I should really just rename this feature ‘Embarrasing Stories’, because that’s really what we want to read, and that’s really what we’ve got. This first one is from Sister Spooky (Laura), who I can’t help just feeling sorry for!
So I have real issues with public speaking and performing. I used to be fine with it but no matter the size of the group or the subject matter I get so anxious that I full on panic.
The most memorable and embarrassing of these moments was my 2nd year at uni. I did a writing/humanities degree and the 1st 2 years were at a sister college so the classes were small and then the last year was “real uni”.
I had to give a presentation that looked at the life of an author or poet we were studying and then compare and contrast 2 biographies I had read on his/her life. I was doing T.S.Eliot and I was so prepared that I probably could have written a book on him myself.
I stood with my notes, powerpoint and books in front of my class of 12 and tutor and started. Still fretting but choosing to ignore it I carried on and had reached about half way into the speech and I noticed that the sun was very bright and glaring. The air pressure was off too. How strange. I had no memory of boarding a plane.
Everyone was looking at me.
As Dr Samuel Beckett of ‘Quantum Leap’ would say: Oh boy.
My tutor was smiling encouragingly. Then things got even stranger. The air was sucked out of the room and everyone become inconvenient and blurry. My tutor asked if I was ok.
I think the flapping handouts in my shaking hands was a bit of a clue that I was not ok. At all.
I said ‘ummm I think I feel a little dizzy, ha ha, is it okay if I grab a chair’
‘Of course, sit down’
‘I’ll carry on. I just need a-’
I had stepped forward to a desk to lift a chair over as I replied and it was this moment things went fuzzy.
Next thing I knew my mates was over me and saying ‘you’re okay baby. Just stay there.’
Oh the shame. I’d not only passed out but I had done so in front of everyone and in the process of getting a chair, so was in the prime spot to let my head slam the desk front on as I went down and then flipped off the table onto the floor and smacking the back of my head on the concrete floor.
All in all, the rest of the class was cancelled. They called an ambulance. I had to be driven home by someone and gave myself a full blown concussion and had to have 2 weeks off classes while I healed.
The silver lining was I got a 1st for the presentation based on the part I did do and the notes I would have read and all the presentations I did from then onwards were a breeze because nothing could have been worse than that one!
And this tweeter who shall remain anonymous… we all thought you were so sweet and innocent!
After spending so long whilst at school being a good girl I decided to try out having an attitude at college, it worked well.. Sometimes! I got a bit flirty with one boy though and we ended up outside a pub getting a bit raunchy on night when we were drunk! Things didn’t get too heated as I started worrying about the fact he was seeing my friend at the time! Oops!
He broke up with her the next day and about a week later we ended up getting a bit close again, this time in a media classroom during college hours! Let’s just say what went on in there would have needed a watershed if it was media related at all! (though not completely X-rated may I add!) Worst thing about it was… I had to run to the toilets to erm, get some tissues and I left him naked from the waste down in the classroom whilst I did this, and he couldn’t lock the door as I did this cos I needed to get back in… Yeah, I think you can see where this is going, thankfully he’d managed to at least get his boxers up before I opened the door not realising there were other students behind me in the corridor but it looked a tad suspect!
I suppose it would be just a bit too cruel to ask everyone else to unveil their embarrassing stories without including some of my own, so here’s one which, at the time, was one of the most humiliating things to ever happen to me (but by now I’m used to this kind of stuff)…
Leaving Oxford bus station and heading into the city, I passed through a small shopping square type area and, being a young teen in the big city without my mum, I was feeling a strange mix of coolness and scared-shitless-ness. Then, as I took a confident swig from my strawberry milkshake, I saw, up ahead, a sight that still fills me with dread – a gang of loitering teens. And this wasn’t just any gang of loitering teens, this one had girls, lots of them. Pretty ones!
This was doubly bad because, not only do pretty girls increase nerves by 98.2%, but they also cause their lairy male friends to attempt to make every other guy in the vacinity to look stupid. Luckily I had a trick up my sleeve.
These noisy nobs weren’t going to get a chance to make a fool of me, because I was about to do that all by myself, and far better than any of those idiots could have done!
Striking that careful balance between ‘try not to look so dorky that you become a walking target’ and ‘try not to look so confident that you appear to be an alpha-male threat’ I also adopted another tactic – walk past so fast that they don’t have enough time to finish insulting you before you’re gone.
This plan really might have worked if only I hadn’t decided to take another glug of milkshake as I passed them. You see, it turns out that holding a large pink bottle in front of your face and tipping your head back can severely block your view ahead.
Just as I drew level with the intimidating ne’rdowells, and at the peak of my speedwalking fly-by, I slammed bollock-first into a bollard. I hit it with such speed that I bent double at the waist, almost smashing my face on the other side as my milkshake flew from my hands and decorated the paving with pink, wet, stupidness.
Massive thanks to the contributing writers from Twitter. More to come next time…
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