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A Tale Of Two Catherines

, , , | Learning | May 31, 2019

(In high school, my sister happens to have the same first and last name as another student. They have different middle names and initials, and also use different shortened forms of their first name. Let’s say their name is Catherine, and one goes by Katie and the other by Cathy. While my sister is a bit of a goody-two-shoes and is in all the advanced classes, the other one is kind of a troublemaker. At our high school, you can’t leave campus during lunch. My sister is called to the vice principal’s office. As soon as she enters his office, the vice principal whirls on her.)

VP: “What do you have to say for yourself?”

Sister: “What did I do?”

VP: “You snuck out at lunch with him!”

(He points to a boy sitting in a chair in the office.)

Sister: “I’ve never met him in my life before.”

Boy: “Yeah, no, I’ve never met her, either.”

VP: “Don’t lie, Cathy.”

Sister: “Oh…” *realizing it* “You have the wrong Catherine [Last Name]. There’s two of us. I’m Katie. She’s Cathy. You want Catherine B [Last Name], not Catherine A [Last Name].”

(The vice principal looked skeptical but then went to his computer and looked up the student names and found that, sure enough, there were two students with the same name. He sent her back to class. This happened several more times throughout high school; she’d get called to the office, the vice principal would look at her and say, “Dang it. Wrong Catherine. Go back to class, Katie.” She never did actually meet the other Catherine. It was a large high school, and they didn’t run in the same circles. She thought that she might meet her at graduation, since we sat alphabetically, but by then, Cathy had had a baby and finished high school in summer school, so she didn’t walk at graduation.)

Food For Thought-less Students

, , , , , | Learning | May 15, 2019

(I live with my very poor, but caring family. My dad has recently been sent to the hospital after spraining his foot and my mom is still being affected by the aftereffects of her stroke and is usually bedridden. We are so tight on money that we have to skip dinner sometimes. There is a boy that is not very well-liked by anyone at our school, and for some reason, he just seems to hate me. I’m hanging out with my friends at lunch.)

Bully: “Hey, [My Name], you have food?”

(Due to our family’s status as low-income, I receive free school lunches. I should also mention that the bully is extremely spoiled and wealthy.)

Me: “Yeah, but this is the only food I have for the day, so I can’t really share.”

Bully: *sulks away*

(I think nothing of it, since he usually acts this way, until the office calls me up. I’m confused and go up to see the vice principal. The bully is sitting there in the office with a smug grin.)

Vice Principal: “Now, [My Name], do you know why you’re here?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Bully: “Yeah, you do.”

Vice Principal: *gestures at the bully to calm down* “Well, your friend here was telling me about how you were bullying and physically harassing him.”

(I know this is because the bully is mad at me because I didn’t give him half of my burrito.)

Me: “What did I do?”

Vice Principal: *raises an eyebrow* “Well, you see, [Bully] here told me that you threw a penny into his eye. I know this might sound really petty, but that is still considered assault and can result in punishment by the law.”

(I’m pretty scared at this point. I’m 14 and stressed out, and I don’t want anything to do with this. We talk some more, and the VP sends me outside to talk with the bully, then sends him outside so he can talk to me. I sit down.)

Vice Principal: “Now, I want you to confirm anything that you feel is true. He says he asked you for some food, and you then threw a penny into his eye. Is that true?

Me: “What? No! I got my lunch, sat with my friend, and started eating until he said that he wanted food. I told him I couldn’t afford any food for the day and he just left.”

Vice Principal: “Wait, didn’t your dad just get sent to the hospital?”

Me: “Yeah, and the stroke is still hitting my mom pretty hard. We sometimes skip dinner just so we can save enough money.”

Vice Principal: “How often does this happen a week?”

Me: “Where he asks me for money or food, or if I skip—“

Vice Principal: “Both.”

Me: “He asks me just about every single day, and I’d say maybe three or four dinners?”

Vice Principal: “All right, call in [Bully].”

