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Some Moms Should (Lip)Stick To The Audience

, , , , , , | Learning | December 6, 2022

I’m a senior in high school. I’ve been in chorus since I was a freshman. We are having our annual Broadway-style revue, and everyone is running around like crazy backstage getting ready. There are several stage moms helping with makeup.

One of my friends warns me that one stage mom in particular is walking around with a tube of lipstick and putting it on the girls that she deems “not made up enough.” I have very sensitive skin, so I do my own makeup with my own products. I have done this every year with no issues.

I come out of the bathroom in full costume with several minutes to spare.

Stage Mom #1: “[My Name], you look so nice.”

Me: “Thank you, Mrs. [Stage Mom #1].”

Stage Mom #1: “What makeup brand do you use?”

Me: “[Brand known for sensitive skin].”

Stage Mom #1: “Really? I didn’t know it could look that nice. I’ll have to check into that for next year!”

I smile and thank her again. She walks off to help another kid with his costume.

I head back to my stuff to grab my water bottle when [Stage Mom #2] walks over with lipstick in hand. I don’t get along with her daughter, so she’s never been nice to me.

Stage Mom #2: “Are you wearing any lipstick?”

Me: “I have my own, thank you!”

Stage Mom #2: “[My Name], that is not enough lipstick.”

Me: “I’m going to add some more right before I go onstage. That way, it’s totally fresh.”

Stage Mom #2: “No, you’ll add some right now.”

She opens the lipstick and attempts to put it on me. I dodge out of the way.

Me: “I have my own!”

I reach into my bag and pull out my lipstick, along with my shimmer gloss.

Me: “I’m all set.”

Stage Mom #2: “No, you need this stuff.”

She comes at me with the lipstick again and I step back.

Me: “I’m not wearing that. One, that’s not my color. Two, I have sensitive skin and I can’t wear that brand. Three, you’ve been using that on everyone. That’s germy.”

Stage Mom #2: “You’re going to look washed out on stage. Stop being disrespectful and let me help you!

She has a smug look on her face as she opens the lipstick again. In one smooth motion, I grab my makeup bag, step back, and bolt for the nearby single-stall bathroom. I lock the door in record time. [Stage Mom #2] bangs on the door.

Me: “Mrs. [Stage Mom #2], I am putting on my lipstick and more gloss.”

Stage Mom #2: “You’ll be sorry! Just wait until [Director] hears how disrespectful you are!”

She stomped off. I added more lip gloss and cautiously slipped out of the bathroom with just a minute to spare. Our number went well, and I did not get in trouble with our director. However, half the girls in the class ended up sick a couple of days later.

People Like This Think Flour Is Too Spicy

, , , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: watermelon545 | November 23, 2022

My high-school calculus class was very chill — around twenty kids who were all friendly with each other, a laid-back but enthusiastic teacher, and a light enough workload that we could afford to goof off in class but still learn and do well.

At some point in the year, I got really into cooking. It’s my stress reliever. My family couldn’t possibly eat the amount of food I was making, so I started bringing it into school and “hosting” Friday parties in my calc class — with my teacher’s approval, of course.

I’m Vietnamese and I live in a predominately white town. This is only important because it meant that most kids from town only ate American or European foods and weren’t used to eating other ethnic foods.

Last year, around Lunar New Year, I wanted to bring in some Vietnamese foods to celebrate. It is a very important time of year for my family. I ended up making a bunch of Bánh Da Lợn, a steamed layer cake and traditional Vietnamese dessert. Some of my friends from class found out I was going to bring in a traditional dish and brought in their own traditional dishes from their own cultures, whether they celebrated Lunar New Year or not. We had different Indian, Korean, Filipino, and Spanish desserts. It was great, and I was really excited that my friends wanted to celebrate with me.

Apparently, this was an issue for one girl in my class.

I would say Bánh Da Lợn is an acquired taste, so when not a lot of people ate it, I wasn’t offended. I knew not everybody would like it. There was a lot of other food, anyway.

