First of all, you should know a few things about me during my freshman year:
- 1. I attended a tiny little K-8 school for a couple years prior to high school so when I actually got to high school, it was big and overwhelming and I knew almost no one. The class I was least looking forward to was P.E. And my worst fear happened…I didn’t know a single person in my class.
- 2. I wasn’t a particularly thin girl in high school. Looking back with the perspective of an adult (who has had two children and would kill for my high school body) I’d like to slap my fourteen year old self and tell her to quit thinking the tiny bit of baby fat on her body was something to be ashamed of, but hey, it was high school, I was a little on the chubby side, and I wanted to look like the popular cheerleaders who didn’t have an ounce of fat on them.
- 3. My name is Michelle. For some reason, the last “e” always got cut off on the roll sheets, leaving it looking like Michell. Which EVERY SINGLE ONE of my teachers EVERY SINGLE YEAR of my high school career interpreted as Mitchell. As in male. I am not male. But I was given a locker in the boy’s P.E. room anyway. That was fun to clear up on my first day of high school. P.E. wasn’t my favorite class anyway (see #1 and 2 – a little chubby (i.e. out of shape) and gym clothes…and no friendly, familiar faces for back up…not good), and dealing with repeatedly being mistaken for a male student made things worse.
- 4. My freshman year, they did some sort of fitness test to gauge where we all were on their messed up charts. They weighed us (in front of everyone, though they made everyone stand back so they (supposedly) couldn’t see the scale); they measured our body fat with this horrible little pincher torture tool (in front of everyone). Then we had to do exercises (jogging in place, pushups, jumping jacks, sit ups, etc) in front of everyone, to see how many we could do.
Enter – le grand FML moment.
The P.E. teacher had us lined up on the floor like a bunch of cadavers and he would go down the line, hold our feet, and count how many sit ups we could do. It was my turn. I was mortified at the get go because I knew I’d be lucky to do two in a row.
I did one (woohoo!)
I did two (and I already knew I was in trouble).
I did three (things were looking shaky).
I did four (not sure I could manage another but was sure going to try….)
I did five….
And then I farted.
Loud. Like a bottle rocket. Or a gun shot. With my teacher sitting dead center in the fire zone and thirty mostly unfamiliar faces staring at me and absolutely no possibility that it would escape unnoticed. Absolutely no way to escape period.
Oh, Michelle! The first time I read this, I spit coffee on my computer screen. I secretly think adults make kids do horrible stuff like this as revenge for their own hellish high school years. Thank you so much for sharing!
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She is the author of the historical romances To Trust a Thief and the Blood Blade Sisters trilogy, and the non-fiction Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers. If she's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. Michelle resides in PA with her husband and two young children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.
Visit her at www.michellemcleanbooks.com