Thursday, August 14, 2008

That's a rap

Because this is my blog, and I feel it's a safe space, I can share a little anecdote about myself that I still (at 29 years old) find quite painful to recall.

Anyway - it's about rap. Rapping is not an art form I care for.

When I was 12 years old, I filed into my grade 6 music class one day. And it started out as any other normal class did that year. But about half way through, our teacher announced that we would be doing something different that day.

“Class, I’d like you to prepare a rap about yourself. You know, that music you young kids are all listening to.” She had a proud look on her face. A look that said she thought she had “done good”. I was mortified.

“At the end of the class, you will each stand up at the front and ‘rap’ about yourself.” That was it for me. I couldn’t think of a worse death.

So, I begrudgingly wrote my rap. And it rhymed. It was even kind of funny. But when I got up to the front of the class, something went wrong. I thought to myself “Start rapping now. Go on... just start saying stuff and try to make it sound cool.” But nothing, except for a panicked little breathing noise, would come out of my mouth.

I remember calmly sitting down in the front of the room, partially hidden by the teacher’s desk and not moving for the rest of class. I remember the confused looks on my classmates' faces. I remember starting to cry. And I remember the unfortunate moment when my nose started bleeding. I also remember the kids laughing at me for the rest of the year. I didn't realize it until quite a while later that I had my first ever panic attack.

And to this day, when I hear anything by Snoop Dog or P. Diddy, I get a kind of sick feeling in my stomach.


  1. poor Hez! that is traumatic.. if it makes you feel any better, i remember wearing a bright red sweater to school in Grade 6 and everyone made fun of it.. but, when the teacher started teasing me about it, i burst out into tears.. that was embarrassing.. but, the funny thing is, i bet we're the only people who remember..

  2. Hey Chris,

    What a horrible teacher you had! And my dumb-ass music teacher. I swear... they need a course in sensitivity!

    And, even though I'm sure nobody remembers your red sweater, I'm almost certain that Christian Finn remembers the day I made a fool of myself. (He's the one that led the class in the making-fun-of-me ritual).

    Christian Finn, if you're out there... you're mean!

  3. Oh Hez, that's horrible. I hated doing any kind of Oral presentation in school, and if I could I could get out them, I would. I had an English teacher in grade 10 who insisted we do an oral presentation with every assignment. I didn't do them, letting the teacher take marks off. So imagine my surprise when I got a B in that class. To this day, I believe the teacher mixed up the grades and some other poor sap got my D.