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I Would Nope My Way Right Out Of School

, , , , , | Learning | May 15, 2022

This happened when I was around ten or twelve years old, so in the late 1990s or early 2000s. In our old classroom, the tables had been changed around a few times, and this time they were placed so that there were three or four students placed around most tables.

The placing around the tables was changed every now and then, and this time around, I was placed with three other girls who were okay but not exactly my friends.

One day, the girl opposite me was feeling bad, and shortly after the class had started, she puked on the table. The teacher did, of course, stop the class and went to help her pack her stuff and move to a different place where she could wait for her parents. (For those curious: there was a nurse connected to the school, but being a semi-rural area, she was not always there. Teachers would then be the “nurse” for small issues.)

Before the teacher left, he called out to the class:

Teacher: “I’m going to help her get home. Could one of you clean up the puke?”

Yep. He asked if anyone of us kids could clean up the puke.

For some reason I have never really understood, I volunteered to do it. He just thanked me and went out with my classmate. And yes, I cleaned it up as best as I could. We had a sink in the classroom, so I had access to water and a cloth… but no soap.

Years later, I realised how wrong that was. Who would ask a kid to clean another kid’s puke up? And with no proper cleaning equipment?

In my teacher’s (semi) defense, we had a fairly useless janitor, and the cleaning people were only there after school time, so he could not have called for them. But still…

Compliment Confidence And Watch It Grow

, , , , , | Learning | May 7, 2022

I went through some serious mental health struggles all throughout my high school years. This was further exacerbated in college because I decided to go out of state and basically lost my entire support system.

In my freshman year, I was all but forced to withdraw from my gen-ed chemistry class because, between my mental health and my natural disinterest in the subject, I didn’t have any motivation to turn in any homework or lab reports. My professor for that class was also the ONLY one to notice my struggles and to try and reach out to me, but I wasn’t really receptive to getting help at that point.

A year later, I started digging myself out of my hole, so I decided to retake the class with the same professor. On this particular day, we had an exam. I finished a bit early, handed my test to my professor, and left the room like usual for her exams. Unbeknownst to me, she actually followed me out into the hall.

Professor: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Uh, yes?”

Professor: “I just wanted to say great job on your confidence this semester. You’ve come a long way.”

Me: *Genuinely shocked* “Oh, thank you. I’m… I’m really trying.”

Even though it was just a small comment, it really hit me hard after everything. I cried the whole way back to my dorm.

We Hope This Class Was On The Ground Floor

, , , , , , | Learning | May 5, 2022

We’re having an exam in a computer lab. After we’re all finished, the examiner sits with each of us individually to see what we’ve done, and then we can go, but the grade will be revealed later. The classmate he’s currently with has taken this class at least once before.

Classmate: *Jokingly* “Sir, if I fail the class again, I’m going to jump out the window.”

Examiner: “Okay, I’ll keep that in mind. Let’s see.”

They spend a couple of minutes looking through his work.

Examiner: “All right, you can go.”

Classmate: “Through the door or the window?”

Examiner: “…The door.”

Two Little Words Go A Long Way

, , , , | Learning | April 26, 2022

We had a new art teacher in fifth grade who was one of my favorite teachers. Even barring that, she was cool, and we spent a whole week or two doing kumihimo — a form of Japanese braiding. I still do it if I’m anxious.

At the end of the school year, she baked and brought in brownies with sprinkles and purple frosting for the class and went around the classroom of around thirty students passing them out. The classroom was seated in alphabetical order, and at the time, I was one of the last students in that class.

A lot of the kids had friends in the class, but I was cripplingly shy and preferred to do my own thing, so I was perhaps the only person who was actively drawing or doodling while everyone else was talking to their friends during the brownie party.

The teacher came around and offered me the brownie tray.

Me: “Thank you!”

The teacher stopped and stared at me for a few seconds.

Teacher: “What did you just say?”

I couldn’t read her expression, and my parents were strict, so I instantly got nervous that I’d done something wrong.

Me: “Um… thank you?”

The teacher then straightened up.

Teacher: “Hey, everybody. I’ve been passing out brownies this whole time, and [My Name]’s been the only one to say, ‘Thank you!’”

Everyone: *Chorus* “Thank you!”

Teacher: “Too late. [My Name], you get an extra one for being so polite.”

I thanked her again and spent the rest of that period eating both brownies. At the time, I was very embarrassed about being hailed in front of the ENTIRE class, but now that I’m older, I kind of feel bad for my teacher. I was at the second-to-last table, and tables seated only four people. Out of almost thirty students and after at least five tables, I was apparently the first and only person to say, “Thank you.”

Well, She Made ONE Good Decision

, , , , , | Learning | April 23, 2022

I am a taxi driver picking up my first fare of the day. I pick up a lady in her forties going to the local tafe — think community college for those Americans. She seems a little off but polite enough.

Halfway through the job:

Lady: “Actually, can we stop at [Bottleshop]?”

Me: “Sure, I can stop there, but it’s the other way from [Tafe].”

Lady: “Yeah, that’s fine. I really need a bottle of [Cheap Wine].”

I stop. She gets out and staggers inside, while I contemplate this lady already drunk at 10:00 am and buying more alcohol to drink at [Tafe]. She returns after a few minutes. She opens the bottle, takes a big gulp of it, and then gets back in the taxi.

Lady: “It’s okay, I know not to drink in the cab. Now to [Tafe].”

We get almost to the tafe.

Lady: “You know what? I don’t think I should go.”

Me: “Oh, okay. It’s up to you.”

Lady: “Yeah, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m drunk.”

Me: “Fair enough. So, where to now?”

Lady: “[Pickup address], please.”

I drive her home. All in all, it cost her $60 for a $13 bottle of wine. And she leaves me with this:

Lady: “Yeah, I think it’s a good idea to stay home. Wouldn’t want the students getting the wrong idea now.”

She staggered inside and I was a little dumbfounded.