It was one of those days where everything was RIGHT. The sun shone, the birds chirped, and I knew it was going to be terrific. I was especially pleased with the way I looked. My hair was having a great day all unto itself, I was wearing a new, flippy, white skirt that I loved and a pair of fierce heels that boosted my height to over 6' tall.
I wanted to look my best because after school I would be presenting some information to a group of area superintendents. Confidence oozed from me.
I looked out my classroom window between 2nd and 3rd periods and saw raindrops. I remembered I had left the window cracked a bit in my car and breathed a prayer of thanks I had just enough time to get to the parking lot and get it rolled up before my next class came in.
I took off at a trot towards the parking lot. Not five steps out the door, my fierce heel caught on the edge of the sidewalk. The momentum of my trot stole my balance and I knew I was going down. It wasn't a dainty, drop to your knees fall. Not even close.
I drove myself headfirst into the dirt and grass on the other side of the sidewalk, Superman style. My knees dragged on the sidewalk while my feet flailed in the air. My hands and face plowed a furrow in the newly watered grass. My face became my anchor, slowing my slide through the grass and mud.
At the precise moment my slide stopped, five of my 8th grade boys turned the corner to where I was. By now, I had picked up my head. Streaks of mud marked my face and grass fell from my mouth. Part of my skirt was arranged somehow now around my waist. The top two buttons on my blouse had separated themselves from the fabric.
Both knees were bleeding, staining the bottom of my white skirt a bright red. I was stunned. They were equally as stunned.
They all dropped their books and hopped from one foot to the other. They each lost the power of speech momentarily. Their eyes were wide and their mouths agape.
The first one to regain his voice could only say, "Oh oh oh oh!"
The others just continued to jump in panic. I managed to roll myself over and sit up.
Finally another one choked out, "Uhhhh, ma'am, did you fall?"
Most of my students have seen me after the the after-school Insanity workouts I lead in my classroom for other teachers. It is a time when I am drenched in sweat, hair askew, and not looking my best. However, this took looking bad to a whole new level.
They were sweet and quite concerned for my welfare. Perhaps they thought I had lost my hearing and mental capabilities in the fall, because they talked to me loudly and slowly. "LET....US....HELP....YOU...GET....UP."
By now, I had picked myself up off the ground and tried to wipe off the mud, grass, and blood. "Thanks, fellows, but I'm OK," I replied.
"WE...CAN...CARRY...YOU...TO...THE...OFFICE," another emphasized, stretching out his bony arms.
"No, thanks, I can make it there by myself," I reiterated.
"YOU...FELL," a third one explained to me.
"ON...THE...GROUND," the fourth intoned, nodding slowly.
"Yes, I know, but I'm OK."
Finally, I convinced them I was going to be fine and they could go on their way.
Somewhere in that dirt, along with my blood and bits of my skin, is a large piece of my dignity. Fierce heels, you won't be going with me to school anymore.