A Waste Of Time Trying To Explain

| Chicago, IL, USA | Learning | July 26, 2015

(Thought I was a straight-A student in high school and never made trouble in class, there was one substitute who periodically covered our environmental science class who seemed to have it in for me. Every time she taught, without fail, something like this would happen.)

Substitute: “[Teacher] left this exercise. I’ll pass it out. No talking until you’re done.”

(The assignment is easy and all the answers are written practically verbatim in the assigned reading, so I do it quickly and get up to turn it in.)

Substitute: “Where do you think you’re going, young lady?”

Me: “Oh, I’m finished. I was just going to give this to you.”

Substitute: “Uh-uh. You sit down and look over your work. You did that too fast. You HAVE to look over your work.”

(I obey. Other people are finishing up. One of my classmates comes over to me. We asked each other for help in that class a lot and our regular teacher never had a problem with it as long as there was actual helping going on and no cheating or goofing off.)

Classmate: “Hey, I’m having trouble with this question. Where did you find the answer for this part?”

Me: “It was that one section on page—”

Substitute: “What’s your problem? You can’t tell her the answers!”

Me: “Oh god, sorry, no, I was—”

Classmate: “She’s not, I just needed help—”

Substitute: *to me* “You don’t know how to behave! Shut up and stop talking or I’ll write you up!”

(My classmate goes back to her seat and I pull out my own book to read.)

Substitute: “WHAT IS THAT?!”

Me: “My… book?”

Substitute: “You can’t read in class! That’s a waste of time! You’re never going to get anywhere in life! If you have to read, read your textbook.”

Me: “I’ve… already read my—”

Substitute: “READ IT AGAIN! You have to utilize all your time while you’re in school!”

(To this day, I wonder what it was about my existence that offended her so much.)

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