Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I sit at my desk, lulled into forgetfulness. 9:00 rolls around and I stand up, and am instantly jarred back to reality. I contemplate the task before me: Walk down the hallway, across the skywalk, up two flights of stairs and into the classroom. Under normal circumstances, this would be a menial talk. Today, however, every step is daunting.
It all started a few days ago, I decided to jump start (literally) my exercise routine. As I haven't found a gym and I'm avoiding running at the moment, I decided to give jumping rope a try. The first day went well. The next day I was a little sore, but I pushed through. The third day I was really sore and I pushed through again.
Now I am paying a debilitating price. The mere act of taking a step sends stabbing, burning pain up my legs. My calves are sore in muscles I didn't realize existed. It is all I can do to not gasp and wince with every step.
Down the hallway I hobble. There is no masking my discomfort, I simply can't walk normally right now. I wonder who is watching and if they notice that the foreigner is walking like a drunk old lady. I could almost conjure up mortification, if I could focus on anything except making it up the stairs.
My co-teacher, in his late fifties, races ahead of me, looking over his shoulder every once in a while to make sure I'm still there. I reach the stairs, preparing myself for the thrashing my legs are about to receive. My face twists up and I'm glad my co-teacher isn't there to see.
Several kids wave and greet me, "Hello teacher!!"
I force a wan smile, but I can't trust myself to open my mouth without unleashing a barrage of expletives. So, not the lesson I was planning on giving today. I finish with my classes, during which I either stand perfectly still or sit down. I am sorry to hear the bell (or rather song) signaling the end of class. It means motion.
I hobble out of class and descend the stairs which is even worse than walking. I am momentarily stupefied by the sheer agony. I freeze on the third step. My co-teacher pauses, looks up at me.
"What is mattuh?"
"Oh, nothing . . ."
I can't bother with explaining this right now. It would take too much effort. I take a few quick steps to catch up to him and realize it's much better that way. Like ripping off a bandaid.
To make matters ever so much worse, today is 'School Social Club Activity Day.' I politely refused admittance to the school 'Social Club' last week, and my refusal was soundly, yet, politely refused. Today's activity? A hike. *Shudder*
Not only that, but I've heard the word, 'mountain' more than once in reference to today's excursion. Oh please, please, let them be mistranslating.

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