The days are getting colder as October flies by. It seemed just like yesterday when I complained about the unbearable heat.
For the past few mornings, I have been waking up to chilly winds and cloudy skies. I’m not sure if the sudden change in weather was due to the typhoon, but as a result of the dip in temperatures, I have caught another cold.
Now even though this doesn’t come off as surprising to me (considering I always got sick back in California), it’s still troublesome to deal with. At the school I am attending abroad, we are only allowed a certain number of absences. We are required to attend at least 2/3 of the classes–if you miss more than 1/3 of the classes, you automatically fail. In addition to that, ALL absences MUST be proven true with an official doctor’s/government’s note. If there is no note from a certified person, the absence is not excused.
Because of this, I refused to miss class. My uncompromising personality in regards to school would not allow me to do that. So, despite being sick, I dragged my half-dead body to school today. I crawled out of bed and somehow made my way to school.
This was my first mistake.
The moment I got onto the crowded trains and was squished between people, I felt severely lightheaded. It took me a good minute to pull myself together on the train. I seriously thought I was going to suffocate and die in there. However, even with that, I forced my feet to make its way to class.
This was my second mistake.
Apparently, I felt so bad that it physically showed – all my teachers were concerned about my well-being. One of my teachers asked me if I was okay for a total of seven times (yes, I counted) within the 2-hour class period. Clearly, I wasn’t okay. I felt like my head was going to smack onto the table and I was going to fall into deep sleep right then and there. My brain could barely process English, let alone Japanese. At one point during the class, my teacher asked, “What days do you not have class?” in Japanese. I was praying that he wouldn’t call on me – in my sick state, I wasn’t able comprehend what he had said. I prayed he’d take pity on me. Unfortunately, life wanted to throw me a curve ball because he proceeded called on me to answer the question.
Now, normally, I would have been able to answer the question with ease, but today was unlike any other day. I was terribly sick and (what felt like) dying. I stared at him blankly for a solid 10 seconds before assuming that he had asked, “What do you like to do on the days you don’t have class?” Eventually, I stammered out: “I like to sleep in on the weekends,” in Japanese. It wasn’t the answer to his question and I only realized that when my classmate nudged my arm and told me that I misunderstood his question. It was quite embarrassing, but he was nice about it and changed the question to match my answer.
The rest of my classes passed by in a similar fashion – I was constantly embarrassing myself thanks to my lack of attentiveness. By the end of the day, I realized how foolish of me it was to go to class. I should’ve stayed home. There’s no point in going to school (besides for the attendance) if you are unable to understand what is being taught.
Even so, I have to applaud my own stubbornness. I still can’t believe I stumbled out of bed in that kind of state. Anyhow, the lesson of “take a break when you need it,” was learned the hard way after I almost failed to make it home today due to my tiredness.
Never go out when you’re clearly too sick to. Like my roommate said to me before I started my terrible day, “don’t be an idiot,” and stay home when you need to!