No One Deserves To Deal With That

, , , , | Learning | May 23, 2021

I’m an American teaching in Mexico. I’m joking with a new teacher about how badly my digestive system reacted when I first arrived.

Me: “It took me about a month for my stomach to get used to things. I even ended up having to throw away a pair of underwear.”

Teacher: “You threw them away? Why didn’t you wash them?”

Me: “We don’t have a washing machine. Our cleaning woman does our clothes by hand.”

Teacher: “Why didn’t you ask her to wash them?”

Me: “That… might have been a bit much to ask.”

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This Teacher Is A Dark Spot On A Sunny Day

, , , , , | Learning | May 21, 2021

There’s an eclipse today and my entire class wants to see it. My maths teacher, however, is unwilling to let us out of class. Eventually, we stop begging permission and just rush out of class and start peering at the rapidly darkening sky.

We’re not the only ones; pretty much the entire school has crowded into the hallways and parade square to look at the sky.

Math Teacher: “All of you, back into class! What would [Principal] say if he saw you all?!”

My classmate then points down, into the parade square, where the principal is setting up the largest camera I’ve ever seen and pointing it into the sky, cheerfully and excitedly talking with some students.

Our math teacher lets out a scandalised sound of disbelief.

Math Teacher: “Disgraceful! The education system is going to the dogs!”

She then stomped off, leaving us to watch the eclipse in peace. It was amazing, the first anyone in school had ever seen. 

The principal’s photos later wound up as part of the school song music video.

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Laptop Claptrap

, , , , | Learning | May 19, 2021

I was born deaf and have been nonspeaking my whole life. I was diagnosed with severe dyspraxia at four, which has affected my coordination and balance, and with autism at eight.

I have a classroom assistant who helps me communicate with my teacher and the other kids, and because I find writing so tiring and stressful, the school gives me a laptop to use. The laptop doesn’t belong to me and has my name on it along with a label saying, “Property of [School]”.

Sadly, there are some girls who feel it’s unfair that I have been given a laptop and they haven’t.

One afternoon, we’re all going to a hockey match to support our school. I walk to my locker with my classroom assistant and stow my laptop safely. After the match, I open my locker to remove my laptop… and it’s gone! I’m really upset and crying, and my poor classroom assistant can do nothing to cheer me up.

We go to the principal to explain. The next day, during assembly:

Principal: “I will allow the perpetrator to return the laptop to me, without punishment, by the end of school.”

The following day, no laptop. Two days go by, and still no laptop. I am suffering physically and mentally because of the stress. During the next assembly:

Principal: “I will be conducting locker searches if the laptop is not returned by the end of the day.”

Then, one of the teachers comes forward.

Teacher: “I saw a girl from [My Name]’s year giving something rectangular and thin to a boy at the bus stop.”

The girl in question was interviewed but denies it, even though three other girls admitted seeing her do it. I was losing all hope of ever being able to do schoolwork again, as the school wouldn’t replace the laptop until they were certain it wouldn’t be returned.

Then, the principal got a call from the father of a boy who went to one of the other local schools. He turned out to be the boyfriend of the girl the teacher had seen. He’d left the laptop sitting around his home, and his father saw it, didn’t recognise it, and saw my name and the school’s name on the bottom! The laptop was returned to the school and then to me.

The girl who stole it was expelled for theft and disability discrimination. Her boyfriend was suspended from his school and grounded by his father. And me? I NEVER let that laptop out of my sight again!

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This Teacher Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

, , , , , , | Learning | May 17, 2021

When I was in secondary school, we had a young science teacher who was very popular but also sometimes a bit absent-minded. One day, he was teaching about chlorine and, of course, making chlorine gas in the fume cupboard. Having produced enough to make it look suitably impressive, he turned to the class, who was watching in rapt attention.

Teacher: “Now, this is a gas that was used as a weapon in the First World War. It must therefore be treated with great care. Most importantly, you must never do… this!”

He put his head inside the fume cupboard and inhaled deeply. Yes, he gassed himself. He staggered back, coughing and spluttering, and spent the rest of the day — thankfully a nice sunny summer’s day — sitting outside in the school grounds, breathing clean air.

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I’m An Adult And I Wouldn’t Eat It, Either

, , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: _hylas | May 6, 2021

My parents used to try and pull the “if you don’t finish your food you can’t get up from the table” trick, but I’d say, “Fine,” and sit at the table for hours until they gave in. There was no phone, no TV, no anything — just me, some vegetables, and a set of exhausted parents. I was apparently totally capable of just… saying no and sticking to my guns.

Fast forward to a school trip. It’s lunchtime and on offer are sandwiches. A couple of kids have cheese and onion sandwiches, but the rest of us are being offered, insanely, pâté sandwiches. I think this is a crazy thing to feed a group of forty schoolchildren, but clearly, the school didn’t agree. I ask if I can have a cheese and onion sandwich and I’m told that no, I can’t, because I had to sign up for the vegetarian option in advance.

At this age, I have no idea what pâté is, but I can see it and smell it, and I know it’s not happening. I ask again for some cheese and onion sandwiches, and I’m told there’re none left and I’m going to have to eat the other kind.

I was an absolute model student up until the age of, like, sixteen, but there is this one teacher who absolutely hates me regardless. Think, “How dare you write in cursive when I haven’t taught you cursive yet?!” She seizes upon this opportunity.

Teacher: “Don’t be picky! You’re holding everyone up. You should just eat the sandwich.”

I’m poking this thing and the texture is totally freaking me out — my biggest issue with most foods.

Me: “Can I just skip lunch?”

Teacher: “No, absolutely not. You have to eat and you have to eat that sandwich.”

Me: “I’m not trying to be fussy, but if I try and eat that sandwich, I’m going to throw up.”

Teacher: “Stop being dramatic. You’re not going to throw up; you’re just a picky eater and you need to get over it.”

So, I bit into the sandwich, and not fifteen seconds later, I started throwing up everywhere. Clearly, [Teacher] was not expecting this and she had no idea how to react.

A bunch of the other teachers came over to check that everything was okay, and she tried to explain to them what had happened. They had to call my parents — as was the throwing up protocol — and they were very interested to know why the teacher had force-fed their child a lukewarm pâté sandwich.

In the end, they broke out the crisps and an apple because, unsurprisingly, there were things to eat other than meat paste in bread, and [Teacher] gave me a wide berth for a good few weeks.

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