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April Foolishness: Teachable Moments From Memorable Gaffes

April Fools

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We've all made memorable mistakes and embarrassing gaffes that still make us cringe. But what did we learn from those moments of foolishness?

As part of a monthlong April CircleAround series tied to April Fools' Day, we asked writers — and readers — to share stories and advice on what we gained from some of our most cringeworthy memories, and how those faux pas became teachable moments.

* The College Prank Club: "To say I was in a daze would have been the ultimate understatement, but that was exactly why their plan worked so well."

* That Terrifying Time I Fell Off the Chairlift: "In a flash decision, knowing I had to get off, I jumped … landing squarely on my belly, arms sprawled out and skis in the air."

* The Golf Shot of a Lifetime: "I got into position, an awkward partial crouch, as I set up the ball and sized up the tee. I wrapped my one gloved hand and my bare one on the driver’s rubber grip. Wiggled my hips and planted my feet. I checked to make sure he was looking, wanting to show off, and pulled my arms back in a wide, lovely arc. And I went for the shot with all that was in me."

* My Real-Life Devil Wears Prada Moment. "In true Andy Sachs fashion, Anne Hathaway’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, I pleaded my case to the apprehensive top dog, stating that I was 'smart, learned fast, and would work very hard.' I’m a Midwest girl after all."

If you'd like to contribute to the series, send us your thoughts to or post on our "2021 Inspiration Wall."

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