Some People Really, REALLY Should Not Have Kids

, , , , , | Friendly | September 3, 2020

I had a classmate who was lovely but not really bright. She had gotten pregnant and was telling me how it happened. She genuinely believed her boyfriend wouldn’t be able to impregnate her because he smoked. I asked her when she found out. She told me she went to the doctor and he told her she was just a bit pregnant. The Dutch love sarcasm.

So, she went on with her daily life thinking she was partially pregnant. Eventually, she had an ultrasound and that is when it hit her. They got married, and five months after giving birth, she was at the doctor again believing she was just a bit pregnant. 

They are expecting baby number three now.

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It All Comes Out In The Wash

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 18, 2020

Back when I was at school in the early 2000s, there was a mentally disabled boy in my year. I never asked or figured out exactly what his disability was but it was sufficient that he had a dedicated special needs teacher in class with him for the full duration of our time at school.  

The permanent presence of said support teacher warded him from any direct bullying, although there were a lot of comments when people were out of hearing range. Being something of an outcast myself due to my autism, I felt a certain degree of affinity with him and often paired with him in classes that required partnering to offer him support. Whilst doing this, I learned that the thing that made him happier than anything else on the planet… was a washing machine.

I never figured out why, but watching washing go round and round filled him with utter joy, and I have to say, I was kind of jealous that he was able to gain such satisfaction from something so simple whilst I wallowed in undiagnosed depression through the bulk of my school days.

After school, I moved away for university and then work. Recently, I moved back into the local area, and whilst doing some errands around town, I walked past the local laundry and saw my old schoolmate inside. I popped in to say hello and, sure enough, he remembered me.

He was still with a carer; however, I learned that he worked twelve hours a week at this laundry as part of a community scheme to support disabled people and help them find employment in the local area.

The look on his face as he watched an entire wall of washing machines spinning away makes me smile even as I write this now. I’m so happy that he managed to truly find his ideal place in life, as so very few of us do.

This story is part of our feel-good roundup for August 2020!

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Read the feel-good August 2020 roundup!

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A Quarter’s Twenty-Five Cents; Kindness Is Priceless

, , , , , , | Learning | August 17, 2020

When I was in middle school, cell phones weren’t yet common, and nobody my age had one yet. I ate lunch near the one payphone in my school.

One lunchtime, there was a guy asking everyone if they had a quarter he could borrow since he needed to call his parents for whatever reason. I always had a few, due to missing the bus semi-regularly, so I gave him one. He thanked me, promised to pay me back, and then walked away, and I promptly forgot all about it.

I’m not sure how many days or weeks later it was when I was surprised at lunch by this random guy coming up to me and handing me a quarter!

It seems like such a small thing, but just the fact that he remembered me and paid me back, when he really didn’t have to, meant enough for me to still remember it clearly to this day.

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Just Throw The Whole Administration Away

, , , , | Learning | August 16, 2020

When I am younger, I join my middle school’s student council. I soon find that the president is a little controlling, but I try to avoid her if possible. One of the student council jobs is emptying recycling bins of water bottles into a larger bin across the small campus which accepts bottles and cans. My friend has given me a fruit drink in a can, which I have finished and am trying to put in the recycling can just as the president walks up to empty it.

President: “Hey, you can’t throw that away in here!”

Me: “Why not? It’s metal, and this bin accepts metal cans.”

President: “No, it doesn’t!”

She points to a paper sign on the side that says, “Water Bottles Only”.

President: “It only accepts plastic bottles!

Me: “The big bins over there accept cans, and that’s where you are taking this bin!”

President: “Then why don’t you put this in the bin over there?!”

Me: “This one’s just going there right now. Why would I waste my time walking there when I could just save a trip?!”

My friend, who has been next to me the whole time, speaks up.

Friend: “Come on, [My Name]. This isn’t worth arguing about. Let’s go.” 

I ended up throwing the can into the trash and quitting the next year. I couldn’t avoid the president, as I had three months of morning announcements performed by the student council with her.

This story is part of our Recycling roundup!

Read the next Recycling roundup story!

Read the Recycling roundup!

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Laziness Doesn’t Pay

, , , , , | Learning | August 10, 2020

I have Aspergers, but I don’t go about saying I do because it doesn’t define me. But it makes socialising and being able to work in groups extremely difficult for me. However, this is something I had to suck up as I had to do a lot of group projects for classes. There is one project that sticks out to me that was doomed from the beginning — a project worth 60% of my final grade for the class in question.

