What A Greasy World

, , , , , , | Learning | September 1, 2018

(As a first-year high school student, I’m required to take a semester of geography. It’s the first day of school and as a fun exercise, my teacher gives us five minutes to list as many countries as we can that do not contain the letter A within its name. As a prize, the teacher will award five points extra credit to the student or group that list the most countries. I come up with what I believe to be a good list, but spend the entire time trying to rack my brain for more. Once that is done, the teacher asks us to get into groups and compare our answers before submitting them to her.)

Classmate #1: “This was really hard. The only country I could think of that didn’t have an A was Europe.”

Me: “Europe is a continent, not a country, so your answer doesn’t count.”

Classmate #2: “That’s okay. I wrote down Mexico as well as Mississippi, Illinois, New York, and Ohio.”

Me: “Mexico is good, but the rest are just the names of States. As far as I know, there isn’t a state today that is legally considered its own country.”

Classmate #3: “I have London, Sydney, and Tokyo.”

Me: *mentally banging my head on the desk* “Those are famous cities, not countries.”

Classmate #1: “Well, if you’re so smart, let’s see what you have.”

Me: “I have Mexico, Chile, Peru, Greece, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Turkey, Morocco, and the Philippines. I was trying to name a dozen, but I couldn’t think of more before time was up.”

Classmate #3: “I haven’t heard of most of those countries. You sure you’re not making some of those up?”

Me: “If you don’t believe me, look them up yourself.”

Classmate #2: “Wait a minute.” *points to where I’ve written “Greece”* “You spelled that wrong. It should be spelled G-R-E-A-S-E.”

Me: “You’re thinking of the grease like greasy food you’d get at a fast food joint, or quite possibly the musical. The country of Greece is spelled the way I have it written down. What I want to know is have you guys ever look at a globe or a world map before?”

(I don’t know which was worse that class period: the fact that I didn’t get the extra credit because someone listed more countries that I did, or the fact that the answers from the think tank I was grouped with were considered the typical answers by the teacher.)

Cupcakes Have Restorative Ingredients

, , , , , , | Hopeless | August 11, 2018

Last Thursday at school, the whole school was under a medical lockdown for two periods in the middle of the day; no one was allowed to leave the room they were in. We later discovered a much-loved teacher had collapsed, and suffered a heart attack in front of his students and fellow staff.

Unfortunately, paramedics were unable to revive him, and he passed away just after third period started. Our whole school was very shocked, and understandably a lot of students and staff were very saddened at the news.

The next day, there was a “dark cloud” over the whole school and the lessons were certainly not as cheerful as normal. A boy in my class took it upon himself to bake cupcakes for all the staff at school — 144 cupcakes in one night — plus ice them all, and leave a note saying, “It may not be a relief but just know that we are all here for you. -A message from all of your students.”

He really did restore my faith in humanity.

Goody-Goody Bad-Bad

, , , , , , , , | Learning | August 2, 2018

When I was in school I was pretty much the most picked-on kid in school. I never broke a school rule, I did all my homework, and I was friends with some teachers. I hated getting in trouble due to uber-strict parents, so I always did as I was told. However, I always struggled to make friends, mainly due to being such a goody-goody, so when I made a few friends I didn’t want to upset them.

One day we were hanging out in the art room and my friends were sitting on the tables chilling, whilst another goody-goody and I sat in chairs and did some tidying for the teacher. After a while the others started getting a bit rowdy and began to stand on chairs and things. As they weren’t damaging anyone’s art work, and as we didn’t want to lose them as friends, we goody-goodies left them to it.

A teacher walked by, saw them being rowdy, and hauled all of us in front of the head teacher. We all got yelled at for breaking school rules — standing on the chairs — and then the rowdy group was let go. The other goody-goody and I were then told off for not either stopping our friends or coming to get a teacher to stop them.

That’s the day I lost faith in those teachers, as I’d previously told them of people copying off me in tests and breaking school rules, only to have been told to stop being so good and let kids be kids.

Teaching These Days Can Be Murder

, , , , , | Learning | August 1, 2018

(I am in my first semester of college, and one of my teachers for a music theory class starts showing up irregularly. I am in his first class, which meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. After about a week of it, I happen to run into a classmate from that class.)

Classmate: “Remember how he canceled all classes on Wednesday?”

Me: “Yeah, that following Friday he said he’d been sick and didn’t want to spread it to any of the music students.”

Classmate: “Yep. And then his car broke down on Monday, so only our class was canceled.”

Me: “And now today.”

Classmate: “About that… as I was walking by his door and saw the note, I said, ‘What did he do? Die?’ One of the other teachers said, ‘Yes,’ and walked away.”

Me: “What? Was she joking?”

(It turns out… no, they weren’t joking. Later that evening word got out. The previous night, he had apparently collected his mother from the nursing home, strangled her to death with a rope, and then hanged himself. In the meantime, the college bent over backwards getting us a substitute and creating many memorials for him. I don’t know how long that lasted, however, because not everyone was pleased with the college’s decision to honor him. As one angry student said, “The ONLY reason he’s not in jail for murder is because he killed himself!” I suspect they eventually realized it was rather… awkward to memorialize a murderer, despite how much they missed him.)

What The Duck?

, , , , , | Learning | July 28, 2018

(My teacher momentarily leaves the classroom during a book reading and as expected, the class descends into child-anarchy for five minutes. Just conversations about TV shows and whatnot, but one boy sitting next to me is reenacting a scene, instead. He is yelling all the lines exaggeratedly, and even laughs in the place of the laugh-track used in sitcoms. I am not very social and don’t feel a need to talk to anyone purely because the teacher is absent for a few minutes. I am actually trying to finish the story we have been reading, but the boy next to me is making it impossible. While mustering the courage to ask him to quiet down, I am debating whether to ask politely or try and assert dominance: “Can you be quiet?” or “Just shut up!” What comes out instead is:)

Me: “Can you just quuck up?!”

(The surrounding kids that heard me went silent before bursting out into even louder laughter.)

Loud Boy: *laughs* “Sure, I can quack up! QUACK QUACK QUACK!”

(I groaned in shame and put my head down until the teacher came back. The next month was spent with me feeling humiliated while being taunted with “quack” jokes for my word fumble. Like other moments during that age, it was either quickly forgotten about or turned into a fond memory I learned to laugh at myself for.)

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