Bully: “So, did you decide on the punishment for her yet?”

Vice Principal: “Yes. Her punishment is to receive more school lunches.”

Bully: “Wait, what?”

Vice Principal: “Is it true you ask her for food every day?”

Bully: “I guess?”

Vice Principal: “You guess? Did it ever occur to you that the only reason she doesn’t give you food is that she can’t?”

Bully: “What do you mean?”

Vice Principal:Both of her parents are currently in the hospital. She doesn’t get to eat dinner half the week. Her school lunch is her only source of food, and you are asking me to tell her off for not giving any to you?”

Bully: “What does have to do with her throwing s*** at me?”

Vice Principal: “No, she didn’t. We have cameras, and she did nothing of the sort. What we did catch was you insulting her.”

Bully: *sulking*

Vice Principal: “You will be staying a minimum of 40 yards away from her. You won’t talk to her, nor will you look at her. You will also be receiving two weeks’ worth of lunch detention for lying to me, lying about a situation, lying to get another student in trouble, attempted theft, and harassment. Get out of my office.”

Bully: *stomps off*

Vice Principal: “Listen, [My Name]. If anybody ever bothers you again over food or the likes, you just talk to me and I’ll do my best to support you, clear?”

Me: “Yeah. Thanks, [Vice Principal].”

(My father and mother both got out of the hospital a couple of weeks later and everything in our family is slowly coming back to our old standards. The bully was suspended when he tried to punch a boy when he asked for free food and the boy said no. Thanks to the Vice Principal for supporting me against that bully!)

Anger Levels Are Elevating

, , , , | Learning | May 6, 2019

(I sprain my ankle quite badly. I go to school two days later on crutches and with a splint on my ankle. My school is a four-story building, so I approach the office about borrowing a key to the elevators.)

Me: “Hi. I sprained my ankle on Saturday, and I can’t really walk on it. Can I have a key for the elevator?”

Vice Principal: “We need to see proof that you need it, and a 500 kr deposit.”

(That’s around $75.)

Me: “I don’t have a doctor’s note with me, and I don’t carry that much money. What do I do now?”

(In Denmark, you can access your medical file online, but only if you have your Internet ID with you, which I don’t.)

Vice Principal: “You can’t have a key, then. Go to class.”

(I managed to get to class on the third floor out of sheer anger. How on earth are crutches and a huge splint not enough proof of needing a key to the elevator? I checked the school’s website, and there wasn’t anything on elevator rules, and we were never told about these rules. I’m still mad about it. Not everyone can suddenly spare so much money, especially when you are a student!)

The Sad States Of Schools On Edge

, , , , | Learning | April 13, 2019

(All the students in the school have had to eat in the gymnasium or in classrooms for the past few weeks because the cafeteria is undergoing renovations. Earlier that day, there was a walkout in memory of a school shooting, which was fairly uneventful. Now, nearly the entire student body is in the gym for lunch. Most are sitting on the bleachers, but I’m on the opposite side of the gym and can see everyone. Suddenly, there is a loud bang from somewhere in the gym. I have a great view of the bleachers, and I see every single student flinch or jump in perfect unison, thinking it was a gunshot. Everything is quiet for a few seconds. Then, the principal storms in, extremely angry.)

Principal: “WHO DID THAT?!”

(He was under the impression that someone, trying to be funny, had popped a chip bag. He spent ten minutes loudly interrogating students. After the incident, I heard that the sound was the tire of someone’s wheelchair blowing out.)

Weak Week Magic

, , , , , | Learning | March 11, 2019

(I’m a teacher. The assistant principal at my school is laid back and hilarious. I’m walking out for the day when I stop to talk to him.)

Me: “Hey, [Assistant Principal]. I was wondering something.”

Assistant Principal: “What’s up?”

Me: “Can you use your magic assistant principal powers to make it Friday?”

Assistant Principal: “If I could, I’d make it Friday every few days. Our weeks would be: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then Friday again!”