It really is often not the student's fault when they're acting out. Crazy behavior in the classroom can so easily mirror crazy circumstances at home.
More often than not, teachers learn this lesson the hard way: through parent teacher conferences, phone calls, or other events in which they are unprepared to meet the source of crazy, erratic, or disrespectful behavior.
Training For Klepto CollegeGiphy
Elementary teacher here. We had a student who wouldn't stop stealing things out of other kids backpacks. We had caught him on camera and would call the parents and they would just say "no, that's his insert stolen item, we just bought it for him." Then, we get him on a positive behavior plan and create intentional lessons about empathy to others, setting goals to get what you want, the difference between wants/needs etc.
Eventually, he gets enough positive days in a row that he gets released from the behavior plan and receives a free bike as his incentive for good behavior (they were donated to the school by a local bike shop). The next day he tells me his uncle stole it and pawned it. He went right back to his old behaviors and it was heartbreaking.
That's No Parking Space
I had a student last year who was new to the school. Really nice, friendly, shy and hilariously absent minded. He would come to school at least 2 days a week with either his shirt on backwards, inside out or both.
So I wanted to talk to his parents about how his absent mindedness was affecting his learning. Mom shows up at 5. Dad shows up 1hr late. We have a good chat and they get up to go. As I'm walking them out I said I will show you the shortest way to the parking lot.
The dad replies with I didn't park in the parking lot so I said "You can go the same way to the street." He said "I couldn't find the parking entrance so I just drove around and parked on asphalt play area." Sure enough I walk by and his car is next to the play ground.
So it all came together after that.
When It Crosses The Line Of Sad
This one's sad. I was a camp counselor and I had a girl in my cabin with issues. She was attention seeking, kind of a mean girl, and generally wasn't liked by a lot of the camp. I honestly didn't give her a lot of 1 on 1 attention, which is something I deeply regret in retrospect. I only understood the issue because I was bus staff. This was a sleepover camp.
Her session was 2 weeks and her parents had elected for her to take the bus back and they'd pick her up. The bus was early but plenty of parents showed up early they were so excited to see their kids. As we got closer to pickup time, the crowd dwindled until there were just a few left.
A staff member asked for the kids still there so they could make phone calls. All but one were in traffic and on their way.
My camper's parents said no. They said they had two more days of freedom, they wouldn't take her, and said we needed to put up with her for a couple more days. They each said this individually and hung up. Neither responded to follow-up calls. Staff told me to go home and they were left to figure that one out. My parents always hated me, but this was shocking to me. That someone's parents would absolutely refuse to let their 12-year-old into their house.
High school teacher, and we have something called Soft Lockdowns (known as Shelter in Place by some schools) where doors are shut and locked but classes continue as normal. These are pretty common and can be used for anything from a medical emergency (want everyone out of the hallway if someone needs to be cared for, because high schoolers are nosy) to a fugitive running around the neighborhood.
We've been in many soft lockdowns because parents have come to the school ready to hunt down and beat the crap out of a teacher. They usually come in the front office (can't access the rest of the school without someone opening the secured door) screaming, cussing, threatening everyone in the area, you get the picture. Often, they're removed by the SRO and given a criminal trespass citation.
We have a pretty high rate of fights and violence between students. When I see parents acting this way, it all make sense.
A bit different because this is a positive story!
I'm not a teacher but I TA'd for a freshman chemistry class last year, so college kids but ones that were in high school like three or four months previously. One kid in my section was amazing: scary smart, always got great marks on assignments, asked fantastically phrased questions that the professor loved to answer, was a joy to be around during the lab section because he was so easy to be friendly with; he clearly loved and excelled at the work and enjoyed being in the environment, which definitely extended to the rest of his lab group (they were consistently the most talkative but also got the highest marks on assignments).
About halfway through the semester we introduce a concept that he struggled with a bit so he came to a few tutoring sessions and he was a joy to help 1 on 1. Our third tutoring session was in the campus Starbucks and went late so he had to get his dad to pick him up because his ride to campus that day had already left. His dad came a bit early so he ordered a drink and sat down with us for a bit and I immediately understood where this kid got everything from.
