It was in that same class that we had to do the dreaded, "oral report."
We were allowed to do a topic of our choice in history, but I think it had to be about some small group of people. A lot of people did the Donner Party, which got to be boring after a while, hearing the same oral report over and over from different people. I, however, decided to do the Shakers. I'd read about them in The People's Almanac, and I thought they would be an interesting, happy folk to talk about in front of the class.
I didn't really think this through enough.
The problem with the Shakers was that, according to the requirements for the report, you had to tell the class why the group was no longer prominent- and of course, with the Shakers, this meant that I had to say the word "sex" in front of the class. The Shakers declined in numbers because they never reproduced themselves, because they did not believe in having sexual relations.
Saying "sex" several times in front of the class would have been bad enough, but add to the usual embarrassment that my hugest crush of all time was in the class. He sat in front. I still remember looking into his emotionless pale blue eyes and saying, "They didn't, uh, hm, mmm... have sex, so they didn't have kids, so, um. Yeah. They didn't get more people." My cheeks, my hair, my lipstick- all were of the brightest red that day. At least I made an impression.
Damn you, Shakers!
But not really. I still think the Shakers were hella cool.