Stories from school and college

Taking The Big Out Of Bigotry

| Learning | March 11, 2013

(I am female. My girlfriend picks up my teen niece from school and they meet me at my job everyday. On this day, my niece’s school has a “Pride Day”, so my niece is dressed in purple and has a rainbow-colored band around her upper arm. A customer has noticed.)

Customer: “Excuse me, young lady. Are you gay?”

My Niece: “No, ma’am. Why do you ask?”

Customer: “Because your band says ‘gay’ on it.”

My Niece: “Oh! It actually says ‘I support gays’. Today was Pride Day at my school. That’s also why my band is rainbow and I’m wearing so much purple.”

Customer: *very loudly* “You will go to Hell for telling people to sin! You are encouraging people to disobey God!”

My Niece: “To be honest, ma’am, I am an atheist. But my school’s principal is Christian and he announced the Pride Day.”

Customer: “You will burn in Hell! How does your family feel about you disobeying God’s word?”

My Niece: “Actually, my parents are okay with me being an atheist. Also, you see that lady over there who helped you?” *points to me* “She’s my aunt, and that woman there—” *points to my girlfriend* “—is her girlfriend, and they’ve been together for 14 years. They’re also Christians.”

Customer: “Heathens! Filthy, devil-worshipping heathens is what you all are! You will have to face God one day!”

(My niece has been smiling throughout this whole exchange, as if she’s completely unbothered by the customer’s comments.)

My Niece: “Ma’am, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t Christians believe that God loves all His children? And isn’t Christianity about ‘loving thy neighbor’? If that’s true, why are you such a closed-minded, air-headed bigot who tries to use religion as a weapon? I think you are just using being Christian as a mask for your hatred. Unless what I’ve just said is false, I don’t think you know what it means to be Christian.”

(The customer was rendered speechless and stormed out the door, almost leaving her bags behind until my niece kindly reminded her.)

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Casting An Extra Super Duper Ginormously Wide Net, Part 2

| Learning | March 11, 2013

Me: “Thank you for calling [college]. How can I direct your call?”

Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a student.”

Me: “Certainly. Do you have the student’s name?”

Caller: “I met them at an event at our church and wanted to talk to them about what they’re studying.”

Me: “That seems quite reasonable. If you give me their name, I can either route your call to their dorm room, or leave them a message in their student mailbox.”

Caller: “Well, I didn’t catch their name. Are there a lot of students there? Could I describe them to you?”

Me: “We have about 1400 students, but I do know most of them in dorm, so we can give it a try.”

Caller: “Okay. They’re Asian.”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but roughly half of our student population is of Chinese descent. I’m afraid that doesn’t really narrow it down much.”

Caller: “Oh. They’re male?”

Me: “Sorry, that’s still a large percentage of our student body.”

Caller: “They’re studying the Bible.”

Me: “This is a Bible college, so I’m afraid that doesn’t narrow it down at all.”

Caller: “Is there a way that you could just announce over a speaker or something, that someone is looking to speak with a student that was at [church name] this past Sunday?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry. I can’t interrupt classes to do that.”

Caller: “Oh, okay.” *click*

 

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All Set For Higher Standards

| Learning | March 11, 2013

(I work at a test proctoring facility. A student has just finished taking his placement exams.)

Me: “Alright, you placed into University Physics and Calculus 1.”

Student: “Okay.”

Me: “Do you have any last questions?”

Student: “Who do I talk to about registration?”

Me: “Go upstairs to Admissions. They should be able to help you.”

Student: “Okay.” *stands there*

Me: “…Anything else I can help you with?”

Student: “Nope.” *stands there*

Me: “Okay… you’re all set.”

Student: “Okay.” *stands there*

(I try to subtly signal the student to move on by shuffling my papers.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Student: “Nope.” *stands there*

Me: “So… your scores have been entered into the database. So… you’re all set.”

Student: “Oh, I’m all set?”

Me: “Yes…”

Student: “Oh, okay!” *leaves*

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Time To Teach Time Travel

| Learning | December 29, 2012

(I am a substitute teacher. This takes place on Picture Day, where all the kids go with their homeroom teachers to have school pictures taken. After about a quarter of my students have sat for their portraits and are sitting quietly near me while they wait for their classmates to finish, the principal comes in to the room.)

Principal: “You need to take the students who are finished back to your classroom. They can’t just loiter in here.”

Me: “But, I thought I wasn’t supposed to leave any student unattended.”

Principal: “That’s right.”

Me: “So, I have to walk each student, as they are finished, back to my classroom?”

Principal: “Yes.”

Me: “And, then, return here to escort the next student?”

Principal: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll do that.”

(I proceed to escort the 6-8 students who were finished back to my classroom. I then return to the cafeteria, where portraits are being taken. Just then, the principal walks in, seemingly livid.)

Principal: “What did I tell you about leaving students unattended?”

Me: “I’m confused. I thought I was supposed to escort each student back to my classroom, and then return here for the next student.”

Principal: “Yes! That’s right!”

Me: “But, to do that, the students in the classroom would be left unattended.”

Principal: “Students should NEVER be unattended!”

Me: “Then, should I stay in the classroom and tell students to just return to my room when the portraits are done?”

Principal: “What are you thinking?! Students should never be left unattended in the classroom, in the cafeteria, or in the hallways.”

Me: “Let me see if I am getting this right: I am supposed to be in the cafeteria throughout the time the portraits are being taken so the kids aren’t unattended in the cafeteria. I am also supposed to escort each and every student back to my classroom so they aren’t unattended in the hallways. Once I take a student back to the classroom, I’m supposed to stay there so that they aren’t left unattended in my room. Is that right?”

Principal: “YES! God, why is that so hard to figure out? At this rate, it’ll be a miracle if you don’t flunk out of your master’s program.”

Me: “So, tell me, how am I supposed to be in the cafeteria, in my classroom, and escorting students in the hallway all at the same time?”

Principal: “You are the teacher. That is your job to figure out. Now, get it done!” *storms off*

(I did my best to bend the laws of physics and reality to accomplish his directive, but it didn’t work. In the end, I ended up having to leave the students unattended in the cafeteria, where at least the adult photographer and school secretary were present. At the end of the day, I was relieved from my position as a long-term substitute teacher for “Endangering the safety of students by leaving them unattended.”)

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In Need Of Hire Education

, , , | Learning | December 1, 2012

(At the fast food restaurant where I work, most of my coworkers are in high school.)

Manager: *to Coworker* “I need you to stay late and close. [Another Coworker] called in sick.”

Coworker: “I can’t. I have to study for a test I’m taking tomorrow.”

Manager: “But I need you to stay. What’s more important, school or this job?”

Coworker: *stunned* “Finishing high school is more important!”

Manager: “Fine, have it your way. But with that attitude, you’ll never amount to much!”

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