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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rippin' it Up

Pin It It was my first year as a teacher. As most beginning educators (or teachers in general in any year they’ve taught), I had a very limited budget and looked for ways in which to save money. Because of this, many of my clothes were purchased at the local thrift industry store. I’m all about saving a few dollars here and there, and purchasing an entire outfit for school for fewer than ten dollars was always a screaming deal.

At this point I need to confess that it seems quite awkward using the word ‘outfit’ in any context as a male of the human species, but I digress…

One particular day found me purchasing a pair of pants that were awesome. They were just my size, and though a little worn in the seams, were a great deal for only four dollars. After all there were no stains, the legcuffs weren’t frayed at all, and the pockets didn’t have holes in them. I made my purchase and left the store. Over the next few weeks I wore my new acquisition, and I was relishing in the fact that I’d purchased them for such a great price.

I’m all about screaming deals.

One day, I was working the after-school program and had a group of students outside. I was explaining the rules to the game we’d be playing, and as I squatted down, I felt—as well as heard—the unmistakable sound; funny how you can ‘feel’ a sound isn’t it? I’m sure you know the sound I speak of when I add that the world got an awful lot breezier, too.

I quickly stood and talked even faster so that my students wouldn’t be aware of what had just happened (luckily, they had all been in front of me and none behind). I put my hands behind my back and could feel the rip—completely up the seam all along the backside.

My face reddened slightly as I wondered just how I could get out of this. I was out on the field with two dozen students left to my charge; there was no ready-made solution—I’d have to make it back to the building, unnoticed, and then go home to change.

Now the challenge was finding the way to get there without my rip—a gaping one at that—being observed.

I got the game going as quickly as I could, I put two responsible students in charge and then began backing the entire distance to the school building; I smiled, offered up encouragement, and pretended that everything was okay to the crowd of boys and girls who were playing. Occasionally I had to turn to one side or the other when another group’s student was in close proximity so as not to give them a show. In reality, I must have looked like a dancer twirling this direction and that before covering the distance to the building.

I had never noticed what a long walk it was from the field before…

I reached the building, walking sideways and making sure my backside was to the wall as I passed both teachers and students in the hallway. I breathed out a sign of relief as I reached my classroom sanctuary and began to look for something to cover the tear…there was nothing.

I finally opted for the only thing I could readily find: a girl’s jacket that had been hanging on one of the classroom racks for as long as I could remember. I tied it about my waist and headed to the hallway. In reality, it was pretty hot out and with a girl’s jacket I looked completely ridiculous, raising more than one pair of eyebrows as I walked down the hall.

Undaunted, I made my way to the program coordinator’s office and told her that an emergency had arisen and I’d need to go home.

She asked what was up.

I told her it was personal.

She asked why I had a girl’s jacket tied around my waist.

I had no choice but to explain what had happened.

My boss’ face showed concern. She told me that I was more than welcome to go home to change. She nodded appreciatively and didn’t say anything as I backed toward the door. Then her face split into a huge smile as she broke into uncontrollable laughter.

I guess it’s a good thing that I had a sense of humor, because instead of being even more embarrassed I laughed too.

Since the horrendous day of the I-got-a-huge-rip-right-in-the-seat-of-the-you-know-where I decided to limit my purchases at said thrift store. After all, some deals just aren’t worth the possible costs of embarrassment in days of future passed.

However, the story I got in the end was totally worth it.

Let’s hear it for screaming deals.


Chrissy said...

Now u will roll your eyes, that old saying " U get what u pay for"... is it pounding in your head? I can hear my mother saying that now...Can u hear your mom too? btw, love Calvin & Hobbs.

Rachel said...

Senior year. First period. Math.

My math teacher always wore corduroy pants. He rode his bike to school everyday unless there was snow on the ground. Then he'd skinny ski to school. As the year went on his back side would get shinier and shinier as the cords would wear. One day, (and I'll never forget) the shine was flashing tighty whitey's.

Any other teacher we'd have all been giggling and having fits of laughter. Not this teacher. He was STRICT. Scared me to death. He announced to us all that he knew perfectly well that he had a huge gaping hole in the back of his pants and the lesson went on. He sat there at that black board and taught away for an hour while the class sat there trying to look anywhere but at his white bvd's, our faces red, and eyes watering from trying to hold in the laughter.

Oh my gosh that was too funny!!

Ally said...

This is why I try to bring a gym bag with a change of clothes to work and leave it in my car, you just never know!

Mamma has spoken said...

I had this happen once before to me too. Except I was wearing a dress (jumper to be more specific) and I ripped it on the chalk tray. My principal at this time would have made me take a 1/2 day sick day to go home and change, so I did what any good teacher would do. I stapled the rip shut!

Sue said...

Great story!


Richard & Natalie said...

All I have to say is, "Your pain is our pleasure? Your lament is our laughter?" Hmmmm.... where have I heard that somewhere before? ;)

Yes, indeed, it is funnier from another's perspective. Glad you can look back on it that way.

And I would've paid money to have seen you with a girls pink jacket around your waist!

A Lark said...

Why oh why wasn't I outside with my kids that day to see that?! I guess I didn't know you well, then, so I probably wouldn't have gotten as much enjoyment out of it as I do now, though...
Thanks for the great visual imagery. My own such stories will remain unpublished and will have to be bribed out of me.

tammy said...

Hilarious. I seem to remember something similar happening to me when I was jumping on the trampoline with some neighborhood kids. Thanks for bringing that memory back.

New Jersey Memories said...

That is just too funny. I remember having embarrassing moments as a kid, but never thought that teachers had them.

Farscaper said...

2 words: DUCT TAPE

We've used it for a great deal of repairs. It comes is a LOT of "fashion colors and patterns" now. My husband seems to have a roll of it just about everywhere we go.

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