Explosive Uptake Of Chemistry In Schools, As It Turns Out Blowing Stuff Up Is Awesome

, , , , , , | Learning | November 9, 2018

(Decades before the TV show about blowing things up with science, there was my high school chemistry teacher. The very first day of class, I sit down in my chair and lean back lazily. Then I freeze, with my eyes wide.)

Friend: “[My Name]? Are you okay?”

Me: “The light fixture is melted.”

Friend: “What?!”

(He looks up where I’m looking, and right above the table where the teacher would be making demonstrations, the hanging light fixture is indeed partially melted, and twisted. The ceiling is pock-marked with black marks, and I could swear there are things… embedded… in the ceiling.)

Friend: “Uh…”

(The facts spread quickly as other students file in, see other kids muttering uneasily, and follow the pointed fingers. The teacher comes in:)

Teacher: “All right, students, I know this is not a class you want to take first thing in the morning, but I would like to inform you now that there will be no dozing off in this class.”

(The entire class wordlessly points to the ceiling.)

Teacher: *with an evil smirk* “Oh, darn. You already figured out the reason why.

(To be fair, nobody did doze off in class. Our teacher was notorious for demonstrating why you followed the rules exactly, by demonstrating how NOT to do things. Just about everything our teacher did either exploded, caught on fire, or did something likewise terrifying. Every day a demonstration happened, the first three rows of students scooted their desks back as far as they could, cramming toward the back of the room. I learned a lot about chemistry, but I wonder, years later, if my teacher ever happened to teach the hosts of that show. It would explain a lot.)

Enveloped In Love

, , , , , , , , | Hopeless | October 28, 2018

This story took place over two years ago, but it still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

My husband was an English teacher at a local high school, also running an afterschool “club” designed to support the LGBT+ students. He ran it through his own choice, not getting paid to run it, and became pretty well liked because of it.

He was coming home from work one afternoon when he was involved in a serious collision with a drunk driver. He was taken to hospital, but ended up passing away from his injuries later that night. I was devastated, and my brother had to be the one to inform the school of his death. The school passed on their condolences and I thought that would be the end of it.

Almost a month later, one of his old colleagues came over to deliver the belongings that my husband had left in his classroom at school. I had completely forgotten about going to collect his things, so I was incredibly grateful to the woman who brought them over. With a box of his things I was also handed a large reusable bag, crammed full of envelopes. Confused, I looked up at the woman and asked what they were. She just smiled and told me it was “a little something from the students.”

After she left, I sat down and opened the envelopes. There were close to 300 envelopes in that bag, and each and everyone one of them contained a handwritten letter from a student about how much they had liked my husband, how his work had helped them, and how he would be missed. There was one larger envelope containing a cheque for just over £1,000, along with another letter explaining that the money had been fundraised by several students after they had learned of my husband’s passing, wanting to support me and our children as a way of saying thank you for all the support he had given them through his running of the club.

I don’t remember how long I cried for, but it still warms my heart to know how much effort teens were willing to put in to help a grieving family that they had never even met. If any of those students are reading this, I want to thank them. They helped me smile during one of the most unbearable moments in my life.

PTS-Daaaaaa*n Girl!

, , , , , | Legal | October 21, 2018

(I served three and a half tours overseas before being medically discharged after a firefight that left me with a limp and a big helping of PTSD. While I’m fine most of the time, I now have a crippling fear of the dark, as I was asleep when our camp was invaded. As a result, I’m pretty jumpy about sudden sounds in the night, and I sleep with my lamp on. My girlfriend is used to this, and gets used to leaving the hallway light on for me, as well. One night, we’re asleep when we both jerk awake to complete darkness after a huge noise. My girlfriend calls her parents who live next door and, sure enough, a transformer on our street blew up and there’s a blackout. My father-in-law has a generator in his shed and offers for us to sleep in there for the night so we would have lights, but I’m already twitchy, so my girlfriend lights some candles and we elect to stay home. I keep hearing noises coming from our back door, but I don’t say anything because I’m used to my PTSD convincing me the worst is happening. After about two hours, this happens.)

Girlfriend: *makes a weird, almost frightened face*

Me: “What’s wrong, babe?”

Girlfriend: “I can hear a weird noise coming from out there. I didn’t want to freak you out by saying anything.”

