They Called Me Turtle
I was homeschooled from K–8th grade, but I went to public school for all of high school (and a short stint in elementary school, but whatever). In high school I was your quintessential nerd – I read a lot, had poor fashion sense, and was obsessed with being the perfect student. My freshman year, a few of my friends began calling me “Turtle” because I wore green a lot (alright, almost constantly) and my backpack was so overstuffed with books and binders and notebook paper that it formed a robust shell on my back.
One day in the cafeteria I was trying to desperately force my way through the bustling crowd so I wouldn’t be late for my next class. To provide some context for my very real fear of being late, just know that when I did go to a public school in fourth grade I used to cry every morning on the way to school because I thought my Dad was going to make us tardy. I had nightmares about it, people. One involved a potato.
Anyway, that day I just so happened to be wearing flip-flops. And, as I climbed up the stairs from the bottom level of the cafeteria to the middle level, my flip-flopped foot slipped out from under me and I fell on my face. This was already embarrassing enough, however it was made infinitely worse by the fact that my backpack shell was so heavy that I actually couldn’t get up. As my peers pushed past me, I lay pressed to the lunchroom floor, trying my hardest to save my self – and my dignity – from being the victim of a stampede. I eventually made it topside, but that was the last day I ever wore flip-flops in high school. Ever.