You’re On Your Mom’s Naughty List This Year

, , , , , , , | Learning | December 25, 2019

(Every year, the Archdiocese my school is a part of puts on a “Keep Christ in Christmas” contest for anyone from 1st to 12th grade. For it, you can submit one of three things: a poster, a 250- to 300-word essay, or a piece of poetry. While the actual prompt is incredibly obvious, you can spin it in literally any direction you want. My high school is one of the only ones that actually makes all of its students do the contest for a grade each year; however, all of the religion teachers go through their submissions and only actually turn the best ones into the contest. It’s my last year doing this contest and I decide to write an essay on the Santa Lie and how commercialism is replacing the original meaning behind the holiday. I finish up and leave my hard copy on the counter so I don’t forget to bring it to school the next day. Unfortunately, my mom finds it and she barges into my room waving it in her hand.) 

Mom: “[My Full Name], what is this?!”

Me: “Uh, my ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ essay?”

(She then goes on a rant about how terrible and cynical my essay is before reading it out to my dad, who ends up agreeing with her.)

Me: “It’s my last one, Mom. I honestly don’t care anymore.”

(After a bit more arguing, she begrudgingly lets me turn it in. Fast forward about two days.)

Mom: “I got the email that your essay was graded; what did you get?”

Me: “I got full points, 40 out of 40.”

Mom: “I don’t believe you. Show it to me now.”

(She isn’t very happy when I confirm my grade. The next day, I go to my religion class.)

Teacher: “All right, everyone, here are your ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ submissions back.”

(He finally walks around to my desk.)

Teacher: “Oh, yeah, [My Name], I’m keeping yours to turn in to the Archdiocese. I really like angry screams against capitalism.”

(My mother was not at all happy. Unfortunately, I didn’t win.)

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Ich Bin Ein Idiot

, , , , , | Learning | December 21, 2019

(I’ve spent some 33 years calling on Illinois high schools as a textbook sales representative. On one occasion, while walking through a school hallway, I notice an empty classroom. Looking inside, I can tell by the posters on the walls that it is a German teacher’s room. Furthermore, the teacher’s name is on a large poster board taped to the door. Knowing the teacher will be returning soon, I pull a new German book out of my heavy book bag and wait for the bell to ring.)

Me: “Hello, Mrs. Willkommen. My name is [My Name]; I am a textbook sales rep and I’d like to show you our new German reader.”

Teacher: “Let me get this straight. You are selling German textbooks and you didn’t know that ‘Willkommen’ in German means ‘welcome’?”

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Not Going To Get Walkathon’d All Over This Year

, , , , , | Learning | December 20, 2019

(I attend an expensive private high school on a scholarship. My family could absolutely not afford the tuition without the scholarship, meaning I’m on a much lower socioeconomic level than my classmates. Every fall, the school holds a walkathon where students are supposed to get people from the community to pledge money to the school based on how many miles the student walks. No one in the community ever wants to donate to the rich, private school when the local public school is critically underfunded, so everyone just gets their parents to write a check. If a student fails to meet the $100 donation threshold, they’re not allowed to participate in the walkathon. However, they’re still required to come to school that day. So, instead of taking a hike through the woods with their classmates and then spending the rest of the day having fun in the park, they have to spend the whole day sitting quietly in a classroom alone. It’s basically day-long detention for being poor. Every year so far, my family has scraped together enough money for me to attend walkathon, but in my senior year — twelfth grade — money is too tight. I’ve resigned myself to a day of boredom. A few days before the walkathon, I’m turning in some paperwork to one of the school’s secretaries. She’s worked with me before concerning my scholarship, and she knows that I otherwise couldn’t afford to attend the school.)

Secretary: *adding the paperwork to my file* “Well, looks like that’s in order. Oh, wait! I don’t see your walkathon form in here.”

Me: “Oh. I’m not going this year.”

Secretary: *looks at me and then shuffles through some more papers* “I also see you haven’t used all your college visit days.”

