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Confessions of a teenage klutz

StatenIt’s an incurable disease. Millions suffer from the affliction everyday — hundreds at West Linn High School alone. Telethons should be dedicated to raising money to find a cure.

They may be athletes, performing arts students or academic all-stars. At some point many students at WLHS feel the earth-shattering burden of carrying the disorder of clumsiness.

That’s right: clumsiness. As in being a grade-A klutz, a regular old butterfingers. It’s the epitome of high school mortification.

Fortunately there are precautions you can take when life attempts to illustrate your more uncoordinated features. Below are the tips and tricks you need to live with this dangerous affliction. It’s the ultimate survival guide to navigating high school as a butterfingers.

When you trip over an inanimate object and fall on your face.

Let’s just say it’s not like the movies. When you trip on a chair/foot/air, there’s not some dreamy guy waiting to catch you when you fall. It feels like death, and chances are there will be multiple people to witness this act of gracelessness. Often papers from chemistry and algebra go flying everywhere. In extreme cases you take another person down with you.

What to do: Smile. Laugh. Pretend you’re Jackie O, if it brings out your charm school persona. After all, nobody will care what you do, if you yourself are too busy not caring. Think, “It could be worse, right?” What if this had happened in front of hundreds of people?

The moment you’re about to speak in front of hundreds people and you trip over your own feet.

This is the worst-case scenario, the public speaking disaster. A colossal crowd is staring at you ... waiting. Waiting for you to come up with some amazing, earthshattering thought, but you’re not sure if you can even remember the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. To make things worse you’re not entirely sure you still have feet — it’s not as if you can feel them. If this happens you will fall, and fall fast. The stares of the crowd will quickly turn to gasps of disbelief as you tumble to the floor.

What to do: Channel any comedian. Ellen, Adam Sandler, Chelsea Handler — whoever you think is funny. It’s time to create a diversion, and the best way to do this is to make the crowd laugh — at something other than your ability to fall from high places.

Being a verbal klutz: when someone says hi to the person behind you and you say hi too.

What to do: Speed walk. Run. It’s time to act like Olympian Usain Bolt and literally bolt out of there. If you stay, there will be no pitying glances, only leers and weird stares. The air around you will suddenly turn awkward, and not even the most dashing of sheepish smile can save you.

If you feel a Red Scare coming on — as in, you’re blushing profusely — simply turn and give a sincere compliment. Any awkward situation will automatically diffuse with a few well-placed sentiments. Whether it’s the person’s athletic ability or their cute frilly top, make sure they know that they’re the bomb.com

Whatever you do, be bold. Stay confident. You’re not going to be comfortable, so you’d better be yourself!

You don’t have to simply live with being clumsy. You can conqueror this affliction by being the one thing nothing can change: You.

Madison Staten is a sophomore at West Linn High School. She is contributing a regular column to the Tidings this school year.




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