The Shay Rebellion | Christopher Shay

Late for a very important date

I was late. Real late. Due to a miscommunication, I didn’t know the exact time or location of the student Orientation meeting. Everybody was already there—my bosses, colleagues, students. I’d been wandering around the campus frantically searching for someone I recognized. On account of unexpected butterflies in my stomach, I’d not slept much the night before. I guess this was the first time I’d meet many of the people whose opinions mattered to me, and I really wanted to make a good impression. Finally, I called and found out the room number of the Orientation, but I continued to look in the wrong building for that room number. Sprinting up and down stairs two at a time, desperately trying to minimize my tardiness, I started to sweat… profusely.

I discovered my error with the building and quickly found and entered the room where the Orientation was taking place. I tried to sneak in unnoticed.

“Oh, it looks like one of the English instructors from America joined us after all. I haven’t even met him myself,” the head of the English Department said. “Go on, introduce yourself,” he told me.


Needless to say, I was a little flustered. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I think it came out as, “Uhhhh, my name is… uhhh… Christopher Shay… and I’m… uhhh… Portland, Oregon… errrr… I mean I am FROM Portland, Oregon. I just graduated from New York… errrrr… I mean from SCHOOL in New York.”

And then there was the looooong, awkward pause. Apparently, everybody had given much more verbose speeches, or at the very least, had indicated when they were finished talking. The crowd expected me to continue speaking, but I had nothing more to say. I just wanted the spotlight back on someone else. The merciful (but awkward) clapping started, and I was off the hook. The first impression to my bosses, colleagues, and students was over, and the rest of the Orientation continued without my input.

Boy, I hope my first day of classes goes more smoothly.

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2 Responses

  1. Adam says:

    If only the fortuna bird man could have warned you. Great story! It’s all up hill from here.

  2. Brian says:

    Chris, if you ever have to speak in front of a crowd again, imagine that you are naked and that everyone in the audience has a video camera. I think that’s what I was told … I may have messed the lesson up slightly … I’ll get back to you on that.

    I’m sure your students will come to love you. Before long, you are going to have to deal with your own stalkers who leave you apples and love notes!

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