Getting red in the face at Palatine High School


The majority of students at Palatine High School have had some sort of embarrassing moment.

Lindsey Lussow, Reporter

Falling down the stairs. Tripping over absolutely nothing. Walking into someone. Holding up a line. Forgetting a big, important assignment. We have all experienced embarrassing moments yet no one seems to talk about. 

“On a daily basis I think an embarrassing moment is when I make silly math mistakes,” Palatine High School math teacher Joyce Richardson said. “And it’s even funny because my department knows I struggle to do math in the morning. Like, you know, four plus three is 12, or whatever. You know, it’s like, oh, god, that’s so embarrassing, and I put it right up on the screen.” 

In Richardson’s 26 years of teaching she’s had plenty of embarrassing moments in front of her students. From silly little math mistakes to huge wardrobe malfunctions, she has seen and done it all. 

“My most embarrassing moment was when I was standing at the board… and I went to erase it… and the eraser flipped over my hand… and literally hit my face,” Rischardsom said. “Hit my jacket. Hit my shoulder. So I had chalk everywhere.” 

Even though embarrassing experiences make us feel as though we are standing in front of a huge crowd, 87.5% of PHS students have had at least one embarrassing moment at school. On top of that, another 75% have watched others have an embarrassing experience during the school day. 

“I dropped my phone in the middle of the hallway and took up all the space for people to walk by,” one anonymous student said. 

“My friend fell off of the stairs and when he got up, he tripped again,” a second anonymous student said. 

“I bumped into someone in the lunchroom and spilled sauce all over myself,” a third student said. 

Oftentimes these “embarrassing moments” do not sound uncomfortable or humiliating when someone describes them to others yet they still feel like the end of the world. This feeling is created by social anxiety and the desire for less attention. Neither of these feelings and qualities are required for a person to feel embarrassed but they can be a large reason for this feeling. 

“Social anxiety disorder affects about 5.3 million people in the United States,” according to “The average age it begins is between age 11 and 19 — the teenage years. It’s one of the most common mental disorders, so if you have it, there’s hope.”

Those 12 percent of people are more likely to feel embarrassed from something as simple as dropping a belonging in a hallway. So, next time you make a loud noise in a silent room or forget to watch where you’re walking, just remember, you are not alone.