The Gay Agenda: Monday – Brunch, Tuesday – Golden Girls…

| UT, USA | Related | March 28, 2017

(My sister and I have both started college. Our high school was very religious, so going to college is a bit of a shell shock for the both of us, but we’ve managed to adapt and have found clubs we like. I join a sorority and an art club while my sister becomes active in LGBT issues, despite the fact that she’s heterosexual.)

Me: “The only thing I don’t like about Greek life is during recruitment when we all have to be super girly and be like ‘EEE! Rush us!’ Gets annoying.”

Sister: “Ya, you’ve never been the girly type. Oh! Did I tell you that I was elected as secretary for [LGBT support club]?”

Me: “Nice! I’m assuming you haven’t told our parents the good news?”

(While my mother and I are happy that my sister has found something she’s passionate about, our dad is kinda weird about it. He’s not the kind that despises or hates homosexuals; he’s just generally uninterested because it doesn’t affect him, but he does believe that there is a ‘gay agenda.’ Our family has since then just avoided the topic.)

Sister: “I feel like if I tell them, then they’re just gonna assume that I’m a lesbian.”

Me: “Well, you’ve found something you’re passionate about. No shame in that.”

Sister: “Ugh, I just hate hearing him talk about the ‘gay agenda.’ It’s so– OH, MY GOD!”

Me: “What?!”

Sister: “Now that I’m secretary, I’m gonna start every meeting with ‘Today on the gay agenda…'”

Special Treatment Put To The Test

| USA | Learning | March 27, 2017

My mom is legally blind and has been so for over 20 years. This has prevented her from doing many things in life because she didn’t believe that she could. However, after hardships that include leaving a toxic marriage, she decides it was time to take charge of her life by going back to college, getting a very good job, and living the way she wants to live.

To participate in her classes, however, she has to carry around a heavy machine and computer that takes a while to set up so that she can read, write, and see what the professors put up on the board. She can see just enough to make out shapes and colors. To read, she has to pick apart each and every letter/word — and sometimes, for the sake of time, scan and guess.

Because of this it takes her twice as long as the average student to complete most of her work. This is barely a problem for the tests and exams that take a couple hours, although she is usually one of the last people to complete them.

Within the first month of her first semester, her foreign language professor strolls in and passes out a slip of paper, telling the class they have five minutes to complete the quiz.

My mom, barely able to even read the questions in such a short amount of time, struggles to set up her necessary equipment quickly only for the machine to not connect to her computer. She barely even gets to look at the quiz when time is up, and she asks if she can have more time or do the quiz after class.

The professor basically told her, “Too bad. If you can’t do the work in the time given then you don’t need to be here. I can’t stop the class just for you.”

My mom reported this to her counselor, who assured her that this kind of behavior wasn’t allowed and that it would be dealt with. During a meeting with the school board, the professor even tried to argue that my mom shouldn’t get “special treatment” for her disability and “just needed to do the work.”

My mom doesn’t want special treatment. She wants to learn and do the work and this professor was not letting her.

Luckily for her, her university has no patience for discrimination. “Tests and quizzes are supposed to help show what the students learned. Putting them on a timer teaches nothing.”

The professor, under threat of losing their job, and after attending many meetings with the disability counselors and the school board, fixes their attitude.

Time skip to my mom’s second semester. Different classes, different professors. But she still has to deal with the occasional “special treatment” type comments. It’s not often, and comes from classmates, but it’s still annoying.

Just last week my mom came home laughing and tells me that other than she and two students, her entire class of 20-30 students were FAILING for not turning in their work and begged for extensions on most, if not all, their assignments (which they had weeks to do and turn in). They offered loads of cryptic excuses that ranged from “I didn’t have enough time,” to “I’ve been busy.” The professor, at a loss, granted the extensions.

“Most of these kids are young twenty-something-year-olds bragging about all the parties and events they go to,” my mom says. “And yet they get extensions for work they’ve had weeks to turn in? I ‘get special treatment,’ my a**!”

On Hold For Nothing

| USA | Working | March 26, 2017

(I am a PhD student in a program that is fully-funded, which is not at all uncommon in our field of study. This means that none of the PhD students in my program pay any tuition, and they give us a yearly salary for living expenses. Technically, for accounting purposes, we all have “full tuition scholarships,” and then the university has us on the payroll for our living stipends. The coordinator of our program talks to me the day after class registration.)

Coordinator: “I see that you aren’t on the list for dissertations. Did you have a problem registering?”

Me: “I did. But it should be getting taken care of. I had a hold on my student account.”

Coordinator: “Why?”

Me: “Well, I apparently didn’t pay my tuition.”

Coordinator: “What tuition?”

Me: “My tuition of $0.00. Yes, I had to go through the online payment system, put in my credit card and stuff, so that they could process a payment of $0.00. Hopefully, the hold will get lifted today.”

(It did get lifted and then I could register for my classes, but I still had to laugh at the fact that the computer that created holds on student accounts didn’t realize that $0.00 is… well, nothing.)

City Slickers: Not So Slick

| Chicago, IL, USA | Learning | March 26, 2017

(My Environmental Sciences professor decides to take the class on a field trip to a small, nearby forest preserve. I grew up in the country, so I’m perfectly at home in the small woodland, but my city kid classmates, apparently not so much. These are some of the things I overheard…)

Many People: “Are the deer dangerous?!”

Classmate #1: “I feel like I’m in a horror movie!”

Me: “Dude, it’s broad daylight, and we have a park ranger with us, and you can see the bus stop from here.”

(But what takes the cake…)

Classmate #2: “Oh, god, is that a coyote?!”

Me: “It’s a terrier…”

Extra Credit For Using Common Sense

| USA | Learning | March 24, 2017

(I’m taking a science lab. Student #1 is what is referred to as a non-traditional student at the college. She’s middle-aged and has a small child. Student #2 is a rather obnoxious know it all (who really doesn’t know it all). Our lab is at three to five pm, but one night at around nine pm there is a guest presentation offered for the entire college. If we go, our professor gives us extra credit. I go and see Student #1, who has her daughter in tow. The little girl sits still the entire time and happily colors. She’s not a distraction at all. The next day is our lab and when I get to the room, Student #2 is already there.)

Student #2: “I saw you at the lecture.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I liked it a lot.”

Student #2: “Did you see [Student #1]? Can you believe she brought a kid?”

Me: *taken aback* “…yes?”

(A reasonable person would have realized her daughter’s caregiver during our lab time wasn’t available during the lecture.)

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