Never Again

Today I was more scared than I have ever been in my whole time in Korea. More scared than when North Korea threatened to attack. Ok, I wasn't actually scared when they were doing that, but you get the idea.

I had to do a group presentation in class on the Korean Wave (한류). haha Now that I see how it's spelled in Hangul, it makes so much more sense. Moving on, I was really ready for this presentation. I met with my group last night and we were all ready. Some, including myself, were nervous, but we knew what we had to do. We knew our sections, and we were ready to go.

Throughout the morning, I kept telling people how nervous I am. Get it all out there right? Then less pressure and maybe less expectation?

Just moments before the presentation, I was joking with my friend Kenya about the fact that I was in the theatre program in high school. Why was I stressing about this? This was nothing.

Even as I sat there minutes before my turn, I looked at the electrical socket thinking, "Winter, why are you freaking out? You know you're going to do fine. You always do fine." Well almost always. In my education class last year, I had a full-on panic attack right before my group had to go up.

So my turn comes up and I walk up knowing that it’s going to work out. *시작 I read the little bit that I had prepared at the beginning and then flipped back to the previous page. As I look at the next thing I'm supposed to read, I realise that it doesn't make sense. It looked foreign to me and I stumbled over my words, but I got it out. Then I see this on the next line…


Ok no problem. So I look at the quote on the top of the page. It's the wrong one. Then I flip the page back to where I started. It's the wrong quote there too. Oh shit. I'm supposed to have three quotes on here, not two. And I just happened to be missing the first one I needed. *Queue the panicking.

I keep looking at my paper, the room is quiet and my damn quote isn't magically appearing. *Queue the shaking and watery eyes.

By this point my teacher said something to me. I can't remember what, and that's when I realised that I couldn't go back. I was lost, scared and embarrassed. Is this the shame that we'd talked about in class last week? I think this is when my teacher asked if I was ok. She came up to me and touched my shoulder. *Here comes the water works.

In front of my whole class. Just breaking down into tears like someone just died or something. wtf It was the most awkward thing. My back is turned to the class, my teacher is trying to comfort me and I'm trying to figure out how I can disappear. It was pretty clear that I wouldn't be able to calm down at that moment, so my teacher told me to take a seat.

I felt so guilty. I was worried for my group members. We were all nervous, but I actually cracked under pressure. I was worried that it might happen to someone else in the group. I didn't want to be the cause of that.

I was one of the most vocal people during the first half of my class today. My teacher would ask a question and I'd have an answer right away. No problem. But as soon as I have to present something that I've prepared, in front of everyone, I'm lost. Where'd all that theatre training go? Singing, dancing and acting in front of hundreds of people. I only freaked out once in four years of that. I actually thought that I should drop out of school. There's no way to recover from this right? Can you imagine being my head? It's awful.

I have calmed down now. After I left class, I went to get lunch box and snacks. (I appreciate the invitations for lunch. I just couldn't bring myself to be around anyone.) I said I wasn't leaving dorm until I have class tomorrow. I'll be sitting in the back. I watched an episode of Doctor Who, and actually enjoyed Ten for the first time, Planet of the Dead. And then I went to sleep. Which brings us to this post. Hope your day was better than mine. Just about a week left in this beautiful city then I'm back to Seoul.

And to my group members... 미안합니다. I'm so sorry.

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