(Every senior gets a certain number of excused absences to visit colleges, so long as they arrange it with the office first and bring proof of the visit afterward. I’ve already been accepted to my first-choice college.)

Me: “I already got into [College]. I didn’t need them all.”

Secretary: “It’s always good to know all your options. Why don’t you take another college tour? It can be on any school day. Any day at all that you’re required to be in school.”

Me: “Ooooh, I see. Can I have a copy of the college visit form? Actually, can I have two?”

(After leaving the office with the forms, I immediately went to find my friend, who also wasn’t looking forward to the walkathon since the hiking trail wasn’t suitable for her disability. Every year, she had to attend the walkathon anyway and just sit at a picnic table with a teacher all day. She also hadn’t used all her college visit days, so we both signed up for a tour of a local college on the day of the walkathon. That day, we slept in, went on the college tour just long enough to get proof that we went, and goofed off the rest of the day. We brought the secretary a fancy cupcake from a little bakery near the college as thanks.)

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A Signature Example Of Babying

, , , , , , | Learning | December 19, 2019

For eighth grade, I went to a Catholic school that babied the students. Every day, we were required to have our parents sign our notebooks. These notebooks held our daily grade, a little note about the day, and nothing else. If our parents didn’t sign it, the teacher would lecture us and call our parents. If the parents didn’t answer, they would hold us after school until our parents arrived to get us, even if you were a straight-A student with no discipline problems.

My mom knew I was an A and B student, and hated this policy. She did not care about signing the book at all. After the first few times, Mom just initialed it without reading it. My teacher seemed to accept the initials. I had As and Bs, after all.

I ended up forging mom’s initials half the time; we’d both forget and it was just easier.

One day, my mother received a nerve conduction study — the way I explained it, “the doctor shot electricity up her hand.” Her initials were super shaky that day. My teacher opened the book and accused me of forgery. “Of all the days,” I thought to myself. My teacher called the English/history and the math/science teacher, and they all had a loud whisper conversation where they discussed how “that wasn’t a real carpal tunnel test,” how weird it was that someone would initial the book, and how I’d been totally forging it from day one. They called my mother and told her that only a face-to-face meeting would suffice.

Mom was not happy. She explained the nerve conduction study better than I could, and told them how ridiculous their “nanny book” was for a good student. It became a rather heated affair.

In the end, the teachers demanded that she sign the book instead of just initialing, and I learned how to forge my mother’s full signature.

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The New Student Teacher Is A Hit!

, , , , | Learning | December 18, 2019

(I am 22, but owing to my high voice, short stature, and general babyface, some mistake me for 15 or 16. I am a student teacher at a middle school. For those who don’t know, that means that I am a student at a university earning a teaching degree, but this semester I basically intern at the school and teach a few classes, observing the teacher for the rest of them. The teacher I normally work under is on a field trip which I declined to go on, so I am shadowing another teacher for today. He doesn’t really feel the need to introduce me, though, so I am sat in the back of the classroom, and for the most part, the students ignore me. There isn’t much room to sit, so I have to sit at one of the students’ desks, which is possible thanks to my aforementioned short stature. After the last class before lunch, a — very adorable — seventh-grader and two of his friends are talking in the corner. The boy’s friends seemed to be encouraging him to do something in my general direction, and eventually, he walks up to me.)

Boy: *very shyly* “Um… I know you’re new here… and I think you’re kind of cute… doyouwanttositwithusatlunchtoday?”

(It is worth noting that I am also quite awkward and not the best at conflict resolution.)

Me: “Oh… I’m actually 22. I’m a student teacher for–”

(The boy’s face and ears grew very red indeed and he ran out of the room. One of his friends ran after him, and the other one just stood there, silently laughing like a mime’s impersonation of a hyena. I walked up to the girl and asked her to apologise to her friend from me; in between giggles, she managed to accept my plea, and I walked out of the classroom towards the teachers’ cafeteria with my face pinker than that girl’s pink highlights. And that’s the story of how I was hit on by a kid nearly half my age.)

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