His dad was wicked smart (asked relevant questions in a way that made me think about the material in serious depth, same way that his son did), cracked a couple of dad jokes that made me laugh, and was beyond easy to talk to, to the point where we had stayed an extra 30 minutes beyond what we were supposed to, swapping between going over the material and cutting up. Just a joy to be around from day 1 until the day of the final and the apple clearly didn't fall far from the tree.
I had a student many years ago, call him M. He was a sweetheart in the classroom, never answered back, did as he was told, engaged and interesting. But, outside of class, he wasn't allowed to be around other students, escorted class to class, because he would start a fight EVERY time, and i mean that. I could not wrap my head around it, until Parents Evening.
His Dad was a hulk of a man, mother was sadly deceased. He was clearly abusive. He kept his hand on the back of M's neck, leading him around like that. M looked like he was going to his own execution. Was told later that authorities were involved, but M lashes out all the time because it was the only time he felt he had some control. Would never talk back to an adult because he was just scared of us all. He didn't make it the year before he disappeared, but I still think about him.
The Lies, Margaret, The Lies
I had a student who repeatedly lied about assignments, saying he'd turned them in and his teachers had lost them. As a team with admin present, we conferenced with mom and dad, who deflected and provided excuses that he just "doesn't like school," and, "if my son says he did something, he did it. We value integrity in our family." Three months later some friends of mine invited me to a bar a few towns away to see a band perform. Near the end of the night, I ran into the mom who is out on a date with a man who isn't her husband. From that point on, she wouldn't return any of my emails or calls about the son's behavior. She is now an administrator in another county.
No Devils Here, Son
I teach elementary music but I also assist in before school care. There was one boy (3rd grade) who was sitting at a table with several other students. One girl was attempting to engage with the boy and he abruptly stands up, points at the girl, and screams "YOU ARE THE DEVIL". Obviously at this age there needs to be intervention because you can't talk to other in that fashion or with that language. We always try and talk through emotions rather than explode.
Call the mom and explain the situation. The moms first and only response is "Well, if he called her the devil, she probably is the devil"
Pretty clearly can tell where that behavior comes from.
Not me, but a friend of mine is a professor at a Christian college. They had a student who wanted to do a topic about how "being gay is a sinful choice" and the only source they listed was their dad. When the teacher said that their assignment needs to be something that has academic backing, the student responded by claiming that their dad is an expert on the "choice of gayness".
I See MyselfGiphy
Not a teacher, but am a parent. The story I always think of when I see a question like this is when I had a routine pre report card conference with my son's first grade teacher. She was telling me about how he didn't take some of his school work seriously and sometimes didn't finish it.
As an example, she took out a handwritten book that he had written about penguins as an assignment. It started out nice, with legit penguin facts, and then after the first ten pages, it became a bit silly and then ended abruptly with: "A penguin has never seen a leprechaun."
I started laughing; I couldn't help it. I was doubled over gasping for air, crying from laughing so hard. The teacher obviously didn't think it was funny, and seemed surprised that I was cracking up, but she politely conceded that "maybe it was a little funny." I'm 100% sure that she thought to herself, "ugh that's where he gets it."
She Probably Don't
I called home because a kid was coming to school inappropriately dressed every day. I'm not playing the "girls's bodies are distracting" card, I'm worried because the kid is dressed like she's about to work a corner. Of course I don't put it that way to mom, I just mention the kid is violating the school dress code and start to explain how when I'm interrupted with " You just jealous cause you don't look as good as she do "
This Is What We Call "Awful"
I had these two teenage girls in my class who were best friends, but they started acting really strange around each other. A couple days into this weird behavior I heard a loud commotion outside my classroom. Both of the girls' fathers were having a fist fight right outside my room, and the girls were screaming like banshees. I found out later that one of the girl's dad had been banging the friend and she spilled the beans.
When It's ALL GeneticGiphy
Had a kid in 3rd grade who could not focus. All over the place. ADHD for sure, though it's not my job to diagnose. Mom came in for report card. I couldn't get the mom to focus. Every time I'd start talking about something ("So, here are your son's reading grades... Here's how he did in comprehen..." "How about math? How's he doing in math?" I'd try to redirect her, but she'd interrupt me to go onto something else. After a while I thought whatever, handed her the report card, and told her to contact me with any questions.
