Sounds Like She Should Get A Lot More Curse Words

, , , , , , | | Learning | July 4, 2019

(I graduated high school two years before this story happened. I had a terrible time in school, mostly due to intense bullying, to the point of near panic attacks. Because of this, I never attended my graduation to receive my diploma and class transcripts, and also had no intention of doing any higher education. Although my grades were fine enough, I thought “school was not for me.” After high school, I floated around a few jobs before deciding to go to college to do something better. Now, I need to go back to my high school to get the required info for college applications. The deadline to apply is in roughly one week. I try calling the school repeatedly, leaving many messages. I am mostly polite, but in one message I regrettably use a single curse word. Although the word begins with an F, it is used in reference to the situation and NOT directed to the person who would hear the message. I also visit daily to find only maintenance and janitorial staff who can’t help. One visit, there is finally a receptionist present.) 

Receptionist: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like to get my diploma and transcripts to use for college applications. My name is [My Name] and I graduated in [year].”

Receptionist: *angrily* “Oh.” *breaks eye contact, and refuses to look me in the eye for the remainder of the conversation* “You’re the one that left all the messages.”

Me: “Yes, that was me. I’ve been trying desperately to get this before the deadline to apply.”

Receptionist: *says nothing, looking very snooty*

Me: “If you got my messages, how come you didn’t call me back to say someone was in to help me?”

Receptionist: “I was on vacation last week. I have a right to go on vacation.”

Me: “I understand that. But I also have a right to receive my diploma. It was never sent to me.”

Receptionist: “You shouldn’t need them again. They were given to you at your graduation.”

Me: “I didn’t attend my graduation ceremony. I was told at the time that they would be mailed to any students who didn’t pick them up in person. But I never got them.”

Receptionist: *angrily* “I have a right to go on vacation! I work hard all year.”

Me: “I believe you. But I also worked hard for four years to earn my diploma, and it was never given to me.”

Receptionist: *long silence* “I don’t like the way you talked to me on the phone.”

Me: “Well, I apologize for being rude in a message.”

Receptionist: *long silence* “You shouldn’t speak to me that way! You can’t use that language with me.”

(By now, two janitors are listening in from the hallway outside the office. I am trying to remain calm, but she has still not budged to get what I came for and still will not even look at me.) 

Me: “Well, it was at this fine institution that I learned that kind of language. I will apologize again. I’m sorry for swearing on the voicemail. But I need my transcripts now, please.”

Receptionist: *reluctantly hands me an envelope that was sitting in front of her the entire time*

Me: “Thank you.”

Receptionist: *silence*

Me: “I said, ‘Thank you.’”

Receptionist: “The principal would like to speak with you about your attitude.”

Me: *realising this is a silly and empty threat* “Good! I’m not some scared student you can send to the principal’s office. I graduated two years ago. I would love to speak to her, and I’ll be sure to mention how you’ve treated me. I was picked on in this building for years, and I won’t take it from you for another minute. Have fun holding onto your grudge.”

(I walked out past the janitors who were laughing at the whole thing. I got into college, but strangely never heard from the high school principal.)

An Action Gets A Beautiful Reaction

, , , , | | Hopeless | July 3, 2019

At the beginning of my junior year honors chemistry class, my chemistry teacher lit the tabletop on fire. It was one of the best classes of that year. This story takes place before Christmas break. 

My high school raises money for a charity called Fish Family. We are broken up into groups by first hour, like English classes and such. My chemistry class was fifth hour, so it wasn’t part of the competition. But it was Christmas and we were all in the giving spirit, so we raised like 40 bucks in the first few days. But then, my chemistry teacher made our class an offer we couldn’t refuse. If we raised a hundred dollars, he’d shave his head.

A few days later, one student donated a few hundred dollars. The teacher waxed his head in class and made us mac and cheese from scratch. I was sick for the big day, so I didn’t get to see, and I’m still sad I missed it but it will remain one of my favorite junior memories.

These “Pros” Are Testing Mom’s Patience

, , , , , | | Learning | June 17, 2019

(I have a classic case of “can’t get up” this morning. I wake to my alarm only to turn it back off and fall right back asleep. I end up missing the first period but arrange to arrive in time to get into the second without problems, except I notice something strange as I get closer to the school. It’s the pause where everyone should be between classes, but no one is outside and there’s a lot of noise coming from inside. I check my usual doors — mostly glass — and it’s locked with big chains around the inner handle. I see no one there. I go around and find all the doors are locked but one, where a teacher is holding the door in front of a mass of students of every level. Since I usually get along well with this teacher, I knock. He barely cracks it open to shoot to me:)

Teacher: “You wanted to get out, so stay out! See if I care! You deal with the consequences!”

(And he slams the door shut again. I catch a friend’s eyes behind the teacher, and I make a gesture that says, “What the f*** is going on?!” to which she shakes her head and returns the confused gesture. Since no one will let me in, I go back home and call my mother to let her know the story. I include my oversleep as I know I will not be in trouble — it is not a habit of mine, just a genuine accident — and tell her that I have no idea what is going on, and that I was not allowed into the school. At the end of the day, Mom tells me about a phone call she got from the school while she was at work. I’m not sure who it was who called her, but their conversation went like this:)

School Person: “Madame [Mom]? I’m calling you about your daughter, [My Name].”

