Every June, our school hosts a school-wide event to celebrate the end of the year. Events include sack races, water balloon tosses and jump the brook. One year, someone thought that it would be a wonderful idea to include a dunk tank and recruit staff to sign up for a time slot. So, the tank was reserved and the sign-up list went out.
This was not my first rodeo, so when the list was posted, I conveniently ignored it.
Then a reminder went out to all the staff that there were still openings. I debated it for a hot second, then I deleted the email. “Let the young teachers do this one,” I thought.
Fast forward to the day of the event. Lo and behold, the dunk tank is delivered right outside of my classroom window. Imagine the delight when my five and six year old students saw the tank in action all day long. Did I mention…RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW? Right before my class prepared to go outside for their turn, one of my sweetest students, who never asked for anything, said to me, “I can’t wait to dunk you Mrs. McGowan!”
His eyes twinkled with such delight that my heart melted and I began to waver. It was the end of the day and the temperature was warm enough I reasoned. I could drive home in wet clothes just this once. I mean, it is for the kids, right? I told him that I would see if there was a spot open for me, but that I did not know if I would be able to do it.
But, wouldn’t you know? There happened to be an opening at the exact time my class joined in the fun. So, after finding another teacher to supervise my students, I climbed up the ladder and perched myself on the collapsible bench.
Some of my former students were outside at the same time and once they saw me, they lined up to get their chance to dunk their former teacher! The first few students had horrible aim, so my confidence grew and I began to playfully taunt the children. This wasn’t so bad I concluded.
Then, bullseye! All of the sudden I went crashing into the water with an enormous splash. The children cheered as I emerged from the water. Carefully, I climbed back onto the seat and prepared myself for the next dunk. Regret began to fill my body, but the parent volunteers praised me for being a good sport. I couldn’t leave now. My ego would not let me.
A few more children threw the ball and I landed in the water again. It went this way until one of my former students thought it would be funny to run up to the target and manually push it in. Down I went, totally not prepared at all. I climbed back out of the water and reset the seat. Or so I thought. As soon as I transferred my weight onto the seat, it collapsed and I fell back into the tank in the most awkward position. My right foot hit the step and my knee hit the bottom. (What I learned later was that the lever was stuck from being pushed in so hard and the seat failed to lock.)
As I climbed out of the water, I knew something was very wrong.
And, I was right. A trip to the orthopedic doctor confirmed my biggest fear. A torn MCL would be the diagnosis. I was gifted a shiny, new pair of crutches to use throughout my summer break and several months worth of visits to my local PT. If I had only trusted my first instincts…
The moral of this story is to trust your gut and ALWAYS stay very far away from the dunk tank!
What have you done, that you have later regretted? Have you ever had an injury ruin your plans? Do you have a weakness for sweet students who never ask for anything too?