The Real-Life Cookie Monster

, , , , , | Learning | May 17, 2020

This happens during our first “remote learning” class meeting with our statistics teacher after the quarantine starts. She’s trying to explain how things are going to go when she’s interrupted by her six-year-old daughter. We can only hear our teacher’s side of the conversation.

Teacher: “What? No!” *Back to us* “Sorry, guys. [Daughter] wanted to have cookies for breakfast.”

Classmate: “Oh! I had cookies for breakfast!”

Teacher: “NO! DON’T TELL HER THAT!”

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“Patient Presented With Symptoms Of Not Being Dead”

, , , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2020

In gym class, we are learning how to check our pulse by placing our index and middle fingers on the carotid artery, on the neck to the side of the windpipe. The teacher is having the class run laps and take our pulse.

My friend is having a hard time finding her carotid artery and can’t take her pulse. She approaches the gym teacher for help. The teacher tries to find her carotid artery on her neck.

Teacher: “I don’t know… Go see the nurse.” 

Friend: “Seriously? I have a pulse. I’m fine.” 

Teacher: “Well, I can’t find it. Go see the nurse.” 

My friend reported to the very puzzled school nurse who confirmed that she did, in fact, have a pulse and helped her find it. I sometimes wonder if that nurse had to keep medical records for students, and what on earth she wrote for that patient encounter.

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You Can’t Even Escape Essays In Physical Education!

, , , | Learning | May 13, 2020

Due to an ongoing sickness, I miss more than half of the whole year’s PE classes. While I am obviously excused and not written down for skipping class or anything, my teacher still pulls me aside a few weeks before we get our final marks.

Teacher: “Listen. With the little time you’ve been in class, I can’t properly grade you. The school requires a certain amount of participation in class, and we don’t have homework or exams to get points in PE, either, so right now you’re at about 20%. That’s a failing grade.”

Me: “Uh, okay. Is there any other way I can make up points for missing class?”

Teacher: “I really can’t think of anything sensible. All I can do is give you a topic to write a paper on, and enter it as participation into the system.”

Me: “I can do that; I like writing papers. What topic?”

Teacher: “Uh, volleyball.”

Me: “Just… volleyball?”

Teacher: “Yeah.”

Me: “Like, the history of it? Professional volleyball? What?”

Teacher: “Just volleyball.”

Me: “You mean how to play?”

Teacher: “Yes, sure, let’s do that.”

I wrote a five-page paper about How To Play Volleyball, which meant I basically copy-pasted the rules of volleyball and drew some diagrams of the field and player positions. My teacher loved it and actually used it as a guideline in future classes doing volleyball.

The year after, I missed most of PE again because of my sickness, and I was given yet another topic to do a paper on — basketball this time. Rinse and repeat for my entire high school career. No one at the school ever thought about maybe excusing me from PE entirely, since it was a required class and there was no option for me to have any other class as a replacement.

I ended up graduating with a rather mediocre but acceptable grade in PE, having barely done any sports at all. I kind of feel like the school’s grading system never considered how to actually grade physical classes.

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And The Feminist Movement Slid Back A Few Decades

, , , , | Learning | May 11, 2020

I went to an all-girls high school. One day, when I was fourteen or fifteen, we had a hired job counselor come and hold a presentation on possible careers. It bored all of us to tears.

But the worst part was that at one point, the counselor suddenly stopped, looked around, apparently realised that we were all female, and said this gem:

“Oh, you’re all girls. You don’t need to plan for a long career; you’ll all get married and have children.”

I walked out.

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Hunting For Kindness — And Finding It!

, , , , , , , , | Learning | April 26, 2020

I’m in my final year of high school. Partly because it’s an optional subject, there are only nine people in my chemistry class, and as a result, we’re quite a tight-knit class who get on well with the teacher. I’m sat between two friends, talking as we work.

Friend #1: “So, what are you both doing for Easter?”

Friend #2: “We might organise an Easter egg hunt for our cousins.”

Friend #1: “Ooh, that sounds fun. I wonder if I can convince my brother that we should do an Easter egg hunt. I haven’t done one for ages. How about you, [My Name]? Are you also going to do an Easter egg hunt?”

Me: “I don’t think I’ve ever done one, so probably not.”

There is silence as my friends stare at me.

Me: “What?”

Friend #1: “You’ve never done an Easter egg hunt?”

Me: “No?”

Friend #2: “But not even in primary school?”

Me: “Don’t think so.”

The teacher comes over to us.

Teacher: “Girls, I hope you’re talking about chemistry.”

Friend #1: “Miss, [My Name] has never done an Easter egg hunt before.”

Teacher: “Okay?”

Friend #1: “I really think this should be rectified.”

Teacher: “Do you want to do an Easter egg hunt, [My Name]?”

Me: “Uh. I mean, I wouldn’t say no to one but I don’t think my life has been worse off for it.”

Friend #2: “Miss, maybe [Friend #1] and I could set one up for her next lesson!”

Me: “What? Send me to hunt one egg? We could do that outside.”

Teacher: “All right, girls. Focus on your work. You can make plans later.”

We focus on our work and the topic is forgotten. Fast forward a few days to our next chemistry lesson.

Teacher: “Okay, everyone. We’re going to end the lesson a little early today. I’ll explain more later.”

We’re all curious but she won’t explain. We get our work done in the shorter timeframe and then put our books away, as requested.

Teacher: “All right. Now, I understand [My Name] has never done an Easter egg hunt. [Friends #1 and #2] feel strongly about this, so, in the spirit of Easter, I have hidden nine mini crème eggs around the room. You have until the bell rings to find them. Enjoy!”

We proceeded to spend the next ten minutes looking for the crème eggs, with a few lower school kids who had been sent in for bad behaviour even helping out. I asked my friends later but they said they had nothing to do with it. It’s been eleven years but I’m still a little touched that the teacher decided to do that for us, and I’ve never forgotten my first ever Easter egg hunt.

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