The Collapse Of Education

, , , , , | Learning | January 13, 2019

(My school building has been around since the 1950s and has fallen into disrepair. Despite years of campaigning for a new building, the county keeps pushing the construction date back by years. It’s become a running joke in the school that the building will collapse before we get a new one. On this day, we are having some very noisy work done in the ceiling.)

Me: *glancing up at the ceiling* “They’d better be careful; one wrong hit and the whole thing will collapse. We’ll get a new building, at least.”

Teacher: *laughs hysterically*

The 1950s Called; They Want Their Medical Results

, , , , , , , | Friendly Healthy | January 10, 2019

(My husband is having a day-long series of medical tests at a Veterans Administration hospital in Kentucky. I drove him there, so I am camping out in the waiting room working on some homework on my laptop for the supply chain management courses I am taking online. I have been working for about an hour and a half when I am approached by an elderly man.)

Elderly Man: “What are you doing on that computer?”

Me: “I am a Transportation and Logistics Management student at [Well-Respected Online college]. I am working on the homework for my supply chain management courses.”

Elderly Man: “Why aren’t you going to nursing school?! Nursing is the only respectable occupation for a woman!”

Me: “What? I can’t qualify for nursing school because I had a stroke a few years ago and my right hand is partially paralyzed.”

(I hold up my right hand and show that I can only use my middle finger and thumb.)

Elderly Man: “But you could be a nurse if you tried harder! Why are you playing with that silly supply chain management stuff? Only men do that!”

Me: “I also have an active Class-A commercial driver’s license to drive tractor trailers.” *reaches into my purse to pull out my license* “I like transportation!”

Elderly Man: “But nurses are so sweet! You should be sweet like a nurse!” *motions to one of the VA nurses*

(The VA nurse chimes in:)

VA Nurse: “I wouldn’t want her as a nurse with that hand of hers. She would never pass nursing school, anyway. I have met [My Name] before, and that woman is planning on going to law school after she finishes her bachelor’s degree because of the way she has argued her husband’s VA disability claim.”

Elderly Man: “How disgraceful! A woman working as a truck driver and wanting to become a lawyer! Why can’t women be sweet and realize their place in the world?!”

(I put my earbuds on and cranked some Bon Jovi on my laptop and tried to ignore the old coot until he was called for his appointment.)

They Have No Defense

, , , , | Learning | January 7, 2019

(I am volunteering my time at a Career Night on a college campus. I work for a VERY large military-industrial-complex corporation. I have this conversation with one student.)

Student: “What company do you work for?”

Me: “[Very Large Military-Industrial-Complex Corporation].”

Student: “What do they do?”

Me: *surprised she’s never heard of the company* “We are a defense contractor.”

Student: “Oh, you mean like a law firm?”

Me: “…”

When Delinquents Meet Scissors

, , , , , , | Learning | January 2, 2019

(I am in eighth grade. The Family and Consumer Sciences teacher is in her mid-60s, and to be honest she is probably too old to be teaching. She is a short, almost frail woman, and she holds no authority over the students. A small group of us — myself included — are seated at the large tables closest to her desk, listening and attempting to complete a sewing project for our final grades. The other 25-odd students have completely ignored her instructions and are either grouped up and talking, or they have gotten on the computers. I have my back to the individual desks when suddenly there is a scream. As I turn around, I see two students — a girl and a guy — fighting, pushing each other, and pushing into the desks around them. The girl quickly falls to the floor, and the guy turns around and storms towards the classroom door.)

Teacher: *yelling* “What is going on?! Where are you going?!”

(The door to the classroom slams shut. Within seconds, the girl stands up. At this point, the entire class is quiet, focused on what’s going on. As the girl turns around and faces the class, I see that the entire right side of her face is completely covered in blood. She looks like a two-faced comic book villain. But the shocking part is that as she disentangles herself from the desks and moves to the center of the room, she is smiling. Then, she begins to cackle gleefully. She has a large build, towering over the teacher. She doesn’t look at anyone, but leisurely strolls toward the door.)

Girl: *in a sing-song voice* “Oh, I’m going to f****** kill that b****!”

(She disappears into the hallway and a second later the door slams again. I notice a bloody handprint along the edge of the wall. The entire class just sits there in stunned silence. After a moment, the teacher speaks.)

Teacher: *sharply* “Everyone back to their assigned seats, NOW!”

(There is a momentary scramble, and everyone is suddenly where they should be.)

Teacher: “I don’t know what just happened, but that is not acceptable!” *her voice begins to rise until she is screaming* “I have told you guys a million times to listen to me! None of you ever listen! None of you care! You’re all going to kill each other and you’re all going to jail! You hear me? YOU’RE ALL DELINQUENTS!”

(At this moment, a student that has spent the entire class in the front office comes waltzing in. He immediately stops when he sees how quiet the room is, sensing the tension. All eyes turn to him.)

Student: “Uh, hey, guys, what’s up?”

Teacher: *completely explodes* “AND YOU’RE A DELINQUENT, TOO!”

Student: “What? What did I do? I wasn’t even here!” *quickly finds his seat and sits down*

(The teacher continued to tear us a new one, pretty much until the final bell rang. As I stiffly left the classroom, I saw many bloody hand prints and smears of blood all the way up to the end of the elective hall. Once I got home, I deflated and cried to my mother about what had happened. I later found out that both students were arrested and taken away in police cars. The girl had a small cut on her eyebrow, the result of the guy throwing a pair of scissors at her. Though the cut was not very large, it was deep, and required a couple of stitches. Had the scissors been about half an inch lower, she could have lost her eye. I’m not sure if charges were pressed, but both students were suspended. My best friend was neighbors with the guy and said that she didn’t think he spent more than a night in police custody, as she saw him the following morning. I later found out that the girl sought help for some underlying issues and within a year, she was doing much better. She and I were fairly acquainted, but we never spoke of that day. The teacher also retired a year or two later. A few students from that class are actually in jail now.)

Maybe The Library Has Books About What Libraries Are, Part 2

, , , , , , | Learning | December 31, 2018

(I am working circulation at the library when a student comes up to me. This student is in an upper grade, and reading at grade level, so I’m confident he knows how libraries should work.)

Student: “I’d like to return my library books.”

Me: “Okay, you can put them in the return bin, use the self-check station, or bring them to me since I’m not busy.”

Student: “I don’t have them.”

Me: “Well, go back to class and get them.”

Student: “I don’t know where they are.”

Me: “I can’t check them in if you don’t have them.”

Student: “But I’m finished, and would like to check out more.”

Me: *pulling up his account* “You have four out right now, and two are overdue, so I can’t let you check out any more books.”

Student: “But I want to check my books in.”

Me: “You have to actually give me the books so I can scan them in.”

Student: *gives me a confused look*

Me: “Bring your books back and then I can help you.”

(I haven’t seen him in the library for the rest of the week.)

Maybe The Library Has Books About What Libraries Are

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