02 October 2007

Can I get a day off for emotional trauma?

So, on my way to school yesterday I was driving along on the freeway, as I've done so many times before, when traffic started slowing. We are used to that here in So. Cali. Some random genius decides that his foot has to be doing something at all times, so it's either gas or break. (I don't think some people understand that if you just take your foot off the gas you naturally start to slow down, but whatever.) And then once 1 person brakes everyone around them sees the red lights and brakes also, and next thing you know you are going 30 mph for no reason. Well, when this happened yesterday there were tragic consequences. I didn't see what happened right before, so I don't know if someone cut into the lane or what, but as I was slowing down, I noticed that the SUV on my left was not going to stop in time. And apparently the he noticed this too, so he swerved into the carpool lane on his left--where another car had to slam on their brakes, but was luckily able to avoid an accident. But the story doesn't end there. The SUV had turned so sharply to the left that he would have hit the wall, so he started over compensating swerving right and left and right again, and unfortunately he did hit the wall--which swung the car around so it was facing us, then it continued to go and rolled over onto it's side, where it rolled over like twice, finally resting on it's side. There were about 10 of us who got out of our cars there on the freeway and ran to the SUV. I could see him trying to get out of his window which was now shattered across the freeway, but since his car door was on the ground, that wasn't quite possible. so 3 men helped him climb out the passenger window. He seemed fine (for which I am incredibly grateful!), a few scratches, but walking around okay...so the first lady there was on her phone with 911 and helping him and I was blocking traffic, so I had to move my car...And when I got about 10 miles away was when I finally realized that if he had pulled his steering wheel in the opposite direction, he would have been in my lane...kinda alarming.(Dear SUV driver, I'm glad you walked away from that accident. I'm sorry I had to leave so quickly, but I had class...although, if I'd thought I could be some help, I would have been more than willing to stay...but, really--I'm kinda useless in times of emergency. Thank you for not turning right, and into my lane, when you were avoiding the stopped car. Love, Emotionally-Tramatized-but-not-as-much-as-you Heather) So, my point is this: Shouldn't I be excused from class? Because, really, there was no way I was going to be able to pay attention when I was shaking and in a constant state of borderline panic attack. I know I wasnt even involved in anything, but still...emotional trauma.

PS--You would have all gotten a random "I love you" text message from me, except that I was afraid of texting while I was driving.

7 comments:

Katie said...

I'm so glad you're okay! After my many, many accidents, anything like that puts me into a fit of tears and hyperventilation! And definitely, you should have skipped class for that trauma.

Laura said...

I agree - that is certainly a good excuse for time off! I witnessed an accident once, and I was shaky for a while too. Katie is the expert though, so maybe she can write you a note if it ever happens again.

Liz said...

Oh, Heather! That is very tramatic. You poor thing. I hope you're feeling better today.

Rachel said...

I'm so relieved you're safe. I got a little shaky just thinking about it. You're a good citizen for pulling over. And a good student for going to class. I would have skipped it probably. I've seen three really horrible accidents on my drive to work, and everytime I came into the office in tears.

If my mom ever calls me at work my initial thought is that Katie has been in another accident.

Heather said...

I'm glad you all love me! I'm feeling much better today--well enough that I took the 10 through LA this morning. It took forever, but I survived! :-) I'll definately have to get a note from Katie next time, but my first teacher was very kind and understanding so no note was necessary.

Amanda said...

I haven't even read your blog yet, but the answer to the title is YES! Mental health days are totally legit. I'm taking one tomorrow.

Amanda said...

Okay, now that I have read the email, I will comment again! Holy Moly! I am so glad that you are safe. I am still sticking with my first answer that you deserve a day off of class. I am a bad person to ask because I would take trauma days off of school for something as important as staying home and playing card games with my roommate. So of course I will say yes. BUT, the real biggie is that Katie said you should have skipped class. If she thinks that you should, that means something. However, professors don't always agree. On Sept 11th (the real one, not this past one) I was getting ready for class when I heard on the radio everything that was going on. I was traumatized and just went up to campus so I could watch the news on the big tv in the student building. I skipped class because I couldn't even think about listening to some professor lecture and I didn't think they would really hold lecture anyway. So, the next day I went to class and it was one of my education classes where attendance really matters. The teacher brought it up that even though all they did was watch the tv during class, I would still get docked for not watching with them. I was so furious!