Overachieving Isn’t Always The Answer

, , , , | Learning | April 21, 2020

This happens when I am in third grade, nine years old, and getting the second report card of the school year. The teacher hands them out at the end of the school day, but my mother and I see her at my dance studio that night.

Me: “Ms. [Teacher]? Why did I get a bad grade in reading?”

Teacher: “You didn’t take any of your reading quizzes. You need to read a book every month.”

Mom: “You know her. You know she’s read more books than any other student in your class. What are these reading quizzes you’re talking about?”

Teacher: “The ones on the computer. It generates a report automatically, grading each test and averaging them out with what I put in for your grade.”

Me: “You mean I have to do more? But I already have all my points. Twelve books, twelve quizzes.”

Teacher: “Wait… You already did them all? When?”

Me: “The first month of school.”

By taking every quiz I needed to in the first semester, the software was setting me up with zeros for the rest of the year. They changed it immediately to be one book a month rather than the ten books a year the syllabus had stated.

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Reflect On Rejection Of Rectory Reflections

, , , , , | Learning | April 20, 2020

I go to a private Catholic high school; however, there aren’t really any non-religious private schools in the area so a decent amount of the students, myself included, are just there for the education and couldn’t care less about the religious aspects of the school.

Every year during Lent, my school sends out daily Lenten reflections through our email. During my senior year, these emails come up in conversation in one of my classes.

Teacher: “Oh! Did y’all read the Lenten reflection yesterday? I thought it was so good.”

Friend: *Laughing* “No, I just delete those as soon as I see them in my inbox.”

Almost all of my classmates nod their heads in agreement with my friend. The teacher genuinely looks bewildered.

Teacher: “Wha— What? Why not?! They’re always so sweet.”

Half The Class: “I’m not religious.”

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This Teacher’s Confusion Will Make You Sweat

, , , , , | Learning | April 19, 2020

My private school has some strange rules about sweaters and jackets that students can wear in the building. They have to be in school colors, they can’t be sweatshirts, they can’t be “outdoor jackets,” they can’t have any kind of logo, and only sweaters can have a zipper.

My mother and I find a sweater at the beginning of sixth grade that seems to fit the bill. I get it approved by the lead middle school teacher — my science teacher — and wear it all winter with no problems.

The next winter, I bring it out again on the first cold day. I go to my first couple of classes with no issues. Then, I get to computer class, where there’s a new teacher. He’s very strict. A few minutes into class, he calls me up to his desk. Please note that I’m a very quiet, sensitive kid who literally never gets into any kind of trouble at school.

Me: “Yes, sir?”

He hands me a dress code and detention slip. I stare at him, mouth agape.

Me: “But… why?”

Teacher: “No zippers on sweaters, [My Name].”

Me: “But… but I wore this all last year! And [Science Teacher] said—”

Teacher: “I know you don’t ever get in trouble around here, but you need to learn that the rules apply to you, too. Sit down.”

I walk back to my desk in tears. My nearby classmates get up to sympathize until the teacher death-glares them and they return to their seats. I put my head down on the desk. I sit near the front, so I overhear the teacher making a call.

Teacher: “Hi, [Science Teacher]? It’s [Teacher], and I have a problem.” *Pause* “I have a student crying in my class because of a dress code detention.” *Pause* “[My Name].” *Pause* “Yes, really! She’s not immune to rules.” *Pause* “Sweater with a zipper.” *Pause* “Yes, it’s in school colors.” *Pause* “Yes.” *Pause* “Oh.” *Pause* “How was I supposed to know that?” *Pause* “Okay, okay, okay! I didn’t know.” *Pause* “Yes, I will.” *Pause* “Bye.”

He hangs up and calls me back up. I shuffle back up to his desk, still sniffling.

Teacher: “Give me the dress code and detention slips, please.”

I hand it over. He rips it up and throws it in the trash.

Teacher: “And I do owe you an apology. [Science Teacher] explained the dress code to me. I didn’t realize that this sweater was approved. I’m sorry. Please stop crying…”

I sat down. He didn’t issue any more dress codes the rest of the year. When I got to science class, my teacher pulled me aside to assure me again that I didn’t have detention.

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Can’t Wait For The Ten-Year Reunion!