Not a teacher, but I had a kid in class, we were about 10 y\o, and he was a bully, hitting people and stuff. The teachers and the principal were being soft with him, trying to make him correct his ways. At the end of the year we had an activity where the principal talked in front of the whole school. The father of the said kid just came up, head-butted the principal, and sent her straight to the hospital.
It would have to be the mother who was a teacher herself, though not at my school. I got a rough draft from a student (who was 16/17) that was 90% copied directly from Wikipedia, hyperlinks and all. I called the mom and explained he would be receiving a zero for the rough draft assignment as a result of plagiarism. She called a conference to defend it because I never explicitly said they couldn't copy and that he should get another chance because it was a rough draft. Never mind the Honor Code each student signs at the beginning of the school year that explicitly laid out plagiarism and the standard consequence of a zero, I guess.
The Best Of The Best
Ive only seen one positive one so let me add another. I teach high school art, and I had one student who wasn't technically advanced but always was smiling and trying his hardest. He was always cracking jokes to his friends, to the point of where his friends would sometimes be annoyed cause they were the corny kind of jokes. But I was always laughing and he never gave up and keep smiling.
For the end of the year, if the kids took home all the artwork and took photos of their parents looking at their work and showed me the photos, they got extra credit. So he brought in photos of his parents looks at his work and oh my god they were hilarious! His mom and dad looking shocked and amazed in one, put on serious faces and hats and looking sternly at his self-portrait, ridiculous gasps and expressions, the whole nine yards. I laughed so hard! It made so much sense that such a fun loving kid had parents like that, that were willing to joke around for his extra credit.
Raise your hands--who had an emo phase in the 2000s? I know I did, as did a lot of people around me. All of us heard “It's just a phase" from our parents at some point, but when you're a kid, life as we know it seems so permanent.
Of course, most of the time, it was “just a phase". And looking back, those phases are regrettable, to say the least. Here are some prime examples of that.
What was your biggest/most regrettable "It's not a phase, mom. It's my life." that, in fact, turned out to be just a phase and not your life?
The enthusiasm of a young person can lead to some unexpected changes that parents are just not ready for.
I was VERY into The Transformers when I was a wee lad in the 1980s. One day, I decided to change my name to the name of my favorite Autobot. My name was lame, and I wanted an awesome Transformer name. And I was VERY insistent that my parents only call me by my new name. Calling me by my 'old' name would cause a big fat tantrum on my part.
So for the better part of a week, my poor parents had to call me Wheeljack.
Very 2008.Ariana Grande Shrug GIFGiphy
My cat-ear phase. I wore cat ears every single day. Everywhere. I had like 20 pairs of them. Now everyone thinks I'm a furry.
I find that very cute and wouldn't have thought you'd be furry. Even if you'd had cat mittens. I think my suspicions would have started if you moved a bit like a cat, displayed catlike grooming habits or got a cat mask.
Not gonna lie, that car sounds cool.
I went to a car show once as a teen, and the only newer car there was some chick's PT cruiser. It was hot glittery pink, and at the time I was obsessed. I insisted that one day I would have a hot pink car, with pink seats, pink dash, pink carpets, etc. I was pretty heavily goth at the time, so my parents just rolled their eyes.
These phases can often lead to some very strange fashion choices.
When I was a teenager (early 00s), I was waiting for my mother to pick me up and was wearing one of those sh!tty sports wristwatches. It was itching me so I took it off for a second, but then she arrived and because I was struggling to get it back on my wrist, I looped it around the equally sh!tty chain I had around my neck in a rush to get out the door.
My mom asked me about it in the car, and I told her this was my new style and I planned to wear it like that every day. She rolled her eyes.
I wore that watch on a chain around my neck every single day for 3 years or so. There are even professional family photos where I'm wearing it because I refused to take it off.
One day, the chain broke and I lost the watch. I was in high school at that point anyway and it was a major lady repellent, so... phase over.
Not everyone can be Eminem.slim shady eminem GIFGiphy
Baggy pants, being a rapper someday and being a professional skater.
When I was about 14 and Eminem was starting to blow up I bought myself a keyboard with a synthesizer. It cost like $200 which was all the money I had saved up. It finally came (this was way before amazon prime and such) and I tried rapping.
My sister told me "you're effing horrible" and I gave up right then and there.
This should be a sin.
