Luke, I Am Not My Brother’s Keeper

, , , | Friendly | January 5, 2021

My younger brother is five and I’m fifteen, and we go to the same Chinese tuition centre. He’s in the preschool class and I’m in the secondary school class. I should mention that our classes are on completely different days and times, but we do have the same teacher.

One day, my younger brother decides to come to class wearing a Darth Vader costume and totally derails the lesson. When the teacher tries to scold him, my brother just runs up to the teacher and hugs her.

Younger Brother: “I love you!”

She then loses all heart and can’t bring herself to scold him. So, she decides to do the next best thing: scold ME the next time she sees me.

Teacher: “You should be more responsible with your brother! He should come in wearing proper attire. This is a tuition centre, not a playground!”

Me: “But I didn’t even know he did that!”

Teacher: “Well, he shouldn’t! He was disrupting the lesson and distracting the other students.”

Me: “Then why are you scolding me?”

Teacher: “So that you can tell your mother never to let him do that again!”

So, somehow, I’m at fault for something that I not only didn’t do but didn’t know even happened. I’d like to say that’s an isolated incident, but no, I almost always get the flak for my younger brother’s antics. People seem to think that as the older and more mature brother, I hold my brother’s leash. Nobody seems to understand that he definitely doesn’t listen to me precisely BECAUSE I’m the older and more mature brother.

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Welcome To Sex Ed Of The Future!

, , , , , , | Learning | December 27, 2020

Due to the health crisis, our school is offering classes in virtual mode via Google Meet session.

During one class, I’ve inadvertently turned on the closed captions, where the computer converts my speech to text. Since I’m a math teacher, the words aren’t always accurate. At one point, after talking for about ten minutes, my throat is a little dry and I need to take a sip of water.

Me: “Excuse me, I have a frog in my throat.”

I turn to my water cup and take a sip. As I turn back, I see the interpretation of my last sentence as captions.

Computer: “Excuse me, I have a f*** in my throat.”

I don’t know what subject the computer thinks I’m teaching.

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Further Training Needed

, , , , , | Learning | December 24, 2020

I have a written drivers’ ed test in high school. Typical of standard written tests, you are not supposed to write on the actual test papers but supply a separate sheet with the question numbers followed by your written answers. This is stated multiple times and is written on the top of the test question sheets in big, bold type.

All is going fine, but I then come across the following question:

Exam: “You are driving and your car stalls on railroad tracks. There is no train coming. Do you: A) Run towards the train? or B) Run away from the train?”

I have to stop and reread that one. Then, I quietly snicker.

I circle the question on the test paper, and on my separate written answer sheet, I write my response.

Response: “C) Push the car off of tracks, because there was no train. If there WAS a train, I would then A) Run towards the train, so as to avoid flying debris.”

Of course, the test proctor yells at me when the test paper is returned with the circled question.

Proctor: “Don’t you pay attention?! You were not supposed to mark on the test sheet!”

Me: “Read the question!”

After they do, I get a very sheepish reply.

Proctor: “Oh… Umm, you got that answer right.”

And, technically, it was indeed right; you run at an angle away from the tracks but in the direction the train is coming from, to avoid the flying debris from it striking your car.

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Pulled Her Out Of The Path Of That Bullet

, , , , , | Learning | December 6, 2020

It’s 1988 or 1989. During the lunch break, I am talking with three other girls in my class. We are all sixteen years old. [Girl #1] has been watching too many American high school movies and thinks she is the queen bee in the class. She isn’t. We don’t have one.

Girl #1: *Looking smug* “My new boyfriend has a car.”

We all look at her oddly. You can’t get a driver’s license until you are eighteen. At this time, there is a 180% luxury tax and then 25% VAT on new cars, so none of us know any eighteen-year-olds who own a car.

Girl #2:  “A car? How old is he?”

Girl #1: *Proudly* “Twenty-six!”

Me: “Gaaah!”

Girl #2: “Eeeeew!”

Girl #3: “Whaaaat?”

Me: “What the h*** do you want with a twenty-six-year-old man?”

Girl #2: “What the h*** does a twenty-six-year-old man want with you?!

[Girl #1] is still fiercely proud, despite our reactions.

Girl #1:He says I am very mature for my age.”

We all give her a silent stare for a moment. We have known her for years. She is NOT mature for her age; the queen bee thing, among other things, is a good example. [Girl #1] seems to understand the silence correctly, as she is now going quiet.

Girl #2: “Can you imagine being a twenty-six-year-old man and having to explain to your mates that you are dating a girl who is sixteen years old?”

Me: “They’ll say it’s because he can’t handle a grown-up woman.”

The age of consent in Denmark was and is fifteen, but it isn’t exactly normal to date at fifteen.

One of the boys in our class walks by and asks what we are talking about. When [Girl #2] says it is about [Girl #1] dating a twenty-six-year-old man with a car, he gives [Girl #1] a “What the f***?” look and goes away again. 

[Girl #1] broke up with the man the same day. Apparently, the main reason she was dating him was to impress the rest of us. She still thinks she was the queen bee and wants to talk about it at class reunions. It is sad, really.

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Eye Would Rather You Didn’t

, , , , , , | Learning | December 2, 2020

At the start of the second grade, when I am around seven or eight, my class has its first music class of the year. Our regular teacher takes us down to the music room, and we go in to meet our music teacher. She is very friendly and introduces herself with a little speech.

Teacher: “Some of you might have noticed that I only look at you with one of my eyes. I know people get curious about that, so I’ll tell you why right now: this eye—”

She taps the one not “looking” at us.

Teacher: “—is a fake eye made of glass. I had cancer when I was a child so doctors had to take out my real eye, and I have this one, instead. I’m not telling you because I want you to feel sorry for me; I’m doing just fine with one glass eye and one real eye. I just don’t want you to be scared and confused… like when I was your age and also had a teacher with a glass eye, but he didn’t tell the class. One day, the principal needed to talk to him. Right before he left the classroom, he took out his glass eye, put it on his desk, and told us, ‘I’ll be right back, but I’m keeping my eye on you.'”

Looking back, I appreciate her honesty and how understanding she was of childhood curiosity… but I also wonder if it was hard for her to resist pulling the same prank as her teacher did!

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