Thinking He Can Ruler Over You

, , | Finland | Learning | April 18, 2017

When I was in high school, I lived on my own and money was really tight; I could barely afford food and textbooks for school.

I had a math teacher that seemed to hate all the students. But some, he literally bullied — he called us names, belittled us, refused to explain things that we didn’t understand during his classes, etc.

My ruler broke and I hadn’t had the chance to buy a new one (nor did I have the money for it at the time) and my math teacher kept bugging me about it, even though we didn’t actually need rulers on the course he was teaching, nor was it a requirement to have one. He kept bugging me about it for weeks, and at first I thought I’d be mature about it and just borrow one from a friend, but he kept ridiculing me in front of the class, saying stuff like “If you’re so poor, you don’t deserve to go to school,” and I finally got fed up with it.

So, I visited my mother’s home, and borrowed something from my eight-year-old little sister. The next time my teacher walked up to me and said “So, still no ruler? Still can’t afford one? Why do you even bother to attend my class?” I took out a pink, 3 cm long Barbie-ruler, put it on the table, and smiled at him.

Needless to say, I was kicked out of the classroom. I walked straight to the principal’s office, had a meeting with her, and told her everything. She didn’t reprimand me, but laughed at the pink ruler and invited the teacher to her office.

To my surprise, not only did he not deny anything, he also swore at the principal! Which was great, since I didn’t actually need to prove what he was like, since he outed himself right then and there. During that day, about 20 different students had short meetings with the principal about the teacher and all said the same things: that he was a bully, treated us unfairly, and didn’t teach us properly.

The next day, the principal had a teachers’ meeting and my math teacher was suspended for a month, but before the suspension was over, he voluntarily quit.

So, that’s the story how, thanks to a 3 cm long Barbie ruler, a horrible teacher quit his job.

An Arms-Length Away From Disaster

, , , | Duncan, BC, Canada | Friendly | April 16, 2017

I took Karate classes in elementary school. One time when I was around 10, I was sparring with a younger classmate. I threw a punch, which stopped a hair’s breadth away from his nose. I could feel his breath on my knuckles and we froze for a moment, both of us staring wide-eyed at my fist. My Sensei ended the round, awarded me the point, and complimented me on my excellent use of control.

I was too embarrassed to admit that control had nothing to do with it. My arm was fully extended; if I’d had a longer arm or been standing an inch closer, he would have had a broken nose, and I would have been doing push-ups for weeks.

A Thoughtful Gesture By Principal

, , | USA | Hopeless | April 14, 2017

(During my senior year of high school, my mother passed away from stage-four lung cancer on the day before Thanksgiving. Since her passing, it has been a really difficult time for my family and with the holidays being right around the corner makes it a lot harder for us money wise. My mother was well known around my school district for being on the school board and volunteering within the community so during her battle and after her passing, my school has been nothing but great to my family. During the final class on the day before school lets out for Christmas break, I am called down to the principal’s office and when I see my dad sitting in the office waiting for me, I am not really sure what to expect, until the principal hands me a gift bag.)

Principal: “I know this has been a really tough time for your family and I wanted to give you my deepest condolences once again for your loss. [My Name] is a wonderful student and your family is well-respected within our district. We wanted to do something a little bit special for your family for the holidays.

(I open the bag and see a bunch of Christmas cards, gift cards for different restaurants and stores, and a bunch of Christmas cookies and candy inside, and look back at my principal speechless.)

Principal: “Your family has been a wonderful addition to our district and we couldn’t appreciate everything your mother did for us. Some of your teachers and other staff members in this school have each bought a gift card to a restaurant or store to help make this difficult time a little easier for you. I have a list of the staff members who helped contribute and I will read the names to you.”

(As the principal reads the list names of everyone, my father and I looked at the gift cards and each of them are worth more than 100 dollars. When he finishes, my dad and I are both close to tears and I am too speechless to even speak.)

Dad: “I don’t even know how to thank you for what you’re doing for my family.”

Principal: “You don’t have to thank me. [My Name] is a wonderful student and all of her teachers love having her in their classes. And [Mother] will be missed by everyone in this district. This is our way for giving back to you for all that you have done for our school. If there is anything else we can do for your family, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here for you.”

