It’s Simply Mierda

, , , , | Learning | January 23, 2019

(I am a high school Spanish teacher. A colleague, who also teaches Spanish, asks me to supervise her class for a moment while she goes to the bathroom. The students are taking a test, and one student decides to see if he can get away with asking me a question about the test content:)

Student: “How do you say ‘simple’ in Spanish?”

Me: “I can’t answer that.”

Student: “S***.”

Me: “I can’t answer that either.”

Pranks: A Family Saga

, , , | Learning | January 22, 2019

(The high school I went to is the same one most of my family attended (dad, seven uncles, sister, brother, and too many cousins to count). I am one of the youngest out of all the kids with my sister being almost fifteen years older, and my brother who is nine. This happens at the meeting with our year advisor on the first day of year seven. When year twelves have their muck up day (where they play pranks) they always do something to raise money for charity with the principal’s permission.)

Year Advisor: *calling the role* “[My First and Last Name].”

Me: “Here.”

Year Advisor: “Oh, god, not another one. Which one of the [Last Name] do you belong to?”

Me: “[Dad].”

Year Advisor: “Oh, great Your dad blew up the science block, your sister kidnapped the principal, and your brother stole [History Teacher]’s car and drove it into the swimming pool, which is the reason we no longer have a pool. What trouble are you going to get into?”

(I’m too shocked to answer as I knew nothing about any of this and thankfully he moves on.)

Classmate: “What the h***? Who are you?”

(It turned out that the year 12 prank for my sister’s year was to hold the principal for $10,000 ransom which local businesses and people paid and it went to a local charity. They actually raised over $20,000! My brother had gotten permission to borrow the teacher’s car when needed, hadn’t told him that he was taking it, and had accidentally driven it into the pool (I never did get the full story). But no one would tell me exactly how my dad managed to blow up the whole science block. They were probably scared I’d do the same thing.)

Money Makes The School Go Down

, , , , , | Learning | January 21, 2019

(I work in a language school teaching English and Chinese. The principal and owner of the school is an overall nice person; however, he is too indulgent with students, not punishing anyone who is late to pay, and terrible at managing his money. As a result, payments are almost always late by a day or two. Since most of the teachers are students working for some extra cash, we don’t mind. One day, in the middle of my class, he calls all teachers to his office.)

Principal: “Good morning. I called you all here to discuss an important issue. As you know, my daughter is getting married…” *his eyes begin to glow in happiness* “…but she’s run out of money for her wedding, and I decided to pay for the rest as a wedding gift. Unfortunately, that means you will not be paid for the next two months.”

(We all think this is a joke, and wait for the punchline. After a few seconds, we realise he’s serious.)

Principal: “That was all… you can continue with your activities.”

Teacher #1: “Are you out of your mind? Do you actually expect us to work for free for two months?”

Principal: “What does it matter? None of you have any bills to pay! You don’t need the money, but my daughter does!”

Teacher #2: “Okay… Let’s say we don’t get paid these two months. At least in the third month, you should pay us those two months, plus an extra, for the troubles.”

Principal: “Nope, I’ve already run some numbers. I can’t afford the wedding, my daughter’s honeymoon, and your wages. You’ll have to do without money for two months.”

(We are all furious. But the most frustrating thing is that the principal can’t understand why we are all angry, and he begins to get angry, too. We just don’t understand how important this is to him, and we’re all just jealous and too greedy, he says.)

Principal: “I own this place and do as I please. I’m paying for her wedding and her honeymoon. If you don’t like it, the doors are open.”

Me: “You own the place, but not my time. You want me to work? You pay. You don’t want to pay? I don’t work. Simple as that.”

Principal: “Are you threatening me?”

Me: “No, I’m quitting.”

(Literally all the teachers quit at that exact moment and walked out his office. I went to my classroom and explained the situation to my students. All of them sympathised with the teachers and most offered to pay for private lessons. All of us, students and teachers, walked out of the school. Without teachers and without students, the school had to close. A year later, I ran into the principal’s secretary, who filled me in. Apparently, he had promised his daughter a fantastic wedding and a month-long honeymoon in Europe, but without the school’s money, he was unable to pay for them. His daughter was devastated and now doesn’t talk to him, while his wife divorced him, since she ruined the daughter’s wedding AND their only steady source of income.)

The Rules Of Realization

, , | Learning | January 20, 2019

(I’m an English teacher. This day, due to bad weather, everyone but me and one of my students is late. When she arrives, I ask her to read her homework. A few minutes later, when all my students have arrived, I ask her to read it again.)

Me: “[Student], please, read what you wrote for homework.”

Student: “Why me? I’ve already read it!?

Me: “That’s the way things work here. I don’t make the rules.”

(Silence.)

Me: “Oh… wait. I’m the teacher. I do make the rules!”

(All of my students laughed and she read her homework again.)

Everyone’s Poop Is The Same Color

, , , , , | Learning | January 19, 2019

For a few months after graduating high school, I worked for the city cleaning public beach restrooms. One of my coworkers had been born and raised in Mexico and he explained to me about why sometimes people will poop on the floor. He told me once you get out of the touristy areas of Mexico you’ll find places where the sewer lines are so small that pooping in the toilet can back up the entire sewer system, so people never poop in them nor put toilet paper in the toilets. Many people, when they come to America, not knowing that our sewer system is different, continue this habit. Therefore, they’ll poop next to the toilet and put used toilet paper in the trash instead of flushing it. This is why all cleaning vans were equipped with shovels and high-pressure hoses.

Cut to a few years later in an anthropology class I’m taking. We’re talking about culture shock, especially bathroom habits, such as one guy mentioning he used to work with someone who came from a country with squat toilets, so he broke a toilet seat at work by standing on it.

I tell what I was told by my former coworker. Cue every single white person in class calling me racist. Especially white girls. Right away every single student who was born and raised in Mexico came to my defense and said, “No, she’s right. That is how it is down there.” The talk about how they had to work with various relatives to get them to poop in the toilet, not next to it.  

I can only hope that all the white students learned from this that you should maybe learn to not jump to the conclusion of racism just because they want to believe every country has America-like sewer systems.

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