Steemit Exclusive: The Dangers of Getting Dressed in the Dark…..

Growing up in the midwest, there is a certain time of year, namely winter, where you get up before the sun and have to leave for work or school before the sun is up. When I was in high school, I had to ride to school with my mom who was a teacher at the high school I attended. This meant that there were plenty of days that I’d have to get dressed in the dark.

Fortunately, I was still able to look as presentable as you’d imagine for someone who went to high school in the late 90’s, knee-deep in the grunge style scene.

There was one slight drawback for getting dressed in the dark. And I never figured it out till it was almost too late.

I suppose it was my own fault. See, I had a habit of wearing the same pair of jeans more than once in a week. Normally, I’d wear the same pair on consecutive days. But back then I also had a bad habit of not shaking out my pants before putting them back on.

I blamed this on how early I had to wake in the morning.

It wasn’t until I was already at school, waiting for class to start, when all my friends were around, that I would make a grim discovery. I’d find a strange bulge in my lower pant leg. Now, because of my leg brace, I didn’t feel anything weird, it was only when I went to pull my legs to my chest when I was sitting down that I’d feel the strange bulge.

But what was it?

In a word, it was, um…….underwear. Dirty underwear to be exact.

Yeah, turns out I hadn’t shaken out my underwear from my jeans from the day before and they were now stuck in my pant leg.

At school.

In front of my friends.

Ladies and gentlemen, this would be the alternative dream to the one where you arrive at school naked.

So how did I retain my dignity and not let slip (pun intended) my mistake in getting dressed that morning? By a slow and sneaky sleight of hand maneuver. I’d put my hand over the bulge in my leg and begin rubbing it up and down like I had an itch….slowly working the offending garment down my pant leg and out through the leg hole. I’d scrunch it into a tight ball in my fist and hold it tight while I made a sort of “walk of shame” to my mom’s classroom where I’d hand it off to here and she’d put it in her desk. The thought never occurred to me to put it in my locker. I guess I figured it’d be more likely to fall out when I opened my locker and then I’d really give everyone something to talk about.

In a school of no less than 200 students, a tale of runaway underwear would have spread as fast as the tickets sell out for a Taylor Swift concert.

Now you’d think that perhaps this only had to happen once for me to remember to shake out my jeans when I took them off.

You’d be wrong.

Even 20 years later I can remember this happening no less than 3 times.

So why did I include this story? Well, you see, I got dressed in the dark this morning and am now writing this entry in an isolated corner of the grocery store.

With a balled up pair of dirty underwear in my fist.

Some people never learn. 

Cheers! 

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Dear School Struggler….Your Future is Brighter Than You Know

When I was a kid I swore I’d never work as a teacher because I didn’t like school all that much. The social aspect I handled just fine, but it was the work that I found to be too much at times. Especially math. I’ve struggled with math my entire life. Which is funny when you consider my dad worked as an Actuary, and my siblings were both academically advanced. I like to say that by the time I came along, all the numbers and logic genes had been taken.

Learning anything new was a challenge for me, and I felt many times that I lacked something my fellow peers had–the ability to know and understand the right answer. I also struggled with keeping myself organized, and was constantly losing papers I needed to turn in. I remember one time in 3rd grade we had an assignment to work on a small hand sewing project. This was a long-term project that we’d work on every day during story time. One day I discovered I had lost the materials–they must have landed in the same vortex as my lost homework and retainer–and panicked. Thinking that I wouldn’t be noticed, I pantomimed working on this sewing project, my hands under my desk, my head down. Of course I was caught. My memory becomes a bit fuzzy as to what happened next, but I still remember being embarrassed. My grades suffered due to my lack of organization and inability to recall facts. It wasn’t for a lack of trying though. I remember studying hard, but still coming up short.

As I grew older, my struggles continued. Mostly in math, but soon I added biology to the list. For biology I obtained the book the summer before class started and began reading. That’s the thing about struggling….eventually you figure out how to make things nominally better. And you follow through. Upon high school graduation, my grades were a tiny bit better. But the struggle remained.

I moved away to college. A place that is known for its intense academic environment. And wouldn’t you know, the darndest thing happened. I was passing all my classes. At the end of my 2nd year of college I had accomplished something I had NEVER done in all my years of school….I made the honor roll (in college they call it the deans list, which sounds even cooler 😉 ).  By the time I graduated college I had 2 deans list appearances under my belt.

So how did I suddenly accomplish academic success after years of struggling? Ah, young Padawan, your answer is in your question. If it weren’t for my struggle I wouldn’t have learned coping strategies that would help me be successful in college. Being able to tape record lectures and playing them back later–a strategy I picked up in high school–was one of my many life lines. Acknowledging my learning disability without shame was crucial to my later success. Oh, and that thing about not wanting to teach because of school struggles? I’ve worked in tutoring and child care for the last decade. See I have a useful tool for the classroom. Empathy for kids who are struggling. Kids that sit in classrooms every day and feel stupid. Just like I did all those years ago.

So, dear student, if you are struggling and have dreams of college, fear not. You are learning now the tools you’ll need later for college success. And that will put you ahead of the class.

I hope this encouraged you. Please share with anyone you know who is struggling in school.

Cheers!

wah-wah

*Peanuts image appears courtesy of google search