Leaves More Room For The Ambitious People

, , , | Learning | July 30, 2020

I am an admission counselor for a university, which basically means I answer people’s questions and help them decide if they want to apply. I have this conversation way too often.

Me: “Hi. How can I help you today?”

Student: “I want to go to college.”

Me: “Awesome, you’ve come to the right place! What program are you interested in?”

Student: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, what would you see yourself doing once you get this degree?”

Student: “I don’t know.”

Me: “May I ask why you want to get a degree if you’re unsure what you want to do with it?”

Student: “I just want a degree.”

I go over the basic spiel of tuition cost, term lengths, etc.

Me: “I am happy to send you this information in an email, as well, and my contact information will be in there, so feel free to give me a call if you have any further questions!”

Student: “Okay.”

Me: “Thank you for calling and have a great day!”

Student: “Okay.”

Cue them never answering my follow up calls or emails. And people wonder why admission counselors get burnt out so quickly.

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Talk Crap, Get Smacked

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 27, 2020

I start karate when I am nine at this small, lesser-known dojo a couple of cities away from where I live. My Sifu — Sensei, master, etc. — is the greatest and when we move to another state at one point during my training, she works with us so my brother and I can continue via her own YouTube tutorials and video calls. 

We move back to the state a year or two later and there are a couple of new students that have never met me face to face; they only know I am a girl and have a pretty high belt. 

I walk into the dojo for the first time in a couple of years and one of the newest kids, seeing how short I am — I am probably around 5’3” at the time — scoffs at me and my brown belt.

Rude Student: “You’re so short! I always thought you were taller. No wonder you did classes online; [Brother] is the only one shorter than you!” 

He laughs at me, taking into account my reddening face. I have a hard time controlling my emotions when someone insults me.

Rude Student: “Look at how red your face is getting! I bet you can’t even land one hit on me!”

I am about to reply, but Sifu calls us over to start class and welcome my brother and me back to the dojo. I think that is the end of the confrontation, but it is Monday and that means Spar Night.

I get paired with the rude student because he is closer to my height than any of the other kids.

Rude Student: “Looks like I get to see if you can land a hit.”

He smirks at me.

Me: “I’d like to see you land one on me first.”

He scoffs.

Rude Student: “Easy!”

He proceeds to use up all his energy trying to land a hit on me as I dance around the room blocking and dodging every hit.

Rude Student: “Hold still!”

Me: “If you insist.”

I stand still, waiting for the punch. 

He throws it and I duck, coming up under his arm and uppercutting him in the stomach. We are wearing sparing gear, but apparently, it isn’t enough to protect his stomach from my angry shot. He falls to the mat, gasping.

Me: “I thought you said I couldn’t land a hit.”

He stayed away from me after that, especially when we started a Ju-Jitsu course later that month.

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She Blinded Me With Science! Kind Of.

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 27, 2020

I am an exercise science major. For one of my classes, we have to perform a treadmill test on one student and use the data collected for a lab write-up.

The day of the lab, my class prior to this is also in the exercise science laboratory, so I am sitting in a chair inside when my professor walks in. She asks me to come and help her set up the lab because I did the same lab with the same professor last semester for a different class.

I go in and start to put together the headpiece that will monitor the subject’s breathing. The rest of the small class walks in — only five people — and they stand around talking amongst themselves until the professor asks them who is going to be the subject. They decide to use “nose goes” to determine who the subject will be.

I do not participate because I have gloves on to keep the headpiece sanitary — it goes inside of the subject’s mouth — and I kind of assume I am exempt from this because I am basically setting up the whole lab by myself. The only things that have to be done after this are connecting the headpiece to a tube and writing down the data that a computer collects for us.

The other students don’t care about this and tell me that I have to be the subject because I lost “nose goes.” I agree because I’m not a confrontational person due to my severe anxiety. So, the professor and one other student help me put on the headpiece. As they are putting it on, the professor tells me she is taking off my glasses to get it on, but she’ll put them back on before the test starts. The professor then gets distracted because my heart rate monitor is not working and forgets about my glasses.

