Okay, I'm now signed up to chant Torah again in May! It's from one of the less pleasant portions of Leviticus; maybe I'll learn the Hebrew for "scurvy" and "crushed testicle," which I'm sure will come in handy. It's a much harder portion than the one I had last weekend -- less repetition, more words I won't know already -- but I've got three months to study it.
As I told my rabbi over email, I don’t want to develop a phobia and decide that I just CAN’T do this. My fear of Hebrew was a big obstacle for me to overcome in deciding to explore conversion, and I don’t want to give in to that fear now!
And in my email exchange with him, I quoted servetus's lovely comment on my last post, about the mitzvah of chanting Torah even if I sucked at it, and he completely agreed and said that he "really, really" didn't want me to feel bad about Saturday.
The lemonade-out-of-lemons piece of all of this is that I shared the story of my debacle with my students, telling them that, because of our roles at school, I get to see them stumble and fall regularly, but that they rarely get to see their teachers in that position. So I wanted them to know that all of the things I preach to them — grit, resilience, etc. — were things I took seriously for myself as well. And I told them that they should hold me accountable for asking for another portion to chant this spring, for studying for it sufficiently, for getting a tutor if I needed to, and for not giving up. So now I can tell them that I've done the first step.