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Look, Here Comes A Consequence, Consequence, Consequence

, , , , , | Romantic | May 11, 2021

When I was in college, we had a very attractive girl in our dorm who in today’s world would have been a social media star. Since things like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat didn’t exist back then, she would set up her personal video camera and record herself and then store the tapes for future viewing. She was extremely athletic and knew it, and thus she would often wear tight Spandex while filming herself.

One day, as she was recording herself, one of the guys in the dorm walked up to her and started trying to chat her up. She literally didn’t acknowledge his presence in any way, and that upset him. He reached out and grabbed her chest. Without missing a beat, she shoved his hand away. He then grabbed her butt, and she again shoved his hand away. He threw a punch at her, and she casually lifted her hand, grabbed his incoming fist, and shoved him to the side. He stomped off.

Two days later, it was revealed to us that the guy was “transferring,” effective immediately. Apparently, the girl had taken the recording to the dean and let her watch.

Bullies Are Just The Worst

, , , , , | Learning | May 11, 2021

I am not social in school. One boy, in particular, seems to take great pleasure in pushing me to the point of tears before leaving me alone with my anger. I tell my parents about this boy, they ask the school to intervene, and the school sends us to a group called “peer counselors.” Each counsel session has two school-aged counselors and one teacher. I’m nine, [Boy] is eleven, and we’re both in fourth grade.

Peer Counselor #1: “We are here today to find out why [My Name] feels targeted by [Boy].”

Boy: “She likes it.”

Me: “I don’t.”

Boy: *Poking me* “It’s just for fun!”

I duck out of his reach, batting his hand away.

Me: “Stop!”

Boy: “She hit me! See?”

Peer Counselor #1: “[Boy], please keep your hands to yourself. [My Name], don’t hit.”

Peer Counselor #2: “[My Name], why do you think [Boy] is picking on you?”

Me: “I don’t know. He’s mean.”

Peer Counselor #2: “Let’s try to not use words like that. Let’s try being more constructive and less destructive.”

Boy: “[My Name] doesn’t have friends. I’m just trying to give her the attention she wants.”

Me: “I don’t want attention.”

Boy: “Then why did you go tattling to your mommy and daddy like a widdle baby?

He makes mocking crying motions by his eyes. I feel the tears coming and shake my head.

Boy: “See? She’s a baby!”

Peer Counselor #2: “[Boy], we don’t call people babies.”

Peer Counselor #1: “Clearly, [My Name] does not like the attention you’re giving her. Don’t you think you should stop?”

Boy: “No. No one else even talks to her.”

He reaches over and pulls my hair so hard my head jerks sideways.

Me: “Stop!”

I start crying.

Teacher: “Okay, [Boy]. That’s enough. Get up.”

Boy: “What?”

Teacher: “Get up. Now.”

She stands beside him, not touching him.

Boy: “You can’t make me.”

Teacher: “Get. Up.”

[Boy] smiles smugly, crossing his arms.

Boy: “No.”

Teacher: “Okay.”

She grabs him by the arm and drags him out of the room. He protests as they go down the hall toward the principal’s office.

Boy: “Hey! Let go! You can’t touch me!”

My mom came and picked me up from school that day. A few days later, when I returned to school, I heard that [Boy] had been expelled. My “tattling” had given other kids the courage to come forward, sharing experiences from stealing lunch money to physical intimidation. The principal and other staff members felt that expulsion was the best move for everyone. I don’t know what happened to [Boy] or where he went after he was expelled.

Fostering Some Growth In Your Classmates

, , , , , , | Learning | April 27, 2021

This happened in the mid-1980s. My state had just declared that only straight people could now foster children and I was one of many protesting this new policy. I was also getting an education degree. One of my teachers had us form small groups and choose an issue in the news about children or education to present on at the end of the quarter. I ended up in a group of about five people I didn’t know. I suggested the foster care topic and everyone agreed.

