Stop Being A Pill And Get Back To Class

, , , , , | Learning | March 31, 2020

I teach workshops to the general public. I allow a ten-minute break about halfway through. I use breath mints to keep my mouth moist as I have to talk for about three hours. At break time, I finish the last mint and throw the tin away. One of the participants sees me.

Participant: “Hey, don’t do that; you could use those for pills or something.”

Me: “I didn’t need it, so…”

Participant: “Yeah, but those tins are useful. You can use them for pills.”

Me: “Well, I’m not going to take it out of the trash, but feel free if you want to.”

She looked at me like I’m the one who was crazy. At the end of the workshop, I looked in the trash and the tin was still there. I guess she wasn’t that gung-ho about it, after all.

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Wash That Virtue Signaling Right Out Of Your Hair

, , , , , , | Learning | March 20, 2020

(My friend at school is black and I am white. I’ve recently befriended a new girl, who is also white. We’re all three hanging out at lunch, talking about a hair appointment.)

Me: “So, what shampoo do you use? I mean, I’ve never really thought about it, but because you’re black–”

New Girl: *interrupting* “Oh, my God! Don’t say that! She’s African-American, aren’t you, [Friend]?”

Friend: “Uh… I’m not African or American; I’m a Caribbean British person. And yeah, I’m black…”

(The new girl went off in a huff and didn’t talk to us for a few days. I mean, I know appropriate language differs country to country, but she had the same accent as us, so she’s definitely British, too!)

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Those Counselors Made Some Poor Computations

, , , , , , | Learning | March 16, 2020

Years ago, I attended high school in a very small town. This was when computers were just becoming commonplace in schools. Seeing the writing on the wall, I decided to take a typing class.

My guidance counselor denied my request. His actual words were, “You’re on a college track; you’ll be able to hire someone to type for you.”

Remember, this was a small school in a small town. The counselors’ advice was considered infallible. I couldn’t get his denial overturned.

So, I went off to college totally unprepared for the growing need for computer skills, the most basic of which is typing.

The other guidance counselor denied my request to go to the vocational school for automotive training. I believe he said it was because I was a girl and it was an unrealistic goal. I love cars, had watched my dad and uncles do maintenance and repair, and could diagnose problems by feel, sound, and smell. That counselor denied me pursuit of my dream career.

I hope guidance counselors today listen to kids and advise accordingly. Those two men cost me dearly.

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He May Have Rhythm But His Grandparents’ Tone Needs Work

, , , , , | Right | February 17, 2020

(I work in a music school that, among other things, offers classes for babies and toddlers. I get this phone call today.) 

Customer: “Hi. I had a question about registering my grandson for your baby class. I have a coupon from your ad, but can I use that if I register online?”

Me: “Sure, there will be a part in the online form to put your coupon information from the ad.”

Customer: “Oh, great! I’m so excited to get him started! He’s always wiggling and moving around when he hears music. His mother and I never moved like that. It must be from his father; he’s one-quarter black.”

Me: *speechless*

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Just Wait Until They Start Playing “Monopoly”

, , , , , , | Learning | February 14, 2020

(I teach English to Chinese students online. The company I teach for uses a computer program with cute characters and games. In this particular lesson, I’m teaching the students how to haggle and bargain in English. One scenario has a character haggling for toys. The toys are around the $20 range.)

Me: “Okay, so, [Character] wants the toy train, but it’s too expensive. What should he say to lower the price?”

Student #1: “How about one dollar?”

Me: *laughs* “Okay, he can try that. Not sure if he’ll be successful.”

(I turn to another student)

Me: “Okay, [Student #2], now [Character] wants the toy plane. What should he say?”

Student #2: “How about zero dollars?”

Me: *laughs* “Okay, you’re right, but again, I don’t know if he’ll accept that.”

(The other students followed suit and most of the other “offers” through the rest of the lesson were either free or a few cents. While I’m glad that they understood the lesson and I got a laugh out of it, I hope they don’t try that in the real world. They’ll be completely disappointed if they do.)

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