Being Mistaken As A Student

Not that I have the best wardrobe, but this made me really re-think about wearing a hoodie to work.

I work at the Hebrew University’s Blind Center Mechina. (Mechina is always auto-corrected to machine, which is annoying, because wtf). I prepare students for their bagrut exams. I obviously teach English. That’s all I know. In fact, being in Israel for more than eight years has made me forget most of my English. More like bye-lingual, amIright? Okay, I stole that joke.

So there is a Winter Bagrut and an English Bagrut. I was supposed to be a reader for students. My students were taking Bagrut C, which was scheduled to be at 16:00. Which was surprising when I got a call at 12:00 from my fellow co-worker, asking where I was.

“I’m at home,” I said. My heart was racing. Did I forget something?

“You’re supposed to be reading the bagrut to someone,” she said.

“It’s at 16:00, isnt’ it?” I started breathing quickly.

“No, the A starts at 12:00.”

“I can get there in an hour and a half,” I said. Because the Hebrew U campus is across the entire city and takes forever to get there and two busses.

I get there at 13:30 and start rushing to fill out paperwork for the Bagrut. I had already missed reading for A, but I could still read for the next test (B). There are many forms to fill out. I am crouched over a student’s desk, chatting a bit with a tester who was a nice South African retired teacher. Another tester barges in, pulling away the papers in front of me.

“What’s your name?” he asks. He is an older guy, glasses, white hair, American.

“Hi, I’m Alana,” I said, puzzled.

“Put your phone in your bag,” he said.

“Uh…” I said, putting my phone in my bag. He took my bag and moved it away from me.

“Is your phone off?” he asks. His Hebrew isn’t great so I say “I speak English.”

“Turn off your phone.” He is insisting. “Is your phone off?”

“Yes,” I lie, because why does he care?

Then it clicks.

“I’m a teacher,” I say. I gather my papers back from him and drape my bag on the back of my chair.

My face is burning red. I am so embarrassed.

He was too, I guess. But I needed a supportive hug from one of my students. Who agreed and said I look like a teen. (Thanks Hadassah).

Anyway, I can’t wait till I look my age.

English teacher by trade, story writer for fun