Monday, February 17, 2014

Take a Deep Breath

Have you ever taken a drink of water and had it go down wrong? (I do this frequently enough that those who know me no longer react to the resulting coughing fit.)

Biology. They had a 22 question vocabulary quiz.

I gave them five minutes to "study". Then, I passed out the quizzes. The room fell silent.

I took a sip from my water bottle...

There's nothing quite like a coughing fit when you're trying to be quiet. Not only couldn't I catch my breath, I was in a silent room. With a captive audience.

Trying to take a quiz.

Just when I thought I was okay, I took another deep breath... And the coughing started up again.

I should have stepped outside. But they were taking a quiz. And I was supposed to be watching them to make sure they weren't cheating (or worse, talking).

Finally, in desperation, I pulled out a cough drop.

A student had the same idea. She went into her backpack to find one for me. (By that time I was sucking on my own. It was still thoughtful.)

I felt so awful. I didn't want to distract them. And yet...

Ah well. That's what I get for trying to stay hydrated.


  1. Oh! You have my sympathy, Liz. It's very difficult to keep quiet when you're drowning on dry land. I've only taught college-age, but I know how painfully quiet it gets during exams. I remember not even wanting to grade papers during tests because the rustling made so much noise.

    VR Barkowski

  2. I'm sorry for laughing at this, but I couldn't help it. I think we've all had something like that happen. In my case, it was while I was on the phone with a client and tried to take a quick sip of water, and ended up having to call them back.

    Whoever decided to put the airhole right next to the foodhole in our throats should've gone back to the drawing board.

    1. Oh please. Feel free to laugh. It was pretty funny.

  3. In answer to your first question: All. The. Time. You'd think drinking water would be one of those things people could do easily. Then everyone's staring at you as you're trying not to cough up a lung.

  4. That's a tough situation to be in. I've done it more than a few times. Often it seems like things like this will happen at the most inopportune time. Do we somehow subconsciously let this happen to draw attention to ourselves? Or is is careless distracted swallowing? Whatever it is it's kind of embarrassing when it happens.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  5. Oh yeah, I've swallowed wrong before - not fun!

  6. Be careful when swallowing! Lots of people die every year when they are choked to death.


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