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Thanks To ADHD And The ADA, You’ve Been HAD

, , , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: KiSpacePanda | July 1, 2021

When I was a freshman in college, I registered for a basic English 102 course that doubled as a humanities credit. I thought, “Great! Two birds one stone,” despite the professor’s online rating for this class being abysmal at best.

I have ADHD and dyslexia, so I have a hard time reading most times but especially handwritten stuff, even my own. I have an ADA allowance on file, meaning I get some permissions to allow me to take classes and function as normally as possible. These permissions include use of my tablet during class to write notes and about an hour longer on tests.

On the first day of class, the professor strolls in with the arrogance and snobbitude of someone who THINKS they’re getting tenured this year. He starts talking and going over the syllabus.

Professor: “There will be no phones, laptops, or technology of any kind in my class. You will write all your notes by hand.”

That isn’t going to work for me, so I raise my hand.

Me: “Can I talk to you privately about the rule?”

That goes over like a lead balloon and he starts getting snippy.

Professor: “Anything you need to talk with me about can be found in the syllabus.”

Me: “I do need to talk to you; it’s pretty important.”

Professor: “Just say it to the class. I don’t have time to take out to deal with whining of any kind.”

Okay, dude.

Me: “I’m dyslexic and need my tablet to do the notes and read the assignments, and my ADA permissions are on file and emailed to all my professors before class.”

Professor: “Yeah, I saw the email, but I don’t care. You can do the work just like everyone else. You’re not special even if you were in special ed.”

The class goes deadly quiet at that.

I’m absolutely shocked at his bold and completely hilarious lack of awareness and care for his job. I stare at him open-mouthed, and he thinks he’s won. He’s got this smug little face like I’ve just been told and there’re no other options or any way he’ll regret his behavior.

One of the girls in class — whom I’ve never met before — finally finds her voice and calls him out in his ableism and lack of decorum, but he cuts her off.

Professor: “If you don’t like my rules, you can drop the class.”

Classmate: “Okay.”

She pulls out her laptop and drops the class right in front of him, and, taking the cue from her, three other students and I do the same, and we all leave class together.

Classmate: “Do you want to go to the dean about this?”

Honestly, I was really shaken. I said yes and we went straight to the office of the dean of students and explained what happened, and we spoke to the ADA counselor. They took the girl’s statement and mine. They discovered that this professor had pulled this s*** for years but nobody wanted to get involved.

Six months later, I heard that not only had the professor not gotten tenured, but he was fired and blacklisted from teaching at the collegiate level.


This story is part of our Best Of July 2021 roundup!

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There Are Many Ways To Reach Your Students

, , , , , | Friendly | June 30, 2021

Over a decade ago, when I was nineteen, I attended a college in which the various buildings were quite spaced out through the downtown area; there was no real central campus. This meant that, one summer day, as I stopped to get lunch while walking to my next class, I passed a city bus stop just outside the sandwich shop I was heading for. A man at the bus stop saw me approach, smiled in a casual, friendly way, said something like, “Hey, looking good!” and held up one hand for a high-five.

Call me clueless, but without thinking, I high-fived him back. Maybe it just seemed the path of least resistance, or maybe as a girl who had literally never been hit on once in her life, it was a bit flattering. Either way, it was over in a moment, and I was off into the sandwich shop for my lunch.

Then, halfway through the “What else would you like on that?” process, the employee making my sandwich paused, his face suddenly serious, as he looked past me out the restaurant window.

Employee: “Hey, uh, don’t look now, but there’s a guy outside who’s, like, really staring at you.”

Without turning to fully look, I worked out that the guy I’d high-fived was indeed staring nonstop at me through the window behind me, and I informed the employee that, no, I did not know him, and we both proceeded to act as though we hadn’t noticed him. Internally, I was now extremely nervous, of course. What the heck had I just set off? What was I going to do now? There was only one door to the place, so I would have to pass this guy if I left. As the minutes passed and I paid for my sandwich, the guy apparently did not intend to enter the restaurant, content to just watch me through the glass, probably waiting for me to leave.

Panicking a bit, and having no prior experience with directly creepy men, I chose to sit inside the mostly empty restaurant and eat, facing away from the guy and pretending I didn’t see him. The whole time, he never came inside. I believe the employee kept an eye out for me, too, but there were no further actions taken. After finishing my food, I stayed put and looked at my phone, still steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the guy’s presence, but with that deep sick feeling of panic in the pit of my stomach.