I used to button the top buttons of polo shirts.
I must say, this is probably the worst one I've read.
Looking back at our regrettable choices, all we can do is cringe.
An optimistic look at bad tattoos.check me out season 3 GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
Being a tattooer. Regrettable because of those poor people who have my awful doodles on their bodies.
Take heart! My favorite tattoo is the one I drunkenly got my buddy to do in his living room one year during March Madness! It's dumb and frankly mediocre? But such a good story and has such good associations I smile every time I see it.
My friend and I decided we were going to open a bar in Jamaica with exotic snakes in glass cages in the walls at each booth. We convinced ourselves it would be amazing for at least two years in college. It was going to be called Fredro's.
My entire family made fun of me for it. Once we got out of college, we realized it was not feasible and joined the office grind. We're also two white guys with no ties to Jamaica.
Talk about cringey.
I wore a top hat with an anime pin on it for around a year. Met one of my current best friends while wearing it, idk how he could bear to speak to me after that.
My weirdest phase was probably when I insisted on wearing knee-high rainbow socks to school every day. But honestly, I don't regret it. I rocked those socks, and I wish I still have a pair.
To all the people out there cringing over their past selves, remember that you were just a kid, and to be easy on yourselves. After all, we've all been there
It should not take much for a consumer to be satisfied with the products they purchase.
Yet, too often, manufacturers who oversell their products fail to deliver what is promised and are inevitably left with angry customers who want their money back.
Whether the merchandise was defective or ridiculously overpriced, strangers online shared some of their worst purchases when Redditor BooksMcGee asked:
"What is the worst product you ever paid money for?"
Short Life Span
"This NERF gun that's supposed to shoot tennis balls for your dog. I bought it cause I thought you could load 3 at a time and shoot them far, but it's just one and it's super loud and the gun broke after like 4 shots (reading reviews later, this was a common issue)."
"There were these toys called squiggles when I was a kid and the commercials made it seem like the toy was alive. It looked like you would get this crazy little fuzzy worms as pets that would follow you around an so sick tricks and listen to your every command. It was really just a piece of fluffy string tied to another piece of string with googly eyes on it. People may say that it was supposed to be a magic trick but they should also explain that to a 5 year old who really wanted a pet."
"Not their fault, but I paid $70 for a Yugioh card hours before it was limited to one copy. Probably dropped to $20 by the end of the day."
These purchases were bad for your bum.
"A bicycle that literally fell apart before I made it out of the parking lot."
Not Worth Sitting On
"Joybird brand couch. Was so terrible, we returned it. Still hard to believe, we returned a freaking couch."
Going Nowhere Fast
"A 2000 VW Beetle (used)."
"Biggest piece of sh*t that literally had to have just about everything replaced before 100k miles and would still break down every time you left the driveway to the point where the tow-truck driver knew us on a first-name basis."
"An Oldsmobile Achieva from one of those buy here pay here places. I should have known better, but I was young and thought I was getting a good deal. I had the thing for about 5 months, I drove it for maybe 3 weeks. The rest of the time it was either in the shop, or in my driveway waiting until pay day so I could afford to fix whatever broke on it this week. Eventually told the dealer just take it, I'm not paying for it any more. He said nope, and I will make sure your credit is ruined. I said well you sold me a lemon, do you really want to go this route? He came and took it. Never reported anything to credit. I heard he got sued by several other people who sold sh**ty cars too and eventually went out of business."
"Always amazes me when I see them driving around still, I can only assume there's enthusiasts who just love repairing horribly designed cars."
These Redditors were not convinced what they ingested was edible.
"A box of plain Cheerios. Thought they were honey nut, poured a bowl, was very disappointed."
"If I wanted to taste cardboard, I'd just eat the box."
"A burnt frozen pizza at the air and space museum cafe in DC. I Don't wish that experience on anyone. There are some amazing restaurants in DC, don't settle."
The following electronics just gave off a bad charge.
"Asus Transformer Pad TF700"
"This was one of those early 'high end' Android tablets that was grossly underpowered, and it showed. Thing was slow as sh!t in no time flat. Rookie mistake investing into shiny new tech while they were still working all the bugs out. Think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-400 for it..."
