The Golden Rule Doesn’t Apply To Teachers

, , , , , , , | Learning | May 7, 2020

I’m teaching a class that has suddenly been moved from being held on campus to being held exclusively online. It’s been a rough transition for most of us and I’ve made the due dates very flexible, more like suggestions than hard deadlines. This particular week, we have a multiple-choice quiz due on Wednesday and a one-page paper due on Friday. The quiz’s due date is fairly strict because I post an answer key the next day.

On Monday, I receive an email from a student apologizing for last week’s paper being late, asking if they can still turn it in, and asking for an extension on this week’s paper. I email back that it’s fine that they’re late; there will be no penalty for late work and they should just finish both when they’re able.

On Thursday afternoon, I receive an email from the same student, saying, “I passed in the quiz yesterday and it hasn’t been graded yet. Why hasn’t it been graded? When are you going to grade it? I passed it in yesterday.”

I guess I don’t get the same consideration for extensions.

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Unfiltered Story #191502

| Unfiltered | April 6, 2020

(I self-publish a small series of stories and a connected tabletop RPG. There are some characters I have who get introduced either a few pages before they die or else are already planned to die. One of my pre-readers has a tendency to fall in love with these characters.)

Me: I’m making some more sample spells for the demo game this summer. I’ve made spells for *list of characters including one of the aforementioned deadlist characters*

Pre-Reader: Ahh. Why’d you have to bring up *character*? The trauma is still fresh.

Me: She’s not dead yet.

Pre-reader: But I know your plans for her.

Me: Oh well. At least *name of character introduced and killed in the newest short story* isn’t on the don’t-say list yet.

Pre-Reader: *traumatized groan*

Me: Okay, is the reason I haven’t received grammar edits on the new story yet due to emotional trauma?

Pre-Reader: *plaintively* Maybe.

Bath Time Is The Perfect Time To Be Gross

, , , , | Related | April 4, 2020

My sister and I live on different continents, so we keep in touch through lots of video calls. This also allows me to keep up with my niece and nephew, both toddlers.

I’ve spent time on the phone talking with them, eating with them, singing to them, and listening to crying, arguments, and tantrums. I’ve also been on video chats during bath time. I’ve heard a lot of hilarious things over the past two and a half years, but this has been the best, without a doubt.

After hearing my sister telling someone to stop peeing in the tub, emptying it, and refilling it, I suddenly heard, “No! Stop! Give me that booger right now!”

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. She explained that the older one was waving around a giant booger on his hand and getting waaay too close to his little sister. She also agreed that it was one of the most absurd things she had ever had to say. Of course, my nephew thought we were laughing at him and tried to do it again.

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Bye-Bye, Boo-Boo

, , , , | Related | March 30, 2020

I’m video-chatting with my sister and almost-three-year-old nephew while he’s in the bath. Obviously, there’s been lots of fun and too much splashing, but he quiets down for a minute and then says:

Nephew: *Looking at his finger* “Mama, can’t find boo-boo.”

Sister: “You can’t find your boo-boo?”

Nephew: “No.”

He starts looking around in the tub.

Sister: “What are you doing?”

Nephew: “Looking for boo-boo!”

Sister: “You’re looking for your boo-boo in the water?”

My sister and I are already laughing, but since she’s sitting there with him she has to keep it together. I, on the other hand, do not!

Nephew: “Yeah! Swim away!”

Sister: “Your boo-boo is swimming away?”

Nephew: “On the wall!”

Sister: “It’s on the wall now?”

Nephew: “Yeah!”

Sister: “Well, what is it doing on the wall?”

Nephew: “Alligator got!” 

Sister: “Oh, an alligator ate your boo-boo? That’s too bad.”

I’m basically dying of laughter. My nephew is suddenly sad and looking at his finger again.

Nephew: “Yeah…”

Sister: “Buddy, don’t worry. It’s actually better to not have a boo-boo, okay?”

My nephew thinks for a second.

Nephew: “Okay.”

Of course, he then immediately went back to playing! Family is fun, even from far away.

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Speak To Him In Dad Code

, , , | Related | March 5, 2020

(I am living and working outside of the US, but I keep my US bank account active. My father also has access to my account in case anything happens that would be easier to deal with in person. I trust him with my account, but he doesn’t have the greatest faith in my career. For some reason, he’s convinced that I should quit my job, go back to university, and learn computer coding. I’m in my 30s and have been following my career path for several years. I don’t make outstanding money, but I live comfortably, enjoy my job, and love the country I’m working in. One day, my dad emails me.)

Dad: “Your account is getting a little low.”

Me: “I know, my [subscription] payment was taken out yesterday.”

Dad: “Do you need me to loan you some money?”

Me: “No, thanks.”

Dad: “Are you sure? I can transfer some money into your account right now. I wouldn’t want it to get overdrawn.”

Me: “I transferred some money from my account here just yesterday. It should go through within a day or two, and I don’t have any transactions scheduled before then.”

Dad: “I found this good coding course online. I’ll pay for [subscription] and give you $500 extra if you take the course.”

Me: “Uh, no. I’ve told you before that I’m not interested, and I don’t have the time to spend slogging through a course that has no benefit to my job.”

Dad: “You know you could be making so much better money, right? I love you and I just want to see you able to support yourself.”

Me: “We’ve had this conversation before. I do support myself. I love my job. I have no wish to quit my job and learn coding. I frankly find it so boring I could scream, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to tolerate it as a career. You keep offering me money but I haven’t taken it. I have no need to take it. You haven’t paid for anything of mine since I got my own phone plan in university. I might not be making the kind of money [Dad’s career] earns, but I. Am. Fine.”

(I don’t know how to get it across to him that I don’t need any financial support. He just doesn’t seem to understand that I’m comfortable enough with my current income that I value job satisfaction over extra money.)

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