She’s Going. Period.

, , , , , | Learning | February 10, 2020

(This happens in high school. We are in an all-girls choir called Bel Canto. One day, we are on the stage practicing for that night’s talent show when one girl asks to use the bathroom. The instructor, who is male, gives her permission, but she starts going back to the music room.)

Instructor: “Hey! That’s the wrong way! The bathroom’s that way!”

Classmate: “I need to get something out of my purse…”

Instructor:Oh! Don’t tell me! Continue.”

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Some Tests Are Born Again Soul Destroying

, , , | Learning | February 5, 2020

(We have just had a particularly hard test.)

Me: “That test killed my soul… which is quite impressive as I thought my soul was already dead.”

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With Climate Change, Who Can Tell These Days?

, , , , | Learning | February 4, 2020

(It is February at the beginning of art class. One of my classmates, [Student #1], isn’t the smartest person.)

Teacher: “Remember to put the date on your paper.”

Student #1: “What’s the date?”

Everyone: “The 19th.”

Student #1: “But what month?”

Student #2: *obviously joking* “July.”

(End of class:)

Teacher: “And don’t forget the date; just write 2/19 on the bottom of your paper.”

Student #1: *confused but completely sincere* “But why would it be 2/19 if it’s July?”

(I’m still confused as to how she thought it was actually July. There were three feet of snow on the ground and we were still in the second quarter of school.)

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They Haven’t Studied Occupations Yet

, , , | Learning | February 3, 2020

(I’m a teacher and have to go to the bathroom during my break. I hate stall bathrooms so I go to the single person bathroom and double-check the door is locked as young students will just barge in.)

Student: *frantically tries to open the door* 

(I give the student a minute to realize there is someone in here and that is why the door is locked, but the connection is not made.)

Me: “Knock first!” *thinking now he will realize*

(The kid starts pounding at the door.)

Me: “It’s occupied!”

Kid: “I don’t know what that means!”

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The Naked Fire Drill Versus Japanese Politeness

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 1, 2020

I’m a counsellor for students with mental problems, mostly stress-related anxiety or teenage mood swings. One day, I got a new patient who was said to have anger management issues. His teacher claimed that he threw a tantrum, complete with shouting, screaming, and swearing. Nothing I haven’t handled before. When the guy came in, I was very surprised.

He was pleasant and polite, and he even baked me some tasty cupcakes. He was always calm, even when we discussed the incident that led to his tantrum, though he did sound annoyed at points. Apparently, his dorm master decided that the best time to hold a fire drill was late at night, when the entire dorm was preparing to sleep. In his case, he was showering, and was forced out by the other students in nothing but his towel. I should mention that it was a cold and windy night.

Without his glasses, he was unable to see where to line up and ended up in the wrong line. When the dorm master saw him, he decided to scold him in front of the entire dorm for holding everyone up by being too slow and in the wrong line. He even mocked the student’s near-nakedness. This led to the student losing his temper and to the ensuing tantrum, which was grossly exaggerated. After screaming one vulgar insult and flipping the dorm master off, the student calmed down and apologised repeatedly, not just to the dorm master, but to the entire dorm. That was the first time the student was even angry in roughly three years.

The student was very embarrassed and apologetic about the whole situation as it was apparently wrong to talk back or complain in his (Japanese) culture. I honestly couldn’t believe his restraint. If it’d been me in that situation, I’d have punched the man. And he could forget any form of apology from me. After another two sessions to make sure that the student didn’t really have anger management issues, I told the college that he was fine and put in a good word for him.

Unfortunately, the dorm master disagreed and tried to send the student back. I sent him to one of my colleagues, who also certified that the student was fine, forcing the dorm master to give up. 

I was later visited by the same student almost a month later, who dropped by to offer cupcakes to everyone in the office. Apparently the dorm master, even after being told that the student had done nothing wrong, still stuck him in repeated detentions, wrote a bad report on his report card, and stripped away many of his privileges in the dorm.

He’s since planned to move out with a bunch of his friends to an apartment, though is still too polite to enact vengeance or even complain about the teacher to the school.

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