Signing In A Scottish Accent

, , , , , , | Learning | March 20, 2019

(I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I often feel like I don’t “fit in” because relating to people is challenging for me. However, I’ve started learning British Sign Language, and I love it. It is literal, logical, and has grey areas. Deaf people are very direct, too. I also have a photographic memory, which I haven’t found to be much use… until now. I learn new signs extremely fast. Even my deaf teacher struggles to keep pace. In class, we are learning about countries. This roleplay happens in front of the class, in BSL.)

Classmate #1: “Where are you going on holiday?”

Me: “New Scotland.”

Classmate #1: “What?”

Me: *slowly in BSL and English* “New Scotland, Canada: Nova Scotia.”

Classmate #1: *confused*

Teacher: “If you want to say two countries, you need to say, ‘and.’ Scotland A-N-D Canada.”

Classmate #2: *in English and BSL* “He didn’t say Scotland; I think he means New England and Canada.”

(I am extremely confused. The signs for England and Scotland are very different and unmistakable. I have no idea where she got “New England” from. As for my teacher, he didn’t have a clear view, and missed the sign “new.” He thinks I mean Scotland and Canada. I can’t get it across in BSL, so I resort to English.)

Me: “No, I signed literally, ‘New Scotland.’ That means Nova Scotia in Canada, which is Latin for ‘New Scotland.’ In most languages, including BSL, Nova Scotia is translated literally. I saw it last week from an interpreter on TV.”

Teacher: “Oh. Nothing wrong with the sign, but maybe we’ll keep it at the right level for the exam?”

(I continue to learn BSL extremely fast. One day I hope to qualify as an interpreter.)

Justice Fit For A Big TV Special

, , , , | Learning | March 15, 2019

I’m the IT guy of a primary school. The school is located in a wealthy area which means that the school also is fairly rich.

We purchase some 80-inch touchscreen TVs, and they have been demonstrated to the parents to show how teachers are going to use them.

Skip a few weeks. It’s a vacation and there’s no one in the school except me and some people hired to clean the floors. While I’m sitting in my office I notice a group of elderly men carrying cases of beer into the building. I go up to them and ask what they are planning.

One of the men looks at me with a smug smile on his face and tells me that he and his friends are going to use one of the TVs to view an important football match, and that it’s okay because he’s the chairman of the parent council. I’m not impressed, but I call the principal anyway.

The principal is more furious about people bringing beer into the school than that they want to use the TVs to watch a game. I get the order: “Kick them out. Call the police if that is what it takes.”

So, that’s what I do. I tell them that their party is cancelled and that they have to leave or I’ll have to call the police. Of course, I get the, “Do you know who I am?” and, “I’ll have you fired,” spiel.

I tell them, “No, I don’t know who you are, and I don’t care, so get out or I’ll call the police.” The men show some wisdom and leave the school.

It turned out that they emailed a letter of complaint to the principal demanding that I be fired and threatening to stop their donations to the school. The principal replied that I’m not going to be fired and that bringing beer into the school just wasn’t acceptable, not even if you’re the chairman of the parent council

He “accidentally” sent his answer to all members of the parent council. The chairman resigned and donations to the school increased. Turned out that a lot of parents really hated the now ex-chairman for being a condescending t***.

Making Free Speech Great Again

, , , | Learning | March 15, 2019

(I go to a very diverse and liberal school; however, many people are VERY bigoted. The school policy allows expressing political opinions through clothing, as long as it isn’t hate speech. One very cold day, I grab my crocheted pink Women’s March hat last second and run to the bus. There isn’t a problem until lunch when an admin comes up to me.)

Admin: “[My Name], you need to take your hat off. It’s offensive.”

(I surrender it, but I point to a kid wearing a MAGA hat.)

Me: “Okay, but why doesn’t he need to take his hat off?”

Admin: “It’s not hate speech.”

Me: “Wait. What? My Women’s March hat is hate speech, but his hat supporting a bigoted president isn’t?”

Admin: *skirting the issue* “It’s his free speech.”

Me: “Okay. So, he gets free speech but I don’t?”

Admin: “Well, this hat basically proclaims that you hate men.”

Me: *internal sigh* “No, it doesn’t. Also, his hat says that he basically hates everyone who is not a white, straight, Catholic male.”

Admin: “Keep talking and I’ll give you lunch detention.”

Me: “For what?”

Admin: “Arguing with school faculty.”

Me: “Okay, but this is classic discrimination, so…”

(The admin gets a scared look and hands me back my hat.)

Me: “That’s what I thought.”

Making A Leap Of Understanding

, , , , , , | Learning | March 13, 2019

(Two classmates and I are chatting and waiting for class to finish. The topic of leap years comes up.)

Classmate #1: “I have a friend who was born on leap day. He’s only had like three birthdays.”  

Me: “I heard about a family that had three kids born on consecutive leap days.”

Classmate #2: “Twelve years apart? That’s quite a gap.”

Me: “No, it’s eight years apart, which is not that weird.”

Classmate #1: “A leap year is every four years. Three kids, that’s twelve years. You need to check your math.”

Classmate #2: “Yeah, that’s right.”

Me: “No… Okay. You have a kid in 2000. Four years later, you have another kid. Four years later, you have a third kid, and it’s been eight years.”

(It dawns on them that I am correct.)

Classmate #2: “This never happened.”

Through An Immature Lens

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

(I am attending a course about glasses and how to order them according to the customers’ needs. Our teacher is talking about common mistakes done while ordering them and comes to the section about the distances seen by wrongfully-ordered glasses —  what you “can” see and you “won’t” see clearly.)

Teacher: *mentioning this and that mistake* “…which leads to the person missing out on about five inches of distance, where he won’t see things clearly.”

(For a moment, one of my female colleagues looks at him in confusion.)

Female Colleague: “Do you even feel five inches?”

(The world turned white as I threw my head back and let out a childish, uncontrollable, howling laughter, which led to tears in my eyes. My colleagues looked at me in confusion, and one after another slowly realised what she had just said.)

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