They Haven’t Studied Occupations Yet

, , , | Learning | February 3, 2020

(I’m a teacher and have to go to the bathroom during my break. I hate stall bathrooms so I go to the single person bathroom and double-check the door is locked as young students will just barge in.)

Student: *frantically tries to open the door* 

(I give the student a minute to realize there is someone in here and that is why the door is locked, but the connection is not made.)

Me: “Knock first!” *thinking now he will realize*

(The kid starts pounding at the door.)

Me: “It’s occupied!”

Kid: “I don’t know what that means!”

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Proving These Things Can Be A Real Pain In The Butt

, , , | Healthy | February 3, 2020

(The vaccine for tuberculosis is called BCG and it’s given to newborn infants in many countries. It leaves a small scar that proves you have been vaccinated. In Malaysia, it is administered on the left shoulder. Up until the ’90s, kids used to get a booster shot in year six of primary school, around age 11 or 12. Since it’s reputed to be a rather painful jab, my entire class is already quite apprehensive when we’re lined up in front of the school nurse, and then this happens:)

Nurse: “Where’s your original BCG scar?”

Me: “It’s on my backside.”

Nurse: “What do you mean? How come you don’t have it on your shoulder?”

Me: “I was born in Singapore! In Singapore, they jab babies on the backside!”

Nurse: “I have to check.”

Me: “Can’t I just phone my parents and have them talk to you?”

(After arguing with her for a few minutes, I was so scared that I would have to lift my skirt and show the nurse my buttocks that when she finally gave in and just gave me the jab, the pain was actually a relief.)

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Will Need To Teach Some Assertiveness With That Therapy

, , , , | Learning | January 24, 2020

(When I am in the second grade, I attend speech therapy twice a week. Because of this, I am excused from regular lessons for the last hour of the day, and I walk from my classroom to the portable where therapy takes place un-escorted. My teacher has a very strong dislike of me which turns into abuse later on in the school year, but this is when I start to notice things aren’t right. It has been raining heavily the last few days with no signs of slowing down, so it is very dark outside and pouring buckets. I raise my hand near the time that I am to leave for my session.)

Me: “Mr. [Teacher]? It’s almost time for me to go; can I get dressed early so I’m not late?”

Teacher: “You cannot leave until I tell you to! And if you get out of your seat one moment before then, so help me, I will give you after-school detention!”

Me: “But Mr. [Teacher], it’s raining out and I have to put on my boots and my jacket…”

Teacher: “I said no! Now keep going with your worksheet until I tell you that you can go!

(I anxiously keep checking the time as I do the worksheet, knowing that if I don’t get to therapy on time, it could set back my progress. It’s now five minutes until my lesson starts, so I raise my hand again. This time, he ignores me. I keep my hand raised until it is time for my lesson to begin, and only then does he notice me.)

Teacher: “What, you’re still here? You better run or they’ll lock you out!” *laughs before pushing me out the door*

(Because of him, I had to run to my lesson — without my rain gear because he had locked me out of the classroom. The therapy assistant I had that day asked me why I looked like a soaked cat.)

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All That Glitters Is Blue

, , , , , | Related | December 24, 2019

(During our St. Nicolas celebration, it’s tradition for elementary school kids to participate in a Secret Santa in their class. They draw a name from the hat and buy a gift — usually about €5 — for the classmate whose name they draw. I am in a very cheap store, like a dollar store, and I overhear this boy — about 12 years old — and his mother, looking for a gift for his Secret Santa recipient.)

Mom: “How about this?”

Boy: “Oh, no, no-no-no.”

Mom: “But it’s cute!”

Boy: “Yeah, maybe, but not for [Girl]. Absolutely not for [Girl].”

Mom: “She said she wanted a crafts package; this is crafts. Any girl would love this.”

Boy: “But not [Girl].”

Mom: “Honey, please, I know what girls like, and girls like pink and cute stuff.”

(I spot a craft set with pink glitter, pink pompoms, pink rhinestones… It’s very pink.)

Boy: “But. Not. [Girl]! Mom, [Girl] is tough and cool. She never wears anything ‘cute.’” *does the quotations with his fingers* “And pink. She would never like that, she… Oh… This is it! This is it!”

(I can’t see what he picked.)

Mom: “What? Oh, no, honey. She will not like this.”

Boy: “Yes, she will. I saw her wear something like this once. This. Is. It.”

Mom: “But it’s blue!”

Boy: “It’s PERFECT!”

(He walked away, while his mother tried to convince him the girl will never like it. Yet, somehow… I think he made a great choice.)

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CD = Compact Destruction

, , , , | Learning | November 25, 2019

(This story takes place when I am in the second grade. We have a “technology” class once or twice a week that consists of learning to type and use the basics of computers. I still fondly remember this part of our first lesson in that class.)

Teacher: *holding up a CD* “All right, so you all have your floppy disks, but you will also be using these in class and we must be careful with them! We carefully hold them around the edges and we don’t touch the shiny part underneath, okay? So, if we’re being careful, that means we don’t do this.”

(He begins to slap his palm repeatedly on the shiny part of the CD.)

Teacher: “We don’t do this.”

(He picks up another CD and starts at rubbing the two of them together.)

Teacher: “We definitely do not use them as skates.”

(He throws the two CDs unceremoniously to the ground and stands on them, starting to try to “skate” across the floor to our raucous laughter.)

Teacher: “And finally, we don’t break them.”

(With that, he picks up both CDs, snaps them in half, and tosses them in the trash.)

Teacher: “Okay! Let’s start typing. Pick up those CDs and put them in the disk tray and don’t do what I just did with them!”

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