Sounds Like Someone Needs A Little-Voice Transplant

, , , , , , | Related | June 16, 2020

I come from a large family, and we don’t get together very often. A table-full of us are gathered at a nephew’s wedding.

[Brother #4], who is not present, as it happens, is famous — notorious, actually — in our extended clan for being an adrenaline junkie with poor decision-making skills.

Seriously — about twenty years ago, as a result of a miscalculation on a bungee jump, he was featured on an episode of the Discovery Channel show called “Real Life Medical Miracles.” For his fortieth birthday, he told his wife he wanted to try cage boxing.

One of us is telling a long and complicated story about him, three dogs, and a skunk, and a niece is shaking her head in disbelief.

Me: “It’s true. You know that little voice that we all have in the back of our brains? The one that tells you not to do dumb stuff like stick a fork in the wall socket?”

Niece: “Are you saying Uncle [Brother #4] doesn’t listen to his little voice?”

Me: “I’m saying his little voice was dropped on its head as a child.”

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Age Is Just A Number; Maturity Is Everything

, , , , , | Friendly | June 15, 2020

My family — my husband, our three-year-old son, and me — are flying across Canada to visit extended family. We were able to upgrade our seats to first-class for a really reasonable rate at the last minute. We’ve got a big bag of stuff to keep our son entertained on the flight. We know; babies and little kids are not always the best travellers.

We get settled in and another family boards right after us. The parents are in their fifties or so, and their three kids are in their twenties. They take one look at my son, who’s sitting quietly while I read him a book, and start complaining. Loudly. They’re saying things like, “Oh, great! I thought this was supposed to be first-class!” They’re trying to engage the other first-class passengers, who are mostly looking uncomfortable that we can clearly hear these people complaining about us.

As soon as the plane takes off, this other family starts ordering drinks. And more drinks. First, they start talking and joking in increasingly loud voices. Then, they start bickering, shouting across the aisles at each other. They are the noisiest passengers I’ve ever been stuck with. 

Our three-year-old son, meanwhile, was quiet and calm the whole flight. He watched cartoons, ate snacks, and played with his toys. Model flyer.

This story has been included in our June 2020 roundup as one of that month’s most memorable stories!

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Teachers Deserve To Be Millionaires

, , , , , , , | Learning | June 14, 2020

Here are some of the reasons I had to quit teaching. I was a pre-K teacher in an urban school. Kudos to those who are still sticking it out!

Parent: “I don’t discipline my child.”

Her child constantly attacked his classmates and would not follow directions. He ended up head-butting me in the face. I legit celebrated when I got back from sick leave to hear he had been pulled.

Another incident:

After writing out a child’s name on my welcome board, a parent screams at me that the M in the middle of the name should be capitalized.

The name was given to me in all caps.

Another incident:

Principal: “You need to get all of your kids to [end of kindergarten assessment level] by the end of the year!”

Me: “Uh, they are coming to me at a deficit and I only expect half of them to be testing at a kindergarten-ready level.”

I explain the rest of the assessment tool.

Principal: “All of them should be at the highest level of the assessment;why else would they include it?”

The principal repeated this idiocy for months and didn’t seem to understand rubrics. Then, she proceeded to give my team the least amount of planning time, refused to alter her own weekly training schedule, refused to give us substitutes to assess our kids, and still insisted the kids should test at end-of-kindergarten levels.

Another incident:

I have to chase one child who has run away from me on the playground and drag him back before he runs into the street. A white lady dragging a screaming African-American kid is NOT A GOOD LOOK.

Another incident:

One of my student’s personalities flips in January; he destroys my room once a week and I have to teach in the hallway while other teachers have to calm him down.

He later proceeds to trip my paraeducator, who falls and cracks her pelvis. That is the only time I’ve ever seen a pre-kindergartener suspended.

In the last week of school, I told his dad he might need some father-son time. Dad got the hint and didn’t bring him back.

Another incident:

I taught twenty-one four-year-olds by myself for a year since my paraeducator had to teach third grade, because teachers kept quitting.

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Stuck On Destruction

, , , , | Related | June 12, 2020

This takes place years ago when my brother is in high school. My brother has always loved building — often rather destructive — things, including but not limited to an impressive array of potato cannons. He is in the garage assembling a new one and he has just glued the starter into place and decides to test it.

In the kitchen, I hear a bang, a yelp, and then a crash before my brother opens the door, now eyebrow-less and a bit singed.

Brother: “So, it turns out that glue is flammable before it dries.”

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He’s Lucky Barney Fife Wasn’t There

, , , , , | Working | June 9, 2020

I’m working on set as an assistant director on a TV series. Part of my job is to keep the cast happy, and that sometimes includes getting coffee for them. One episode has us spending days across from a coffee shop that I frequent many times during our time there. A few days in, one of the actors — who is playing a guest-star bad guy — asks to come with me and I shrug sure.

As we enter the tiny, independent establishment, two patrons sitting lazily at tables, I approach the woman behind the counter who’s served me often before and her face suddenly changes to shock and horror as she looks over my shoulder.

I turn to see that my actor has pulled his massive prop gun from under his coat.

Actor: “This is a holdup!”

I leap at him, pressing the gun to his rather large chest — I’m a woman and not even close to his size — and yell:

Me: “No, no, no! He’s with me! This is not a holdup!”

I push him to the door, the gun still to his chest, kind of pointing at one of the patrons. Everyone is standing now and I can’t get him out the door myself, but he gives up his “joke” and heads outside.

Me: “What is wrong with you? Get back to the prop department and give them your gun!”

The actor slinks off and I turn back to everyone still in the small shop.

Me: “I am so sorry. I had no idea he brought his gun.”

The barista knew that what happened wasn’t my fault and took my order. The two patrons calmed down pretty quickly as it was really obvious that we were filming shoot-outs across the road, and they went back to their drinks.

The actor and I never talked about the incident, but who in their right mind thinks that waving a huge gun around in public is a good idea?

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