They Need To Change Their Foreign Policy

, , , , | Learning | October 14, 2019

(I’m a female grad student getting my Master’s in engineering and I am late for class. I’m rushing to get there as quick as I can. This college is known to be, well, generally close-minded due to the dense Mormon population. This is shortly after the announcement of Trump’s travel ban. Also, I am not white.)

Student: *cuts me off* “Excuse me. Can you please sign our petition to show you are against the travel ban?”

Me: “I really don’t have time; I’m late for class already.”

Student: “But we need your support! We need to show that what Trump is doing is wrong!”

Me: “Seriously, I don’t have time. Now I’ve got to go.”

Student: “But aren’t you worried about how this is going to affect your family?”

(That’s when I stop dead in my tracks.)

Me: “I’m Native American.”

Student: “…”

Me: “So, what? Because I’m not white I must be a foreigner? Is that it?”

Student: “…”

Me: “Maybe next time, you should think before you make dumb assumptions.”

Student: “…” *runs off*

(I’ve also had tour guides ask me to share with their groups “my life as an international student” and ask me to translate for Spanish-speaking members for them. One more event like this and the Dean of Students is going to get a complaint from me.)

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I Confess To Being As Mature As A Seven-Year-Old Boy

, , , , , , | Learning | October 13, 2019

(In second grade, my class prepares for first Reconciliation by practicing with our teacher and a nun who works at the church. The teacher or nun sits in the priest’s chair and we go in and have a pretend confession. The rest of the class watches so that we can learn from each other. Naturally, some students decide to have some fun with it.)

Nun: “What sins have you committed?”

Student: *grinning* “I farted in my dad’s face on purpose!”

Nun: “Well, that wasn’t very nice, was it?”

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Cheat Code Is XX

, , , , , | Learning | October 12, 2019

(I’ve always been fairly geeky, so I’m naturally excited when my school announces that they’re starting a video-gaming club. On the day of the first meeting, I’m a bit nervous, since I’m worried that I’ll be the only girl there. When I walk in, I make eye contact with another girl, sitting with two others, who looks just as shocked to see me as I am to see her.)

Girl: “FRIEND!”

Me: “More females! MY PEOPLE!”

(About fifty boys showed up, and the adults in charge were all men, but we ended up having six girls in the club.)

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The Tortoise And The Scare

, , , , | Learning | October 11, 2019

(I’m on a team of environmental researchers. We’re operating a mobile laboratory platform that drives around multiple terrains and then stays on-site for weeks at a time. It’s nicknamed “The Tortoise” and has tank treads and is painted in camouflage to blend in with the environment. It looks very military but has “[SCHOOL] DEPT. OF ENVIRO RESEARCH” painted in orange letters on each side. We’re out in the field today moving The Tortoise to a backup site.)

Team Lead: “There’s a twist for today. We need to move The Tortoise across a road.”

Tech #1: “That’s fine. [Local Police] are okay with us blocking off roads. It only takes us about ten seconds to get across the road as is.”

Tech #2: “And last time, they said we should just go ahead and make the crossing. We’ve got hi-vis vests and cones in the truck.”

Team Lead: “Okay. [Tech #1], take [My Name] to the crossing point and get ready to block off traffic. The rest of us will get The Tortoise moving.”

(We get to the crossing point and unload the cones by the side of the road. The Tortoise is very slow-moving, so we’ve got some downtime. [Tech #1] has been on the team for years, and I’m pretty new.)

Me: “Do cars even use this road? No one’s driven by.”

Tech #1: “Technically, yeah. According to the map, it’s in use. I think the park service are the only ones who actually use it, though; it’s not like it really goes anywhere. That’s why the cops don’t care if we blockade it for a bit.”

Team Lead: *on the radio* “We’re almost there. Time to get the cones out.”

([Tech #1] and I don our vests and set up cones. As soon as we set up, the first car we’ve seen drives up. I hold up my hand in the universal “stop” gesture and the car slows to a stop.)

Tech #1: “Huh, just our luck. I wonder who’s out driving in this–”

(At this moment, the unmarked police car throws on its lights and an officer gets out.)

Sheriff: “Hi, folks. I’m with the [County] sheriff’s office. Mind telling me why you’re blocking off the road here?”


(The Tortoise, riding on a set of tank treads, painted in camouflage, and since no one bothered to properly clean it, covered in debris and mud, crawls out of the woods and across the road. The team controlling it follows soon after. Each one of them is so focused on the path ahead that they don’t notice the sheriff. After they roll back into the woods on the opposite side…)

Sheriff: “Uh. What was that?”

Tech #1: “Tortoise.”

(There is a long silence. We begin to gather up the cones.)

Sheriff: “Well… thank you for observing road safety.” 

(Days later:)

Team Lead: “Anyone know why the county sheriff thinks the school owns a tank?”

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A Lesson In Mismanagement

, , , , , | Learning | October 10, 2019

The city I live in recently decided to cut costs by closing one high school and merging the student population. We got a new school name and all moved to [Location #1] so they could renovate [Location #2]. 

The renovations were supposed to be completed before I graduated grade eight, so I was never going to attend classes at [Location #1]. Unfortunately, renovations took extra long and I spent my grade nine year at [Location #1]. 

Around May of this year, the school board said that we were three years overtime and 16 million dollars over budget — they wanted everything to look nice — so they decided to move us all early and let the construction crew work while we were in classes. The money they got from selling [Location #2] would, in theory, help the budget. 

This caused many issues. First of all, music classes were in an empty room that was supposed to be a French room. The music class during my French class had no idea how to play, so all of our lessons were to the tune of off-key trumpets and tubas. 

Secondly, the cafeteria was nowhere near ready to sell food. The local church sold $5 hotdogs in their parking lot — $2.50 if you attend their church! — but that meant most of the kids at my school ate a hotdog for lunch every day and had for weeks. 

On top of that, the power randomly went out during classes, fire alarms weren’t all wired right, and none of the science classrooms were fully unpacked — most of the test tubes were broken in the move, anyway — and many other problems. 

Today, we arrived at school to find the second-floor girls’ bathroom off-limits. When I asked my math teacher, he told me — dead serious, other teachers have confirmed — “Half the ceiling caved in.” But since they sold [Location #1], we are stuck at [Location #2].

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