(I live in a dorm that has had no major renovations in at least forty years. In addition to some other problems, when I moved in my smoke alarm was chirping due to a low battery. I managed to take out the battery so that I could sleep at night, but I also put in a work order immediately. Now, over a week later, I happen to be chatting with a student employee for housing. Note that I’ve also been having a key issue in which, long story short, I have the only working key in existence to my room.)

Me: “Do you know when they’re planning on replacing my battery? I mean I understand if it’s because they don’t think they’d be able to get into my room, but I leave it unlocked most of the time anyway.”

Student: “I think they’re working on the big things first, like flooded rooms and stuff like that.”

Me: “Right, the big things. Because not having a smoke alarm in my room is a minor issue.”

Student: “Uh…well there are smoke alarms in the hallway.”

Me: “But I remember when I lived in [other dorm that is only 10 years old] last year, the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night and I woke up to the flashing lights from the fire truck outside the window, not the alarm.”

Student: “Oh. That’s…not good. Unfortunately I can’t say when they’ll fix it, but hopefully it’s soon.”

(I felt bad because I knew she couldn’t do anything about it, but I’ve been frustrated with my school’s housing department since I moved in.)

Middle School

Winston-Salem, NC

(I am almost done with the school year when my great-grandmother dies. I go to my teachers to get work, as the funeral is very far away and I will be gone from school most of the week. Up until this point, my teacher has been supportive, encouraging, and helpful.)

Me: “[Teacher], I have to go to my great-grandmother’s funeral.”

Teacher: “Oh, I’m so sorry! Do you need anything?”

Me: “Yes, could I please have my work for the next week? The funeral is in [location], so I will be out during that time.”


Me: *speechless and shocked*

High School

Ukiah, CA, USA

(My physics teacher is well known at my school for going off on random tangents while lecturing. He also includes a simple question on every test that’s impossible to get wrong like “What’s your favorite color?” or “What kind of ice cream tastes best?” The teacher has just finished grading our midterms and decides to read one of the answers aloud.)

Midterm: “What is your favorite quote?”

Answer: “‘All you have to do to kill a baby is push right here.’ - [Teacher]”

Teacher: “I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact I said it, or the fact that one of you actually consider it your favorite.”

(He was discussing force and the tangent had gone to how easy it is to break bones to how fragile baby bones are.)

High school


(My cousin is two years older and my best friend. She is also very pretty, charismatic and friendly, whereas I’m a bona fide geek with a big nose. It’s my first year of high school, and some bullies are picking on me. I brush it off as best I can and mention it to my cousin later.)

Cousin: They WHAT?! Hang on, I’ll handle this.

(She goes up to the bullies and turns up the charm, flirting and giggling with them for a few minutes. Then, she motions for them to lean in like she’s going to tell them a secret, and whispers:)

Cousin: If you ever mess with my cousin [My Name] again, I’ll f***ing destroy you.

(Then she straightens up and gives them a big smile.)

Cousin: Mmkay? Have a great day, boys!

(She flounces away, and the bullies never bother me again.)

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