Snickerdoodles Start Fights

, , , , , , | Learning | May 16, 2018

(One of the girls in my research lab, [Labmate #1], moved from Iraq to the US when she was twelve, and although her English is excellent, she’ll occasionally still need an explanation of more obscure phrases and idioms. One weekend she agrees to take care of the lab mice, usually my job, so that I can go visit my family. I bake her a batch of cookies to thank her. When I come in, she’s working with the microscope, and [Labmate #2]’s girlfriend is hanging around waiting for [Labmate #2] to show up.)

Me: “Hey, [Labmate #1]! Thanks for taking care of the mice! I made you snickerdoodles as a thank-you.”

Labmate #1: “Oh, thanks.”

(She takes the plate but makes the, “I don’t know that word and I don’t want to ask,” face, so I explain.)

Me: “Snickerdoodles are basically sugar cookies with cinnamon. I added extra cinnamon, since I know that’s your favorite.”

Labmate #1: “Ooh, thanks!”

(Her eyes light up, and she happily rips the foil off the plate and takes a huge bite out of a cookie.)

Girlfriend: “Excuse me?!”

(I turn around to see [Labmate #2]’s girlfriend glaring at me.)

Me: “What?”

Girlfriend: “How dare you assume that just because she wasn’t born here, she doesn’t know English! That’s so racist of you!”

Labmate #1: *on her third cookie* “Dude, chill. English is my third language, and there’s still some words I don’t know.”

Girlfriend: “But she shouldn’t have assumed you didn’t know! That’s so rude!”

Labmate #1: “But I didn’t know.” *to me* “Was I making the face?”

Me: “You were totally making the face.”

Labmate #1: “There you go. Now I know what these are, and I have cookies.” *goes back to eating*

Girlfriend: “You should have waited for her to ask!”

Labmate #1: “Will you chill out? It might be different for different people, but for us, this is not a big deal. If you keep making a fuss, I’m not sharing my cookies with you.”

Me: “Are you sure you’re sharing at all? You’re a dozen cookies in already.”

Labmate #1: *taking another cookie* “Yeah, I’m probably not sharing. So, do you want me to take care of the mice this weekend, as well? I will totally mouse-sit for more cookies!”

(I had to laugh, and the girlfriend huffed and left. When we told [Labmate #2] later, she rolled her eyes. That relationship didn’t last long.)

It’s Good On Paper

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 13, 2018

My brother had just finished soccer practice in his senior year and decided to drive his friend home. On the way to her house, a distracted driver ended up rear-ending the two of them into an intersection, where the passenger side was hit by a van going 50 miles per hour. My brother broke four ribs in the crash and managed to roll out of the car. He stood up and tried to make his way back to help his friend, puncturing a lung in the process. Eventually, a bystander managed to restrain my brother so he wouldn’t be injured further. The girl was taken into intensive care, and we didn’t know what was happening with her for a long time.

I was in the same high school as my brother, and I was allowed to take a week off to stay with him in recovery. He was incredibly worried about his friend, and he was starting to get depressed. That’s around the time people started coming to see him. Throughout his stay he had nearly the entire school visit him, both students and staff. The nurses actually had to start getting involved to make sure not too many people were in the waiting room at a time. Each and every person brought him an origami swan.

We learned that the day after the accident the entire school shut down all its activities. Instead, everyone was taught how to make origami swans, which signify health and quick healing. Everyone spent the entire day folding them for my brother and his friend. My brother received over 3,000 swans. When he was finally released and he went back to school for the first time, we found the entire school covered in swans. They were hanging from the ceiling in nearly every room. One of his friends even managed to make a seven-foot tall swan that the school kept in the cafeteria.

My brother and his friend miraculously recovered. Even the doctors were baffled that there was no permanent damage to either of them. My school had those swans hanging in the hallways until the day it shut down. It might be silly to think little pieces of paper could make a difference in a life-or-death situation, but I can’t help but be thankful for each and every one of them.

Micro Realization Is A Big Problem

, , , , , | Learning | May 12, 2018

(We’ve just received instructions on how to ready a solution for one of our labs. Per the instructions, the solution needs to be heated to boiling in a microwave, and we have been told that it takes about a minute for one flask to boil. As there are only a few microwaves in the class, my classmates and I put multiple flasks in at once. After about a minute:)

Classmate #1: *concerned* “It’s not boiling!”

