Seeing Students in Awkward Contexts

kingston through my lens TRANSPORTATION

I’m a teaching assistant for a first-year French course. Yesterday I saw one of my students at the gym. AND IT WAS THE WORST THING EVER.

I spotted her when I first went into the women’s only workout room. She was using one of the machines. I might have actually turned slightly and stared a bit to confirm that it was her. I then proceeded to one of the treadmills and started to run, all the while keeping an eye on my student, waiting for her to leave the room so that I could get on with my workout. After several minutes, she left. “Success!” I thought.

I stopped running and headed into the hallway to get a drink from the water fountain, but I was forced to turn around because I saw my student in the hallway walking around with weights. I literally swivelled on my heel, back into the workout room, and started playing with the exercise machines. “She’ll be gone soon,” I told myself. I continued with my exercise routine by struggling with the weights. 

Suddenly, she was back in the room, heading straight towards me! I realized that I was in her way, so I moved out of the way but didn’t acknowledge her (I didn’t know what to do! Which language would I have used?! And I was sort of sweaty! And she didn’t make eye contact with me either.) Also, I was tremendously embarrassed because I was lifting these dinky 8 pound dumbbells while she had giant ones that probably weighed 12.5 pounds.

Once I was done with the weights, I rushed out of there in a haste. But I saw my student AGAIN after changing. This was no good because I was NOT looking my best. I was wearing a large purple shirt, a green zip up hoodie, and bright red sweatpants tucked into tallish rainboots (except my sweats are so thick that they don’t even really fit into my rainboots, they kind of just flop out the sides and bunch at the top. So I looked like Santa.)

I escaped from the athletic centre and went to go find Dangerous Dan, who was studying nearby and was going to walk me home. As we headed out of the building, we bumped into my student YET ANOTHER TIME. My scarf was knotted strangely around my neck because I was too hot to put it on properly. I still looked like Santa. And right at the moment when we walked past my student, Dangerous Dan yawned with his mouth open.

I’ve been traumatized forever. I never want to see another one of my students at the gym again.

(The picture above is completely unrelated. But just imagine my feet running away from my student!)

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