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Just Can’t Put Your Finger On It

, , , , , , | Learning | May 11, 2022

When I was in sixth grade, I played the flute in band. We didn’t have lockers at the school, but the band room did have cubbies, so we’d usually leave our instruments in our cubbies and get them after school so it was one less thing to cart around.

One day, a friend and I stayed after for a club and we stopped in the band room on the way out to get our instruments. We ended up running into another friend and started a conversation. Then, he got a message that his mom was waiting outside.

Friend: “Hey, [My Name], my mom’s outside. We gotta go.”

Me: “Okay, just let me get my flute.”

I went back to my cubby and my flute was missing.

Me: “Hey, [Friend], have you seen my flute?”

Friend: “…[My Name]?”

Me: “No, seriously, we’ve got to find my flute.” *Starting to panic* “Oh, my God, if it got stolen… It’s not even mine yet!”

Friend: “[My Name].”

Me: “Crap. Where’s my flute? Where’s [Teacher]?”

Friend: “[My Name].”

Me: “No, I’m serious! My parents are still paying this off! It’s not my flute yet! If it got stolen, I’m—”

Friend: *Grabbing my arm* “[My Name]!”

Me: “What?”

Friend: *Lifts my hand* “Is this what you were looking for?”

Yes, I had in fact been holding my flute the entire time. Both my friends were laughing at me; I kind of started to laugh at it, too.

Friend: “I was surprised it took you so long. You looked right at it like five times.”

Me: “Let’s just go. Never tell anyone about this.”

Of course, being the twelve- and thirteen-year-olds that we were, it kind of became a running joke for him to remind me to make sure I had my flute.

This Is A Game You Are Not Going To Win

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 14, 2022

I go to a university that focuses on art, including fields like visual effects/special effects, game design, concept design, and animation. Two of my roommates are also game design majors and thus attended a forty-eight-hour game jam at my school, which basically means they and a group of however-many-people they wanted had to make a game following a theme within forty-eight hours. 

Usually, for the game jam they participated in, all concepts, characters, and everything from modeling to coding to even a video trailer that is used as “grading” criteria is done within said forty-eight hours after the announcement of the theme. 

However, this year, due to makeup classes that fell during the game jam, the school delayed it by a week but still announced the theme. This meant that all teams had up to a week to at least think of a concept that fit the theme; as long as no assets were previously made, it technically wasn’t against the rules.

My two roommates were in a team of fourteen people and had already grouped up together and taken over a classroom when a different group asked to use some computers in the classroom at the back. They reluctantly agreed, mostly since there were still free computers.

Along came this girl who started asking nosy questions. When they questioned her, she claimed that she was a game jam official and was thus looking around at the games. This was later proven a lie, as she was mostly looking at the concepts and trying to pick and choose a group to participate in the game jam with. This was very short notice, as my roommate, the overall team leader, had compiled the fourteen-person group at least a few weeks in advance.

The nosy girl made her first mistake by trying to kiss up to a guy that she thought was the lead, ignoring my roommate who kept answering her questions as the actual team lead. 

By the time she figured it out, my roommate had already rejected her, as they already had a solid team and my roommate also could not figure out what in tarnation her major was; her answers fluctuated from animator to a user-interface designer. Later, we found out her major was special effects — bearing a passing resemblance to animation but nothing like user interface.

Eventually, this girl (who managed to bother almost everyone else participating in the game jam) joined the group that was in the same room as my roommates, which turned out to be a fairly obnoxious group, as they would do loud cartoon voices without caring about the other people who were working. 

Even worse, at one point, when a professor walked through, they blatantly lied that my roommates’ group had had “weeks of preparation”. (One week. They had one week, with no models done beforehand or even more than the concept discussed and finalized.) The professor attempted to be a diplomat by telling them that while my roommate’s group had better gameplay, but the obnoxious team had better art.

Eventually, the final day rolled around, and the girl walked up to my roommate’s group and commented on how similar their game was to another group’s and how she sometimes forgot it was a different game. 

Not only were the games not similar except for both having the same word in their title and having animals as protagonists, but this was incredibly rude to do, considering she essentially insinuated that their hours of work didn’t matter due to the games “being similar”.

