Massaging The Truth

| USA | Rude & Risque

(We are in the palpation lab of our anatomy class. We are currently learning the different muscles and their tendons in the forearm, wrist, and hand. One of our female classmates is a trained massage therapist, and has a couple of over-developed muscles in her wrists, because of how strong her forearms are for massage. This is a conversation initiated by a girl that isn’t in our lab section, but is sitting in on our section today.)

Classmate #1: “Wow, [Massage Therapist], what is that? Those muscles are weird looking!”

Instructor: “I wouldn’t call them weird; they are extraordinary!”

Massage Therapist: *laughs*

Classmate #1: “Why do they look like that?”

Me: “Because she touches naked people…”

Massage Therapist: “…for money.”

(Cue everyone laughing, except Classmate #1, who looked at us like we were completely nuts.)

Printed In Ironic Ink

| Australia | Bizarre/Silly, Technology

(I work at a school where teachers sometimes print off online resources to assist their teaching.)

Me: *starts laughing*

Coworker: “What is it?”

Me: “Look.”

(I show her a piece of printed paper with a large heading that reads “Thank you for not printing this page!”)

Nothing Opens You Up Like Serial Killer Accusations

| USA | Bad Behavior

(We are in a small classroom having a discussion regarding many off-topic subjects with our elderly and grandmotherly teacher. The topic of discussion turns to the then-recent Virginia Tech shooting spree. I am known for being an introvert.)

Teacher: “You know, they say this man was very quiet, very withdrawn, and didn’t really have that many friends. Which is why—” *turns and gently places a hand on my hands that are resting on my desk* “—[My Name], please open up more, so you do not become like him.”

(The rest of my class and myself were stunned silent at the comparison. I still bring it up as my most awkward moment: being compared to a mass murdering spree killer by my teacher because I don’t talk all that much.)

Defying Your Paper Orders

| Springfield, MA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Students

(Our history teacher has decided we are going to play “Civil War.” He divides class into two teams, North and South. Unfortunately, he designates a mean girl/queen bee as the general of my team.)

Teacher: *to Queen Bee* “First, get a piece of paper.”

Queen Bee: *to Friend #1* “I designate you next in command… Get a piece of paper.”

Friend #1: *to Friend #2* “I designate you next in command… Get a piece of paper.”

Friend #2: *to next classmate* “I designate you next in command… Get a piece of paper.”

(The order for a piece of paper gets passed down through our team until it gets to the last person in the pecking order.)

Second To The Very Last Person: “I designate you next in command… Get a piece of paper.”

Me: “No.”

Has Passion But Lacking In Compassion

| Hampshire, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Tutors

(I’m taking a course to learn to be a counsellor. The first year is “Counselling Skills” — a lot of learning about empathy, accepting that people have different life experiences, acknowledging their feelings as valid even if they’re different to our own, not judging, etc. — with theory in there as well, of course. After coming back from our tea break our tutor has scattered a bunch of hand-made A5 cards on the floor, each with two people on them: celebrities, famous characters, etc. It’s important to note that I had a VERY messed up childhood and my tutor is very aware of this, as not only do we keep a journal as part of the course which has a lot of personal stuff in it but we also discuss a lot of personal issues in class as well.)

Tutor: “Okay, we’re going to do a little exercise! I want each of you to select one of the cards on the floor, and we’re going to do an exercise with them based on the traits we were discussing earlier.”

Me: *looking at the cards and barely even recognising any of the names* “Uh, do we actually have to… know these people?”

Tutor: “Well, you have to know enough about them to do the exercise.” *we have no idea what the exercise is at this point*

Me: “Then, uh… I’m going to have a problem. Can I choose two cards and use one person from each?”

Tutor: *getting a bit snappy* “Well, I chose the different people because they contrasted each other and would make for a more interesting discussion.”

Me: “I don’t even know who most of these people ARE.”

Tutor: “Really?!” *she yanks a card out of the pile, starting to yell at me like I’m an idiot child* “You mean to tell me you don’t know who Gordon Ramsay and Madonna are?! You’re going to look me in the eye and tell me you don’t know enough about them to do the exercise?!”

Me: “Uh; I know she’s famous for music, and that he shouts at people on TV. That’s pretty much all I know. I’ve mentioned growing up in a bubble—”

Tutor: “Oh, for crying out loud! Fine! Just do any two people! Do your neighbour and your dog for all I care!”

(Feeling sick and humiliated, I sit down silently, preparing to do two people from a podcast I listen to. But she wasn’t done yet.)

Tutor: “I thought this would be more fun! This is ridiculous. You’re being ridiculous. I won’t bother with this again! Next time, you can just do role plays instead!”

(It turned out we had to rate three of each person’s traits from a list such as humility, compassion etc. on a scale of 1-10, and then explain to the group why we chose what we did. I would not have been able to do that with ANY of the people or characters on the cards. I left feeling physically sick and utterly humiliated. Learning to be a counsellor is emotionally very challenging, but this was the only time I felt like I didn’t want to do it anymore, and it’s by far my most vivid memory of that year. Thankfully I stuck with it, and going into the next stage now I have a new tutor. But for a woman whose job is all about compassion, she really seemed to be lacking it for some of her students!)

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