Then, I got a text from a classmate. I’d spent so much time in the sandwich shop that class had started, and my professor was wondering where I was. They were small classes, my professor was a sweetheart, and it was not like me to be late or miss class. I filled them in on the situation, told them I was too nervous to leave the shop, and was immediately told:

Classmate: “Hang on for just another minute! [Professor] is coming to get you!”

And now I must explain a few things about this professor. He is probably the kindest, gentlest soul I have ever known. He once described himself as “Bobby Hill” — from the show “King of the Hill” — a sweet, sensitive, non-athletic, creative child from a family of incurious rednecks. He was fairly short and somewhat overweight, and he kept his hair quite long. He was beloved in his department for encouraging his students and nurturing their creativity and growth, and he was also well known for being a huge fan of a certain very cutesy cartoon character mostly aimed at young girls. He would even dress as this character every Halloween.

So, this is the man who did not hesitate to hop in his car and drive the four or five blocks to my location and charge into the sandwich shop. His timing could not have been better. Since I was watching out for him, I gathered my stuff as I saw him coming, and as soon as he entered, I stood to leave. Together, we started walking right back out the door, just as the guy from outside decided to finally come in. We passed him on the way out and booked it down the sidewalk.

The guy actually followed us, staying a few feet behind, through crosswalks and down the block. After less than a minute of this, my professor turned on a dime, got up in this dude’s face — which was about a foot higher than my professor’s — and spat out, “Can I help you?”

The guy mumbled something and FINALLY backed off. My professor later said the guy had reeked of booze, something I’d never picked up on. We made it safely back to my professor’s adorable little Prius, where I got to deep-breathe through the remains of my scare while enjoying [Character] seat covers and floor mats on the way back to class, and I was about the most grateful to someone I’ve ever been.

I always feel like such an idiot looking back on that incident, and I’m fully aware it could have been much worse! That professor will always be my hero!


This story is part of our Best Of June 2021 roundup!

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That’s A Fair Question

, , , , | Learning | June 28, 2021

In eighth grade, we had a really young English teacher. She looked and acted so young, a rumour spread across the class that she was eighteen, which, of course, was impossible, but hey, we were thirteen. What did we know? Predictably, all the boys developed huge crushes on her.

One day, we were in class and somebody was passing a note, and the teacher intercepted it. She took it from the person who had it, unfolded it, and read it out loud.

Teacher: “‘The teacher’s really hot, but she wears white socks.’”

Not missing a beat, and entirely deadpan, she turned to the class and asked:

Teacher: “What’s wrong with white socks?”

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Her Alignment Is Chaotic Good

, , , | Learning | June 26, 2021

My mum is a science teacher. A chaotic one. Once, she suspected that some of her students had been smoking and she didn’t waste her time preaching about how unhealthy it was.

Mum: “You know that overpopulation is a huge problem these days, right? Keep smoking. Keep smoking and you’ll help to solve it.”

Another time, she was explaining the evolution theory.

Student: “Teach, I don’t really like the idea of descending from monkeys.”

Mum: “Well, every living being descends from a common ancestor. If it makes you feel better, you can think you descended from clams.”

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Linda Belcher Did A Stint As A Teacher

, , , , , | Learning | June 24, 2021

Back when I was in middle school, a group of boys apparently decided to start having “peeing contests”. In other words, they were trying to pee into the urinal from as far away as they could and were making a gross mess in the process. Initially, the school freaked out because they thought there was a leak, but the plumber they hired couldn’t find anything — a big financial hit, given how small the school was.

I’m not sure how, but eventually, one of the teachers figured out what was happening and our principal asked all of the teachers to make an announcement about it in their homerooms.

Teacher: *Very sternly* “Now, we don’t know who all is involved with this, but we know that some of you boys are playing a little ‘game’ in the bathroom, and it needs to stop immediately. It’s incredibly gross and you need to put your pee where it’s supposed to be!”

There was a slight pause and the tension in the room immediately dissolved as she realized the accidental rhyme she had just said to a bunch of very immature and now snickering eleven-year-olds.

Teacher: “Ah, jeez… You know what? You know what? I’m going to recreate that Uncle Sam poster and put ‘Put that pee where it’s supposed to be!’ on it and stick it over the urinal.”

And she did! It stayed there for the rest of that school year, and we never had another urine-related incident while I attended that school.

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