Stories from school and college

You All Get An F In Kindness

, , , , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: DifficultStage5825 | June 5, 2021

My fifth-grade teacher gave the whole class a dollar each once, and kids still complained about the amount they received. It was so disgusting to know she took money from her paycheck which isn’t even a lot, and they didn’t appreciate the money. They would have been satisfied with around three to five dollars; it’s messed up to expect that much. Not only that, but she bought happy new year cards for all of us. That is such an expense for children that age and she probably knew we wouldn’t remember.

That’s not even all she did. She made us pies, we had pizza parties, and we had dessert parties. She wasn’t making a lot of money and she would do stuff like this a lot. Just the fact that she went through that financial struggle to make our day is so selfless. She was such an amazing teacher and continued to make special events for us, even when some kids didn’t appreciate it.

We were only in her class for a year, and it was her starting year, but she handled the negativity so well. It’s just such a messed-up situation to give that much and get nothing in return.

She was uncomfortable with her name, and at the end of the year we asked her for her name and she said that she would tell the class, but she asked us not to make fun of it. We agreed and she said her first name was Phone. Then, of course, the class clown and the “popular” girls and boys made fun of it. She kindly asked them not to, but they continued.

She didn’t continue the conversation after that, and she went to another school after a while when she was offered the same job at better pay. I feel so bad for her, knowing what she did for us. It was when we were so young that we didn’t know how to appreciate something verbally.

She was just such an amazing teacher and I plan on visiting her later on to try to help her out.

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Some Guys Just Want To Watch The World Burn

, , , , , | Learning | June 4, 2021

I’m working as a student representative for my university at a really large university fair for graduating high school students. My job is to talk to prospective students, promote my school, and answer questions about my program. When we aren’t occupied with a visitor, we are supposed to reach out to the people standing outside of our booth and try to draw them in. I’m currently free and I spot a group of three guys standing close to me, so I go to them and start my pitch.

Me: “Hi, are any of you interested in studying for [University]?”

Guy #1: “Nah, I want to study [program we don’t offer] at [Other University].”

Me: “That’s fair, and you?”

I turn to the next guy.

Guy #2: “I don’t want to continue studying.”

I’m starting to sense that I’m not going to get anywhere with them, but I turn to the third guy anyway.

Me: “And you, what do you want to do when you graduate?”

The guy looks me in the eyes.

Guy #3: *Deadpan* “Burn down buildings.”

I have absolutely no idea what to say, so I just blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind. 

Me: “I… don’t think you need further education for that.”

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Somebody’s Slope Is About To Become Much More Negative

, , , , , , | Learning | June 3, 2021

In my junior year of high school, I am put in a math class with a teacher fairly fresh out of school. She is by no means a bad teacher, but because she is new, she is a bit naive. For example, other math teachers usually create two similar but different versions of a test with different colors that alternate each row so that people can’t cheat, but she didn’t do this… at least at first.

It must have become obvious to her that people were sharing answers. On our fifth quiz, I am working on it and realize the girl next to me is copying my answers. Whatever, I don’t really care. But then, the graph on her quiz catches my eye and I realize that her slope is negative while mine is positive, and then it hits me: they’re different quizzes. I just let that ship sail and let her do what she wants.

Quiz scores come back and my classmate gets a zero while I get a perfect score. At parent-teacher conferences, we get to reminisce about that interaction, and I get to tell my teacher that I realized both that my classmate was cheating and that they were different tests and chose not to try to alert her, which tickled my teacher pink.

She started color-coding the versions after that, but she put a lot of cheaters to shame on the first one!

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O, Canaduh, Part 12

, , , , , , | Learning | June 2, 2021

I work at a theme park with a world showcase that’s staffed by citizens of each of those countries. I’m Canadian so I’m working in the Canadian Pavilion. We have a trivia quiz at the main checkout counter, and one question is, “How many provinces and territories do we have, and can you name them?” Sadly, most guests who aren’t from Canada don’t know and then joke when wrong.

Guest: “Five provinces and no territories; that’s a trick question. They are British Columbia, Montreal, Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver.”

Me: “Sorry, but that’s not correct. We have ten provinces and three territories. Here, I’ll show you on our map.”

Guest: “This is a fake map. I’m a grade five teacher and I teach the Canadian unit, so I know more about Canada than others.”

Before I could get my brain working to figure out if she was serious or not, she was called away to her family. I really hoped she was kidding and wasn’t passing on wrong information to new generations.

Related:
O, Canaduh, Part 11
O, Canaduh, Part 10
O, Canaduh, Part 9
O, Canaduh, Part 8
O, Canaduh, Part 7

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Making The Grade By The Letter Of The Law

, , , , , , | Learning | June 1, 2021

About twenty years ago, I was attending law school part-time during the day while still keeping my full-time job, which provided tuition reimbursement. Despite that, my grades were just below the top ten percent of the class. To minimize classroom time, one summer I requested permission for a one-credit research class that I could work on during my free time.

I was directed to a professor in my area of interest who agreed to supervise the project by email, though we never met. I suggested a topic, with which he was amenable, and he emailed over the rubric for the paper so that it would fulfill the requirements.

After five or six weeks, I completed the legal research and began writing the paper. A week later, I emailed a draft that had some edits, but the email back was reasonably positive about the paper. I showed it to some of my colleagues at work, who also gave very positive feedback. I incorporated all of the edits and suggestions and submitted it by email to the professor.

He gave me a C+, my lowest grade in Law School (before or after). I emailed him and asked for feedback but got no real explanation other than that he wasn’t impressed.

I was quite annoyed. Around the same time, I happened to notice a contest in a law school journal where the best student-written paper would get published and win a significant cash prize — $2,500. Second and third place also received money and publication. Since I had the C+ paper I’d just written, I sent it in, just for kicks.

Sometime later — at least several months — the journal called me to let me know that my C+ paper won first place in the contest out of more than forty or fifty submissions. It was published and I got the check. The award ceremony was in California and I was on the East coast, so I wasn’t able to attend.

As a coda, I wrote a letter to the school newspaper detailing this story and explaining how paper grades were very subjective. The professor was apparently annoyed; in that letter, I did use his name. He took the trouble to email me that he’d purported to show the letter to a judge friend of his, who supposedly would have only given me a B.

I don’t care because I had $2,500 extra in the bank. Honestly, if he had given me an A, I’m not sure I would have submitted it to the contest, so I can’t really complain.

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