Me: “The microwaves are being distributed across multiple items, so it will take longer than what the TA told us. We just have to watch for it to boil.”

Classmate #2: *light-bulb goes off* “So that’s why my hot dogs are always cold!”

(These were all pre-med students, so I was very concerned for the future of our healthcare system.)

Emperor Of The Ridiculous

, , , , , , | Learning | May 8, 2018

(My state requires all highschoolers to take a class about money management, getting insurance policies, etc. It’s basic life stuff that most of us know already. We used to be able to opt out of it, but we can’t anymore, and the teachers hate it almost as much as the students. The teacher I have it with is a language and literature teacher I’ve had before, so she’s used to me reading and doodling through class and still getting the right answers, and she’s too annoyed by the class itself to bother demanding I pay attention.)

Classmate: “The book report on a businessperson is due next week! I’m doing mine on Steve Jobs! Who are you doing yours on?”

Me: *still drawing* “Emperor Joshua Norton the First.”

Classmate: “Who’s that? I never heard of him.”

Me: “He lived in San Francisco in the 1850s, and when he went bankrupt, he went kind of nuts and declared himself the Emperor of the United States, and the rest of the city totally went along with it, and treated him like the emperor.”

Classmate: “That doesn’t count! He went bankrupt; he wasn’t a good businessman!”

Me: “Show me where in the assignment it said they had to be good at business.”

(My classmate immediately appeals it to the teacher, who smirks and takes my side, on the basis that the guy WAS a businessman, and that would be more entertaining to read that than the endless reports on Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett. Our next assignment is to fill out a fake insurance claim.)

Classmate: “I’m claiming a branch fell on my car. What are you doing?”

Me: “I’m a rancher, and a herd of zombies ate my cattle.”

Classmate: “You can’t do that! Zombies aren’t real!”

Me: “Yeah, I’m not sure whether to file it as an act of god, or animal damage. Good thing I got comprehensive coverage on my cows, so they’re covered either way.”

(Yet again, my classmate complains to the teacher, and yet again, she takes my side, since I am doing the assignment. This goes on until the end of the year, when our final assignment is to give ourselves an entry-level job, find an apartment listing we could afford on that salary, and write a budget for the month, with things like electricity and taxes.)

Classmate: “There’s no way you can screw this one up! What’s your job?”

Me: “Assassin. Or hitwoman, if you want to be technical.”

Classmate: “You can’t f****** do that!”

Me: “Sure I can. It’s an entry-level job that I have the skillset for, and I can’t find a median salary for American hitmen, but I found it for Canadian and Australian hitmen, so I can extrapolate a rough US salary from that, and round down for a beginner. I found a great apartment that’s well within my budget, and since it’s an under-the-table job, I’m paid in cash and I don’t have to worry about taxes or a checking account. I’m burning the building down and faking my own death at the end of the month to avoid prosecution and improve my career prospects.”

Classmate: “THAT’S NOT F****** FAIR!”

(Surprise, surprise, the teacher sided with me again, and told me later that my assignments were at least entertaining to read, in a lowest-common-denominator class. Ridiculous answers for ridiculous questions.)

Happy Birthday To Whom?

, , , , , | Learning | May 6, 2018

(I’m in class. A classmate shows up carrying balloons and some gifts.)

Me: “I feel like it’s someone’s birthday?”

Classmate #1: “Yeah, I thought so, too.”

Birthday Girl: “Yeah, it’s my birthday.”

(We both ignore her and continue musing out loud that we feel like it’s someone’s birthday. My teacher is known for being silly.)

Teacher: “It’s someone’s birthday?”

Birthday Girl: “Yeah.”

(Our teacher then points to a shy girl that sits in the back.)

Teacher: “[Shy Girl], it’s your birthday! Everyone sing her happy birthday!”

(The shy girl has a bewildered look on her face. The whole class of 26 kids start singing the birthday song, and at the end everyone claps. Throughout the song, people get really into it and start wishing her a happy birthday.)

Shy Girl: “It’s not even my birthday.”

Birthday Girl: *upset look* “It’s my birthday.”

Teacher: “Fine. Everyone sing her happy birthday.”

(Only four people start singing, start seeing that it’s not going anywhere, and just stop mid-song.)

Teacher: “Well, now that it’s over, we can start lecture.”

Birthday Girl: “OH, COME ON!”

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