One of my students told me today that he wasn't coming to school tomorrow. He asked if I could figure out why. I asked, "Is it because it's Friday the 13th?"
He said, "No, I didn't know that, but now I'm REALLY not coming."
He told me he wasn't coming to school tomorrow because he was working tonight and he would be getting paid, and I told him that was the lamest thing I had ever heard.
Another girl overheard me and said she wouldn't be coming to school on Friday the 13th.
Give me a large personal break.
I'm not superstitious, but I have had a couple of significant things (bad) happen on Friday the 13th. Once when I was teaching in the traditional high school, I went to pull down my overhead projector screen. Egads, does anybody even remember those? The handle slipped out of my hand, so the screen snapped back up, bounced off the hooks it was hanging from, and landed squarely on top of my head.
My students were convinced they were going to have a "free day" due to the head injury. They underestimated my ability to teach a vocabulary lesson while holding an ice pack on my head.
Another memorable Friday the 13th was the last time I ever set foot in my ex's house (I guess technically it was still my house then too), with the exception of going to retrieve my belongings. Sweet Girl and I had gone to the American Legion just to visit with some friends for a few minutes. To be perfectly honest, one of the reasons I went there was because my ex had been banned (banished?) from the establishment after he assaulted a video poker machine with a folding chair. I already knew our marriage was on the rocks, and I wanted to go somewhere I knew he wouldn't be. Besides, I took an enormous perverse pleasure in going somewhere his friends could go, I could go, almost everyone in the county could go, but he couldn't.
I'm not sure where Sweet Girl and I went after that; maybe a football game. We were down a house key for some reason, and we had started just leaving one outside. On this day Sweet Girl had let herself in the house, and we forgot to put the key back outside when we left.
The ex (I have to come up with a name despicable enough for him -- help here?) came home, found the door locked, assumed we had locked him out on purpose, and Shot. His. Way. Into. The. House. (Sorry, Sweet Girl, I know you don't want to relive this.)
When we got home later, there was the front door all shot to pieces, shotgun pellets throughout the living room, and him passed out on the sofa with a drink beside him. I swear by all that is holy, I seriously considered setting the couch on fire and walking away. He was known for smoking in bed. Or couch as it were. But I knew my conscience would never let me live with myself, even if he really, really, really NEEDED killing.
I called his daughter, who lived right down the road, and waited outside for her to get there. She took one look at the damaged door and front of the house and said, "That bastard is crazy. You've got to leave him." She later decided she hated MY guts, but that's another story.
The number 13 haunted me a little bit when I was skydiving too. I was preparing for a jump one day when I realized it was going to be jump #13. I freaked out a little bit and started thinking about all the things that could go wrong. I was really concerned because if something happened to me, it was important for those left behind to understand it was jump #13. I fretted and freaked, and you know what a self-fulfilling prophecy is. I was doing a 5-second delay, and when I pulled my ripcord (thank God it was there that time), it was a little tougher than usual to pull. I didn't maintain correct form, tumbled a little or a lot, and then blessedly my parachute opened above me. Only I was hanging sort of upside-down. My right leg had gone through the right riser, sort of like putting on a tank top but getting your arm in the neck hole instead of the arm opening. I remember thinking, "I don't think I can land like this."
All it took was reaching up, grabbing my leg with both hands, and lifting it back inside the riser. I'm not sure you can picture that without a live demonstration. And I'm not sure at this age I could actually do a live demonstration either.
And now I've wasted a perfectly good Friday the 13th post on a Thursday the 12th. Perhaps that is the worst thing that will happen this time.