Chalk Missiles, Bird Disasters, and Other Things: My First Day of College

07Sep11

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.

Please.

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”.

Pretty much what the line looked like...including the guy with the helmet and the guy in the cape. But that's normal, right?

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.

My T-shirt was about this big...

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.

Pretty much the image from that day that has imprinted itself on my brain...

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.

Yeah, he may look all cute and innocent, but I know the horrible truth...

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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28 Responses to “Chalk Missiles, Bird Disasters, and Other Things: My First Day of College”

  1. Awwww!

    You need to treat yourself to a “fro-yo” for having to remember all that.

    The guy was certainly no gentleman, the teacher should have been arrested for battery, and as for the bird – that one was “on you.” Pun intended.

    I got a good laugh.

    • Thanks for the sympathy, Steve…haha. Yes, it was a lot to remember, but…I mean, how could I forget it??!! Haha. It was quite the day indeed!

      The guy certainly wasn’t a gentleman and I should have thrown the T-shirt in his face and stolen the coupons, I should have thrown the chalk back at my teacher and said, “How do you like it, lady?!”, and, well, there’s not much I could have done with the bird, really.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment, Steve! Glad my misery made you laugh… πŸ˜‰

      P.S. Hilarious pun, by the way! Haha!

  2. Hey – great post! I don’t think I have any back-to-uni stories that could top yours, but at least despite all your embarrassment you came out of it with a funny story! Maybe with a little tweaking and a belt your XXXL t-shirt could have made a nice maxi dress? πŸ˜‰

    • Now, where were you on that day?! That’s a GREAT idea for the t-shirt!! That is, of course, people wouldn’t mind a maxi dress with swears on it… πŸ˜‰

      Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting, Sophabroad!

  3. Some days you just wind up being a magnet for all things bizarre. I don’t have a “run” of one-day disasters to compare to that but your story of “back to school” made me think back to March 28th, 1979. I was listening to my car radio on the way to the Harrisburg PA train station to pick up a buddy coming in from Pittsburgh. Our Penn State-Harrisburg campus was on break and he was returning to school after going home for a brief vacation. There was a breaking news report about a “minor event” at the nearby nuclear plant. The plant was less than three miles from the school so that naturally perked me up even at the early hour of 6 AM. Yep, it was the beginning of the Three Mile Island event. Two days later, we were scrambling for our belongings as the local evacuation began. Needless to say, we had a few more days of “vacation” before classes resumed…

    • Wow! Are you serious?! Yeah, I’d say that the Three Mile Island event was just a tad worse than my experience…haha. I will say, however, that at least your story isn’t an embarrassing one; my stories always are.

      I must say, however, that, although that day was an embarrassing one for me, at least it didn’t involve a nuclear disaster…haha.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your story, Sports Attitudes! πŸ™‚

  4. Very funny and very well written!

    • Thanks so much for dropping by and for your kind words! πŸ™‚

  5. No back to school stories here. But I did have an embarrassing moment from yesterday that I can tell. I already told this story on another blog, but its is applicable here in order to make you feel better; plus it bears repeating; plus it makes me feel better to tell the world about it.

    Yesterday morning, an inexcusably youngish looking girl who was on housekeeping staff at my hotel forgot that she should knock before entering. I had just stepped out of the shower and well… there I was feeling more naked than I had only moments before. Regrettably, I decided that the best way to save face was to not contort my body into a girlish pose by attempting to cover up. When guys do that, it just doesn’t work. You know? So I made myself stand there, and felt my face turning many shades beyond red.

    The moment passed slowly – too slowly. No words were spoken, only an uncomfortably long stare. She then stepped back and shut the door. The most regrettable thing about it all was that I discovered I must have become more modest than I used to be. I was rather embarrassed by the whole thing.

    Once I mustered enough courage to actually walk out of my room, I felt sure that she must have moved to a different floor (For just in case I called my wife so that I could “look busy”). I mean, surely she would want to avoid me as badly as I wanted to avoid her, right? I mean, RIGHT? Hell no. She was cleaning in the next room and came out in order to apologize laughingly. I only smiled sheepishly, pretended to be really involved in my phone conversation, and hit the elevator button thirty-seven times. After getting knowing stares and grins from other housekeepers and the front desk staff, I’ve never been so happy to leave a place!

    • HAHAHAHA!!!! Oh wow…yeah, that helped. I don’t feel so badly about my embarrassing story now…yours was just SO much worse! Haha.

      What is it about embarrassing situations and cell phones? For some reason, we immediately get on the phone and pretend to start to talk to someone, trying to save face. It never works because everyone always knows that you’re only doing it because you’re embarrassed…I know because I do it all the time. I am the queen of embarrassing situations and social screw-ups!

