Yes, But Who Has Been Captured By Who?

, , , , , , | Related | April 22, 2019

(My daughter is walking about cuddling her kitten, appropriately named Nemesis.)

Daughter: “Mom, why does Nemesis love me?”

(Before I can answer, her 12-year-old brother interjects dryly:)

Son: “Stockholm Syndrome.”

Jello Comes In Strawberry, Orange, Pain, And Grape

, , , , , , | Related | April 22, 2019

(When I am about five years old, my mother makes Jello for dessert. I think I can get away with sneaking some before dinner. It is rather obvious when it comes time to serve it.)

Dad: “Okay, who got into the Jello?”

(My brothers and I remain silent until the threat of not having any comes up.)

Me: “I did.”

Dad: “You’ve got a choice: you can watch us eat ours and not have any, or you can have some and then get punished.”

Me: *without hesitation* “I’ll have some of the Jello.”

(Thirty years later, Dad still brings it up.)

It’s A Mad Mad Magdarame World

, , , , , | Right | April 21, 2019

I work in a small call centre with my friend. One of the shows we are selling today is an Easter play depicting the Crucifixion of Jesus. A few minutes ago, [Friend] got a call from a woman who asked us if the crucifixion being depicted was a person really being crucified, as opposed to an actor pretending to be crucified. [Friend] explained that it was just an actor and the woman was apparently disappointed.

The woman had a Filipina accent; people who are especially religious in the Philippines actually crucify themselves there each year. It’s only for a few minutes, mind you, but it is a real crucifixion. Apparently, she was hoping to see the same thing here in Canada.

Go Big Or Go Home, Right?

, , , , , , | Learning | April 20, 2019

This is a “smart” student story. About 30 years ago, when I was just starting out as a teacher and having to be a substitute, I was called into this high school. No big deal. One day turned into two, then three and more. Then, I was told that the teacher I was subbing for would likely be out for the rest of the year, and they asked if I’d be interested in applying for the position. I had a quick interview with the principal and two members of the department after school and I was in. Yay!

I started about the beginning of October. There were six classes, three different courses, one of which was brand new, so there were no materials yet. But I was young and full of energy. After a few weeks, my department head had a talk with me about the approaching first-term report cards. Note: at this time, teachers filled out reports on those three-copy NCR forms. The student’s info was printed on top, but we had to hand-write the grade, add any comments in the space provided, and then sign it. My department head said that, as I would be merging my marks with the ones already recorded by the teacher I was replacing, and that I hadn’t really gotten a chance to know the students, to just record the grade, leave the comments section blank, and sign them. I did just that.

Sometime the morning after the reports went home, I got a message to call the mother of one of my students. On my first break, I called and identified myself. She said she had a question about her son’s report card. I was thinking the worst, that this was a parent going to beg, plead, or bully her kid into a higher grade. Nope. She was concerned about the comment. I told her that, due to the circumstances, I had made no comments on any of the report cards. She started howling with laughter, then read me the comment on her son’s card. It was over the top: best student ever, great class participation, and so on.

The reason she’d called was that all the comments from his other teachers were pretty much what she expected — work not done, more effort required, etc. — and she was curious about the one rave review. We had a good laugh about how if her son had just toned it down a bit she wouldn’t have noticed. She said she’d talk to the boy, and I took no further action than, when I asked that kid’s class if their parents had any questions about their report cards, to focus on this boy with my best imitation of laser eyes. His response told me Mum had talked to him.

I hope he learned something. I learned to never sign a document while leaving a space blank — put a slash through it.

Deaf To Their Own Ignorance

, , , , , , , | Friendly | April 19, 2019

(My wife and I speak fluent American Sign Language since we have some deaf relatives and a number of deaf friends. Sometimes we use sign rather than speaking out loud, whether we’re home or we’re out. It’s good practice to keep sharp, and it has some other benefits. One night we are out to dinner at a crowded but classy restaurant. After ordering and receiving our food, we begin signing to each other. Another couple is then seated at the table next to us. It’s impossible not to overhear them unless we were truly deaf.)

Man: “Look, those two are deaf and dumb.”

(My wife and I physically shudder so hard that I think he might notice. “Deaf and dumb” is a very old and ignorant expression. The couple continues making comments about us as they order and start to eat, amid other conversation. Here are a few remarks.)

Man: “Do you think they can drive? I don’t think they should be allowed.”

Woman: “Do you think they can have kids?”

Man: “Flopping their hands like that is stupid; they should just learn to lip-read.”

Woman: “How can they read the menu? The restaurant must have one in braille.”

Man: “They look so weird. Why did they even come here?”

(Our server comes up to check on us)

Server: “How are you doing? Do you two need anything?”

Me: *speaking, loud and clear* “We’re doing great! Thanks. Just the bill soon, I think.”

Wife: *speaking, loud and clear* “The food was great. My compliments to the chef.”

(The other couple just sat there staring for a few moments. It seemed to take forever for them to come to the realization that we could hear them the entire time. The man seemed almost offended, and even sputtered a few times, as if wanting to say something to us, but neither actually said another word. My wife and I, however, were able to continue signing freely about how ignorant they were, and how fun it was to see their reaction. How can anyone be so dense as to think deaf people can’t have kids?! Of everything they said, that was the worst.)

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