During our lunch period, one of my friends (who wasn’t in our class but knew I brought food in) overheard a girl from my class complaining about the food while in the lunch line. Apparently, she was saying really negative things about how I “forced everyone to eat weird Chinese foods.”

Later that day, I texted her.

Me: “Hey, I heard you didn’t like the food today, and I just wanted to know why.”

I don’t really care when people don’t like the food — I make it for myself and just bring it in when I have extra anyways — but her calling it “weird Chinese foods” when she KNOWS I’m Vietnamese didn’t sit right with me.

She texted back.

Classmate: “It’s rude of you to bring in weird ethnic foods that nobody likes except for you. You should know better since most of the class is white.”

Me: “I bring in food to share because I feel like it, and I don’t have an obligation to cater to your tastes. If you have an issue with it, you literally don’t have to eat it. Other people can bring in food, too, so if you want to, you could bring in something more to your tastes.”

Classmate: “You shouldn’t bring in ethnic and foreign foods. Stick with American foods. We’re in America!”

Excuse me?! How much you wanna bet if I brought in jambalaya, which originated in Louisiana, she would call it a “weird foreign food”?

Fine. She only wants to eat American foods? Then she can eat American foods.

The next week, I brought in a bunch of Oliebol, a Dutch doughnut, and started passing them out at the beginning of class. When I got to her desk, I pulled out a loaf of Wonder Bread and plopped it on her desk.

Me: “Sorry, but these are Dutch — too ethnic. Here you go! All-American cuisine.”

Later, she texted me.

Classmate: “What the f*** is your problem?!”

Me: “Almost every single food I brought in this year was ethnic. It pisses me off that you only have an issue when it isn’t European. You’re entitled to not liking Asian foods, but if you’re going to complain about it being ethnic, then you’d better have that same attitude when the ethnic food is from a white culture. And especially don’t call another person’s culture weird.”

She didn’t complain about the food again.

For the record, I’ve enjoyed making many different kinds of American cuisine, including tater tots, jambalaya, fried chicken, many types of pies, smores, and Philly Cheesesteaks. America is a very diverse place, and that’s reflected in its food. Happy eating!

Good Luck Learning Responsibility Here!

, , , | Learning | November 21, 2022

During my early years of high school — grades seven to twelve in Australia — I have to take a woodworking class. It is okay, but my teacher is a flake who can’t accept the possibility he is ever at fault for anything.

Luckily for me and others in my class, my school has implemented a process where teachers sign off our school diary to acknowledge that they’ve received our assignments. For my woodworking class, two things affect our grades. One is a physical project due halfway through the year, and the other is an exam completed at the end of the year.

I finish my project on time, hand it in, and get my diary signed to say it was received. A few weeks later, my mother and I get called in for a meeting with my teacher and the head of that department.

Teacher: “I am very disappointed in [My Name]. She’s usually such a dedicated student, but she has failed to hand in a project this semester.”

Mother: “[My Name]! What have you got to say for yourself?!”

I am both confused and a little annoyed with my mother for believing I would ever slack off to such a degree.

Me: “I handed in my project weeks ago!”

Teacher: “Do not lie, [My Name]. I have no project from you.”

Head Teacher: “Now, [My Name], it’s important to accept responsibility when you make a mistake. Why didn’t you submit a project?”

Luckily for me, I have my school bag with me. Angrily, I go through it until I find my school diary. Flipping through it, I find the receipt for my project, clearly signed by the teacher accusing me of not handing it in, and slam that down on the table before repeating myself.

Me: “I handed in my project weeks ago.”

My mother leans in to study it before looking up expectantly at my teacher. He won’t touch the diary. Instead, the department head picks it up to study it. After a few moments, he seems satisfied it isn’t forged and turns to my teacher.

Head Teacher: “Well, Mr. [Teacher]?”

