Should I Buy Her A Cape?

Teaching is not for the faint of heart. At all times, there are 22 people staring right at you. They are watching everything you do, critiquing everything you say. There is the constant worry that you will say something that is just flat out wrong or that you will contradict yourself. But those things ARE going to happen, so it is just best to practice laughing at yourself ahead of time. I hear these kind of experiences build character anyway.

But still, it is nerve wracking. Especially for a person like me who has a predisposition to anxiety and panic attacks. I seem to average one to two a semester, just for shits and giggles. I never really know what will bring them on (although, I have a theory it has something to do with that God awful florescent lighting). But they scare me. And, inevitably, I have a hard time walking back into class the next day. I mean, what if something worse happens???

What if I fall down?

This question that has plagued me during my entire teaching experience was answered last night by a fellow teacher as we swapped stories near a rowdy game of beer pong. If you fall down in class… you get back up. She knows this. Because every semester she has taught, she has fallen down in class. Not walking to class or leaving class. In class. For no apparent reason. With 22 people staring at her. And she just gets back up and carries on. Not just that day or the next, but she comes back the following semester. Knowing that, statistically, she is destined to fall. Literally. And she walks into that classroom anyway.

She looked embarrassed when she was telling me the story last night. And I know she thought my incredulous look really meant “oh you poor bastard.” But really… it was a look of admiration. She looked in the face of one of my biggest fears, gave it a big “fuck you” and simply marched on.

She may be my hero.

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