"macbook pro 2018 13" touchbar. 2 years old and dead (battery). they're asking $300-$400 to change the battery. malfunctioning keyboard with double presses and missing presses. that's a lot of money for bad design."
"Past winter my old room heater broke down and I had to buy a new one. Went to a store nearby and somehow got convinced to buy a very costly heating device.. It's also my fault, since there were some sligthly cheaper options around, but nope. I wanted the expensive one thinking it will make my small room a volcano with little to no effort/cost (that's also what the seller told me). Long story short the device wasn't doing ANYTHING. No significant temperature changes, too much space, a weird noise, and was doubling my previous device in utility cost. I still gloom over those 80 euros.."
Some of my disappointing purchases was clothing, but only because I purchased them online. Unless they are a brand I'm familiar with, I'm usually fine with buying new jeans off of their websites.
But when it comes to graphic tees only available on specialty shops, an M-size shirt is not necessarily the same size as those found in other reputable stores.
I bought a medium sized T-shirt from a boutique store online because I loved the look of the design. But when it arrived, the supposed medium fit me like an XL.
At least I gained a fierce cleaning rag from this impulsive purchase.
We all know the job interview butterflies.
We sit outside the office or wait for the phone call and our foot taps at rapid speed. We run through some rehearsed answers, but worry that they'll ask a slew of things we never even considered. We try not to sweat too much.
Often, it turns out alright. We may not get the job, but we're respectable, give solid answers, and learn a lot about the place we're trying to get hired.
Other times, however, all of our far-fetched worries seem to come to life.
Curious to hear just how bad an interview can go, Redditor UIGrimsen asked:
"What was your worst job interview?"
Plenty of people had some truly bizarre stories to share. Part of these train wrecks were bad luck, and part were the insane antics of the people giving the interview.
But for us, they're simply hilarious.
"I applied for a job in a Planetarium, the interview was conducted in a big dome."
"Problem was, another part of the Planetarium staff was doing fire alarm tests during the interview. The dome amplified the sound so much, it was deafening. The interview staff acted like nothing was going on. We had to shout so we could hear each other."
"My mom raises chickens … and during COVID one of them got sick (not COVID). She had it inside to feed water hourly to try to nurse it back to life. My mom has to run an errand so I'm in charge of this chicken for the afternoon."
"I was on a phone screening with a candidate for a position in my office and this chicken starts having a seizure and dies on the middle of this phone call. I look over and it's laying almost like it was crucified."
"The candidate heard the commotion and asked if everything was ok … Which I relied 'yeah, the chicken just died.' "
"She withdrew her application the next morning."
"1.) I walked in as the HR lady farted"
"2.) it was a small office with no windows"
"3.) I asked her questions about their employee retention rate that she couldn't answer"
"4.) the fart stayed the duration of the interview"
"5.) I hope the fart got the job, because I didn't want it"
A Very Instructive Moment
"Applied to work at a vet clinic. Veterinarian did the interview while spaying a cat, apparently one of the cleanest and quickest surgeries they do. I fainted."
"Was not offered the job (after I woke up)."
Others shared moments when their excitement was deflated instantly. They encountered such closed-minded interviewers that there was almost no need for discussion.
That Bus Perk
"As an interviewee It was when I applied to a job as a Junior programmer and in 5 minutes the guys goes 'look, I'll be honest, there is no job, you can get an internship, no pay, we offer the bus pass' "
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles Later...
"I took vacation days to interview, bought my own plane ticket, and paid for my own hotel. First thing the interviewer said was, 'I have no intention of hiring you. This is just a courtesy because I knew your brother.' I had 8 more hours left in my interview day. It was painful."
"They ended up offering me the position many weeks down the road because they couldn't fill the position. I politely declined and got a very passive aggressively worded survey to fill out explaining why I passed."
There's a Right Answer??
"Wanted to work at H&M, got interviewed by the worst person ever."
"One question was and I am legit not lying, 'What is your favorite color and why?' "
"I answered 'baby blue because it's calming and not too harsh to the eyes.' My interviewer then said Oooh, sorry! Red is what we were looking for. And then proceeded to show me the exit."
Last, some shared the times they arrived for the interview excited and enthusiastic, but quickly learned how out of their league the position was.
These interviews looked more like brutal interrogations from the FBI than job interviews.