(My dad and I left the principal’s office a couple minutes later in tears. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done to us during an extremely difficult time. My father wasn’t sure how he was going to get through Christmas after the funeral expenses and the gift cards have helped us a lot!)

Full Points For Trying

, , , | FL, USA | Learning | March 16, 2017

I am taking a Calc 1 test in the Student Assessment Center (I have ADD and am allowed double time for exams as a result), and it just so happens to be the day before my 21st birthday. For kicks and giggles, I decide to write on the front of the test, “I’m turning 21 tomorrow. B-Day bonus points, please? :)” as a joke, not expecting anything to come of it.

On a semi-related note, one of the questions on the front gave us a graph and, among other things, wanted us to list at what points the derivative of the function, labeled as “f'(x)”, equaled 0. Unfortunately, I and several others didn’t see the apostrophe and thought it was asking for what points “f(x)” equaled 0. Many facepalms were had when he went over this (and some other problem questions, but that was the real “duh” moment) on the board before handing back the tests.

However, when I got mine back, I noticed that my note was circled, he had drawn an arrow between it and the incorrectly answered problem, and he had written “I won’t count off. There are your free points! =)” next to it.

It was only two or three points, not even enough to change the letter grade, but I was still surprised that he had actually gone through with it.

Left Alone But Not Left Alone

, | IN, USA | Hopeless | March 12, 2017

(It’s the second day of seventh grade, but the first day for me, as I had had a medical procedure done the day before. I am not in the best frame of mind. I know I should have been home recovering but the school won’t let me. I have to deal with the chronic illness that has resulted in the procedure having to be done, I have an unstable home life that has left me breaking down and crying right before I come to school, I am still trying to comprehend something traumatic that had happened to me the year before, and to top it off, I am starting to show symptoms of the bipolar that would be completely ignored until diagnosed as an adult. And I am late for school. In short, all I want is to be left alone. In reading period, we are allowed to go to a separate room, provided we behave. In that room is a closet that has its door removed, that has been turned into a private reading nook. At the beginning of reading period, I take my book and make a beeline for the nook, getting there first and settling down. I don’t get far into my reading before a group of kids who had given me trouble the year before appear in the doorway.)

Kid #1: “Get out.”

(I ignore them.)

Kid #1: “I said get out!”

Me: “No.”

Kid #2: “We want in here.”

Me: “Go away.”

Kid #3: “Get out or we’ll make you.”

(At this point I’m frustrated enough to do the unthinkable: I flip them off. Naturally, they have a freak out that would put an association footballer to shame. They run to their teacher, screaming about what I have done. I get a sinking feeling in my gut — not too far from where the procedure had been done, in fact — and try to get a few more sentences in before Hell comes crashing down upon me. Their teacher comes flying into the room, straight towards the alcove. It’s her second day, too. She’s new to the school, new to the students, and she’s not my main teacher. All she knows about me is that I had to spend time in her class that morning because I had come in an hour late and my class was out in the field. She’s furious.)

Teacher: “Were you bothering [Kids]?!”

(I look up at her, but I have no idea how to answer that.)

Teacher: “Did you flip them off?!”

Me: *quietly* “Yes…”

(Now I don’t know if it was my honesty, my general quietness, or some look on my face, but her features instantly soften. She stares at me for a few seconds, and when she speaks again, it’s much gentler.)

Teacher: “You just wanted to be left alone, huh?”

(I nod.)

Teacher: “Well, it’s against the rules so you’ve lost your reading room privileges for the day, but why don’t you come read at my desk? No one will bother you there.”

(I nodded and she reached out a hand and helped me off the floor. As I followed her to her room, I saw the kids gloating at me and running to the alcove, but I didn’t care. She was right, no one bothered me at her desk, and every so often she would look up from her work and smile at me as I read quietly. When I graduated middle school and the teachers made speeches about all the eighth graders, she’s the one who made my speech. I never got to properly thank her or say goodbye, though, as she left school early to pick up her daughter from her own last day of school. So, Ms. H, if you’re reading this: Thank you and goodbye.)

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