My first assignment from 712 More Things to Write About. Technically, I set this challenge for the publishers first book 642 Things to Write About, but I accidentally grabbed the sequel from my desk while chowing down on dark chocolate-covered oreos, which I stole surreptiously from my sister’s Mother’s Day present. Excitement, hunger and sugar rush blinded me, and I’m too stubborn and admittedly lazy to begin again.
The book’s first suggestion: Write yesterday’s horoscope.
A tramautic event will interrupt your daily routine. Although the circumstances may undermine your self-confidence, you will meet the unexpected challenges skillfully earning others’ respect and admiration in the process. Try not to be so hard on yourself when perfection is not achieved; life will reward your efforts in time.
So yesterday, a student of mine fell to the floor during class, overcome by a sudden seizure. If you’ve never experienced a seizure before, I can only describe the moment as terrifying: legs and torso spasming violently against the ground; the sufferer unresponsive; a feeling of total helplessness for left to watch. The experience left me rather pale and exhausted, despite the assurance from my boss and vice principal that I had reacted appropriately. Television has warped all my thoughts concerning the best methods to react to emergencies. Contacting the administration and paramedics feel inappropriate when compared with the exploits of Spider-man and Optimus Prime, but the ability walk on walls and transform into a semi would not avail those suffering from non-super-villian emergencies.
Still, I felt like I should do more. In daydreams, you always feel prepared for dinosaur attacks or zombie warfare, but when an honest-to-God emergency does emerge your scenarios and strategies fall short. Thus, it felt rather good when one of my students who watched the attack congratulated me on my quick thinking and confident instruction.
“You did good, Mr. Murph,” she said, noticing the paleness in my face as the paramedics wheeled my student from the school. “Thank you for keeping calm for all of us.”
Calm? My heart felt like it might break a rib in agitation.
The student returned to school the following day as if nothing had occurred. She waved me down and — in somewhat poor taste — laughingly explained “I just want to let you know that I’m not dead.” Good to know.