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Not Too Proud For Easy Money

, , , , , | Learning | June 6, 2021

When I was in high school in the late 1970s, it was relatively common for other students to toss change on the floor and wait to laugh at the person who picked it up. I had no problem with that. I’d make a little over a dollar a day for stopping, bending over, and picking up change around six times a day.

It took maybe a total of one minute per day. Minimum wage was $3.15 an hour. So, in a week, I’d earn about two hours of minimum wage take-home income for five minutes of bending over and picking up the money that morons were willing to throw away.

Somebody’s Slope Is About To Become Much More Negative

, , , , , , | Learning | June 3, 2021

In my junior year of high school, I am put in a math class with a teacher fairly fresh out of school. She is by no means a bad teacher, but because she is new, she is a bit naive. For example, other math teachers usually create two similar but different versions of a test with different colors that alternate each row so that people can’t cheat, but she didn’t do this… at least at first.

It must have become obvious to her that people were sharing answers. On our fifth quiz, I am working on it and realize the girl next to me is copying my answers. Whatever, I don’t really care. But then, the graph on her quiz catches my eye and I realize that her slope is negative while mine is positive, and then it hits me: they’re different quizzes. I just let that ship sail and let her do what she wants.

Quiz scores come back and my classmate gets a zero while I get a perfect score. At parent-teacher conferences, we get to reminisce about that interaction, and I get to tell my teacher that I realized both that my classmate was cheating and that they were different tests and chose not to try to alert her, which tickled my teacher pink.

She started color-coding the versions after that, but she put a lot of cheaters to shame on the first one!

No Connecting Here

, , , , , , | Learning | May 26, 2021

I am starting the highest rope courses in camp. Being a rope course, there are many safety procedures, one of them being a partner system. There is one key fact: you must call to your partner each time you finish a course and switch to the next. This is where problems come in as I pair up with [Annoying Classmate]. As I climb up, I clip my safety connectors to the rope. First red flag:

Me: “Connecting!”

There is a response, but it is delayed and I can already see them talking to someone else.

Annoying Classmate: “Continue!”

I continue to climb through the sections, forgetting to call the second and third transitions. Finally, I remember to do so.

Me: “Connecting!”

Silence. I look down and where do I find them? Nowhere in sight. As there is only one area blocked from my view, I rightly assume that my classmate has gone under into the shade. I curse them in my mind and continue in the hopes that they’ll come out. Stupid, I know. As I reach the fifth one, I look down and see the exact same thing: no [Annoying Classmate].

Me: “Connecting!”

I pause.

Me: “CONNECTING!”

Still silence. I am very frustrated at this point.

Me: “CONNECTING, YOU FEMALE DOG!”

As this is the first time I’ve sworn in any capacity, this should be enough to get their attention even though it isn’t an actual swear. I know people down there can hear me because they look up with shocked faces, but no one emerges from the shade. At this point, someone else comes along with his own partner, [Classmate].

Classmate: “Continue, [My Name]!”

He continues to serve as my de-facto partner until the end, which I will be forever grateful for. Finally, as I descend, [Annoying Classmate] comes out of the shade towards me.

Annoying Classmate: “So, how was it?”

Thankfully, a murder did not happen that day.

There’s A Truly Terrible Place In Hell For People Like This

, , , , , | Learning | May 22, 2021

When I was young, I was pretty well known as a smart kid with a smart mouth. I was also known as the super short girl who always had a book. Luckily, my class was pretty nice — we didn’t have nearly as many bullying problems as other grades — because I would’ve been an extremely easy target. But whenever someone did pick on me, it made my blood boil.

Toward the end of middle school, I was in the last book of a series I’d been reading for several months. A boy I didn’t talk to all that often walked up to where I was reading at my desk.

Boy: “What are you reading?”

Me: “[Book].”

Boy: “Have you read it before?”

Me: “No, this is my first time!”

Boy: “[Favorite Character] dies.”

My little eighth-grade self was ready for murder. Sadly, he was correct, and my favorite character died, but he was later granted his life back. For the rest of the year, I used a cloth cover on all of my library books so the boy wouldn’t be able to spoil them for me again.

Laptop Claptrap

, , , , | Learning | May 19, 2021

I was born deaf and have been nonspeaking my whole life. I was diagnosed with severe dyspraxia at four, which has affected my coordination and balance, and with autism at eight.

I have a classroom assistant who helps me communicate with my teacher and the other kids, and because I find writing so tiring and stressful, the school gives me a laptop to use. The laptop doesn’t belong to me and has my name on it along with a label saying, “Property of [School]”.

Sadly, there are some girls who feel it’s unfair that I have been given a laptop and they haven’t.

One afternoon, we’re all going to a hockey match to support our school. I walk to my locker with my classroom assistant and stow my laptop safely. After the match, I open my locker to remove my laptop… and it’s gone! I’m really upset and crying, and my poor classroom assistant can do nothing to cheer me up.

We go to the principal to explain. The next day, during assembly:

Principal: “I will allow the perpetrator to return the laptop to me, without punishment, by the end of school.”

The following day, no laptop. Two days go by, and still no laptop. I am suffering physically and mentally because of the stress. During the next assembly:

Principal: “I will be conducting locker searches if the laptop is not returned by the end of the day.”

Then, one of the teachers comes forward.

Teacher: “I saw a girl from [My Name]’s year giving something rectangular and thin to a boy at the bus stop.”

The girl in question was interviewed but denies it, even though three other girls admitted seeing her do it. I was losing all hope of ever being able to do schoolwork again, as the school wouldn’t replace the laptop until they were certain it wouldn’t be returned.

Then, the principal got a call from the father of a boy who went to one of the other local schools. He turned out to be the boyfriend of the girl the teacher had seen. He’d left the laptop sitting around his home, and his father saw it, didn’t recognise it, and saw my name and the school’s name on the bottom! The laptop was returned to the school and then to me.

The girl who stole it was expelled for theft and disability discrimination. Her boyfriend was suspended from his school and grounded by his father. And me? I NEVER let that laptop out of my sight again!