Orange Is The New Black

, , , , , , | | Learning | August 3, 2019

(I’ve been a swim coach for the past ten years, and every summer I get at least one moment that reminds me of how nine-year-olds always keep you on your toes. The swimmer is this story is a nine-year-old girl with a rainbow swimsuit and a pink glittery swim cap. Just a little bundle of bubbly girl power.)

Swimmer: “Coach, coach, I know what car is yours!”

Me: “Oh? What car?”

Swimmer: “The orange one, because orange is your favorite color.”

Me: *looking down and realizing I’m in my bright orange swimsuit and sunglasses today* “Yeah, I guess it is.”

Swimmer: “Why is orange your favorite color?”

Me: “Because it’s a happy color.”

Swimmer: “I like black.”

(Before I can ask why black is her favorite color, the nine-year-old swimmer flexes her arms and squats down as she scream-growls:)


(The swimmer proceeded to stand up, giggle, and run over to the pool to dive in like nothing had happened and leaving me to burst into fits of shocked laughter.)

Doesn’t Like The Cut Of Your Gib

, , , , | | Learning | August 2, 2019

(I am taking a studio art class in college. One of the assignments involves making sculptures out of cardstock. We are told that the most important aspect of the assignment is that our curved shapes be cut from the paper smoothly, and therefore, we MUST use a hobby knife because scissors produce a ragged cut. I’m experienced with using scissors for papercraft and know that I can get smooth cut from them, but I start with the hobby knife, anyway, because our professor is so insistent. Unfortunately, I just can’t get a smooth, curved cut with the knife; after several frustrating tries, I cave and use scissors and hope she doesn’t notice. Cue the day of the presentation:)

Professor: “Very good, [My Name]. Your cuts are very smooth.”

Me: *internally sighing in relief* “Thank you.”

Professor: *turns to the next student* “You’re cuts are jagged. I told you not to use scissors!”

Classmate: “I didn’t! I used the knife, but I couldn’t get it to cut a curved line!”

Professor: “I wanted smooth cuts. Look at [My Name]’s; that’s what I wanted!”

Me: *meekly* “Um, I actually used scissors.”

Professor: *gives me a long stare, humphs, and then moves on to the next student*

(I always wondered if she changed her instructions for the next class.)

Think Fast(ing)

, , , , , , | | Learning | August 1, 2019

(This conversation happens in my grade three class.)

Classmate #1: “Hey, [Classmate #2], you want some apples?”

Classmate #2: “I can’t eat; I’m fasting.”

(The entire class stares at her as she explains her culture, flustered. Most of the kids in my class are Asian.)

Classmate #3: *to [Classmate #4], whispering* “That’s stupid! People are supposed to eat when they’re hungry.”

([Classmate #2] hears and is now looking flustered and staring down at the table, so I decide to attempt to defuse the tension.) 

Me: “[Classmate #2], how long has it been since you used the bathroom?”

(I think I made things worse.)

Should Have Gone To Law School

, , , , , | | Learning | August 1, 2019

(I’m an admissions officer of a prestigious university in the UK. I have been invited as a guest lecturer for a junior college summer school prep course, preparing students for university entry. We just finished mock interviews and I am giving feedback to the class. I start praising several students for their performance in the mock interview.)

Me: “Another person that did very well is [Male Student]. Did you know that eight months ago he attended a work experience with his uncle, who’s a GP doctor? And that he was inspired by his stalwart attitude to his patients? And ever since then wanted to become a doctor? The second we started discussing that his face lit up, and I knew that he was genuine. That’s the thing that interviewers are looking for. More than grades, just passion and honesty.”

(Students murmur among themselves and a few admiring glances are cast at [Male Student], who looks rather surprised.)

Me: “Don’t look surprised. You were genuine and honest. Examiners like that.”

Male Student: “Uh, sir? Sorry to burst your bubble, but I lied.”

(The entire room falls silent. I blink in surprise. He seemed the most genuine of the nine students.)

Me: “Really?”

Male Student: *cheerfully* “I wasn’t inspired by my uncle’s attitude to the job. I was inspired by his paycheck. I mean, why else would I want to do a job that involves disease and injury? And all of the gross stuff that doctors have to deal with? Ugh. Anyway, he’s the richest person in the family and that’s motivation enough to take over his clinic.”

(He starts beaming as the rest of the room stares back at him in complete and utter disbelief.)

Me: *stunned* “At least some of it is true.”

Male Student: *sagely* “The best lies are ones that come from truths.”

Me: *sighs* “Anyway, speak like that in your interview and you will definitely be accepted. Just don’t tell the examiner that you were lying about why you want the job.”

(The next year, [Male Student] was among the applicants for my university. He gave the exact same lies in the interview, with even more passion and admiration than the previous time. He passed with flying colours, and was among the most discussed candidates among my colleagues. They all said that he was genuine and passionate about improving patient’s lives and the greater good. I decided not to sabotage him, so I kept quiet about his lies until after his application had been accepted. In the end, it didn’t matter as he decided to enroll in another university, but my colleagues still cannot believe his acting skills. They still say that he seemed to be one of the best and most genuine candidates.)

Not Quite Jumping To Conclusions

, , , , , , | | Learning | July 31, 2019

(I’m in my late 20s. I have worked with kids for many years. I’ve just gotten in an elevator when I’m followed by a group of girls, no older than 13. There is a sign in the elevator warning people not to jump.)

Girl #1: “Okay, everyone. On three…”

(They get set, and I realize that they’re going to jump once the elevator starts moving.)

Me: *in my best teacher voice* “HEY!”

(They all stare at me.)

Me: “What does that sign say?”

Girl #1: “Jumping in the elevator will cause… entrapment.” 

Girl #2: “What’s entrapment?”

Me: “It means that we will be trapped if y’all start jumping.”

(Blank stares.)

Me: “We’ll be stuck, and the fire department will have to rescue us.”

Girl #2: “Ohhhhh.”

Me: “I don’t want to be stuck in an elevator today. Do y’all?”

Girls #1-4: *quietly* “No, ma’am.”

(My floor dinged, so I got off. As I was walking away, I heard one of the girls say in surprise, “How did she even KNOW?”)