Tag Archives: sick

The Graduate

I hoped no one was looking up my dress.

The requisite white gown I had worn over it was unzipped just moments before, moments filled with waves of heat and confusion as my vision blurred and ears went deaf.

The next thing I knew, I was lying in a pool of sweat on the ground with a headache and no idea why. All I knew was that there was a crowd of (still blurry) faces looking on. My first thought?

I was sure they all looked up my dress.

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This was 12 years ago and I no longer even resemble this person, unfortunately, but you needed to see the dress.

Graduation was overhyped—we all knew it.

It was simply a ceremony you had to go through at the end of four years of awkward moments and hours of academic effort. The last few weeks (and by weeks, I mean months) were simply gravy, going through the motions of showing up to ceramics  and an English honor’s class taught by a teacher resembling a haggard Meryl Streep who included sexual innuendo into every lecture and project assigned.

Since I was proficient in skipping, we’ll keep the streak alive and skip past those years for now.

I was actually out of school the final two weeks of my senior year due to an unfortunate incident involving my wisdom teeth, emergency surgery and a head that morphed to much more Ernie than Bert. It was not fun or attractive—much like the aforementioned randy English teacher.

That unfortunate incident was closely followed by a bout with pharyngitis. I know—it was a delightful month or so to be me. I tell you these details not for sympathy—although donations are always accepted—but because they all led up to me feeling rather under the weather come graduation day.

But I was a trooper—or forced to go, the details are fuzzy—and after a pre-graduation dinner with my family and Danny (of the Goldfish Cracker Caper, and no, I did not steal his food this time around) we set off for the ceremony.

Now picture hundreds of graduates shoved into a stuffy hallway outside of the auditorium for what seemed like days, the smell of body spray and lotion vainly trying to mask the smell of smoke.

I started to feel funny—lightheaded and very, very warm.

The noise around me dulled to a muted din, but I could read the lips of my best friend as she asked me if I was alright (or maybe she asked me if I had a light or that I was quite a sight—again, the details are fuzzy.)

The next thing I knew, I was lying in a pool of sweat on the ground with a headache and no idea why. All I knew was that there was a crowd of (still blurry) faces looking on. People rushed to my side and started asking me questions and fanning me with caps and papers.

I was sure they all looked up my dress.

After being reassured that the pervs were at bay, I was taken to the training room and seen by the on-call paramedic while my classmates received their diplomas.

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I, on the other hand, received my diploma from the paramedic.

The next day I was fine in that I didn’t have any teeth extracted from my head, the equivalent of strep throat with a migraine or the experience of passing out before a graduation ceremony.

In fact, I felt much better. While resting on the couch in my cap and gown—I had to wear it sometime right?—I decided that 12 years from then I would blog about that experience in an effort to break out of blogger’s block. OK, maybe I made that last part up, but I really did get my diploma from the paramedic.

And I’m pretty sure he never looked up my dress.