My (Lack of) Stealth


I promised that with nursing school comes the student bloopers. Last time, I shared one that exercised my ability to keep a straight face in front of a confused fellow student. Now, it’s my turn.

Tuesday mornings my cohort meets for the lecture portion of Assessment class where we learn, well, how to assess patients. This involves the interview and the physical assessment of inspecting, auscultating (i.e. listening with a stethoscope), percussing, and palpating.

There are very few rules for Dr. W’s class as we’re second-time-around college students. One rule is don’t come late to class; if you come late, listen to the lecture in the hall and She’s a former Catholic nun with lots of stories. This means class is fun but also the potential for guilt is high – very high.

The Tuesday before Halloween, I was about 5 minutes behind where I wanted to be on leaving the house. I found a parking space in the far garage and began walking. With class at 10 AM on a Tuesday at a commuter campus, I get used to walking – a lot.

I did not realize until I started walking my huge tactical error for the day – my shoes. With socks sliding on the inside of my mule shoes and no heel strap to keep the feet in, I sorely underestimated my walk time. Also, the time change messed up my clocks, so I didn’t realize exactly where I was on the time of cutting it close.

I arrived at the door of the class as Dr. W was finishing her pre-lecture chat/check-in. Drat. She had technically started class. I set my stuff on the bench outside the door, and prepared for my listening of shame. A classmate mouths to me, “C’mon in. You can make it.”

I check. Dr. W is looking away. There is a desk a mere 3 feet from the doorway.

Why I choose to try and slide through two desks instead of taking the back one, I will never know. I’m not a waif.

Klunk-Screech-Klunk-klunk-Shuffle.

15-20 people and Dr. W look at my attempt-at-innocent face. The classmate who beckoned me giggles. I sigh and promptly get up. I think I said something like, “Oh, fine!” as I made it within a foot of the door.

Dr. W, “Sigh, Sit down.”

However, the first few slides of her lecture are filled with little jabs of “…you know, the stress caused by not getting to class on time” or “thinking of others when you don’t get to class on time.” She’s a nun, she’s knows guilt well!

At this point, I pipe up and say, “If it makes you feel any better, I do have a highly developed sense of guilt.” She only threatens to point a finger at me.

I wore better shoes the next week.

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