I try to avoid thinking back on certain moments in my life because I feel waves and waves of awkwardness when I do. My thesis defense, for example. I can't spend more than 3 seconds thinking about my defense before I feel overwhelmed with feelings of awkwardness/anxiety/horror. It was a perfectly fine defense, and I passed without revision, but I still somehow feel horrified that two people witnessed me give the answers I gave. For two straight hours. And I feel similarly when I think back to how I reacted like a monster to a certain golf cart rental company in Ohio when they incorrectly overcharged me $53 and wouldn't refund my money (though part of me still believes they deserved it). And I feel the same way when I think back to how I treated my friend Destiny in middle school. It's a mixture of awkwardness, regret, and horror that I'm still walking around on this earth when there are people out there who have seen me at my worst.
But most of my waves-of-awkwardness moments are centered around teaching. Like thinking back to anytime I've ever been observed. Or when I somehow calculated a student's final grade as a B+ during a student conference when they were actually getting a C+ in the class. Or when I let my students watch an entire episode of The Office during class.
And one of these waves-of-awkwardness moments happened again today when I taught Relief Society. I was already a little frustrated by the topic--not a lot of room to talk about personal experiences, and I felt underqualified to be teaching a topic that we don't have an extensive amount of information on. I'm not good at thinking on my feet. So, when someone asked a question that I didn't know the answer to, I was caught off guard and flustered and gave incorrect information about a really basic principle. The presidency corrected me, and a couple people gave additional comments to clarify. It really wasn't a big deal, and in my brain I can recognize this. But it somehow doesn't stop the constant waves of awkwardness I've felt all day. I tried joking about it with some people after church to squelch the feelings but to no avail. I tried being logical, telling myself that it was NBD, that it was a small portion of an otherwise decent lesson, that most people weren't paying attention anyway, that no one would remember by next week. And now I'm trying a blog confession to see if sending this off into the cosmic void will help ease my mind. But it's still bothering me.
And this is why I can never be a high school English teacher as I have secretly always dreamed. Even though I love teenage angst, high school classrooms, and working with students on their writing, I can't get over the constant waves of awkwardness/anxiety I feel about my performance in the classroom. It's really too bad.