Trina Machacek: Reading out loud

Will the fear of being called on in school to answer a question, or worse yet be asked to read out loud ever go away? Nope. Not for me at least. It’s in my nature to introvert. To become one of those hermit crabs that suck themselves up into a shell and not answer the knock on the door of the shell. No matter how bright and warm the sun may feel on its little hermit crab face. But! Yes a crab covered “but.” (Well that didn’t come out quite right!) But as time goes on there are times we find ourselves being asked to answer the call to step outside our shells and look confident and self assured. 

It’s not a stretch, I have found, to feel the fear of things from the past. This getting called on in any class is close to the top of the list. I admit it. I do not ever remember doing homework. It has been a few years since school but I do not remember carrying books home. Nothing as trivial as school work was going to keep me from watching Gilligan’s Island in the afternoon. Might be why my government grade was never higher than a C. I know what that grade was because I have recently taken a trip down memory lane with a chest full of Trina stuff from years ago. Including of all things report cards. Algebra also was not something I turned into a lifelong obsession. HAHA. But apparently journalism and speech and debate were on my radar. Who knew?

I do remember the fear though of being called on in class. Something that I would bet five bucks on that not more than two kids, if even that many, ever wanted to be called on by a teacher to answer questions or read out loud. Weird how that jelly factor in your gut never goes away. Maybe that is where the “jelly belly” saying came from. Moving on.

Today when some thing comes up you want to convey to someone it is usually on the internet so you just turn your phone around to show someone or e-mail them a link. Of course we tell jokes out loud. Sometimes when telling a joke do you occasionally find it has been so long since you said more than three words in a row you will trip all over your tongue getting all the words out. Like reading a joke out loud to someone that you just read in the Readers Digest. It’s hard. For me anyway and I wonder if I am the only one. I doubt it. But there are occasions that the teacher still calls on us—to read out loud. That’s where I find myself this month. I have been kindly asked to read out loud to a group. I’m excited and nervous as a little late May blooming daffodil in a bed of huge coming on strong to bloom in June, long stemmed roses.

So, to prepare — and you are going to get a kick out of this. I have been practicing reading. Yes, out loud. To the cat! HAHA he is not impressed. However, he hasn’t held up a score card with less than a 4 on it. Yet. It’s not that I am nervous about the people. I know I will know most of the people and I am very excited to see them and chitty chat and all. But when it gets real quiet and just before my tiny mouth opens I will hear my government teacher saying, “Well, Trina would you please stand and read pages 43 to 45 to the class!” AARRGGHH Spit, sputter cough, cotton mouth.

I will make mistakes. It’s human to flub. I am a fantastic flubber. I recently read how it’s okay to covet my mistakes, they are stepping stone on the path of someone coming up behind me. I say mistakes are like pebbles in my shoes—they keep me on my toes. Hey, when I am on my toes I am totally taller and the best part? Taller makes me look thinner. Yes, you read that right. Even if you read it to yourself.

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book They Call Me Weener is on Amazon. Or get a signed copy by emailing her at


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