Reading Skills Are Mandatory

, , , , , | Learning | December 18, 2020

Student: “Professor, I looked at the syllabus; it says the final is mandatory. So, if we choose not to take it, do we just keep the score we have now?”

Professor: “I just nominated you for a writing award. I’m going to let you Google every word you just said rather than calling up the dean and telling her to burn my letter.”

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The Answer Sheet’s No Good If You’re Too Stupid To Use It

, , , , , , | Learning | December 14, 2020

One day in college, the teacher stapled answer sheets to the back of every test by mistake. A few minutes after passing the tests around, his phone rings and he steps out. Everyone has noticed the answer sheet, and we decide that we will all use it and tear it off after. Hopefully, he will never notice.

I check each of the answers and they are all correct except for the last one. We are to draw a flowchart for a process.

Answer Sheet: “Answers will vary.”

I draw my flowchart, tear off the answer sheet, and walk to the front podium to turn the test in. When I get to the podium, I have to know. I need to see what everyone else drew for their flowcharts. On every single test:

Student: “Answers will vary.”

This story is part of our Best Of December 2020 roundup!

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This Snobby B**** Just Kicked Your A**

, , , , , | Legal | December 11, 2020

Years ago, when I was young and optimistic in college, I took up karate. I really have no thought that I would ever need to defend myself. I may have even taken the class because a good-looking male friend said he was taking it.

The day I get my yellow belt, I am running late so I don’t change out of my gi before heading out the alley door of the gym toward the bus stop at the library. A fellow stops me. This is in the capital city and I am often stopped by homeless folks asking for money or just wanting to ramble to another human.

Today, though, I just don’t have the time.

Me: “Sorry, I have to be going.”

He grabs my elbow as I push past and yanks me around. I am shocked.

Guy: “Snobby b****!”

He shoves me against the wall and my head meets the brick quite soundly. Then, he punches me in the face.

And what I’ve learned kicks in. Pardon the pun.

I punch him in the throat three times quickly and he takes a surprised step back. I then kick.

I miss what I am aiming at but connect sharply with his thigh. I hear and feel his femur break.  

He drops to one knee with his broken leg now bent quite grotesquely.

And then, I forget everything I learned, grab him by his hair, and punch him with a roundhouse to the jaw. Both his jaw and my finger break. He falls the rest of the way to the ground.

I stumble to the bus. The driver asks if I am okay. He offers to drop me off at the hospital as I am bleeding from my nose and eye. I am dazed and say I just want to go home. He drops me off at the bottom of the steps to my apartment and I go up slowly.

My roommate sees me come in and frantically asks what happened. I tell her I was mugged behind the gym. She wants me to go to the hospital, too, but I am dazed and tired and say I just want to soak in the tub. She draws me a bath and I just sink in and listen to the ringing in my ears.

I don’t know how much time passes before she comes back into the bathroom and says that the mugger has gotten someone else, too.

I am getting a little less foggy.

Me: “No, I don’t think so.”

Roommate: “No, listen. There was just a story on the news that a fellow was found badly beaten in the alley. They want anyone with information to call.”

Me: “Yeah, the guy who mugged me didn’t mug anyone else. I’m pretty sure the guy they found is the mugger.”

Roommate: “I don’t get it. Who would have beaten him up?”

Me: “Me. I beat him up and left him in the alley. I guess we’d better call the police.”

We do call. An officer comes. I explain what happened and he insists I go to the hospital. My roommate comes with me. We ride in the back of the police car and I half-expect the cop to just take me to jail. My head is still ringing.

I am diagnosed with a broken finger, a cracked eye socket, and a concussion.

The cop sticks around and drives us home. He stops at the convenience store near our house and buys a six-pack of beer.

Cop: “Now, listen. I know you can’t drink this with the meds they just gave you, but you deserve it. I can’t believe anyone would assault someone actually wearing their gi. That makes me laugh every time I think about it.” 

Me: “I only have a yellow belt.”

Cop: “Apparently, that was enough.”

Me: “Well, if I’d done it right, I wouldn’t have a broken finger.”

The cop laughed and drove us back to the apartment, walking us up to the door. He gave us his card and told us to call him personally if we ever needed help.

After that, I took karate a lot more seriously, working my way up to a black belt before graduating from college. I also took my own safety more seriously and went on to teach women’s self-defense. I’ve not punched another human in anger since then and hope I will never have to. I’m a lot more aware of my environment since then.

My hand and face still hurt when it is cold and damp out — my reminder some thirty years later.

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Russian To Conclusions

, , , , , | Healthy | December 7, 2020

I’m a college student who’s been accepted to a Russian study-abroad program. The next major step for me is to get a visa, which requires one unusual step: a negative HIV test. Russia has a major HIV issue, and one way they try to manage the spread is by restricting visas to people who test negative for it. So, I call my campus clinic to set up a free HIV screening test.

Receptionist: “Hello, this is [Campus Clinic]. How may I help you?”

Me: “Hello! I need to set up an appointment for an HIV test, please.”

Receptionist: “Oh, an STD panel? Sure, I can set you up for that.”

Me: “Sorry, no, just an HIV test.”

Receptionist: “Um…” *Sounding confused* “Okay, are you sure? You don’t want any other tests?”

Me: “Yes, just the HIV test, please.”

Receptionist: “All right…”

She sets me up for an appointment, sounding a little miffed throughout the rest of the exchange. I go in for my appointment the next day.

Doctor: “Good afternoon! So you’re here for an HIV test?”

Me: “Yes, that’s right. I do get a little dizzy sometimes when my blood gets drawn, though, just a heads-up.”

Doctor: “Ah, is that why you only wanted the one test? Because, you know, it’s a good idea to get a full STD panel.”

Me: “Hmm? Oh, no, I don’t need a full STD panel. I only need the HIV one.”

Doctor: “There are a lot of other diseases you’re at risk for when you’re sexually active. The responsible thing to do, if you’re worried you may have been exposed to something, is to get tested for everything.”

Me: “Oh, I’m not worried. I’m a virgin. I just want to go to Russia.”

Doctor: “What?”

I explained everything to the doctor and we had a bit of a laugh. And I got my visa!

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Microsoft Doesn’t Works

, , , , , , | Right | December 5, 2020

I completely understand that not everyone is great with computers. Sometimes, it’s just simple stuff, but as long as they’re willing to learn, I’m happy to go over it with them. This one woman, however, drives me to insanity. She’s maybe in her late thirties.

She has come in multiple times and has asked me to show her how to do the same thing each time: to save and print her document. I get the overall impression that she isn’t listening to me.

Up until the most recent encounter with her, it appeared that she was knowledgeable with Word as she had a full paper done in the seemingly correct format, double-spaced, and indented properly.

Patron: “Hey, can you help me indent this paragraph? It’s giving me issues.”

Me: “Sure! Okay, just press Enter to get that to the new paragraph, then press Tab to… Oh.”

It turns out that instead of using the easy Select All and double-space feature on Word, she had pressed enter after each line to make the document double-spaced.

Me: “Oh, hey, I have a super easy trick to double-space everything at once that will solve your formatting issue. Just go up here to—”

Patron: “—and click that and press 2.0 to double-space. Yeah, I know. It’s fine; I’ll just print it this way. Now how do I save and print?”

I showed her, yet again, and then walked away, extremely bewildered. I dread when she comes in because she always asks for help and I know she won’t listen to anything I say.

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