For Some Reason I Can’t Explain…

, , , , , | Learning | August 13, 2020

I have unusual taste in music and typically know zilch about new or popular releases. I’m in middle school and my orchestra teacher has just announced that we’re going to perform a string version of the Coldplay song “Viva La Vida” as our “fun piece.”

Me: “Viva La Vida?”

Classmate: “I love this song! Do you know it?”

Me: “Nope. Never heard of the group, either.”

The teacher plays the song on her laptop. I’m excited beyond belief.


Classmates: *Pause* “What?”

It turned out that “Fallen Kingdom” was a parody of “Viva La Vida.” Geekdom strikes again!

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Something Doesn’t Add Up Here

, , , , , | Learning | August 7, 2020

When I was in middle school, my math classes required a graphing calculator. My older brother and I were both math geeks, so he showed me how to use the “programs” feature of the calculator to do some cool stuff — not related to class.

Eventually, we learned the quadratic formula in class. After finishing the unit and passing the quiz, I had the bright idea to create a calculator program to do the formula for me. I then showed the program to my teacher, expecting the teacher to be impressed by my ingenuity, but instead, the teacher told me I wasn’t allowed to do that. I tried to point out that the mere fact that I had created the program was evidence that I had mastered the formula, but my teacher wouldn’t hear it. So, no time-saving shortcuts for me.

Looking back on it now, I wonder if the teacher didn’t believe I had created the program myself, but I’m still annoyed; as I said before, I had already passed the test on the formula itself, and using my calculator for the formula should have been no different than using it for basic arithmetic.

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Some Doctors Should Be Dislocated From Their Professions

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 17, 2020

When I am in middle school, I do gymnastics through the school. During the last meet of my last year at the school, I dislocate my shoulder doing a cartwheel while I am warming up. Looking back, this is all pretty hilarious. At the time, not so much.

I’m slightly in shock but I know something’s wrong. I’m crumpled against the practice beam.

Me: “[Coach], [Coach]!”

My coach was watching the current student perform her routine and thought I just had questions, so she’s shushing me. Up in the stands, my mom saw me fall but thought that I’d just bumped the beam when I went down.

Mom: *Jokingly to a family friend* “I know she’s had worse. She just needs to shake it off; she’ll be fine.”

Back on the floor, a couple of teammates and one of the other coaches have realized that there’s a problem. They get me upright and the coach signals my mom to get down to the floor. By this time, the initial shock has worn off and I’m in massive amounts of pain — when my shoulder dislocates, my arm gains about three inches in length and what feels like 1000 pounds — so there is some minor crying going on on my part. My mom gets into the locker room, gets a hold of my dad, and tells him to stay in the car because we need to get to urgent care.

We get ice on my shoulder and my mom uses an ace bandage to immobilize things and we get in the car. We get down to urgent care and I remember this guy who sees me and lets me go ahead of him — not sure what his issue was, but thank you so much for letting the screaming and crying teenager jump the line!

We get into the exam room and the doctor comes in and starts examining things. Keep in mind that, A, I’m in a gymnastics leotard and, B, there’s a noticeable divot at my shoulder. He starts poking where my shoulder is supposed to be and asking if it hurts. At that point, not really, and I tell him so. He then starts probing my arm and gets to where my shoulder actually is, and of course, there’s a ton more pain and I tell him so.

The doctor looks up at both my parents.

Doctor: “So, this isn’t a dislocation; she’s broken her humerus. I’m going to order X-rays to be sure, and then we’ll get this fixed.”

Both my parents just stare at him, because it’s obvious that it’s a dislocation. Honestly, my dad was a medic when he was in the army, but the only reason he didn’t reduce my shoulder himself was that he didn’t want to risk something getting pinched. The X-rays get developed, and what do you know, my shoulder is dislocated.

Doctor: “Well, uh, I’m going to send you to the ER. They’ll have better drugs to give her. We’ll give her something to help for now and call ahead to get you guys checked in.”

A nurse comes in and gives me a shot of Demerol — I think; it might have been Dilaudid — and then we’re off to the ER. We get to the ER and they get us checked in, get vitals, and give me the exact same dose of Demerol. Then, they get me into a waiting gurney in the hallway.

We wait there for a while — I don’t remember much of it because I was so drugged up — but my mom finally goes out and asks what’s going on, so then they move me to a bed behind a curtain. I get hooked up to monitors and then to morphine, as well.

Looking back, there were an awful lot of drugs onboard that night. Again, hindsight humor: I thought I was asleep 90% of the time, but apparently, I wasn’t; my parents never mentioned if I said anything weird, but I’m sure I was entertaining.