All the Principals
"Fresh out of college, I was looking for my first teaching job. I applied at a small district for an elementary school position."
"I walked in, expecting the principal and a few teachers. Instead I had the superintendent of the district, some high-level admin, and every single elementary school principal in the district. Probably 15 people in all. They peppered me with questions for 45 minutes."
"I had zero experience, just my student teaching. I did not get the job."
Shove Your Masters
"Finished up a masters degree in physics. Got a phone interview and was was told it would be an introductory chat. Was confronted with a technical interview panel (over the phone) of 6 PhDs, 4 of which had graduated from the research group I had just left. We walked through my research project in about 10 minutes."
"Then the pain began... felt like I'd only learned kindergarten physics."
An Extremely Intimidating Position
"Got an interview for a job as a floor manager at a gigantic steel foundry. I have some background in metallurgy so I thought it'd fit. It paid $90k and I was qualified resume-wise. I got there, turned out it was a group interview with three other applicants, to hear the pitch."
"If something messes up, the company loses $100,000 (some shockingly high amount, I don't remember if it was exactly 100k) per hour and it's your sole responsibility to fix it. They said you'd have to be on call 24/7 to handle anything that comes up."
"I got to the solo part out of curiosity and the interviewer they put me with said something to the effect of 'I know this job sounds bad, but actually it's even worse.' I was desperate for a job because I didn't land one straight out of college, but I was glad not to hear back from them after the interview..."
Here's hoping you don't have a job interview scheduled and this just amplified your anxiety 1000%. The nice thing to remember is that these horror stories are few and far between.
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Believe it or not, Canadians don't live in igloos or freeze to death all year round. If you go to Germany, it's highly unlikely that every German you meet will be cold and uninviting. Hop over to the United Kingdom and you're not going to run into tons of people with terrible teeth and bad hygeine.
These are called stereotypes, my friends, and it's best you leave them at the door. People were more than willing to strike down some stereotypes about the countries they know and love after Redditor HelloThere577 asked the online community,
"What are some false stereotypes about your country?"
"When most folks envision Scotland, they think of kilts, whisky, bagpipes, and red hair.
All of those things exist (and are common) here.
People might also imagine verdant hillsides, rocky bluffs, and skies that randomly switch between clear and cloudy.
Once again, that's completely accurate.
However, one stereotype which has absolutely no foundation, in reality, is the assumption that Scotsmen are constantly hunting haggis. In fact, haggis-hunting only takes place in February (which is the season for deosil haggis) and May (which is the season for widdershins haggis). For the rest of the year, the haggis is more or less left alone."
"I am originally from Portugal and moved to the United States. Around 80% of the people that I have met thought Portugal was either in South America, owned by Brazil, or a part of Spain. When I first came here it made me really sad."
"If the wildlife hurts or kills you in Australia, it's generally because you are f***** stupid. You are 10000 times more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident in Australia than by anything in nature."
This is likely very true, but knowing me, I'd probably be easy pickings for one of those huntsman spiders.
"That we end every sentence with "eh" and drink maple syrup by the gallon and have moose and igloos in our backyards."
You mean... you don't?
Just kidding. Canada is lovely––visit sometime. It's a lovely place.
The United States
"That we always have a shotgun at the ready. A shotgun is a home gun where a pistol is your everyday gun. Your revolver is your dress gun, for special occasions. Then of course your assault rifle is for when you're kicking back and cracking open a cold one with the boys."
"Anything related to The Sound of Music."
Probably gets annoying afer a short while. Great movie, though. Still dreaming about a trip to Salzburg.
"A lot of Americans seem to think we're inbred because we're an island. This is dumb, because it's a very big island (10th biggest in the world), and it's not isolated, we've been invaded, invading, and trading with the mainland for thousands of years."
"That we are car thieves. Crime was widespread in Poland in the 90s but today crime (including theft) rate in Poland is low."
"We do gesticulate a lot, but we definitely don't yell like crazy."
It seems Italian Americans are the ones who could learn a thing or two about being more reserved.
"Iceland. We're not some utopian Disneyland filled with quirky superstitious people that all believe in elves."
Remember: The world is an enormous place filled with people from all walks of life, and they don't take too kindly too stereotypes. Expand your horizons by having conversations with as many people as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly your preconceived notions will vanish.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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