Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do you recall an embarrassing incident from grammar school?

Wednesday night I went to see Sunday School Cinema by Vicki Quade at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center. She's the one from the play, Late Night Catechism, which was such a hit.

In Sunday School Cinema, as in Late Night Catechism, she dressed in a nun's habit and played the part so well, it was hard to believe she was a lay person. Those who went to parochial school as I did, even those who didn't, had fun listening to her satire and jokes.

Except when she singled people out, like a teacher in grammar school. Then it got flustering for some.

On the subject of embarrassing moments in school, I can recall some.

I threw up twice in grammar school. Once, after drinking chocolate milk, and the other time, during reading class. Another embarrassing moment happened when the teacher made me leave the classroom because I was having a coughing fit.

Do you remember any embarrassing incidents from grammar school? Or, have you made up an embarrassing childhood moment for one of your novel characters? Please share.


  1. My entire life has been filled with sooooo damned many embarrassing moments and I have tried my level best to forget them too. Thankfully, I guess, with age comes that kind of forgetfulness as I can't recall what the heck they were now. Occasionally, getting old, senile and forgetful is a darned good thing too ya know!

  2. Yeah, I was pretty much a clutz as a youth, so there were many incidents I've long since forgotten.

    I always joke that my most embarrassing moment was actually someone else's! I dumped a full glass of Coke down the front of me and the situation was so absurb, I just began to laugh hysterically. My friend was so embarrassed, he ended up under the table!!!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  3. Like Jeni, my embarrassing grammar school moments are too numerous to count. I loved learning, but never liked school.

  4. My mother subbed in one of my classes one day. My crush was in my class. REALLY cute guy, sweet, and I know I talked WAAAY too much about him at home.

    As she's calling roll and gets to his name, she says "Oh, yes, I know who you are" in this knowing voice. The class erupted and I didn't speak to her for days!

  5. LOL! Millions! You have no idea! LOL! But I think the most memorable was when I was banned from a class because of my horrible hiccups. LOL! They're nasty and they hurt and they sound like bullfrogs! LOL! anyway, my teacher thought I was faking it. The class was laughing so hard that eventually I got sent to the principals office. They actually called my mom to verify that my hiccups were real. OH YEAH! And I was a sophmore in high school! LOL!

  6. Embarrassing moments? Plenty, but the worst was this: in fourth grade, I wet my pants. Not once, but several times that year, because I had a domineering witch of a teacher who wouldn't let me leave class to go to the restroom. I'll never forget having to go up in front of the class, in wet clothes, to tell her I had to go home and change.

  7. Anonymous9:01 AM

    In parochial school the nuns would not let us leave the classroom to use the bathroom. My mother jokingly told me if they won't let you go then just go on the floor. And that is exactly what I did. That lent itself to a very special parents/teachers conference.

  8. I'm with Jeni - grammar school was so long ago that I've managed to let those embarrassing moments fade. Unfortunately they have been replaced by plenty of more recent moments!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    Author of The Ride

  9. I was a goofy kid and there were a great number. My favorite story happened when I was six or seven. We had a really bad ice storm. In the playground were two slides, one for the big kids and the other for squirts like me. The big kids slide was pretty much a slab of ice and they were daring one another to slide down head first. I wanted to play too but the big kids were laughing at me.

    Being stubborn (Gods know the Irish blood doesn't help) I decided to do it just to prove a point. I got up there and slid down. Half way down I lost control, picked up speed, and ended up doing the belly flop of all time so hard on the frozen ground I knocked every bit of air out of my lungs.

    Let's just say the teachers had to carry me in and try explaining to your mother why you were being that stupid. *sighs*

  10. Ah yes, I think we all had those moments.

  11. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Once in 4th grade I mispelled "spel" on a spelling test - up to then I was the best speler in class (smile)

  12. 5th grade, I got sent inside from gym class for saying 'frig'. I got a detention over lunchtime recess the next day. I was crying so hard.
    When I got home, my mom wrote back on the slip saying that my sister and I were allowed to say things like 'frig' or 'sugar-honey-iced-tea' as long as we did not say the actual swear word.

  13. Anonymous12:25 PM

    I can't remember when this was or what game we were playing exactly, but I had to pick someone out of a line up for something. Thinking hard, I leaned against the low-laying table where our recent science projects were drying: mouse bones picked out of expelled owl pellets and pieced together on paper with glue. I wound up with bones, owl gunk, and glue on my butt (oh, and a red face).

