if anyone had any problems with the homework. Then my heart stops. And I know. Today isn't the first day of school. I've gotten the day wrong. As soon as he finishes, I'm up there in a flash. "Um, you know those nightmares you have about the first day of school? I'm living one right now." I explain my mistake, and assure him that I'm actually a responsible adult and the mother of 5 sons, and an exchange student, who's waited 15 years to go to school, and I thought this was the first day, and how screwed actually am I? He laughs and fills me in on the mountain of assignments I've missed. I thank him, apologize again, and sprint across campus to my next class. Every other teacher laughed with me and got me up to speed. As I drove toward home, I was laughing hysterically. No schedule. 15 minutes late. Showing up on the 3rd day of class. At least I wasn't naked, right?

Monday, September 20, 2010