Nobody reacted. This tactful, diplomatic, and absolutely not at all petty girl proceeded to say it louder, and then had the audacity to go, “Oh, oops, I shouldn’t have said that.” Sure.

Eventually, the game jam finished, and all of the groups were tallied up. Not only did the obnoxious group’s game not fit the theme at all, but my roommate’s team won Best Art. (What was that about their art being better, professor?)

What got me about this whole situation was how extremely quickly this girl burned several possible future professional bridges in less than a single weekend. My roommates are pretty well-connected, and a lot of their friends who also participated in the jam complained about this girl. Even I preemptively blocked this girl without participating in the jam or having met her.

This Is Why We Used Cheerios In My Class

, , , , , | Learning | April 8, 2022

I was in first grade in the mid-1990s. My class is currently learning addition and just about everyone is counting on their fingers. We are working on a math sheet in class and I finish mine pretty quickly.

I peer over at the girl sitting next to me and notice that some of her answers are wrong. Upon further observation, I see that she, much like the others, is using her fingers to count, which is fine until she goes to count the fingers on her next hand. When adding numbers such as three and three, she will start with three fingers up on one hand and then raise the other two fingers on her hand for the next three. Then, she moves to her other hand for the last one, but the thumb on her other hand goes up (or out, rather) at the same time as her pointer finger. Then, she counts how many fingers she actively has up. She then writes seven under the total line.

Being the outgoing and kind-hearted child that I am, I try to point out what she is doing wrong.

Me: “Hey, [Girl], that answer’s wrong.”

Girl: *Defensive immediately* “No, it’s not!”

Me: “I can show you. See, when you count—”

Girl: “Leave me alone, [My Name]. You’re doing it wrong!”

Me: “But, when you count on your fingers, you’re—”

She slams her pencil down and puts her hands up near my face with three fingers up on her right hand and her left hand in a closed fist.

Girl: “I’m not doing it wrong, see?! One.” *Her right pinky finger goes up* “Two.” *Her right thumb goes up* “THREE!” *Pointer AND thumb on her left hand go up* “See?! Seven fingers! Three plus three is seven! I’m not wrong! Leave me alone!”

It was at that moment, at the ripe old age of six, that I learned that it’s pointless to argue with a stupid person.


, , , , , | Learning Legal | April 6, 2022

I’m in high school in the early 2000s. There has been an announcement that we will all stay in our current class — in my case, Spanish — until further notice due to a lockdown. We have had lockdown drills before, so that’s what we think it is. The classroom is off the central courtyard where we eat lunch, and there’s a giant window.

Teacher: “That’s odd. Normally, they tell teachers if there’s a drill.”

She locks the door to the classroom, shoves a couple of chairs in front of the door, and motions to a classmate to turn off the lights. About forty-five minutes later…

Classmate #1: “This is a long drill. I’m hungry.”

Classmate #2: “Did we miss the all-clear?”

Classmate #3: “I hear voices outside. I bet we missed it.”

Teacher: “I’ll call the office.”

She picks up the phone. I see movement out the window in the courtyard out of the corner of my eye. I turn my head to see what it is.

Me: “Um…Señora [Teacher], there are cops in the courtyard.”


Everyone turned toward the window. Not only were there cops, but there was also a SWAT team with guns drawn heading toward our side of the building. My teacher dropped the phone, let out an exclamation in Spanish, and ordered us all to get down. We dropped to the floor. We stayed like that for another thirty minutes until an all-clear is finally given. We found out later that a kid had brought a BB gun to school and told his friends that it was a real gun. Hence, the lockdown.

Hail Hydrate!

, , , , , | Learning | April 3, 2022

We were in health class at school while they were explaining how you need so many cups of water every day.

Teacher: “Soda doesn’t count, though. It’s a diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more often. That means a can of soda will remove more water than it adds.

Friend: “Oh, no. I think I may be in the negatives!”

Thankfully for my soda-loving friend, while soda is a diuretic, it still tends to add more liquid than it removes. It’s not a good source of hydration, but it is better than nothing.