| Learning | June 21, 2013

(I’m currently wearing a My Little Pony lanyard as I am a ‘brony’, or a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I finish a project on the computer and start to walk back to my seat, but it would appear that I left the lanyard, as a peer calls out.)

Peer #1: “Hey, [teacher], whose lanyard is this?”

(Another student picks it up and holds it high, when I realize my mistake and move to retrieve it from the student.)

Me: “Oh, thanks! I almost lost it!”

(Suddenly, the whole room goes completely silent. Note: I am a 15-year-old male. Peer #1 speaks up again.)

Peer #1: “Uh, [my name]. Why do you have a My Little Pony lanyard?”

Me: “Because I watch the show and enjoy it?”

Peer #1: “Why?”

Me: “Well, I think it’s a good show.”

(It seems to satisfy him. I move back towards my seat, but then Peer #2 speaks up; a very outspoken individual.)

Peer #2: “You like My Little Pony?”

Me: *slightly annoyed* “Yes. I just said that, but… still yes.”

Peer #1: “Well, you shouldn’t wear that! People will make fun of you and junk!”

(This catches me by surprise, seeing as Peer #2 is normally very stereotypical about things, and enjoys poking fun at everything.)

Me: “Well, nobody says much on the negative side.”

Peer #2: “That’s because they don’t wanna SAY anything!”

(This draws up a collective chuckle from the class. I notice the teacher is watching with interest, but not intervening. I manage to hold my serious demeanor, and continue.)

Me: “Well, that’s good. They’re keeping it to themselves.”

Peer #1: “Yeah, because most people don’t like talking about gross man-children like you.”

(I move to make a response, but my teacher suddenly stands up and intervenes.)

Teacher: “[Peer #1], [Peer #2], I will not have such slander tolerated in my classroom! Sit down, be quiet, and behave!”

Peer #2: “But we are beahavin’! We be tellin’ the TRUTH!”

Teacher: “Be that as it may or may not be, insulting a teacher is unacceptable behavior from the both of you.”

Peers #1 & #2: “But we didn’t—”

(The teacher makes an abrupt zip it gesture, which quiets all the chatter that erupted from the start of the encounter. Then he smiles, and walks over to me, before pointing at my lanyard, which I am still holding.)

Teacher: “So, where did you get that?”

Me: *hesitant* “Uh, [famous fan-merchandise store].”

Teacher: “Well, I’ll have to check next time I go there for a lanyard like yours. I thought they only had shirts!”

(It takes a second, but the realization hits me soon enough.)

Me: “Wait a second… are you a—”

Teacher: “Never let a herd member down in his or her time of need.”

(He calmly offers me a “brohoof,” or basically a fist-bump shared between two fans of the show. He walks back to his desk, sits down, and resumes grading papers as he was before. Peer 1 and 2 just stare, and the rest of the class is slack-jawed as well. They never bothered me about the issue again, and now he’s my favorite teacher!)

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