My Most Embarassing Moment

I’m sometimes asked to tell my most embarassing moment and I can’t think of anything. I think we tend to put those thoughts out of our mind. I’ve been reminiscing with my college friends lately and we’ve shared some funny and embarassing experiences. 

We were all enrolled in a course called Mental Retardation Counselling. I’m sorry if that startles many of you. It’s almost like swearing now, but my diploma verifies that was, indeed, the name at the time. I was trained to work with people who have special needs. In the late seventies, many individuals lived in large institutions so we were trained in nursing, pharmacology, first aid, behaviour management and other classes that prepared us for that environment. We had to relocate twice in sixteen months to do internships in two facilities. I had moved to Toronto for school in September and in November we were expected to find living accommodations in Cobourg, a small town a two hour train ride away. Since it was a six week placement and we were not being paid and in fact, paying tuition, all we could afford was a rooming house. There were seven of us and the landlady, Mrs. McDonald crowded us into two bedrooms. Our beds were wall to wall, four in one room and three in another. That would have been bad enough but she had a little dog who had fleas. We were chewed every night in our beds. Mrs. McDonald spent her days drinking in the parlour with her flea infested pooch. We laugh about it now but it wasn’t really the ideal situation.

My friend, Debbie said this, “Just think, all those experiences have made us who we are today ! Strong, resilient, flexible with a good sense of humor! Except now we have higher standards ! I don’t think any of us would set foot in Mrs. McDonald’s house today!”.

All the reminiscing triggered another memory from our second internship. This one was for six months. We had walked down the street to do our laundry at the local laundromat. It was only a few blocks away. On the way home carrying green plastic garbage bags full of (luckily) clean clothes, one bag broke. Out spilled all our underwear onto the sidewalk, right beside a few people standing at a bus stop! I’m not even sure how we managed to gather it all up or where we put it to get it home but there were two very embarrassed girls that day! 

Debbie is right! We are strong, resilient, flexible with a good sense of humor because of the crazy times we had together. We have also made lifelong friends. 

7 thoughts on “My Most Embarassing Moment

  1. I also have an embarrassing moment story involving undergarments. I had been folding the laundry before my boyfriend came round. (Now ex-boyfriend, though I don’t think this incident is the sole reason why 😉 …) We were just sitting down to have a cup of tea and he seemed not quite comfortable on his seat so I suggested he take the cushion from the other chair (where I’d had the laundry basket earlier). He duly picked it up but there followed a sudden silence. Eventually he turned round and said extremely embarrassed, erm there seems to be something stuck to your cushion. My shall we say, undergarment, had fallen behind the cushion and hooked itself into the zipper!! That brokeep the ice somewhat faster than I wanted it to! 🙂

    On a serious note yes often looming back we can see in a different light what has built our resilience. It’s great that you have been able to keep up contact with friends from your course. It takes work to keep a friendship going that long (not that I’m saying it was ages ago hee hee). I’m only in touch with one person from my college years. She is a very special friend and has made me feel part of her family which is a wonderful blessing.

    The terminology issue is interesting too. I guess special needs is the commonly used term in the UK now too. I’m not sure if it’s an ideal term. But I can see some good points of it. You probably have many more thoughts on it, working in that field. I think terminology in mental health is a complex area too. I do agree some terms can be unhelpful or demeaning but equally I think at times we can go too far the other way being almost afraid to admit to or identify needs and conditions. It’s done with good intentions but I wonder sometimes if in avoiding directly referring to certain things we actually make it harder and even perpetuate fear of some symptoms by giving the impression they mustn’t be identified because they’re a bad thing.
    Not sure that makes sense sorry. It’s probably too much for one comment. You’ve reminded me of a topic I’d like to post on actually – thanks 🙂 !



  2. Cathy – there was a group of Grads who pursued the name change on our diploma to Developmental Services Worker. However, given the Diplomas are Legal Documents this cannot be done.

    Although I am proud to be a grad of the program – I have never hung my Diploma. And also back then the imprint on the diploma for the course taken was rather cheaply done – typed in small print!! Weird!

    The good news about Cobourg – is Jim’s Pizza Place is still there – best Pizza anywhere!!! It is also a very beautiful area – but we did not have the means to explore the territory way back then.

    Lots of fond memories.

    Now do you want to tell us about the time you and Debbie took that car for a joyride to Toronto when we lived in Oshawa. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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