Me: “I can hear it, too.”

(Before I can even move, my five-foot-three girlfriend grabs the softball bat from under my side of the bed and bolts for the back door. I hear her throw it open as I’m still scrambling out of bed and chasing her as fast as I can with my bum leg.)

Girlfriend: *still out of sight* “F*** OFF RIGHT NOW IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE ON TWO LEGS!”

(As if by magic, the power comes back on right then. A dumbfounded-looking would-be criminal is staring at my tiny girlfriend holding the bat, with a crowbar in his hand that he was obviously using to try our back door. My girlfriend doesn’t hesitate any longer, and swings the bat at him as hard as she can. It cracks him on the hand and he howls, right as her dad and brother vault over the side fence responding to the yelling. Her teenage brother tackles the guy straight off our deck and there’s a huge scuffle. They manage to pin him down. When the cops show up, one of them is an old buddy of mine who listens to our story and bursts out laughing.)

Cop: “So, the jittery war vet trained in hand-to-hand combat didn’t even get a punch in?”

Me: “I didn’t get a chance! They had it all done before I could get to them.”

(The cop looks at my tiny girlfriend, her scrawny brother, and her elderly father all looking murderously at the burglar, who is now in handcuffs and crying that the cuffs are hurting his clearly broken wrist.)

Cop: “Who needs you, honestly? They had it all stitched up.”

(I’m gonna buy that girl a ring.)

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A Storybook Romance

, , , , , | Romantic | October 19, 2018

(I’ve dated guys, not a lot, but enough to make me wary of being geeky or showing how much I like to read. When I say I like to read, I mean I have over a thousand books and am constantly buying more. A lot of the guys I’ve dated have told me that I should downsize my books because they don’t really want to date a girl who reads. I have been in a solid long-distance relationship for about eight months now with this guy who is really just the best thing that ever happened to me. We are discussing the fact of my lease running out in about two months and if it would be better for me to extend my lease for six months or not.)

Me: “Well, it might be better for me to do that, so that I can find a place I like better, maybe with more storage space. Though I just hate the idea of moving… so many trips to the truck and up and down the stairs… It’s horrible.”

Boyfriend: “Yeah, those stairs will be killer for sure.”

Me: “I’m not giving up my books.”

Boyfriend: “O…kay?”

Me: “I know that’s where your mind was going, because everyone tells me that, but I’m not giving up my books.”

Boyfriend: “Did I ask you to? Did I say, ‘[My Name] I want you to be unhappy, dull, and boring; please give up the thing that makes your eyes sparkle and makes you laugh.’? Did I say I want you to stop being you?”

Me: *now embarrassed* “Well, no, but—”

Boyfriend: “No, listen. Does this make you happy?”

Me: “Yes?”

Boyfriend: “Do you pay all your bills on time with money left over? Do you feel joy at your collection? Do you read them?”

Me: “Yes, to all of those.”

Boyfriend: “Then why on earth would I tell you to get rid of them? In fact, I think you need another book, just to get rid of this mindset that people want you to be unhappy! Get your shoes, woman; we are going to the bookstore!”

Me: *teary eyed* “I think I love you.”

Boyfriend: “I know.”

(Yes, we did end up getting a book at the bookstore. He ended up proposing that night, and I accepted!)

Heard That Argument Until You Were Blue

, , , | Friendly | October 17, 2018

(I just started at a job and one of the females, nearly old enough to be my mother, has a long streak of blue in her hair. Nothing else is colored, just this two-inch-wide streak of blue hair. It looks really good.)

Me: “So, what made you decide on blue for the streak?”

Coworker: “It’s just hair! Does it matter?!”

Me: “No, no.” *shaking my finger at her* “I mean, why blue? Is it your favorite color like it is mine? Was it the best color choice for your blond hair? Do you not like green, or pink, or orange?”

Coworker: “Oh… I… Sorry… Yeah, it used to be pink and I wanted to change it.”

Me: “Neat. Can’t wait to see what you do next with it.”

(We actually got along great after that. One time she did tiger stripes in a streak down the middle. I have no idea how she pulled that off, but wow, was it cool. Turns out she was diagnosed with cancer and was enjoying her hair while she had it. She made a full recovery and many of the employees donated their hair in support of her, so we had a lot of short-haired employees running around for a while. Customers were really supportive.)

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