There is more waiting and my mom finally goes out to the nurses’ station where they are just hanging around.

Mom: “Hi. Excuse me. Could we get some assistance back here? I know this probably isn’t exactly a high priority, but my daughter is fourteen and in pain and a little scared. Can someone please take a look?”

There was a flurry of activity and, within a few minutes, my shoulder was reduced. The doctor then had to pin me to the bed because I immediately tried to put my arms over my head. I suddenly felt better; why wouldn’t I try to use my arm?

My mom called urgent care a few days later to complain about the doctor we’d seen there and it turns out the guy was an allergist! He’d been covering the on-call because they’d had to make a run to help a patient. Mom thinks he was just scared to reduce it which is why he’d sent us to the ER.

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Sending The Bully Crying To His Mom

, , , , , | Learning | May 19, 2020

My mom and I look very much alike, to the point that my family often jokes I’m her clone with my dad’s health problems thrown in. Think Reese Witherspoon and her daughter — that level of similarity.

My mom is a substitute teacher, and she sometimes subs at my school or even for my class. I’ve long since gotten over the awkwardness of calling her “Mom” in class, since it’s obvious anyway. I’m somewhat new at my school, and this is the first time my mom has subbed for my class at this school. When she’s about to turn on a projector, I happen to be sitting closest to the light switch.

One boy in the class, also a new student, badly wants to be the class clown but is actually just a bully.

Mom: “[My Name], can you hit the lights?”

Me: “Sure, Mom.”

Bully: *Pointing at me and laughing* “Haha! You called the sub ‘Mom’!”

There’s a moment of silence as the entire class contemplates how stupid his comment was. The bully seems upset that he hasn’t gotten the whole class jeering at me.

Classmate #1: “Dude… that is her mom.”

Bully: “What? How would you know that?”

Classmate #1: “Just look at them.”

Bully: “But I— I didn’t know that!”

Classmate #2: “And do you really think we have two [Extremely Uncommon Last Name]s in the same room by chance?”

Classmate #1: “Seriously, [Bully], just sit down and shut up.”

He did sit down and shut up. Within a few months, he realized his mean attempts at being funny weren’t getting anywhere, and he started acting a lot nicer. I’m glad I attended a school where the students didn’t put up with things like that.

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This Teacher’s Confusion Will Make You Sweat

, , , , , | Learning | April 19, 2020

My private school has some strange rules about sweaters and jackets that students can wear in the building. They have to be in school colors, they can’t be sweatshirts, they can’t be “outdoor jackets,” they can’t have any kind of logo, and only sweaters can have a zipper.

My mother and I find a sweater at the beginning of sixth grade that seems to fit the bill. I get it approved by the lead middle school teacher — my science teacher — and wear it all winter with no problems.

The next winter, I bring it out again on the first cold day. I go to my first couple of classes with no issues. Then, I get to computer class, where there’s a new teacher. He’s very strict. A few minutes into class, he calls me up to his desk. Please note that I’m a very quiet, sensitive kid who literally never gets into any kind of trouble at school.

Me: “Yes, sir?”

He hands me a dress code and detention slip. I stare at him, mouth agape.

Me: “But… why?”

Teacher: “No zippers on sweaters, [My Name].”

Me: “But… but I wore this all last year! And [Science Teacher] said—”

Teacher: “I know you don’t ever get in trouble around here, but you need to learn that the rules apply to you, too. Sit down.”

I walk back to my desk in tears. My nearby classmates get up to sympathize until the teacher death-glares them and they return to their seats. I put my head down on the desk. I sit near the front, so I overhear the teacher making a call.

Teacher: “Hi, [Science Teacher]? It’s [Teacher], and I have a problem.” *Pause* “I have a student crying in my class because of a dress code detention.” *Pause* “[My Name].” *Pause* “Yes, really! She’s not immune to rules.” *Pause* “Sweater with a zipper.” *Pause* “Yes, it’s in school colors.” *Pause* “Yes.” *Pause* “Oh.” *Pause* “How was I supposed to know that?” *Pause* “Okay, okay, okay! I didn’t know.” *Pause* “Yes, I will.” *Pause* “Bye.”

He hangs up and calls me back up. I shuffle back up to his desk, still sniffling.

Teacher: “Give me the dress code and detention slips, please.”

I hand it over. He rips it up and throws it in the trash.

Teacher: “And I do owe you an apology. [Science Teacher] explained the dress code to me. I didn’t realize that this sweater was approved. I’m sorry. Please stop crying…”

I sat down. He didn’t issue any more dress codes the rest of the year. When I got to science class, my teacher pulled me aside to assure me again that I didn’t have detention.

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