Chalk Missiles, Bird Disasters, and Other Things: My First Day of College
In honour of the first week back at school, I’d like to share a few stories with you. The first thing that you must understand is that all of these stories are true; the second, that they all happened on the same day.
For those of you who have read my previous post about navigating my way around my university for the first time, you will understand that embarrassing things always happen to me. The story I am about to tell you today follows suit; it’s about the very first day I began my college career. I hope that many of you can sympathize with me and leave really nice comments, letting me know how badly you feel for me…either that, or share your own embarrassing stories so mine doesn’t seem quite so bad.
It was the first Tuesday in September, right after Labour Day, when I walked onto campus. I had had a bit of a troubling experience trying to navigate around the school the week prior, but I felt confident that this day was going to be different! Since I was a freshman, the first place that I headed was to an outdoor table that had a sign above it that read, “All first-year students line up here”.
There must have been about 27 million people in that line. Each one of them stepped on my toe about 3 times. It was also hot outside. They were all sweating. And stood far too close to me.
I held my breath for 72 minutes.
Finally, it was my turn. I edged up to the desk, holding out my hands to receive the freshman welcome package and was told that I couldn’t have one. Apparently, you were supposed to pay for those things 2 weeks prior. I had no idea, so I left empty-handed. [Cue Full House-touching-moment soundtrack and audience saying “awww…”]
Some guy took pity on me, so he gave me his welcome package which had a laundry bag full of coupons, laundry detergent, take-out menus, and a T-shirt that had the name of our rival university written on it, accompanied by all kinds of swears. Before he gave me the bag, he took out all of the coupons, laundry detergent and take-out menus. I was left with just the laundry bag and the T-shirt.
It was size XXXL.
By now, I was already late for class, but I figured that the professor would take pity on me since it was the first day and all. When I finally arrived, she smiled at me in an odd way and told me to take any empty seat I wished; there was only one, so I didn’t have much choice. It was at the back of the class, and she continued her lecture. She began describing how images of anger and movement were used within the media, and how it affects each of us in different ways. The class was not really able to follow her train of thought, so she decided to demonstrate.
She threw a piece of chalk at my head.
I looked up, still stunned by the hard white chalk that was now lying on the floor beside me. “Did that just happen??” I looked around the room at my classmates. Their mouths were gaping as they stared at me. The guy sitting beside me didn’t close his mouth for 32 seconds. He drooled a little on my sleeve. The girl beside me whispered that I still had chalk dust on my forehead.
The class fell silent. Everyone stared at me. My professor laughed and continued her lecture as if nothing ever happened. She didn’t explain why she threw the chalk or what it was supposed to symbolize.
Apparently, she was more than a little upset that I showed up to her class late. Lesson learned.
Once that horrific class was over, I left as soon as possible. I thought I should get a head start and leave for my next class so as not to arrive late and anger that professor as well. Also, I was a little scared that if I stayed any longer, I might get a chair thrown at me…
I arrived rather early, so I thought I would sit outside with my friend for a while, since it was such a nice, warm day. We sat on a bench in the shade of a tree, enjoying the last few days of summer. When we decided to head to class, I bent down to get my bag and then felt something fall onto my head. I whipped my head around to see if someone had thrown another piece of chalk at me, and only saw my friend laughing at me. I asked her what was so funny, but she was laughing so hard that she could barely get the words out. She just pointed to my head.
I stretched out my arm to pat my head to see what was the matter. I quickly learned why people don’t sit under trees on nice days. Birds like to sit on branches in those trees. Then things…happen.
We did the best we could to get the “evidence” that the bird left behind out of my hair and went to class, fighting fits of laughter. During the lecture, I kept thinking about what had happened and starting laughing, muffling the sound as much as I could. Another friend who was sitting next to me jotted down a note on my paper asking why I was laughing. I told her what had happened under the tree, and she burst out laughing. Our professor stopped speaking and asked us to share what was so funny.
I looked at my friend. She looked at me. We both said, “Nothing”. My professor didn’t believe us and said she wouldn’t continue the lecture until we shared our humourous tale with the rest of the class. I sat, unmoving, unable to think of anything at all to say. My friend, however, did not have that problem – she shared with our professor, and, subsequently, the rest of the class, my episode with the bird outside.
When that class finally ended, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I went home, laughing to myself about how terrible of a day it had been, and with only one other thought in my head: “Well, tomorrow has got to be a better day!”
And it was. Because I knew to avoid trees, chalk, and sweaty people in line-ups.
What is your worst first-day-back-at-school story? Were you able to laugh it off or did it haunt you for the rest of the year? What lessons did you learn from your first-day-back-to-school experiences?
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Tags: back-to-school, College, Education, embarrassing, freshman, humor, school, University