What An Ugly Opinion

, , , , , , | Learning | August 12, 2018

(When I was in high school, being or acting “geeky” was still considered “uncool.” The first couple years were a nightmare. They enjoyed bullying me for being new and for my “nerdy” appearance. It wasn’t until my last year in the school that I earned respect from my classmates and had my own circle of close friends. After a two-week break, I return to school with a new, more modern haircut, which helps me feel a bit more confident in my own skin. As I walk down the stairs during our lunch break, I see a group of elementary-school kids waiting in in a line on the opposite side of the stairs. A teacher who is very popular with most students due to his friendly, casual teaching style, starts walking up and stops midway to greet me.)

Teacher: “Hello there, [My Name]! Good to see you back. There’s something different about you, though.”

Me: “Oh, I just went to the salon the other day and decided to get this new haircut.”

Teacher: “That explains it! It looks great!” *while the little kids are looking at us* “Yeah… Your old haircut made you look a little immature, you know? It hid your features! Now you definitely look like a senior that’s about to graduate!”

Me: *surprised he would mention my appearance* “Thanks?”

Teacher: “Like I always say… There’s no such thing as an ugly girl, just one that doesn’t take care of her appearance!”

Me: *shocked and embarrassed he said in front of impressionable kids* “Wait… Who thinks I was ugly, or that I don’t take care of myself?”

Teacher: *stares at me in surprise*

Me: *as the little kids look at us* “Ugliness comes from the inside, and I’ve never considered myself to be ugly. You don’t have to look a certain way to be considered healthy or be socially accepted. Don’t you think?”

Teacher: *as he starts walking up away from me and the kids* “Yeah, yeah, of course! I was just joking!”

My Friends: *who were in the corner waiting for me to walk down* “About time you stood up for yourself!”

Me: “How dare he? I just didn’t want the little kids to think that was an okay thing to say.”

(After that, that teacher avoided me like the plague.)

Cupcakes Have Restorative Ingredients

, , , , , , | Hopeless | August 11, 2018

Last Thursday at school, the whole school was under a medical lockdown for two periods in the middle of the day; no one was allowed to leave the room they were in. We later discovered a much-loved teacher had collapsed, and suffered a heart attack in front of his students and fellow staff.

Unfortunately, paramedics were unable to revive him, and he passed away just after third period started. Our whole school was very shocked, and understandably a lot of students and staff were very saddened at the news.

The next day, there was a “dark cloud” over the whole school and the lessons were certainly not as cheerful as normal. A boy in my class took it upon himself to bake cupcakes for all the staff at school — 144 cupcakes in one night — plus ice them all, and leave a note saying, “It may not be a relief but just know that we are all here for you. -A message from all of your students.”

He really did restore my faith in humanity.

Misogyny Is Catching

, , , , , | Learning | August 10, 2018

(My high school gym teacher tends to favor the male students in my gym class, with certain exceptions made for members of the women’s basketball team — he coaches the men’s team. As an uncoordinated female, I am always relegated to the “B-Group” in every sport we learn. During this story, it is volleyball, a sport I actually like and can play to a certain skill level, but I am still in the B-Group. There are no male students in my game rotation, and only one female student — a basketball player — in the A-Group.)

Teacher: *to the players in my section of the gym* “You see, the problem with you girls is that your fathers probably never took you outside and played catch with you.”

Me: *snapping at the term “you girls”* “But sir, my dad taught me how to shoot for the leg for a good takedown and two back points.”

(The teacher could not respond, because my father was the coach of the wrestling team and, indeed, had taught me how to grapple instead of catch. His look of realization was priceless.)

Doctor How?

, , , , | Learning | August 6, 2018

(I am in year-eleven chemistry class. I am one of those people who is capable of retaining interesting — but completely useless — information. We are looking over a series of revision questions for the exam. The teacher has continually stressed that unless the question specifically tells us what a certain compound is and we haven’t learnt it in class, then we don’t need that information in order to answer the question, as the question will provide the info we need. One student who is notorious for not paying attention raises his hand.)

Student: “Mr. [Teacher], we haven’t learned what EDTA is.”

(The teacher looks like he is going to spontaneously combust out of annoyance. He asks the class at large:)

Teacher: “Who here can tell [Student] what EDTA is?!”

Me: “Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid.”

(The entire class and the teacher fall silent, staring at me. Eventually, the teacher manages to find his tongue.)

Teacher: “Well… [My Name] is correct, but you don’t need to know that… [My Name], how do you know that?”

Me: “It was on an episode of Torchwood.”

No Wonder Timmy Fell Down The Well So Many Times…

, , , , , | Learning | August 5, 2018

(I am in seventh-grade health class, and we have come to the week we all dread and are fascinated by: sex ed. The teacher is telling us about the changes in our bodies and how boys may sometimes get erections for no reason at all. Then, he says the sentence that I will remember for the rest of my life:)

Teacher: “Guys, if you get an erection while watching Lassie, it does not mean you love dogs.”

(When my son started puberty, I definitely shared this gem with him!)

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