This is a very big problem because I am almost legally blind with my glasses, and I try to tell her this, but I can’t speak due to the headpiece. So, they start the treadmill and I quickly realize how bad this is. The treadmill is all black, so I am unable to tell the difference between the belt and the plastic siding. During the first minute of the test, I step too far forward, partway onto the front plastic, and almost trip.

This sends me into panic mode, because I know I am going to fall, hurt myself, and completely embarrass myself by the end of this fifteen-minute test. I try to hold onto the sides of the treadmill for security, but the professor hits my hands away and tells me I can’t do this. So, I start to flap my hands, one of my stims that I use to calm myself when I get incredibly anxious. 

At the three-minute mark, another student holds a paper in front of my face to determine my rating of perceived exertion, or how hard I feel the test is at this point. I try to tell them I can’t see the words on the paper, but they take me gesturing towards the paper as pointing at a specific rating and then tell me not to talk so I don’t mess up the data.

I get seven minutes into the test. My vision is going black and my heart is beating so fast I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack. I later find out that I was way above my maximum healthy heart rate and the test should have been stopped, but the students were not paying any attention to my heart rate so it went unnoticed.

I finally decide that I can no longer go on with the test and give them the indication that I need to stop. My professor asks me to go “one more minute” but then notices my heart rate and tells the other students that I need to get off the treadmill immediately. The test is stopped, the headpiece is removed, and I am able to sit in a chair. I’m shaking and hyperventilating, still feel like I’m about to have a heart attack, and am incredibly embarrassed that I was unable to complete the test and that I’m having a full-blown panic attack in front of my class.

The professor looks over the data and sees the ratings of perceived exertion that were collected when I was wildly gesturing towards the paper. She asks me, “Why did you rate these so low; wasn’t the test hard for you? You were having a hard time.”

I manage to basically hiss out between my gasps for breath, “I couldn’t see. You didn’t give me my glasses back. I’m almost blind.”

The professor shuts up and the other students get me to re-rate the test. After this, I am able to go home, thinking that this will be the end of it.

However, the professor proceeds to mention how I was unable to complete the test every week, assuming it was because I was out of shape, not because I was having a panic attack. This is so embarrassing that I end up having minor panic attacks before I go to this class every day, fearing that she is going to mention it again.

I wish there was some sort of incredible ending to this story where I stood up for myself and yelled at the professor, but due to a certain illness outbreak, I ended up having to complete the class online and did not have to deal with that professor for the rest of the semester.

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His Excuses Are Almost As Bad As His Grades

, , , , , , , | Learning | July 26, 2020

When I was in high school in the 1970s I got “stuck” in a different math class than I should have been in because of scheduling issues with other classes I was taking. I was a sophomore but almost the whole rest of the class was seniors.

Many of the seniors were not hard-working, let alone among the brightest students, and so we had to submit homework or some assignment almost every day. The teacher was a no-nonsense guy who was tough but fair and I had had him for a previous class and liked him.

There was this one total loser dude in class who never, and I mean never, had his homework done. Every day he had a different excuse, yes, including that his dog ate it. The teacher quite obviously — to me, anyway — never bought any of the excuses, though the loser dude and his buddies seemed to feel he was pulling one over on the teacher.

After a while, the teacher would start class where we had assignments due with something like this:

“So, Mr. [Dude], what happened to your homework today?”

“Oh, uh, [Teacher], it, uh, got sucked out the window of the bus on the way to school.” 

He drove to school.

Dripping with sarcasm, the teacher would reply, “Oh, no, Mr. [Dude], how terrible.”

Then there would be snickering among [Dude] and his buddies.

I saw the teacher with [Dude]’s parents at the next parent conferences and they did not look happy.

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You Ever Submit An Essay In Wingdings?

, , , , , , , | Learning | July 25, 2020

I went to a conservative Christian college. As such, one of my classes was on Biblical archeology. One week, we were assigned to do papers on ancient Egypt. I always looked for creative ways to do things, so I wrote mine in Hieroglyphics. 

I got a B.

We were told to spend a minimum of four hours on the project; my teacher asked me how long I took. It took three and a half hours.

At least I learned how to do profiles of owls, eyes, and waving bundles of grain.

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