FRIDAY, JUNE 13TH
For blondes who live in California, any time the 13th falls on a Friday we are given a legal holiday. Trying to remember and avoid every superstition known to man will make our heads explode. This is what I thought might get me off the hook for speaking to the class. It seems that this law is not known in Alabama and therefore did not apply.
I was not having a good start to my day. I had not made the correct calculations and had smoked my last cigarette the night before. I got more than a few funny looks as I was walking down the hill to the cafeteria for breakfast looking up into the sky and saying, "Just take me now and get it over with!"
The morning was getting worse. I was working on a legal holiday, they had run out of spiced apple oatmeal in the cafeteria, and I was drinking coffee without a cigarette.
Walking through the parking lot to my classroom to meet my fate, an angel pulled up in her car. Why, it was Ms. Martha from my class, Ms. Martha who sat in the front row of my class. I must have looked really bad. She asked what was wrong and when I told her she took a quick look around and said, "Hurry quick and get in the car." Bless her little heart, Ms. Martha took some back road, got me to the mini mart and back to school in time for me to have a smoke and for us to get to class on time. PLEASE NOTE: Ms. Martha does not smoke, she did it for me out of the kindness of her heart which I blessed earlier. I am forever in your debt, Martha.
OK, so maybe the day was getting a little better. Maybe I could really pull this presentation off without speaking "blond-ese" and maybe I could show them that not only do I love research but I also am pretty darn good at it. After all, I was wearing my favorite fluorescent Hawaiian print dress and lime green sandals. My mother always told me when you look good, you feel good.
Somehow my presentation was scheduled as the last one. Everyone before me had PowerPoint things and laser pointers. I agonized all morning about how I was going to do this. I finally tore a piece of paper out of my notebook, wrote on it and waited. When Birdie called my name, I dragged myself up to the podium, held up my piece of paper that said, “The Problem with Pauline,” and proceeded to tell the class about my research.
I did this with a classroom of new friends, some new found confidence, and a smile on my face.