Saturday, March 1, 2008

my tale of woe

First of all, I need to explain that I enjoy my job. I have a very part-time position with, speaking in high schools about college and how to prepare for it. Most days, I love it.

That being said, yesterday was not one of those days.

I also should explain that I am not one to get easily embarrassed or flustered in front of a group of people. You need to know this in order to grasp the depth of my humiliation as I share my story with you.

You see, I've been nursing a cold all week. By the end of the day on Thursday, I seemed to be turning a corner. I was glad about this because I had to speak in a local high school on Friday. I toyed with the idea of calling in and letting my company know that I was sick. But I knew this would mean that they would probably have to fly someone in to cover for me...and that seemed a little extreme for just a little cold.

Friday morning greeted me with a pretty nasty cough...but mornings are always the worst. All I needed was to get my head cleared, drink something hot, and I would be good to go.

When I finally arrived at the school and greeted the guidance counselor, I was a little concerned at the raspy sound that came out of my throat. She looked a little concerned as well. But I grabbed my water bottle and took a chug. That should do it.

So I got set up in the auditorium and confidently greeted the members of the junior class as they entered and took their seats. I stood by as the counselor introduced me and then stepped forward, prepared to hold their attention for a full 45 minutes as we learned all about searching for just the right college.

But something was terribly wrong. What were these sounds coming out of my mouth?

To say my voice was raspy would be an inadequate description. Raspy has the potential to be cute. This was the opposite of cute. I found myself laboring to get each word out, feeling out of breath and completely unable to control the grating voice that came out of my throat.

Within the first few minutes of speaking, I had to stop three or four times for water, desperately attempting to clear my throat each time. At this point, it all felt quite night-marish. I found myself thinking, "Any time now, the teacher will stop everything and tell me I can just go home and do this some other time."

Instead, she gave me a cough drop. And so I continued. For not just one, but TWO presentations, I filled students' ears with the principles of college success as told by a chain smoker...with bronchitis. To be fair, the students were fabulous. I'm not sure I would have been so nice.

In the end, I survived. After a pack of drown-my-sorrows blueberry pop-tarts, a big hug from my husband, and a few shed tears, the world started to look a little brighter.

I knew my therapy would not be complete, however, without sharing my story with you. And be thankful you get to read it. Much easier on the ears.


livingpalm said...

i'm so sorry to hear about your tale of woe.

ryan said...

I hope you advised the audiences to never take up chain-smoking.

I am sorry about this hardship...but I wish I could've heard it =)

Lula! said...

Seriously, Kales...I bet you sounded smokin' hot. Sexy Mama!!! Woo-woo!
Hope you are feeling better, though. And thanks for sharing this tale.

Braden & Cayman said...

Too much!!! I loved this... it made me laugh!

K8Space08 said...

aww I'm sorry Kaley! I sure you still did great though!

florrie barnett said...

sounds like you handled it gracefully Kaley. : )