Mom: “Is it about what happened this morning?”

School Person: “Oh. So, you are aware of what she’s done?”

Mom: “Yes and no. What happened exactly?”

School Person: “Your daughter took part in an illegal student protest, inciting violence and delinquency! Do you have any idea what she’s facing? Unless you both collaborate with us and comply with the consequences we put in place, we’ll have to report her to the police. Do you want us to call the cops on you?”

Mom: “Excuse me?!”

School Person: *detaching every syllable* “Do. You. Want. Us. To. Call. The. Cops. On. You. Two?”

Mom: “You actually reached [Mom’s Full Name] at [Police Headquarters] in charge of underaged, morality, street gang, and drugs and narcotics-related crime. How can I help you?”

School Person: *deflating* “Oh, you… You are a police officer?”

Mom: “No, I’m a civilian but I’m in charge of the office of the commanding officer and all the guys of this section. I’m surrounded by cops. So, how may I help you?”

School Person: *realising they won’t scare or bully Mom into anything* “Huh… Well, you know, your daughter did something really bad here…”

Mom: “Stop right there.”

School Person: “Yes?”

Mom: “My daughter had no part in this mess you are talking about. She was just late, arriving for second period, and found herself locked out and dumbfounded. She went back home since no one would let her in. What did you expect her to do, hang by the door the whole day?”

School Person: *jumping at the opportunity* “Oh, she was late? Well, she should still be punished for skipping first period. “

Mom: “No, she was not skipping.”

School Person: “She… was not?”

Mom: “No, she was not. If I find out you’ve tried to put her in trouble, despite the fact that you guys f***ed up, I’ll come down to see you personally.”

(The next day, my friend told me some people tried to organise a protest, because there was talk about closing our school. Some of the older students actually managed to organize and plan one before, but all legally. It turned out that the school employee had orders to lock all the students in and then tried to excessively punish the students — involving their families and the law — who slipped out, took part in the protest or its “organisation,” or took the opportunity to make trouble in general. I just got innocently caught in the middle of this, without ever being aware of anything. Thanks, Mom, for fighting for my innocence.)

So, You Came Out? Bully For You!

, , , | | Friendly | June 12, 2019

(There is a girl at our high school that is a completely stereotypical bully. From verbally attacking people, to destroying their stuff, to locking them in closets and lockers, she is absolutely horrible, but she keeps getting away with it until we change principals. The old principal is a friend of her parents, and constantly downplays or dismisses complaints, but the new one comes down on her like a sack of bricks, even when her parents come in to claim that everyone is lying and their daughter wouldn’t do stuff like that. She ends up dropping out, and most of us put her out of mind and move on. Years later, a Facebook group is organized for setting up high school reunions, and she ends up popping up again.)

Bully: “High school was soooo hard! People kept harassing me about my sexuality. I’m taking therapy now to deal with the trauma from all the bullying.”

Classmate: “So, what you’re saying is that you were in the closet, so you felt like everyone else should be locked in there, too?”

Makes You Wish You’d Stayed Home(Schooled)

, , , , , | | Learning | June 12, 2019

I was 11 and had just started school for the first time, as I’d been home-educated since I was four. I hadn’t had a structured education system, so school rules and unwritten codes were very new to me. It didn’t help that, although I wasn’t diagnosed at the time, I am autistic and struggle to pick up social cues.

On my second day of school, we had a class called Personal and Social Education, which was basically life skills and sex ed, and we had guest speakers from the police, fire department, etc., to teach us how to handle life.

This particular day, the first class of the year, the teacher was explaining to everyone that if they didn’t attend school, their parents were breaking the law. Naturally, this confused me; my mother had been the media coordinator for an alternative education group we belonged to for years, so I was quite well-informed on the legality of home education. I didn’t grasp that the teacher was trying to tell us about the consequences of skipping out on classes, because I didn’t know that was something people did. I just knew that not attending school was perfectly legitimate, and the teacher clearly hadn’t heard about home education, so I should be helpful and explain.

Naive little me put my hand up and said my mother had educated me at home. Before I could get any further in my explanation, this teacher gave me the most disgusted look and announced loudly, “Well, your mother should have gone to prison!

I was thoroughly humiliated. I put my hand down and stared at the desk, and spent the rest of the class trying not to cry, because the teacher was Authority and she’d just told me I was wrong and that my mum had broken the law. I was devastated and, being as naive as I was, I was convinced I’d just got my mum into serious legal trouble.

When my mum picked me up after school, she could tell I was upset. It didn’t take much prodding before I broke down sobbing. I told her what had happened and that I didn’t want her to go to prison.

She came into school the next morning to speak to the principal, and while I never knew exactly what was said in that meeting, I never saw that teacher around the school again.

But I learned a very important rule that day; I was never to say something that implied a teacher might be wrong, or challenge something I knew was wrong, because that was Not What We Do At School. It pretty much destroyed my confidence and signposted to everyone in my class that I was an easy target.

Just hear a kid out when they’re trying to make a point, teachers.

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