When Push Comes To Punch

, , , , | Learning | February 6, 2021

When I’m in school, maybe nine years old, a new government program gives all children from elementary to high school little laptops with little functionality, aimed to teach kids about technology. Since they can go on the Internet, most kids use them to play games.

I’m sitting outside my classroom before class with a friend and a classmate, with the latter’s five-year-old sister standing near. I have come to hate this child because every time her kinder class crosses paths with mine, she aims to do her best to annoy me, including trying to steal whatever I am holding or have near me.

We are all playing games on our little laptops, nobody is paying attention to the kid, and I have my laptop bag next to me on the bench. The kid approaches her sister and suddenly snatches my bag and takes off through the courtyard. I put my laptop aside and take off after her, expecting to have to force a bathroom door open or call a teacher, because that’s where she usually runs to. But when we are nearing the restroom doors, the girl trips on a loose tile, falls on her face, and starts crying.

I stop, take my bag, and start walking back, but my classmate’s younger brother intercepts me, followed by his sister.

Brother: “You pushed my sister! What the f*** is wrong with you?!”

Me: “I didn’t even to—”

He punches me right in the mouth and I throw a punch back, but his sister and my friends manage to pull us apart. I walk off holding back tears out of pride, and I spend the rest of the day tasting blood.

When the classes are done, I spot my mom amongst the crowd of parents waiting outside our classroom and run to her, but I am stopped by another woman yanking my arm violently.

Woman: “Who the h*** do you think you are, pushing a little girl?! I should teach you some f****** manners myself, you little monster!”

I am starting to cry because this strange woman is screaming in my face and is still holding my arm. Then, I spot the little demon grinning behind her. Next to her is her brother, glaring at me, and then my classmate, pale as a ghost and trying to step away from her family. In the middle of the third or fourth time the woman calls me some form of the words “monster” or “bully,” another voice, equally as angry, rises above the yells.

Mom: “Excuse me.”

My mom makes her way to us, yanks the woman away from me, and hides me behind her.

Mom: “What gives you the right to touch my daughter?”

Woman: “Your little monster pushed my baby to the ground and then punched my boy in the face! I should call the police on you right now!”

My mom turns to me with a questioning look. By now I am in a complete panic, sobbing and hiccuping, but I am able to tell my side, including the brother punching me first. By the time I finish, the brother is trying to hide behind his older sister, and the sister has started defensively crying. Their mother explodes in expletives and curses, but this time talking to her kids.

Woman: “I did not raise you to steal and lie to me, [Sister]! Why in the h***—”

We didn’t hear the rest of it because my mom pulled me away and out of the school, muttering about crazy people and reassuring me that I’d done nothing wrong. 

The next day, the little demon and her brother stayed as far away from me as possible. My classmate came up to me and apologised many times for her siblings’ actions and for not stopping either of them. She turned out to be one of the sweetest girls I ever met, which still baffles me, having witnessed her mother’s behaviour.

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It’s Your Money, But You’re HER Son!

, , , , , | Learning | January 27, 2021

I work every Tuesday at my kid’s middle school store. An eighth-grader that I know comes up and asks for $13 worth of gummy fruit snacks.

Me: “That’s a lot of fruit snacks. Are you going to share with all your friends?”

Eighth-Grader: “No, I’m eating them all for lunch.”

Me: “But you have braces, and I’m going to see your Mom on Friday. Do you think she’ll want to hear this?”

Eighth-Grader: “I don’t care; it’s my money.”

Friday, I see his mom and tell her. 

Mom: “So, that’s why he had a stomach ache and wouldn’t eat dinner!”

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We Hope He’s Not Majoring In Communications

, , , , | Learning | January 25, 2021

I work as a student janitor at my college. Most of my coworkers are international students. It’s the first day of fall break and new eight-week classes start the day we come back. A group of my Serbian coworkers are moving furniture from the classrooms to clean the floor.

A man wanders onto the floor and into the classroom. I’m outside in the hallway. The man says something incomprehensible.

Serbian #1: “Sorry, again?”

Man: “What?”

He repeats what he said, still indistinct. The Serbians start discussing in Serbian. 

Serbian #2: “No, we’re in the class.”

Man: “What did you say?”

Serbian #1: “What?”

Man: “What?”

Serbian #2: “Please leave. Go.”

A moment later, the man comes out to the hallway.

Me: “Excuse me, maybe I can help you? What can I help you with?”

Man: *In a thick southern drawl* “I have a class today in that room and the guys in there are moving furniture and not speaking English!”

Me: “Classes actually start on Monday, and that’s the cleaning crew.”

Man: “Whatever. They need to learn to speak English so they can communicate with us Americans. It’s not like I can speak Russian or Polish or whatever they’re speaking.”

I don’t bother to correct him and just send him out.

Serbian #1: “What was that man doing?”

Me: “Looking for his class. His days got mixed up.”

Serbian #1: “Oh, good. I’m glad you could help him. I don’t know what he was speaking but it definitely wasn’t English!”

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Is This A Class On Existentialism?

, , , , | Learning | January 23, 2021

Our class is supposed to take a midterm exam on a Thursday. However, in order to get disability accommodations, I have to take it the day before so I have already finished it by the time Thursday rolls around. That weekend, both of our basketball teams are playing in the Final Four. There is a bomb threat on Thursday and the entire campus is on lockdown, so the exam is postponed until Tuesday.

On Monday night, the men’s basketball team wins the national championship and naturally, I am up late in jubilation, but I still show up for class the next morning since I forget the class is taking the exam I already took.

Me: “Are we going to go over the exam today?”

Professor: “No, you are going to take the exam today.”

Me: “But I already took it.”

Professor: “But nobody else has, so they need to take it before we can go over it.”

Me: “So why am I here?”

Professor: “I don’t know; I was wondering the same thing.”

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Okay, But What TIME On Friday?

, , , , , | Learning | January 21, 2021

I am a teacher at a college preparatory high school in the USA. We have returned to on-campus learning but occasionally students will need to remain home in quarantine due to the current health crisis. Our school uses Google Classroom and I do everything I can to provide support for our students. Some though, need more help than others.

I receive an email.

Email: “[Student] has added a private comment on the assignment: ‘Activity Guide due Friday, January 16.’”

I click to view the comment.

Student: “When is the project due?”

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