System Of A Down-Time

, , , , , | Learning | September 15, 2017

I am a teacher at an international school, where the focus is to have students successfully integrate into the Canadian education system and go to a Canadian University. This group of students were the smartest and most well-behaved group I had ever taught. That being said, since they were away from home and on their own for the first time, there was sometimes the problem of them staying up super late, and falling asleep in class as a result. At first, I would gently knock on their desk and they would sit up, but there were a few recurring sleepers. I got an idea of how to deal with them and make it so they wouldn’t fall asleep again.

It was a work period, and I noticed one student asleep at his desk. I grabbed my iPod and my portable speakers and walked over to him. I selected the song “Chop Suey” by System of a Down and waited until it got to a crucial line before blasting at full volume:

“WAKE UP! GRAB A BRUSH AND PUT A LITTLE MAKEUP!”

Cue the student leaping out of their desk and the rest of the students laughing. In hindsight, yes, it might have been a bit mean. However, every class I’ve done that for not only LOVES it, but even the students I use it against find it hilarious and don’t do it again.

Rules Don’t Bend In The Wind

, , , , | Friendly | September 14, 2017

When I was really young, my parents had to take me everywhere with them, as we were poor and could only afford childcare whilst both of them were working. Often the childcare role was filled by family.

Once, when I was about three, my dad took me with him to the bank. It was one of those banks where the tellers were out on the floor with you around a little table. I was standing between my dad and the teller when the teller passed gas. I heard it, as I was so short my head was at about the teller’s waist, but my father did not, and the embarrassed teller didn’t say anything about it.

So, as my father had done to me many times before to teach me my manners, although perhaps in a less sassy, exaggerated way, I looked up at her, put my hands on my hips, and said, “What do you say???”

The woman blushed the most vibrant shade of red and quietly said, “Excuse me,” while my father could hardly contain his laughter. It’s a story he can’t recount without laughing to this day.

When The Cloud Evaporated

, , , , , | Learning | September 13, 2017

I’m a teacher. Our school has a cloud that holds all of our lesson plans, grades, everything. We are required to use it, and can even get in trouble if we don’t. I keep resources on my home computer. The finished product gets uploaded to the cloud. I’m not technically supposed to do this, but I have had these since before I worked here, and they’re too messy to sort.

My first year at this school was okay. I didn’t have the problem I had with another school- kids being forced to take my class instead of the one they wanted- so, most of my classes actually wanted to learn! My boss was okay, too.

Two weeks before the next new school year, I looked online, and everything had been wiped. I received an email saying that the grades and other personal data had been wiped for privacy reasons, but they wiped my lesson plans, too! This had to be a mistake. I called my principal.

He told me, “We have new standards for teaching every year, so you wouldn’t even be able to use them! It’s easier to wipe them all so teachers don’t have to go through a revision process when they submit old plans.”

I was stunned. First of all, plans can be modified, and it’s easier to modify than to create an entirely new thing from scratch. Secondly, TWO WEEKS?! Two weeks to plan an entire year? Thirdly, I was no longer ashamed of my secret resource stash (which would have been deleted, too)!

After somewhat of a breakdown, I picked through the mess of resources and cobbled together the first semester. At the first teacher’s meeting, I was the only one who had gotten that far.

Swept Away By Those Words

, , , , , | Related | September 13, 2017

When I was very young, my great-grandma and great-grandpa lived on the beach. Whenever we visited them, my great-grandpa and I would always go for a walk along the beach. We would look at what the ocean washed up and even looked into a tide-pool once.

One day, while we were walking along, a wave rushed up onto the shore and swept me off my feet. My great-grandpa, who wasn’t very fast and walked with a cane, rushed and managed to catch me before I was swept out into the ocean.

He then smiled and told me I had to be so wonderful and important that the ocean, which had been around for millions of years, wanted to keep me.

It is something I carried with me for all of my life, even after my great-grandpa and great-grandma passed on.

A Total Eclipse Of The Heart-Strings

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 12, 2017

The day of the 2017 Solar Eclipse, some friends and I carpooled out to our college for a viewing event. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, they had run out of eclipse-viewing glasses. While there were volunteers walking around offering to let people borrow theirs for a few seconds each, I was still a bit upset, because I was hoping to get some as a keepsake for the event.

As I was informing my friends of this setback, a young girl, probably no older than ten, came up and tried to hand me her glasses, having overheard. I tried to decline, but she insisted, saying that she and her two companions could take turns with what they had. The companions didn’t seem bothered at all by the notion of sharing theirs. After a couple rounds of this, I relented and took them, thanking her repeatedly.

The eclipse was unforgettable, but her kind gesture was even more so.

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