I was placed in a group of five people, none of whom were native English speakers, so there was a communication barrier anyway. But two spoke the language rather well apart from getting a few words mixed up here and there. As it’s the only language I speak, I offered to do my part of the project alongside a proofread to check for errors, etcetera, and we all walked away happy.

I don’t live on campus as my house is literally one train away and tickets cost me approximately £110 per month, which is what I would be paying per week to live in student accommodation. That meant we had to work out times amongst the daily commute I had to do.

We worked out a schedule that was suitable around commutes and other classes and I thought that was it. We had four weeks to do the project so there was plenty of time to do it. However, one person in the group decided to lag.

He refused to turn up for scheduled meetings, whined how he had to do the main bulk of the project, and just generally gave off an air of not caring. But there was a catch. His part was the second part of the project, and someone else in the group couldn’t do their part until he had done his, which meant I couldn’t do my part. A week prior, we met up and decided to make his part the last bit so we could actually do the work. But he didn’t turn up for the meeting, so we messaged him to let him know this.

We thought he would be okay with this but he threw a tantrum. He said he wanted to do the main bulk as he was the best at the class in question out of us all. Two days of arguing came after this and we decided we would do drafts of the parts we had switched to in case he didn’t do it.

The project was due on Monday morning at noon. I was working the whole weekend doing twelve-hour shifts. I sent a message saying I needed to have his part and the other person’s whose part was in between ours completed by Friday so I could work on it that afternoon when I finished work, and also the morning it was due. 

No response came. I sent numerous messages to him asking for him to finish his part but he didn’t respond to a single one. This began to really stress me out because the class in question was compulsory to get into my final year. I needed to pass. I continued to message him, as did the other group members as we were all getting frustrated with this guy. 

He finally sent his part over… three hours before the project was due in. This meant we had three hours to write three separate parts and put it all together, and for me to do the proofread. Not ideal, but doable.

We all got our parts done and they sent it all over to me so I could check it all for any errors. However, there was one big error. It turns out when we messaged him that we were changing our parts so we wouldn’t need to wait on him, he took it seriously, despite throwing a tantrum to keep his original part. This meant we now had two conclusions and the main bulk wasn’t even done and it was an hour before it was to be handed in. 

The other group members were furious when I told them this, and once again, he didn’t reply when I asked for the correct part. Basically, I bit the bullet and did the main bulk of it myself. I clipped it in and sent it in to be marked. I got a message from the guy in question a couple of hours later curious that I had “taken out” his part and redone it all. This did it for me and I sent him a very, very long response explaining I hadn’t “taken out” his part; he hadn’t done the part he threw a tantrum over as he didn’t want an “easy” thing to do but instead did the “easy” thing despite it not being his part. 

We scraped a pass, as in, by a couple of marks. The other group members were disheartened by this as we were working our butts off and here was this guy only doing his part a couple of hours before it was due in, and he somehow did the wrong part even after he refused to do that part. I emailed the lecturer and sent over all the correspondence to see if we could potentially be marked individually, instead.

This is something that is almost never asked, but I’d sent all the evidence over. Surprisingly, the lecturer agreed to do so but did state that, as the project was a group one, this would still remain the official grade but when it came to finals it would be taken into consideration. A week later, we received updated grades on the project and I was pleased that it was much higher than the one we had been awarded as a group.

When this guy found out, though, he threw a giant tantrum in the middle of the lecture hall, calling us names and cursing out the lecturer for “unlawful failure” and things like that. He demanded an appeal, but when it came to the hearing, he brought his father along, who immediately gave off an entitled vibe.

Only then did we find out he had done the correct part but had sent the wrong one over. He played it as though I didn’t make him aware and cut me off every time I tried to speak up, as did his father. Eventually, I just opened the messages on numerous apps and slid my phone over for them to read. There was the proof we had messaged him to send the correct part and he ignored us all. 

It was agreed if he sent the correct part over, we would be regraded again but with a 20% cap. Annoying, but we understood why this was. So, he sent his part over and they sent us out to mark it. I expected for us all to be called back in, but instead, he was called back in by himself. He ran out ten minutes later crying nonstop and we were called in. 

It turned out that the part he was supposed to send to us but didn’t was plagiarised. Only the first line needed to be scanned to see that this was the case. Plagiarism is a big no here, and he’d apparently already had a warning about it. This was the second strike and he was kicked out of all classes.

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