I Hope They Don’t Laugh At Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 07, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 07, 2016



I didn’t really hate my English teacher. But I didn’t like her much either … and I think she felt the same way about me. Especially the day she called my name to be the first one in the whole class to give a speech in front of everyone on “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up”.

“Why me?” I said to myself. The bell rang, the class was over, and as we were walkin’ out all the guys pat me on the back, winked, gave me a high sign, laughed and said things like “Good luck”, “Think of somethin’ good”, “Better you than me”, and “I’ll be listenin”.

I walked home slowly that day. Didn’t even go to the schoolyard. No football that day. I was really scared. Didn’t know what to say or how to say it, and didn’t want all the guys to laugh at me.

At dinner I was still thinkin’ and thinkin’ what to say, and didn’t eat much. My father looked at my plate and looked at me and asked me what was the matter.

I told him, “I have to make a speech tomorrow, stand up in front of the whole class, stand there all by myself, alone, have everyone lookin’ at me, and I’m scared. I don’t want to look like a fool and have everyone in the class laugh at me.”

“What’s the subject of the speech?” my father asked.

“What I want to be when I grow up” I said.

“And, do you know?” my father responded.

“Yes, I want to be a policeman.”

“Why” my father asked.

“’Cause policeman help people, and fight the bad guys, and everyone looks up to them, and they get to work outdoors in the fresh air.”

“Good, so what’s the problem?” Father said.

“Well, standin’ in front of everyone, speaking, scares me.”

“I have a thought which may help you.”

“I really hope so,” I said.

“Tomorrow, when you stand in front of the class, make believe all of your classmates are sitting there in their underwear… and when you look at them, laugh at them, but not out loud, just to yourself, and you’ll relax. Without fear, you’ll speak from your heart with a clear head.”

The next day I did as my father said, and that was the day I realized that he was a lot smarter than I ever thought.


© Copyright 2018 Lenny Lowengrub. All rights reserved.

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