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Stories from school and college

Wise Words To Live By

, , , , | Learning | April 21, 2022

One day, when my younger sister was in kindergarten, her class had a field trip. The teacher told everyone to use the bathroom before they left as they had a long bus ride ahead of them. When my sister said she didn’t need to go, the teacher insisted. She said my sister couldn’t go on the trip unless she used the bathroom.

My sister then proceeded to walk into the bathroom, only to come out a few minutes later.

Sister: “You can make me go to the bathroom, but you can’t make me go pee.”

I wish I’d had the confidence to stand up to a teacher at that age.

Seriously Impossible Demands

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 20, 2022

I am in fifth grade at a small private school where there is only one class for each grade. I am running late for school, and my classroom is on the other side of the building from the front door. I am rushing to try to get to class. It’s important to note that it is a well-known fact around school that I am mostly deaf.

I finally reach my classroom, but no sooner do I sit than my teacher informs me that the eighth-grade teacher wants me down in her room. I am not sure what this could be about, given I have never met the woman, but I walk down anyway. She stands at her door when I arrive, a scowl on her face.

Teacher: “I can barely look at you. The disrespect!”

I’m confused since I am a rather mild kid.

Me: “Uh, pardon? What did I do?”

Teacher: “You know what you did.”

Me: “No, I seriously don’t. I don’t think we’ve ever talked before?”

Teacher: “Well, I tried to talk to you this morning, and you so rudely blew me off!”

Me: “Huh? When did I do that? Ma’am, I only arrived five minutes ago.”

Teacher: “I know. I immediately requested to speak with you. I tried to say good morning, and you didn’t say it back!”

I am starting to piece together what happened. I figure maybe, since we’ve never interacted, she didn’t realize that I wasn’t ignoring her, especially since I read lips so I am handling this conversation well.

Me: “Ma’am, I’m hard of hearing. I didn’t know you tried to say good morning.”

Teacher: “Oh, I know about your hearing problems, but that gives you no excuse to be so rude to me!”

Me: “I’m… sorry? I really can’t hear. What do you expect me to do?”

Teacher: “Just don’t pull that near me! Listen when I’m nearby!”

Me: “That isn’t how hearing loss works.”

Fortunately, the bell rang then, signaling the actual start of the day, so she had to get back to her class, and I ran down to mine. Unfortunately, my ears did not magically heal whenever she was in the area, but as far as I’m aware, she never tried to speak to me again.

In Danger Of Being “Left” Behind

, , , , , , | Learning | April 19, 2022

Back in 2002, I was in Sydney training a group of people on how to use our software. The training took five days and involved the use of Windows XP, keyboards, and mice. It was expected that the trainees would be familiar with the use of Windows, etc.

After the first two days, one gentleman was having huge difficulties with making his mouse work correctly. After checking the mouse wheel — not optical in those days — and the surface he was using and using it myself, I could find no real problem.

Then, he asked:

Trainee: “Am I allowed to use my left hand on the mouse?”

He was profoundly left-handed and had spent two days using the mouse with his right hand as that was how it was set up on day one.

Once he changed, he was fine.

There’s A Wide Gap Between Caution And Racism

, , , | Learning | April 17, 2022

I’m standing outside with my daughter, waiting for her school bus. Near us is another mom with her child.

The bus rolls up, as usual; however, the driver today is different. This happens occasionally when the usual driver is ill or whatnot. I don’t think anything of it, but being that this substitute driver just so happens to be black, this doesn’t rest well with the mom next to us.

She lurches forward, blocks my daughter from entering, and barks at him.

Woman: “Excuse me, what do you think you’re doing? Who gave you permission to be driving this bus?”

Driver: “Oh, nothing, I just thought I’d get up at seven in the morning and steal a bus full of screaming kids. What do you think I’m doing?!

Woman: “What is your first and last name?”

Driver: “First name, Bus! Last name, Driver! Are you going to put your child on or not? I need to get going!”

My daughter moves to enter the bus, but the woman blocks her again.

Woman: “Don’t! Not until I say it’s okay.”

Me: “Ma’am, would you get out of her way and let her get on?”

Daughter: “Come on, I have a field trip!”

Woman: “Let me find out if he’s supposed to be driving this bus.” *Takes out her phone*

Driver: “MISS! I GOTTA GO! I HAVE KIDS WAITING TO BE PICKED UP! MOVE OUT OF THE WAY!”

Woman: “No, you stay right there!” *Playing on her phone*

The door hisses shut and the bus roars away.

The woman and I ended up exchanging some loudly spoken and unkind words before I ended up hurrying my daughter back to our house and driving her to school, thankfully in plenty of time to make it for her field trip.

Meanwhile, I sent a letter to the school superintendent explaining the incident in the (highly likely) event that the other mother would contact them to give her own completely inaccurate version as to why her son and my daughter were not picked up for school that morning, resulting in that gentleman getting in trouble for nothing other than trying to do his job while black.

We Wish That Poor Child The Best Of Luck

, , , , | Learning | April 15, 2022

When I was in junior high, I went to a fairly small private Christian school. For the most part, it was a good experience, with the exception of one teacher. She recognized that the principal was a very kind but very passive man who like to give second, third, and seventeenth chances. This teacher took advantage of this, teaching less and less, playing favorites, giving grades that made no sense, etc.

Parents complained, but the teacher was young and the principal was an overly kind old man convinced that with one more chance, she would shape up. Finally, after she gave some twelve-year-old girls advice on how to sneak out of the house at night and ways to hide cigarettes, parents had had enough and convinced the principal to fire her. But even then, he decided to let her finish out the term.

With about two months left in the school year, she announced that she was pregnant. All of her favorites were thrilled and talking with her in class.

Student #1: “Congratulations! What are you going to name it?”

Teacher: “We don’t know yet, though I should probably name it ‘Insurance’.” *Laughs*

Student #2: “What do you mean?”

Teacher: “Well, a lot of parents think I’m too honest and are trying to get rid of me. But there is no way [Principal] is going to fire a pregnant woman!”

It turned out she was right and she was back the next year. A lot of parents decided that if she was coming back, they were not, and enrollment dropped significantly the next year.