      However, it looks like you’re the king, my friend… πŸ˜‰

      Thank you SO much for sharing that tale! So hilarious and SO much more embarrassing than my story! Love it! Haha! πŸ™‚

      • I’m glad I could help.

  6. Beautiful photo of the bird!!

  7. When it rains, it pours. What an awful first day. My first day of college was bumpy, but nothing like yours. Of course I had to look up my schedule and where my classes are on our school website for students. So la-di-da, everything is set and I’m off to my first day at college. I show up early to class and wait with two or three other students. And we wait, and wait. Our class has already started but no one else, not even the instructor, has come. We walked all the way to the registration office only to find our schedules were changed. Wooops. I still feel like it was their fault.

    • Haha! Well, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who had a bit of a rough day during my first day of college…although mine was so much worse than yours. Please pity me, here… πŸ˜‰

      Thanks very much for stopping in and sharing your story, Cerinthe! Even though you didn’t have chalk thrown at your head, it still helps ease my pain a little…haha.

  8. Wow…worst first day ever! Mine was scary, this is going back to when I was little, I had to get on this train to go to school, and when I finally got there they put this hat on my head that basically made all of my life decisions for me! It decided where I would spend the next years of my life, and then I killed Voldemort.

    Love, Den.

    • And did a guy with blond hair, who hated you for no apparent reason, torture you incessantly because his Dad told him to? Did you also have teachers who relied on you FAR too much to solve the school’s problems and would never believe you, even though you have always proved correct in past situations?

      If so, then that’s a shame. A real shame.

  9. That’s pretty terrible. My first day was typical. After a perfectly poured bowl of cereal I arrived at class 5 minutes early and the homecoming queen asked me out. Then I went to the gym and set the state record for bench press before leaving only to find an orphan in a tree with a kitten. I pulled them out before flames engulfed the branches. The mayor was really nice when he gave me the key to the city.

    If only..

    • Huh…too bad you didn’t accomplish much that day, eh? I mean, come on Clay…get it together! πŸ˜‰

      Actually, I honestly laughed out loud when I read that you perfectly poured a bowl of cereal. How did you do it?? I mean, I always either pour way too much or not nearly enough, and then the little bits and pieces of my Froot Loops or Corn Pops always fly out of the box and go all over the counter! Why is that??! Haha.

      Thanks for dropping by again Clay and for regaling me with your ridiculous tale…

  10. I do feel sorry for you! that sounds like a horrible way to start off your college experience…you are so funny! lol you kept me interested all the way through with details 27 million people, 32 seconds and all those ‘smelly’ people, sounds like a day at the DMV out here in California!

    Thanks for making me laugh!

    • Haha…well, I’m glad some people enjoy that story because it was pretty horrendous to live through, let me tell ya…

      Thanks again for your kind words and encouragement! πŸ™‚

  11. Can’t tell , I was a victim of a chalk too the first day I changed of high. ( Till I was 13 I was going to a french school, then I did move to a spanish high-school because my future exams before going to University require that I know about Spaniard or Spanish History and that stuff)

    The bad thing is that he hit me in one eye. I immediatly said . What the f***!! LOL that was funny, my classmates started laughing so loud! I got middle blind all the day ¬¬

    I’m still looking for the reason why he threw me the fkin chalk lol.

    What an awkward situation, right?

    • So I’m not the only one to have had chalk thrown at my head??!! Wow…suddenly, I feel as though we have an unspeakable bond, Javi. Like brothers in arms. Haha.

      I must say, though, my chalk didn’t hit me in the eye…just the forehead. How do you get chalk dust out of your eye?? Haha.

      Thanks for dropping in again, Javi! πŸ™‚

      • It was a little chalk ( a piece of a broken complete chalk I guess), so it did not hurt too much, it’s just the humiliating situation you live in front of your classmates.

        yeah, brothers in arms! ( by thw way, band of brothers, great TV serie of II WWar, Tom hanks,)

        I wonder why, everytime we do something for the first time ( school, University, job, car exam, kiss, whatever) it all ends with an embarrasing situation lol.

        See you!

      • Well, for me, it’s not just when I do something for the first time that it ends in disaster…it’s everything I do, all the time. Haha.

        And, yes, Band of Brothers is the BEST thing that has ever been filmed! I have the series on DVD and almost know every line word-for-word (kinda sounds like I watch too much TV when I say that…haha).

        Thanks again, Javi! πŸ™‚

  12. HAHAH! I’m so sorry, but that’s hilarious. I’m glad you could laugh about it now!

    • Yeah, it was one of the worst and most hilarious days of my life. It lives in infamy. I think I still have a chalk indent in my forehead…

      Thanks so much for your kind words and for laughing at my pain, LearningToFly! πŸ˜‰

  13. College rocks, right?

    • Yes, especially when you get chalk thrown at your face on the first day.

      Pure Awesomeness.


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