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Fighting Stupidity With Gummy Bears

, , , , , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: storymaker1235 | August 28, 2023

When I was in eighth grade, I was in the first year of an experimental technology school. It had a class of about 180 eighth-graders (twelve- to fourteen-year-olds) and about ten teachers, so everybody shared the same math teacher.

For our first semester, we used a particular educational software. It was all right for most classes, but it was absolutely atrocious when it came to math. Nothing worked with math. We were supposed to use the lessons they had, but it just didn’t work. Math symbols didn’t show up right, and some questions even had the wrong answer marked.

My math teacher wasn’t allowed to just move to paper, and the company insisted that the problem was that our math teacher was older and just didn’t understand technology. They said that if she had a genuine issue, she should email them.

One day, I got to class, and there were seven email addresses written on the board.

Math Teacher: “We are going to go through our math lesson today, take screenshots of every mistake we find, and email them to [Software Company]’s executives. One screenshot per email. And for every ten emails you send, I will give you a packet of gummy bears.”

We had a blast trying to send as many emails as we could. One kid got ten packets of gummy bears by the end of the hour-long class.

By lunch, the principal called my teacher aside and asked for her to stop.

Math Teacher: “H*** no! My afternoon classes haven’t had fun yet!”

Long story short, our school district got all of the money back that they’d spent on the software, and the company no longer exists. (That or they changed their brand out of shame. I don’t know; I just can’t find them anymore.)

Teaching The Science Of Disrespect

, , , , , , | Learning | August 19, 2023

I am female and have an unusual and rather unique name, and everybody gets it wrong on the first try. I’m used to it and I’m not offended, especially since the closest thing anyone has ever seen of my name is pronounced differently. Since my name is obscure and very specifically nerdy, you would actually have to be pretty deep in the fandom to have even heard of it.

In high school, I ended up with a science teacher who made it abundantly clear that my name was not on the list of things he was going to put any effort into. The first thing he did was put me next to a male student with a somewhat similar name to mine. (For the purposes of this story, let’s say my name is Joan and his name is John.)

Attendance soon became a pattern.

Teacher: “[Student #1], John [Male Classmate], [Student #2], [Student #3], John [Me]…”

Me: “It’s Joan.”

He’d say nothing in response, wouldn’t react, and would continue along with the students.

During class, he would call on me, saying, “Okay, John…”

Me: “It’s Joan, actually.”

He’d say nothing in response and wouldn’t react to my correction.

After some time of this, I got thoroughly fed up. He was deliberately and knowingly disrespecting me (not to mention misgendering me) on one of the most fundamental levels. My name is my identity. It’s me. And he was blatantly disrespecting me because he felt it was just easier to not put any effort into calling me by my name correctly.

I waited for a project that would have to be presented to the class. When it came to presentation time, I did not volunteer.

Teacher: “Okay, John, you’re up.”

I didn’t react.

John [Male Classmate] went up and did his presentation, and then a few more students presented their projects.

Teacher: “Okay, next up is John.”

I didn’t react.

Teacher:John! It’s your turn.”

Me: “John already presented.”

Teacher: “I’m calling you, John.”

Me: “No, you are not. You are calling John. And John already presented. My name is Joan.”

The teacher went silent.

I did not leave my chair. In fact, I refused to even turn around and look at the teacher. I refused to engage. If he wanted me to respond, he would have to either call me by name or out himself as a complete jerk in front of twenty to thirty students, all of whom could back me up when I filed a complaint. (And let’s face it, filing a complaint WAS my next step after this.)

The whole class was silent, waiting to see how it was going to pan out.

Teacher: “…Joan, you’re up.”

At this point, I presented my project and sat back down. No more was said, but from that day until I was out of his class, he called me by my correct name.

Reason #2748 Why PE Is Bulls***

, , , , , , | Learning | August 13, 2023

I was in a physical education class with a kid who walked with canes. Even though he knew the theory that we were taught perfectly, the teacher scored him low at the end of the year. We asked her what her reasoning was.

Teacher: “If I score him like you guys, you’ll complain that he got as good scores as you did, even though he can barely walk.”

We tore her a new one.

Can’t Safely Pin That Competition

, , , , , , , | Healthy | August 12, 2023

I am the author of this story.

Some people are professional patients, used for training, and they are very good. Many years ago, I did a first aid course, and the trainer told us this anecdote.

He was at a First Aid competition, and they had these professional patients there to simulate different scenarios. During one session, someone had to simulate an unconscious patient with a wound.

The first aider was a bit nervous but got him into the recovery position, dressed the wound, and used a safety pin on the dressing. The adjudicator called “time” at the end, and the patient (who up until that point had been just lying there like all good unconscious patients) got up and started screaming in agony.

It transpired that the first aider was a little bit too nervous and stuck the dressing to the flesh with the safety pin. Anyone unconscious wouldn’t react, so he didn’t. But when he was no longer supposed to be unconscious…

Needles to say, the first aider lost that point.

Can’t Safely Pin That Job

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Helpless

, , , , , , , | Related | August 10, 2023

When I first moved away from home to study, I started out living in student housing. We all had our own rooms, but every floor shared a kitchen and common room. In Sweden, this is commonly referred to as a “student corridor”. There is no adult supervision, and people are expected to take care of themselves. I had a corridor neighbor who had, like most of us, just moved away from home. It was [Boy]’s first time on his own, and he was miserable.

We had to teach this poor boy EVERYTHING. It started with the mystery of why the plates in the communal kitchen were always greasy, even when they’d been put back into the cupboard as clean. It turned out that [Boy] didn’t know he had to use hot water to wash the dishes; he just rinsed them off and put them back.

He spent the first six months complaining about how he was always running out of money. This was because he didn’t know how to cook. The rest of us lived on the usual student diet of oatmeal and cheap pasta dishes and treated ourselves to a pizza on weekends. [Boy] got fast food every single day. I could feed myself for a month on his weekly meal budget.

I once found him in the laundry room, staring dumbfounded at a washing machine. He had no idea how to do laundry. I had to take him shopping for laundry detergent because he didn’t know what it was. He thought he could just put ordinary soap in there. 

To his credit, [Boy] was very grateful for the help and very frustrated that no one had taught him how to do all these things before he moved out.

Then, his mother came to visit. He happily introduced all of us as his friends. Then, she came up to me.

Mother: “I’ve heard so much about you! I’m so glad to finally meet my son’s girlfriend.”

Me: “Sorry, girlfriend?”

Mother: “Yes, [Boy] has been telling me all about how well you’re taking care of him.”

Boy: “Mom, I’ve already told you, we’re not together. She’s just been showing me how to do stuff. We’re friends, that’s all.”

Mother: “But you told me how good she is at cooking, and how she did your laundry, and—”

Me: “No, let me stop you there. We’re cooking together sometimes, but that’s so he can learn how it’s done. Same with the laundry; he didn’t know how to do it, so I showed him. People are supposed to know how to do this stuff for themselves when they move away from home!”

Mother: “How would my son be expected to know how to do housework?”

Me: “I don’t know. Maybe his parents should have taught him? Mine did!”

Boy: “She’s right, Mom. I should have known this before I moved out.”

Mother: “I guess I just expected you to have a girlfriend by now. You’re handsome enough. You’re going to be an engineer; you’ll make a lot of money someday!”

Boy: “And [My Name] is going to be a doctor. She still knows how to do her own laundry!”

Mother: “That’s different! She’s not a boy!”

He really was a sweet guy, and we did end up dating for a while a year or so later, but unfortunately, his mother was a dealbreaker.

After we graduated, I was invited to his wedding. He introduced me to his new wife as “the one who taught me how to be a man”.