Someone let me teach a class this year.
I was thrilled, and pumped, and nervous and very aware of the fact that they had only hired me because the original teacher had flaked out on the job at the last-minute. I didn’t care. It was an opportunity to do something that scared me. Sometimes you have to do those things, just to remind you that you are bolder than you think! It was an Ethics class. Other faculty would approach me in the halls, to congratulate me, and then quickly add, “If you need any support, let me know. Don’t let them get to you. They’ll try. Are you scared?” Well, I wasn’t until you said that. Thanks.
I borrowed the book that I was to be teaching from and read it from cover to cover. The Ethics of Massage. You’d think this stuff would be rather obvious, but for some strange reason, people keep confusing massage therapy with prostitution. Who the hell came up with the phrase “Massage Parlour?” C’mon. Couldn’t they just call it, “Whore House” to alleviate the misconceptions? Anyway, the idea in teaching this to students is to give them the verbal skills to avert any misunderstandings. I slaved over my lesson plans. My main plan was to somehow keep them from sleeping so soundly through class that they drooled and embarrassed themselves.
The first day of class came. I was so nervous that I arrived an hour early just to organize myself. I HATE talking in front of people, and this was 2 hours straight, of pretty much me talking. I wrote lists and bullet points on the dry erase board. I suddenly realized that I have the most horrendous handwriting. I also could not longer spell. They were going to think I was illiterate.
Well, I guess that would mean they weren’t sleeping.
My (adult) students began to trickle in. I started chatting with them, as they sat in a semi-circle around me. I acted like I had taught a million times before. We did introductions. I learned that they all had pasts, most with some drama, many with some trauma, all interesting and unique.
I told them I could eat an entire Chipotle burrito in one sitting, because I think it’s important for a teacher to share some of their own personal life, as well. I could tell they were impressed.
The class finally came to a close. My first class. I only finished 20 minutes early! It was not as painful as childbirth, but a tad more painful than my first kiss… simply because it lasted much longer. I felt awesome, like I had really accomplished something! I had tackled a fear, and hopefully spoken comprehensible English to a group of adults, while making eye contact! I didn’t shoot any thing from my nose! Here I was walking on sunshine, feeling so great about myself, when I came out of the bathroom. I was washing my hands when I noticed something in the mirror. The bright flourescent light was quite visible through my new pants. Like COMPLETELY visible. I was wearing flowery undies, for all to see. I had been in front of a group of adults, for almost 2 hours, writing away on the dry erase board, butt towards the class, teaching Ethics (of all things) in my see-though pants.
Of course, no one fell asleep.
Throughout the quarter, I learned new words and phrases for ‘doing it’ that I hadn’t heard before. Obnoxiously, I wrote them on the dry erase board – blushing like an overripe tomato, giving thanks that the pants I wore THAT day were not sheer. I’m happy that in my bubble, if nothing else, I reminded my students how to laugh… sometimes at their teacher. I also learned that pants that have been reduced in cost 2 or more times, at Old Navy – probably have a flaw. I wore the violating pants to my bookclub meeting later that month to get the official word. Yes. They were see-through. Not a little, but a lot. If I was to wear them again, I’d have to register as a sex offender.