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Making Assumptions About Assumptions

, , , , , | Learning | July 5, 2022

I’m on a high school trivia team, and we are going through a practice game to prepare for the upcoming tournament. I’m on a team with three other people, one of whom is a person I’ve known for almost four years, and I am close with his girlfriend. I am given an assigned question which means I am the only player allowed to answer it.

The teacher asks a question about a country, and I do not know the answer.

Teammate: *Excitedly* “Oh, oh, [My Name]!”

He points to himself while giving me a look as if I should know the answer. I remember that his family is from Honduras and I assume that he is giving me the answer.

Me: “Honduras.”

Teacher: “Incorrect.”

Teammate: “[My Name]! The answer was Mexico! That’s why I was pointing at myself.”

Me: “[Teammate], you arent from Mexico; you’re from Honduras.”

Teammate: “Yeah, but everyone always assumes that I’m from Mexico. I figured you would too.”

Me: “[Teammate #2] is actually Mexican. Why didn’t you point at her?”

Teammate: “Oh, crap.”

We went on to lose three out of four of our games in the first half of the tournament, and then we lost four out of five of our games in the second half. We did not move on to the playoffs for obvious reasons.

This Is Why This Editor Is Not A Parent

, , , , , | Right | July 3, 2022

In college, I spent one summer working for a residential program for kids with behavioral disorders. There were about twelve kids and five members of staff.

We were eating breakfast. The kid sitting next to me wolfed down a bowl of cheesy grits entirely too fast and promptly puked them back up all over himself (and partially on me).

It was CRITICAL to model calmness there or else chaos would ensue. Before anyone could start freaking out, I put on my best “teacher voice,” settled them down, sent the kid upstairs to change clothes, cleaned up the puddle of puke, and then sat down and resumed eating my breakfast as though nothing had happened.

Coworker: “[My Name], I think you’re ready for motherhood.”

Don’t Like Your Style

, , , , , , | Learning Working | July 1, 2022

My longtime stylist has started teaching at a cosmetology school. She asks if I would be willing to be a “hair model” for students to observe her technique in exchange for a free cut and style. I agree and come by the school at the specified time.

I have curly hair that I normally keep very long, but I have decided that I want to go shoulder-length. [Stylist] introduces me to her class and has me take a seat.

Stylist: “What are we doing today, [My Name]?”

Me: “I’d like to go shoulder-length with some layers, please.”

Stylist: “Are you sure? It may not work with your curly hair.”

Me: “I’m sure. I want to try something different.”

Stylist: “Okay, if you say so.”

She starts cutting while talking to her students about technique, customer preferences, and the like.

Stylist: “And sometimes customers ask for something that may not work for their type of hair or face shape. But we do it anyway, even if we think it won’t look good!”

Me: “It’s my hair. If I don’t like it, it’ll grow.”

Stylist: “See what I mean, guys?”

Her students chuckle. I roll my eyes. She finishes up and turns me around.

Stylist: “And you’re done! See, class, not as hard as you think it is.”

She has barely taken any length off and there are no layers. My hair is still several inches below my shoulders.

Me: “This isn’t what I asked for.”

Stylist: “Sure it is.”

Me: “I asked for shoulder-length with layers, and this is not it.”

Stylist: “If you don’t like it, then go somewhere else.”

A couple of students let out an “Ooooh”.

Me: “Wow.”

I walk out. I go to another salon a couple of weeks later. A different stylist does exactly what I ask for, and it looks fabulous! I decide to start going to her, instead.

About a year later, I get a text from my former stylist.

Stylist: “Hey, it’s been a while. Can I set up an appointment for you?”

Me: “Remember when you told me to go somewhere else if I didn’t like my hair?”

Stylist: “Oh, I have to be like that with students. I didn’t mean it.”

Me: “I have shoulder-length hair and a new stylist. Don’t contact me again.”

I went to my new stylist for several years until she moved out of the area.

Why Wouldn’t They Be Sure?!

, , , , | Learning | June 21, 2022

My foster daughter does online school, but she has to go to the youth center to take her PSATs. We walk in a few minutes early and are greeted by the woman in charge.

Woman: “Good morning, girls. Are you both here to take your PSATs?”

Me: “She is. I’m in my thirties.”

Woman: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Gotta Admit, The Kid’s Done His Homework

, , , , | Learning | June 13, 2022

Back when I was in high school, there was one kid who sat next to me in homeroom and always had his nose in a book. One of his peculiarities was that he refused to stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of school; he would just continue reading through it. All of us had long since gotten used to this.

One day, we had a substitute filling in who was not used to this and clearly didn’t approve.

Substitute: “Stand up.”

Student: “No, thank you.”

Substitute: “You need to—”

It was at about this time that we finished the Pledge. The substitute sort of trailed off as he apparently realized ordering someone to say the Pledge now that the Pledge was already over was kind of pointless. He waited until the rest of the announcements were over before returning to ask the student why he didn’t say the Pledge.

Me: “He never says the Pledge.”

Substitute: “Why not?”

Student: “I don’t approve of it, it’s a waste of time, and I’d rather read my book.”

Substitute: “It’s not a waste of time. It’s how you show your patriotism.”

Student: “I like our country, but I’m not swearing blind obedience to it. If tomorrow, Hitler Jr. becomes president and starts rounding people up, I’d have no qualms about saying it no longer deserved my support.”

Substitute: “That isn’t what the Pledge says!’

Student: “Regardless, it’s a waste of time with an uncomfortable association with McCarthyism. It’s not like anyone was going to betray America but decided not to because they suddenly remembered they were forced to say some rote pledge in elementary school. And I don’t care what the courts say; forcing someone to say, ‘under God,’ is a clear violation of the first amendment.”

Substitute: “Well, you can explain that all to the principal, then.”

Student: “I’d be happy to, but if that was a threat of punishment, I should point out that the Supreme Court has already ruled that I have the first amendment right to not say the Pledge. Are you going to show your patriotism by trying to violate the most sacred tenet afforded to me by the country you claim to love?”

The substitute seemed taken aback by that. He was saved from trying to figure out a response to that by the bell signaling that it was time to head to our first period.

We never saw that substitute again, which is a shame. Apparently, the student had been rehearsing his own parody pledge to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which he planned to say if that substitute, or anyone else, tried to compel him to take part in the Pledge of Allegiance again. I’d really have loved to see that.