I could barely hold a pen. There was this faint, yet distinctly audible, buzzing in the room; I suspected only I heard it. My hands were shaking convulsively and the writing on the blackboard was blurrier than usual. My economics teacher called out my name several times before I acknowledged her.
“Carol, if the GDP per capita of Argentina falls, what is the most likely outcome? Carol?” she said, in her stereotypical teacher like tone.
“I’m sorry, what was the question?” I asked. I was hardly in the state of mind to be answering questions about GDP and South America.
“Are you sure you’re all right? You look a bit pale. Maybe you should get a glass of water,” she said. What she said scarcely registered. All I heard were the words “water” and “pale”. My lack of focus was reaching a comical point; I’m sure my fellow ninth-graders attributed my stupor to either sleep deprivation or a certain plant with intoxicating properties. Unfortunately, my daze was brought on naturally.
I soon began to feel my heart pounding faster. I noticed how moist the palms of my hands were, and how cold the room had suddenly grown. My economics teacher, Miss Loyd, went on relentlessly. She was one of my favorites, but I still itched to dart from the class room. I kept repeating to myself, “stay calm, you’ve got nothing to worry about,” but emotions are never easy to control.
The school bell rang, echoing throughout the building. In my ears, it was the sound of an executioner sharpening his sword. I felt my knees give way; I was, however, determined in my resolve. I would conquer my fears – nothing would stand in my way. I made my way out of the class room, and with a shaky hand, pulled out the speech I would soon deliver.
I smile as I write this, for I am now quite the orator. This episode of my first speech in front of a large audience will always humble me; unfortunately, I have an ego the size of a small planet when it comes to public speaking.