I was reminiscing last night about writing term papers in college, bragging about how 18 pages was no big deal, when I remembered public speaking.

Public speaking was a really influential class for me, because it was the first time, ever, I found talking to be terrifying.

(And no, I’m not including all the terrifying conversations with bouncers RE: My fake ID, breakups, talking my way out of trouble, etc. that I experienced up to that point.)

This was just talking. About a boring, mundane topic. And it was terrifying.

I remember one poor girl in the class had a rash develop during her presentation that crept up her chest onto her face.

You could see its red, splotchy path moving up her upper body and taking over, like a storm cloud. 

I remember nothing of what she said. That’s how much the rash took over the spotlight.

“Perhaps…you can wear a turtleneck for your next presentation,” the professor concluded.

I must have completely erased my memory of that semester, because I can’t for the life of me remember what any of my three presentations were about.

All I remember is practicing my speech and being baffled by the fact that my 18 pages only accounted for SIX speaking minutes and I had another nine minutes to figure something out.

…And then when I was actually talking to the class, I spoke WAY slower than practiced, and 18 pages would have been perfect, but now I had 30 pages and therefore had too much information.



In conclusion, (haha get it) it wasn’t a class that needed any additional stress built in to it.

Which is why I remember how mortifying it was for my friend Aubry when she had to give HER speech to the class, which included the hottest college soccer player…

…who she had slept with the previous weekend after a few dates.

…Who had not called her back.


The assignment was a “persuasive” speech about any topic, and Aubry had decided to do her persuasive speech about taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

She outlined all her points about health, exercise, removing the possibility of getting stuck in a metal box and how in most cases, taking the stairs is actually faster.

And she never got a rash, so I’d say the speech was a success.

I remember walking to class, Aubry told me how embarrassed she was about the hot soccer player and how she had called and left him a message on his answering machine (haha awww) but he hadn’t called her back. And it’s been three days.

“This is the first time I’m going to see him since I left his apartment,” she said.

Aubry’s speech was the last of the class, and IN CONCLUSION, she said, there’s no reason NOT to take the stairs if you’re going less than five floors unless you are handicapped or incapacitated.

When the class filed out of the room, everyone realized that we were on the third floor.


There was a visible pregnant pause as the class considered the elevator right in front of the classroom or the stairs down the hall.

And in a show of solidarity, every person in the 20-person class moved towards the stairs. Aubry beamed.

Except hot soccer player.

“OMG,” Aubry nudged me as we made our way down the corridor. “LOOK.”

I turned around. There he was: the only person from class to take the elevator. Waiting, as he pressed the button to go down three floors. LOL


It would have been a rude move for anyone in the class who wasn’t uhhhh handicapped or incapacitated, but this was especially glaring.

She dated a guy who took the elevator after her “persuasive” speech on taking the stairs.




“Maybe he’ll get stuck,” I said. “Maybe he’ll develop a claustrophobic rash.”

And have to wear a turtleneck.


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