Take the Stairs? Maybe Not.



Stairways are dangerous. Or maybe they are just dangerous to me. I can easily fall down on a flat surface without anyone being around to trip me. In my classroom, I am the epitome of caution. When I look out at those 22 pair of fast moving feet, I see myself falling down in a heap while I knock down the very expensive smart board. The smart board is large, yet delicate  and I would definitely demolish it. I am not very delicate, but I imagine that the smart board would attack me. The children would move quickly out of the way and my assistant would laugh hysterically. I do not need stairs to make a mess out of a day.

Unfortunately, I have taught at two schools with second stories and steep stairs. One school was over 100 years old and very cool looking. I really loved that school. I certainly did not love the stairs. I rode the elevator when I could get away with it. The elevator required 10 to 12 serious prayers to get from one floor to another. At least, that is how I felt. The 100 year old stairways were quite treacherous. The wood was beautiful, but who could dare look at the wood? I was always holding on for dear life. The stairs were very uneven on both stairways. One step would be eight inches deep and the next step might be eleven inches deep. Until I memorized where the odd steps were located, I was a disaster waiting to happen. Builders from 100 years ago were not thinking about my knees. My knees cannot handle weird steps…even on pretty staircases.

When I arrived at this particular school, I had completed my second knee replacement just weeks before the start of school. I guess those builders from 100 years ago had no idea that titanium knees would be in the future. I think my unreal knees are miraculous, but I still can’t handle the stair problem. Normal people would have taken more physical therapy. Something else to put on my list for post-retirement. I hope that we have time to travel with all of my planned projects…such as sleeping. Travel brings to mind more stairs. I envision myself as being the problem child on trips.

Possible trips where I will most likely spend time drawing attention to myself… because of beautiful stairs:

  1. My college best friend’s wonderful Bed & Breakfast in Virginia. The Inn at Meander Plantation is my idea of an ideal place to visit. Historic. Panoramic views of the countryside. Many acres to explore. A second story balcony with rocking chairs. The best food imaginable. Delightful hostesses. When we visited several years ago, I practically fell down the mere two steps to the dining room. I had successfully made it down the regular staircase from our suite. Maybe I was just anticipating breakfast. I imagine that Thomas Jefferson never tripped during any of his stays at Meander.

  2. The San Juan Islands in the state of Washington. I have been looking online for homes or condos that we could rent. Naturally, the one that I liked the best had steps to the private beach area. A very long set of steps. The best place to view the whales is at the bottom of the steps. I might miss this view of the whales.

  3. Manchu Picchu. I really need to see this place. I am fascinated by the history. One of my fourth grade classes completed a long study after reading a story about Manchu Picchu. I should have known better and not started yearning for the trek to the top. Besides, the class was in the 100 year old school. I should not have allowed myself to become entranced by a place that requires a hike up steps and trails.

  4. A cruise to Alaska. Those boats are rather large. I’ve seen pictures of the elegant and dramatic staircases. I realize that cruise ships have elevators. There is just something wrong about going up and down while moving forward in a boat. I can’t even think about the sensation. Besides, I want to take a picture on the dramatic staircase. You know…to put on Facebook like everyone else. A picture in an elevator would not be that interesting. Besides…remember that I might be rather ill on the elevator.

  5. Anywhere in New York City. I absolutely love NYC. I like the noise and the crowds and the restaurants and the store windows and hearing lots of different languages. I even like riding in a taxi. Most of all, I like Broadway shows. Jersey Boys was the best. I knew every song. I also fell up the stairs in the theater. Truly. It was not my best moment, but I don’t think that anyone noticed. They were moving so fast. I also fell up the stairs on the double decker tour bus. I made it to the top, but I think the driver was checking his insurance policy…just in case.

Stairways are just not positive for me. I will work on the problem this summer. I really don’t want to be the problem child on a trip. I already eat very slowly (talking) and take up way too much time. However, the stairways are the main issue. My current school has absolutely no stairs that I have to manage. I do have to walk quite a bit. But…that is another situation!


2 thoughts on “Take the Stairs? Maybe Not.

  1. Hi, I’m not completely informed on your case, but I loved your description of the elevator in the beautiful schools – ‘prayers’.
    Although I don’t find staircases difficult in terms of walking up, there is always a worry for me that I’m going to fall down them. When I was at university there was one very tall concrete outside stairway I had to go up two times a week for a few months that always had be nervous – and a vintage type like your 100yr old school. They don’t consider how hard that wood is when you fall on it! I find walking down stairways like those you described a very nervous experience – the epilepsy might rear it’s ugly head at any minute and end up unconscious rolling down them.
    I kind of get what you mean about being the awkward kid on the school trip – I feel like that so often when invited to go places… always considering stairs, groups of people, transport to and from. It’s an annoyance, right?


    • Thank you so much for your comment! Your stairway at your university sounds really difficult…when I was in college, I lived on the 7th floor in one dormitory. That was long before I ruined my knees and I regularly ran up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Can’t do that now! I fell on an icy sidewalk about ten years ago and hurt both knees very badly. I had to have both replaced. That explains my fear of stairs…I do think about where we are going when invited to go out…are there stairs? how far away will we park? You are right…it is an annoyance!!


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