There’s an awkward silence, and we can practically hear crickets chirping. My mother breaks it with the coldest angry tone I’ve ever heard her use.

Mother: “I’d be very interested in knowing why you lied about my daughter’s project, Mr [Teacher].”

Teacher: “I… might have lost it.”

Mother: “You lost it. And you thought failing her was the solution?!”

At this point, the head teacher took charge of the situation, apologising profusely and promising that it wouldn’t affect my grade, etc. We eventually found out that he had lost half of the class’s assignments somehow! My meeting was meant to be the first of quite a few about students who supposedly hadn’t turned in projects. None of us lost marks over it in the end, but our projects were — as far as I know — never found.

Here comes the most frustrating part. While I’m guessing the teacher was reprimanded, he remained in my class (much to my mother’s dissatisfaction), and when we did our final exam, he lost those, too, and tried to fail the entire class!

After that, we all got a “class completed satisfactorily” without a specific grade attached and moved on. The good news is that this must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back; I didn’t see the teacher again.

Kids Like That Make You Want To Rip Your Hair Out

, , , , , , | Learning | October 9, 2022

I go to high school with a guy who describes himself as an “activist”. What cause he is an activist for is a mystery and seems to change with the conversation, frequently advocating for contradictory points. He also isn’t involved in any of the activist clubs or groups at the school. The only constant seems to be his desire to disagree with or be offended by everyone who interacts with him. It’s also relevant that he has long hair that reaches halfway down his back.

My school is running a program to try and show students non-four-year-degree career paths. One of the opportunities the program offers is the chance to tour a working machine shop and learn some basics about how the machines work, how to get into the field, etc. We are about to go on a tour of the shop floor.

Machinist: “All right, guys, we are going to show you all the machines we have here. But before we get started, we need to do something about your hair. We can’t—”

[Activist] cuts him off.

Activist: “That’s bulls***. What, just ‘cause I’m a guy, I shouldn’t have long hair? What the h*** kind of 1950s toxic masculinity horse crap are you trying to pull? My hair doesn’t make me less of a man, you Neanderthal!” 

The rant continues for a while with the machinist just calmly standing there listening. Finally, he gets a chance to speak.

Machinist: “Frankly, I don’t give a d*** about your fashion choices. No loose hair is allowed on the shop floor. That lathe over there is spinning at several hundred RPM right now, and it’s going to keep spinning at several hundred RPM whether your scalp is attached to it or not. Safety in this shop is and always will be the priority.” 

The “activist” just sputtered some angry response, claimed the machinist was just trying to backpedal and that he knew the “truth”, and then stormed out in protest. But at least the rest of us got to enjoy a very cool tour.

“West Virginia Board of Education V. Barnette” Would Like A Word

, , , , , , , | Learning | September 28, 2022

I moved from Australia to Washington DC for work for a year with my wife and thirteen-year-old son. We are proud Australians, and we try to keep a connection to home; I still watch Aussie Rules football and cricket, and I LOVE vegemite and always have it on hand.

We enrolled my son in the local public school and sent him for his first day. When I came home that night, I asked him:

Me: “How was your day, [Son]?”

Son: “I got in trouble for not pledging allegiance to the flag. I was put on a week of lunchtime detentions.”

I went to the school the next morning and spoke with the principal, who then called the teacher in. This teacher had a major attitude and was throwing out lines such as, “I did not fight for this country for the flag to be disrespected,” and something about “attitude problems”.

When I had a chance, I asked:

Me: “Would you pledge allegiance to the Australian flag?”

Teacher: “Of course not.”

Me: “That’s what you’re trying to make my son do — pledge to a flag he has no connection to.”

This teacher would not budge.

Teacher: “Every time [Son] refuses to pledge, he will get a week of lunch detentions.”

[Son] ended up changing classes, and his new teacher was a sweet older teacher who even had my son do a presentation about Australia and share vegemite sandwiches and fairy bread with the class.