The first week of classes was like waking up from a long sleep for me. After months in isolation, being suddenly thrust into society again was anxiety-inducing to say the least. However, out of every class I had to attend that first week, this class was the one I was most looking forward to. I had already taken a class with this professor before, so I felt reassured that this semester was going be a good one for this class at least. I am a bit of a pessimist so I tend catastrophize everything. However, I didn’t seem to feel that way at all about this class, and it really helped me see the value in having a good professor. So, for the first class session on the Tuesday of that week everything was fairly normal. The bus I took was filled with quiet old people on their way to the market, and no screaming children. The morning is going great until, a terrible sting on both my feet hits me. I had forgotten about the day before when I had worn shoes that didn’t fit too well, and had essentially, rubbed the skin right off my pinky toes. All I could think about on the walk to class was the pain, and a certain character from Game of Thrones that was notorious for flaying people (Ramsay Bolton). It was strange as to why I thought about this awful character, and why I was imagining myself blaming him for my flayed toes, or why I was thinking about flaying at all, but that was simply that, a strange thought.
Once I arrived to class that day I found the classroom to be quite an eerie sterile looking room painted all white. I felt like I was in that once seen in the first Matrix film where Neo and Morpheus are in the Construct room, and the things they conjured up just happened to be desks, chairs, white boards, and a projector as a part of their simulation. As one can tell by reading this, my imagination tends to get the better of me. Needless to say I was relieved to see a desk and chair so I could rest my aching feet in this strange construct room. I also carried around in my backpack what I referred to as the “corona bag”. It contained wet wipes, hand sanitizer, extra masks, and even gloves, and I proceeded to wipe my desk. As I sat and waited for class to begin, I noticed my other peers entering the classroom, and realized I suddenly didn’t know how to human. It was in this moment that I realized that being cooped up in my house for months really messed up my ability to socialize, and be a relatively normal person. However, I quickly came to my senses and realized that these things take time, and that I would get the hang of it again gradually.
The class itself was exactly what I expected it to be. I knew we would have to go around the room and say something about ourselves in order to introduce ourselves to the class. However, for me this was no simple task (it never is). I realized I actually had to pull my two remaining brain cells together in order to form a cohesive sentence about how the pandemic affected my life, and just like that it was my turn to speak. I was totally nervous, my hands were clammy, but I managed to get my sentence out, as I envisioned it in my head, at least one million times. It was the simplest statement about that pandemic giving me the opportunity to brush up on my hobby, art, but those last two braincells in my head were popping open a bottle of champagne when I managed to say it all without my usual stuttering, and excessively long pauses which is something I have struggled with since I was a little girl. I felt good about such an insignificant thing, but I felt it was better, to feel this way than bad about myself. That day was a good day.
The flow of the week was kept at a steady pace, and the second day of class that week felt pretty much the same. In spite of certain blunders that took place that week, I made it through it one piece, and two bandaged pinky toes.