My life is a sitcom. No, really. My father often jokes that there must be hidden cameras somewhere recording “The Kayla Show,” like the Jim Carrey movie. Some of the shenanigans I find myself subjected to simply must have an audience, I suppose.
In addition to being a grade-A klutz, I am often betrayed by my own mind, due to exhaustion, distraction or my own simple ignorance. The results are, well …you’ll see. Here are a few of my favorite episodes from the Weber season.
Early in my sophomore year, I took a Math 1010 course. I have never been even remotely mediocre at math. I had already taken 950 and 970, in which the very first lesson is literally whole numbers. I had tutors, took SI and formed study groups.
Still, there was a specific concept that was proving elusive. It was a word problem of some kind. You know, if you have $12.65 and a drink costs $0.15 and a sandwich costs $0.95, how many drinks and sandwiches could you buy if you spent every cent? My professor was really supportive and sat down with me one-on-one to do as many practice problems as I needed before our big test. We did the problem over and over and over again.
Each time I ordered the wrong number of tacos and root beers. Every time she reset the problem, she only changed the numbers, not the units. Tacos swirled in my mind by day’s end.
When I went to take the test, I saved that problem for last. I saved up all my extra time and spent a whole half hour on that one problem alone. Just before time was up, I was confident I had the right answer. I’d checked it twice.
It wasn’t until I was in my car on my way home that I realized that the question had asked me how many hamburgers I could buy with my $4.20 and my answer was 12 tacos!
My professor belly laughed so hard, she gave me full points for the question.
Later that same year, I sprained my ankle. I was in a boot for six weeks, hobbling across campus on crutches. Of course, built into the side of a mountain, Weber has an obscene amount of stairs.
So, for those six weeks, whenever I needed to take a test, I would park in the pay lot and use the testing center in the Student Services building. It didn’t hurt that there was a really cute guy who worked there. I always made it a point to make eye contact and say something mildly funny when he helped me set up my test. He even noticed the tattoo on my wrist once and it was a good conversation starter. A meet-cute, if you will.
One day, after my test, he was on his break in the parking lot. I was struggling with my backpack and wore it backwards, over my chest, to keep it from pulling me backward, head over crutches. This very nice, very handsome man came up to me and offered to carry my bag to my car for me.
The correct response in that situation is “Thank you very much, I would love that.” But being the awkward human I am, I looked him in the eye, said “No, thank you,” and hobbled to my car one stupid, wobbly step at a time.
This is why I’m still single at 26.
Lastly, only a few months before graduation, I had a student come up to me at the Stewart Library, where I work as a circulation assistant, and ask me where the printers were located. I was so tired, I confidently gave my usual speech. “All the printers are located on the seventh floor.” The poor student stared at me with the widest eyes for a solid thirty seconds before I realized what I’d said.
We still laugh about it at the library.
In each of these episodes, I could have let myself be discouraged and sink into self-pity. But even though my life came equipped with a brand new level of cringe, I’d rather live in a sitcom than a drama. I think the difference between a feel-good film and a horror movie is who you let run the show. I refuse to cast a pandemic, health issues and my dyscalculia in the lead roles. For now, at least, I’m content to let a good sense of humor be the star.