, , , , , , | Learning | April 15, 2020

My boarding school just closed due to a global outbreak. This happens on the last night where we can stay in the dorms. As we’re all international students in our final year, it gets pretty emotional once we realise that we’re not coming back. Already half of our schoolmates have gone back home and we won’t see them again.

House Parent: “Okay, boys, as you know, there’s been a shortage of alcohol hand sanitisers in the region. [Chemistry Teacher] and [Biology Teacher] are rigging up a distillery to make sure that [Nearby Village]’s stockpile doesn’t run out. If any of you have any liquor they’d like to surrender, I’ll turn a blind eye, just this once.”

That’s true. I’m taught by both of those teachers and have seen the apparatus, or at least its prototype. And for the record, most of us are over 18 — UK’s drinking age — by this point.

Me: “Can I keep my wine? I don’t think that its alcohol content is high enough.”

House Parent: *Scandalised look* “Bring it out anyway.”

We start shuffling in and out of the common room, dragging our contraband to the room. For some reason, everyone has decided to surrender not just the alcohol, but all of our contraband. Before long, there’s a small mountain of alcoholic beverages, e-cigarettes, regular cigarettes, and some weird pills.

House Parent: “[Dormmate #1], I am disappointed in you. You’re a prefect, for God’s sake! And [Dormmate #2], you’ve been here for years; I always thought that you were a good student. And [My Name], you’ve always been harsh on rule-breakers. So, how is it you have nine, nine bottles of wine in your room?”

The two prefects brought out an impressive supply of vodka and cigarettes. Including my nine bottles of wine — I was expecting to not be allowed back to town, thus I bought enough to last until summer — the three of us brought out roughly half of the contraband.

House Parent: “And the rest of you? How is it that over a third of my dorm has been smuggling in contraband?”

Dormmate #3: “Actually, sir, some of these belonged to the guys that left. They handed it to us before they went home.”

Dormmate #4: “Yeah. Some of them still have stuff stashed away. If you let us into their rooms, we can get more out.”

House Parent: “Great! Is there no one in my dorm that has not broken at least one of the rules?”

We all shuffle about guiltily.

House Parent: “Seriously, boys?”

Me: “Welp, sir, it’s our last day here. Just lighten up a bit, all right?”

House Parent: *Sighs* “Fine. Fine. Just take your wine and go.”

Dormmate #2: “Hey, sir, seeing as it’s our last day here, can we have a party?” *Gestures at contraband pile* “We’ve got plenty of supplies here.”

Our house parent closes his eyes for a long time.

House Parent: “Fine. Just this once. No liquor, no vaping, and no smoking.”

Me: *Grins* “I’ve got ice cream! Seeing as I’m heading home tomorrow, I’ll share it with everyone!”

Dormmate #5: “I’ve got chocolate!”

Dormmate #6: “I’ve got waffles!”

And then we all had an impromptu party, eating ice cream and drinking our sorrows away. We said our tearful goodbyes, promised to keep in touch, and confessed to all of our various crimes in front of our house parent, who reacted with a mix of disbelief, exasperation, and disappointment.

My wine supply came out reasonably unscathed as everyone found it too sweet, but there was no more beer, cider, or less sweet wine left by the time we went to bed. 

It was oddly touching, considering that I found most of those people barely tolerable on most days. But now that we’ve gone our separate ways, I wished that that night where we got drunk together lasted forever.

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For USB-C, The C Stands For Computer

, , , , , | Learning | April 9, 2020

I am in the technology center of my college to use multiple displays for my research project. I get up to get lunch and I notice a friend of mine at a station a table over from me.

Me: “Hey, [Friend].”

Friend: “Hey, [My Name].”

Me: “What are you up to?”

Friend: “Trying to get my computer to turn on.”

Me: “Would you like some help?”

Friend: “Would you? Thanks.”

I walk over.

Friend: “I’m a bit hopeless with technology.”

I notice that he hasn’t gotten his laptop out to hook up to the USB-C dock.

Me: “You need your laptop.”

Friend: “I don’t have my laptop.”

Me: “Well, these aren’t computers; they’re just monitors, keyboards, and mice that you hook your laptop up to through that dock.”

Friend: “Well, that explains why I couldn’t get it to turn on!”

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