Take Ten For Writers # 86 – “Time Traveller” – A Mistake

Please see the original post for an explanation of the prompt.

I wasn’t prepared to make such an embarrassing mistake when I left for the University of Virginia with my freshman earth science class that day, but trouble found me and my four closest friends anyway on that crisp autumn day. Adrienne, Betty Jo, Sharon, Kristin and I were all inseparable, so if one of us got in trouble we usually all did. I can’t remember what our field trip was about, or how we got separated from the rest of the class, but we ended up with a group of girls who were involved in a symposium on women in science. It didn’t dawn on any of us that nobody else from our class was there until we were seated for a formal luncheon. You could see the realization pass between the five of us as we eventually noticed that something was wrong.The only thing to do at that point was to figure out how to make a graceful and hopefully not-too-embarassing exit. We made up a lame story about needing to go back to our bus and as nonchalantly as we could, we got out of there. Of course, we had no idea where the class was so we just waited at the buses and tried to figure out how to explain what we’d done. Our teacher, while not a martinet, would demand an explanation and we figured the best course of action was to just be honest with her. When the rest of the class returned, we told her what had happened and to our amazement, she told us she was proud of us. Apparently, she had tried to get us to be part of that tour, but it was populated with snooty private school instructors and students, and she was rather rudely turned away by the coordinator. She was thrilled that we crashed the group. I can look back on that and laugh now, twenty-four years later, but as a ninth grader trying to make a good impression my first semester of high school, it was the most mortifying moment of my life.