Our first meeting was in a restaurant. One of my fellow group members, [Student], was a bit older than the rest of us and brought along his eight-year-old daughter. He didn’t see the problem with the policy change.

Student: “I mean, I wouldn’t want a gay person babysitting my daughter.”

Me: “Oh. So, you wouldn’t want me to babysit her?”

Student: “What? No. You could babysit her. I just don’t want a gay person to.”

Me: “I see. So, I couldn’t watch her.”

Student: “I’d be happy to have you watch her. I just don’t want her around gay people.”

This continued back and forth a few times and he was completely clueless. The other students were trying not to laugh.  

Over the next month or two, we kept meeting and [Student] was always polite but still homophobic and opposed to gay foster parents. It didn’t matter for the project as we were only giving a factual overview and then each presenting on our own sub-topics, so we didn’t have to agree. [Student] had been planning something about how terrible it was for children to be raised by parents who weren’t straight. Eventually, I came out to him formally. He was surprised and didn’t say much.

At our last meeting before the presentation, we went over each of our sub-topics as some had changed a bit.

Student #2: “So, [Student], what have you decided for yours?”

Student: “I’m going to talk about the psychological harm to children when they’re taken away from their loving gay foster parents.”

And so he did. It was perfect.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for April 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

Chemically Imbalanced, Part 10

, , , , , , | Learning | April 21, 2021

Back in the early 1990s, two other male college freshmen and I were studying for an upcoming quiz for a chemistry class.

Student #1: “I’m really not feeling it. Think I should just skip the quiz entirely?”

Student #2: “Sodium hypobromite.”

Student #1: “What?”

I wrote out the chemical formula for sodium hypobromite: “NaBrO”.

Related:
Chemically Imbalanced, Part 9
Chemically Imbalanced, Part 8
Chemically Imbalanced, Part 7
Chemically Imbalanced, Part 6
Chemically Imbalanced, Part 5

We Can Only Draw One Conclusion: SHE’S A WITCH!

, , , , , , | Learning | April 21, 2021

My two best friends and I are in sixth grade — age twelve — and have a mandatory art class. We are spending a week drawing houses. Our first assignment is to draw our own house.

[Friend #1] draws her house, but she forgets to draw one of her parents’ bedroom windows. That night, it storms very badly, and a tree falls in such a way that the window she forgot to draw is broken by a tree branch crashing through it.

The next day, we are supposed to draw a house that exists and that we wished we lived in. [Friend #1] draws [Friend #2]’s house, but she forgets to draw the garage. The previous night’s storm had affected the soil of the hill beside that house, and [Friend #2] comes home to find that a tree has fallen on the (empty!) garage. 

The next day, we are supposed to draw the house of a friend. 

Friend #1: “I guess I’ll draw your house, [My Name].”

Me: “Nope! Not allowed! No, thank you, please! I like my house perfectly intact and how it is, thank you very much!”

Friend #1: “But I already drew [Friend #2’s] house!”

Friend #2: “Yeah, and look what happened to it! And what happened to your house! If you forget to draw anything at [My Name’s] house, we won’t be able to go to her sleepover this weekend.”

Me: “Hey, weren’t you friends with [Former Classmate] before she moved?”

Friend #1: “Yeah, why?”

Me: “My mom’s coworker bought it, and Mom said they’re tearing it down so they can build their dream house! So if you mess it up with your weird drawing power, it won’t matter!”

Friend #1: “I don’t think I had anything to do with the garage or the windows, but fine, whatever.”

[Friend #1] draws [Former Classmate]’s house, forgetting to draw the sizable front deck. That house is on a very busy road, right across from a T-intersection. As my mom picks me up from school, she tells me we are taking a different way home than usual.

Mom: “Yeah, it’s a good thing [Former Classmate] moved! Someone crashed into her house and destroyed the deck.”

I call [Friend #1] when I get home and relay the information. 

Friend #1: “Okay, you know what? Fine. I thought you and [Friend #2] were just being weird about all this, but I guess I have to believe you. I’m drawing made-up houses the rest of the week.”