  14. I'm sure I had tons of those moments, but the one that lived with me the longest wasn't even my fault. I was in first grade, eating lunch in the cafeteria, sitting next to my teacher. The other little girls were apparently talking about the little boys they liked. I was watching the line of sixth graders get their food. Rusty Studebaker was wearing a red sweater that day, looking very mature and handsome.

    "I like the boy in the red sweater," I said aloud.

    Unfortunately, what I hadn't noticed was that the sixth grade TEACHER, Mr. Swearingen, was also in line and was ALSO wearing a red sweater. My teacher, of course, thought I was professing my love for the teacher, and told my mom what a funny thing I said. No amount of trying to explain did any good at all.

    My mother told this story constantly, until I was in my 20's. The only way I could stop it was to move 2,000 miles away from her, which I did.

    And it made my sixth grade year with Mr. Swearingen a Living Hell.

  15. Truthfully--just being me was cause for embarrassment throughout my school years :-(

  16. Let's see, I asked my 2nd grade nun if she was bald which of course she had to share with my mother at a conference; I lost a dime up my nose in 4th grade and had a screaming hissy panic attack for an extended period of time; I was grabbed and seemingly kidnapped in front of hundreds of my peers in 5th grade; I accidently beat somebody up in 6th grade without really meaning to, but try to explain that one to the authorities .... and really, it pretty much explains why I'm fearless about embarassment, doesn't it? Lots of practice. Har!


  17. Too many years ago. Too many embarrassing moments. Luckily, I don't remember them. Although I do remember being mightily embarrassed after reading a story I wrote and being chastised for using the word "snuck" instead of "sneaked."

  18. Anonymous6:05 PM

    When I was in elementary school, I worked really hard to get the part of the Princess in the classroom play 'The Princess and the Pea'. I had a wonderful costume my mother made me, knew my lines, and could perform them very well. However, when the 'big' day came to perform it for the older classes, I totally froze, ran out of the room, and threw up.

    So hard to believe this is an issue for a Leo... yet I am the proof that such a leonine personality does exist. Yes, I still have this fear of speaking in front of others. (Not all Leos like to be the center of attention.)

  19. Anonymous8:22 PM

    When I was in first grade, I was considered tall for my age, so I always had to sit in the back row, which meant that I could see everything that went on in the classroom. We had a bright, shiny new teacher straight out of college. One day, a boy in my class, Mark, raised his hand and asked if he could go to the bathroom and the teacher said NO. Shortly afterwards, I noticed a gigantic puddle of urine on the floor on either side of his desk. I was so mortified for him. After that, I blotted the whole thing out. But I hope that teacher learned that when a kid has to go, he has to go!

  20. The puddle on the floor seems to be a common theme in some of these posts. (G)

    Morgan Mandel

  21. Anonymous12:21 AM

    Yes many of us would rather not remember those embarrassing moments. While others simply can't remember (what a blessing).

    Here is my moment:

    My teacher called on me to be line leader for lunch for the girls. This was an honor in our class. I was quiet kid. Never gave my teacher a chance to send me to the principal's office. I always had my homework done and handed in on time. I was the same at home.

    Well I went to the head of the line and we walked to the lunch room in two lines. One for the girls and one for the boys.

    My teacher of course started reprimanding the girls and I became upset. So I turned around (walking backwards) and started barking orders as well. My teacher never said a thing. I became drunk with power and continued with my drill sargent ways.

    I decided to turn around and take my place at the head of the line. Not noticing my teacher had stopped walking and now I was face first right smack dab in her boobs!

    So much for a goody two shoes. She never picked me again for line leader. I was demoted to milk manager which you did by yourself. I pulled the wagon filled with milk for two weeks.

  22. One embarrassing moment for me was in first grade. I was a good student and usually knew all the answers, but for the life of me, I didn't know when Christmas was. The date never seemed important. Christmas was Christmas after all.

    There were many, many other embarrassing moments, but thankfully I have forgotten most of them.

  23. There are waaaayyyy too many incidents involving nicknames like Olive Oyl, Big Bird and stork because I was tall and skinny and had really, really big feet. Fortunately those qualities (well, except for the really, really big feet) age fairly well. So, I've mostly recovered from the early humiliations.


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