Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Red Badge of Courage. OK Maybe Not Courage Exactly...

So I was visiting Happy and Blue 2's blog, and he had a post that asked, "What are you famous for?" I racked my brain for a while, and an incident that occurred when I was in third grade came to mind.

I remember the day very clearly. My friend Rayna's mother was acting as the substitute PE teacher. I loved PE, and I was usually quite good at everything I was asked to do. This being her first, (and most likely only) time subbing, Mrs. V simply had us running relay races.

Now for this to make sense, I have to explain that our playground area doubled as the parking lot for the church. Have I mentioned that I went to Catholic school? Anyway, our concrete paradise was this crazy patchwork of parking space lines interspersed with volleyball and basketball court outlines, all jumbled together.

Which takes me to the basketball courts. We were running the relays in that general area. I think my team was winning, although that could just be wishful embellishment on my part. But doesn't it just add to the drama? We had been instructed to run backwards, touch the outer fence, then run forward on the way back.

So here is little third grade Gina, running her heart out, backwards. Which, I might add, is plenty difficult. I'm doing good, chugging along, then- BLAM! I am down on the ground. Do you remember the cartoons where the character gets hit in the head, and they are sitting on the ground, tounge lolling, with little birds singing in a circle around their noggin? That was totally me.

I had run into a basketball hoop pole!

I vaguely remember my team, staring at me as they watched their lead vanish. Some of the other kids were laughing, and I can't really say I blame them. I mean, here is this fairly vast area, and here I go smacking into what is really quite a small (circumference-wise) pole. That I knew was there and smacked anyway.

Groggily, I picked myself up and managed to wobble to the finish line. Dead last.

It wasn't until a few minutes later when I was sitting on a bench that Mrs. V had placed me on, no doubt feeling a bit horrified at my clumsiness. Word to the wise, whenever subbing for the PE teacher, just let the uncoordinated kids sit it out. It will make your life that much easier. I was simply catching my breath when my friend Jennifer let out a squeal. At me. She rather dramatically (I thought) pointed to my formerly white collar and yelled, "She's got blood on her collar!"

So to add to my infamy, I now was sent packing to the nurse's office. Apparently I had quite the bit of blood running down my scalp and staining my shirt, as head wounds are often wont to bleed profusely. It turns out that I needed stiches on my head. People, that's how fast I was going. Stitches! On my head!

To this day I still bear the faint scars from the four stitches some poor resident or something had to sew in my head. I wear them proudly, a testimony to my fleetness. Or, perhaps a testimony to my inability to run backwards. Nah, I think I'll stick with the fleetness.

Hey, at least I got to go home early...


Elizabeth said...

I'm sure there was some rule buried in the doctrines of the Vatican II Ecumenial Council back in the early 60s that said something like -

"Ok, blaming Jews for the death of Christ, was, like, not a good thing but running backwards on concrete towards a metal pole without a spotter? We won't give THAT up!"

I believe Pope John XXIII tried to get them to change that policy but all the bishops threatened to steal his pointy hat and throw it in a tree.

Anvilcloud said...

I have a scar on my forehead from being hit in the head with a baseball bat at an outing for our Sunday School class.

WordsRock said...

Hey, I had four stitches in my head too! My cut came from the outside corner of a wall and a push from my step-sister which sent me reeling.

It's one of those stories that gets dragged out at our family reunions. Then everyone wants to feel the corner it left on my head.

Do you have a corner too? :)


Gina said...

Suzanne, I would describe it as more of a dent. :)

Suzanne said...

Your playground/parking lot sounds a lot like mine growing up! Except no lines for non-parking activities of any sort.

I feel so bad for your poor third-grade self. Did no one outside of a classmate think that perhaps you might have hurt yourself?

Gina said...

Suzanne- you would have thought at a Catholic school they would have had a bit more compassion, eh?

AC- Ouch!