Bees Full Of Kryptonite

, , , , , , | Learning | November 19, 2019

(I work for a kids camp at a college. We are the typical rich kids camp, so we get a lot of stress from parents throughout the whole summer. But some parents just leave us with gem-like stories.)

Me: “Okay. Does your child have any allergies that we should be aware of?”

Mom: “Nope! Our little boy is like Superman! Nothing can hurt him!”

Dad: *stays quiet*

Me: “All right, then! I’ve got everything I need. I think you are good to go! Have a nice day.”

Mom: “Thanks!” *phone rings* “Oh. I’ll meet you guys outside. I have to take this.” *runs outside*

Dad: *to me* “Um… Can you actually wait a second?”

Me: “Yes?”

Dad: “My son is actually allergic to bee stings.”

Me: “Wait, seriously? How come she said he was ‘Superman’?”

Son: “She thinks it’s a ‘flaw’ and is embarrassed about it.”

Me: “Oh… well, no worries, man. I won’t tell anyone, but make sure you have your medicine with you.”

Dad & Son: “Thanks!” *leaves*

Coworker: “Wait… if she doesn’t like to admit he has an allergy, then how did they get medicine?”

Me: “I’m either gonna say in secret or the black market.”

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You Won That Rat Race

, , , , | Learning | November 18, 2019

(I’m in class. We’ve completed most of our work and our teacher is letting us have a bit of a study hall. The classroom is on the second floor and the window, which I am seated next to, provides a nice view of the grounds. I see another teacher go outside with her small dog, who has curly white fur. I have a soft spot for animals and generally prefer them to people.)

Me: “Hey, there’s a puppy!”

(Immediately, we all crowd to the window to see.)

Classmate #1: “Awww, it’s so cute!”

Classmate #2: “It looks like a rat!”

Me: “Hey, rats are cute, too!”

Classmate #3: “You think rats are cute?”

Me: “I think basically everything with fur is cute. Have you ever seen a baby fruit bat sucking on a pacifier? They’re adorable!”

(I still hold that bats, rats, and puppies are all equal levels of adorable.)

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Not Being Very PC

, , , | Learning | November 17, 2019

(This is a few years ago when school computers are very unreliable and before IT teaches anything useful like programming. I am usually quite a good student but have no time or patience for irrational teachers. This occurs in a GCSE IT lesson where the majority of students are off for a religious festival. We have a seating plan, as the class is usually full, to ensure everyone sits in the same seat and on the same PC. I sit in my assigned seat to find the PC isn’t working, the entire row I am sat in is empty so I move to the computer right next to mine, log in, and start to get on with my work.)

Teacher: *to me* “Why are you not sat in your seat?”

Me: “The PC isn’t working so I moved to this one.”

Teacher: “I didn’t say you could move. Move back to your assigned seat, and once the lesson has started, put your hand up and I will come over and sort the issue out.”

Me: “Can’t I just keep working on this PC and when you have fixed that one–” *motioned to my usual PC* “–I will move back?” 

Teacher: “Get out!”

(I am sent outside for about ten minutes and get a telling off when the teacher comes out to speak to me. When she brings me back in, she tells me to go work on another computer on another empty row on the other side of the classroom. She hasn’t bothered to check if this PC works, either, and it was also broken. Not learning my lesson, or just wanting to get on with some work, I log into the PC next to it. You can guess what comes next.)

Teacher: “That is not the PC I told you to sit at.”

Me: “That isn’t working, either, and this one is. I have just moved one desk over to actually get on with some work. There is no one sat on this entire row, so why does it matter which one I work at? I’m not trying to move to sit next to anyone and mess about.”

Teacher: “Get back outside!”

Me: “Okay, but don’t bother coming out to speak to me because I won’t be there; I’m going to find somewhere to actually do some work.” 

(The IT room was near the Special Educational Needs room, so I went in there and explained the situation, and they were happy for me to get on with some work. The teacher never did bother to come looking for me, or at least didn’t find me if she did.)

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Can’t Take Back-teria What You Said

, , , , , , | Learning | November 16, 2019

Back in third or fourth grade, we had someone come into our class for a special science lesson. They had petri dishes, swabs, and an incubator, and immediately after recess, they asked us to swab our hands and wipe the swab on a petri dish. Then, we were told to wash our hands with a bar of soap they brought in — the usual liquid soap was off-limits for some reason — and then re-swab our hands for another petri dish. We then labeled both dishes, put them in the incubator, and came back the next day to look at the results.

Almost everyone had more bacteria on their hands after washing them. The exceptions were two girls who “probably scrubbed enough to remove most of the bacteria physically.” It was explained that certain types of bar soap were actually decent places for bacteria to live, and that denying us the liquid soap was a trap. The presenter then went on to talk about some of the colonies of bacteria on the slides and some interesting or rare ones, as well as which ones might be dangerous.

So… that’s the story of why I stopped using all soap for over a decade — and still prefer liquid soap over bar soap. In my defense, I was young and may have missed the point of the presenter. On the other hand, he was giving a presentation to young children on how washing your hands with soap can actually add bacteria. Why would you ever think that is a good idea?

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One Punch Man

, , , , , , | Learning | November 15, 2019

(For the past few summers, I’ve worked as a camp counselor for an arts/theatre camp in between semesters at school. The camp is based out of a school but we’re not connected to the school. For context, I am a certified EMT with extra certification in Tactical/Combat medicine. I’ve also done Krav Maga — an intense Israeli martial art — for a few years and am about to become certified as an instructor in that. The female counselor is about to finish her teaching degree and has about eight years of experience teaching and working with kids under her belt. Our campers range in age from about four to ten, and we have about 30 of them. We take them out to the playground after lunch. After about ten minutes, I notice the boys getting rougher and rougher. Then, one boy punches another in the jaw. I immediately break up the fight and check on the victim, who is the brother of the puncher.)

Me: “Are you okay?”

Victim: Yes.”

Me: “Do you need ice?”

Victim: “No.”

Me: “Do you need me to call the trainer?”

(We’re supposed to ask for liability even though I guarantee you I know more than she does. Whatever, I don’t mind.)

Victim: “No.”

(About every ten minutes for the next hour, I check on him and ask him the same questions. His response is always the same. My female counselor disciplines the brother. It’s not harsh because we’re at camp but we believe it’s fair for a punch. Turns out the victim had been stealing the brother’s hat throughout the day and he’d eventually had enough. The next day, we’re called to a meeting with my boss and the person in charge of the school’s summer program. The mother of the boys is also there. We tell them what happened.)

Mother: “I can’t believe you didn’t call the trainer. My son could’ve had a broken jaw. He came home saying his head hurt all day.”

Me: “He didn’t want me to call the trainer.”

Mother: “He said you didn’t even give him any ice.”

Me: “That is correct.”

Mother: “Don’t you think someone with medical experience should’ve seen him? Honestly, the entitlement of you all is astounding.”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Mother: “Then why didn’t you call the trainer?”

Me: “Because…”

(I list my credentials to her.)

Me: “That, coupled with the fact that when I asked him, he said he didn’t want the trainer, made me think it wasn’t the best use of her time.”

Mother: “Well, why didn’t you stop the fight?”

Me: “I did. The second I saw the punch, I intervened.”

Mother: “Why didn’t you intervene before the fight started?”

Me: “Because I’m not psychic. I’m gonna go do my job now.”

(I walked out and back to work. The mother and boss of the school’s program wanted me fired but my boss refused. Luckily, she agreed with me and realized how dumb the mother was being.)

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