English Teachers Reveal The Strangest Personal Details Their Students Have Written About[rebelmouse-image 18348846 is_animated_gif=
Working with kids can be awesome and awful at the same time. They can be hilarious, inspirational, creative geniuses - and they're typically wired for honesty so if you're having a bad hair day, you'd better believe they'll tell you. As trust deepens, students tend to open up even more and that can lead to some uncomfortable moments. One Reddit user asked:
And we immediately thought: **STORY TIIIIME! **
When I was super young, my school had an assembly about alcohol abuse. We had to write an essay afterwards. I divulged in my essay that my grandmother used alcohol literally every night and sometimes even made me use it. I talked about how I hated it because it was stinky.
My grandmothers house had terrible air conditioning. She would put rubbing alcohol on her skin and sleep with an oscillating fan on to keep her skin cool. Sometimes, she'd sprinkle some on me or on the sheets if I slept over.
Nobody had bothered to explain during the assembly that rubbing alcohol wasn't the same as alcohol for drinking. Nobody in my family drank alcohol aside from my grandfather's occasional glass of red wine; so I had never heard the word "alcohol" used to mean anything other than rubbing alcohol. The assembly scared the bejeezus out of me and had me convinced my grandmother was going to die if I didn't get her help for her "alcohol addiction."
There were multiple meetings with multiple authorities after that one. Rightfully so. I was lucky enough to have teachers and administratros who took this seriously. I was clearly in no danger, but if I had been, I would have wanted the adults to react the way they did.
My parents took it well; they still make fun of me for it at every opportunity possible.
Sister's Birthday[rebelmouse-image 18348847 is_animated_gif=
I teach English as a second language in an Asian country. One of my students wrote her final senior speech about her older sister who died as an infant. In a pile of fluff essays, I really did not expect to come upon such a deep topic.
She wrote that they still celebrated her sister's birthday and her mom bought a cake every year. She also described how sad her mom was after her sister's death and how hard it was for her to continue to have children. I went up to the girl in the next class and told her if she wanted to talk more she could come to me any time. She seemed surprised I said anything. When she gave her speech to the class everyone was really respectful and she ended up placing in the top 10.
The Ineffectiveness Of Vaginal Douching[rebelmouse-image 18348849 is_animated_gif=
First time poster, but I finally have a story I can share. I'm a social studies teacher but teach English in Summer School. Practicing state test essays with the kids and one of them asks: "Mister, can we write an argument about whatever we want or just the topics on the essay prompts?" Not thinking anything of this I told her that as long as she had evidence she could argue whatever she wanted.
About a week later, I get a gem of an essay, fully sourced, about the ineffectiveness of vaginal douching. Hands it in, totally straight face, eager to get my feedback. To be fair, this girl was an immigrant and perhaps it wasn't as strange in her country to mention that douching doesn't work for you to a teacher, but I wasn't sure how to respond.
She ended up getting a pretty good grade on the assignment because her argument used solid anecdotal and medical evidence from online and personal experiences. I also ended up learning a lot more about douching than any man needs to know.
Adversity[rebelmouse-image 18348850 is_animated_gif=
My college application essay had to be about an adversity that I faced. So I wrote about how my boyfriend committed suicide. I made it up. He did not commit suicide, but he did threaten to commit suicide. I think he had borderline personality issues.
I realize now that I was being emotionally abused and manipulated, and that's f^cking plenty of "adversity". At the time I was still going through it, and I thought I had never really faced any adversity. I thought this was no big deal. I had a good childhood, my parents are still married, no one had ever even died (at the time), no one is chronically ill or anything, I'm white and middle class. These days we would call that highly privileged. It leaves you with a really odd insecurity about yourself, like you're somehow not worth sh!t unless you've suffered something and "faced adversity".
I still hate that stupid f^cking prompt to this day, even though I could trot out plenty answers to it now.
Taro[rebelmouse-image 18348851 is_animated_gif=
In Japan I worked with a junior high student named Taro. My job was to help him prepare for a speech by translating it from broken English to proper English, and helping him rehearse. The first line of his speech was:
**"Some days I don't want to be alive, I think it would benefit everyone if I was dead, but I can't. My mom won't let me." **
I had to put it down leave the room and have a big cry.
The speech was about how he has autism and how difficult it is for him to understand people and for people to understand him. Ultimately, he ends up doing or saying the wrong thing and he feels like he hurts people around him. He attempted suicide, but his mom found him and begged him to never try again. At the end of the speech, he asks people to try and accept people like him and if they see someone acting strange to remember they might be like him. Maybe they need more understanding.
He encouraged the audience to just ask him, he will explain his autism to them. He also asked them to forgive him, he is doing his best and to remember
"10 people, 10 colours" - it is okay to be different. Different allows us to broaden our minds.
At 14 Taros feeling of being a burden but were like what I felt. It took me until I was 20 to accept those feelings and not hurt myself. He has done it at 14. I told him I was proud of him and that I understand those feelings. We both cried a little. He asked me if I wanted a hug. Instead of just saying yes, I asked him if he wanted to hug. He said no, but he had learned that hugging is what people like to do when they are sad.
We didn't hug.
Damn it Taro! You are my hero!
Creative Expression[rebelmouse-image 18348853 is_animated_gif=
My creative composition professor once had a student write a very graphic vignette about how said professor fell down a flight of stairs and broke every bone in his body. The student got an A because of how well written the piece was.
"Ladies, I'm Single."[rebelmouse-image 18348854 is_animated_gif=
I was in my public address class and someones first persuasive speech was about why you should rebel against society. Sounds like a cool idea right?
Well, he somehow mixed into his speech the fact that makeup causes violence because women cant afford it and go crazy killing people. He also brought up the fact that his parents are swingers and tell him about their "lifestyle activities" regularly.
His conclusion? "Ladies I'm single." Full finger guns and clicking sounds included.
You could say the speech was entertaining at least. 10/10 would be persuaded again.
Noodle Fight[rebelmouse-image 18348855 is_animated_gif=
One of my students here in Mexico wrote "noodle fight" in the middle of her written report, it had nothing to do with her report and it came out of nowhere, to this day I still don't know what she meant! BTW, I'm an English teacher here in Mexico and this happened at a university, the students were learning English as a second language!
Future Hitler[rebelmouse-image 18348676 is_animated_gif=
I'm not an English teacher, but I read and advise current high schoolers on their college admissions essays and portfolios. One in particular stands out in my mind.
This boy, was quiet and reserved, as far as I could tell. He seemed smart, and had good grades. After a few attempts at college application essays that were "meh", I encouraged him to write about something that really meant a lot to him personally. He agreed to write another essay, this time writing from the heart, "with no filter."
I was excited---I have read a rare few superb college essays, and so I can tell when a student is inspired. A week later, we meet again, and he hands me his draft, looking a little uneasy. I expected something personal, like something about his family. Instead, as I read it, I realized that I was reading a literal manifesto.
It started out strong---talked about how he felt like an outsider because he had strong opinions, but believed that nobody would agree with him. After the intro, he basically outlined his entire political philosophy, in detail. First, economics: all currency should be abolished, production should be controlled by the state, and citizens should be given only what they need. Okay, I thought, Marxism is a little unusual.
Then, he went into society: all people should wear the same exact thing, uniforms, every day; all languages besides English should be outlawed; people should be sterilized at birth and permitted to breed only at the behest of the government. I was absolutely f---- up at this point, and this wasn't even half of the essay. It went on for maybe 2,000 more words (WAY over the word limit), and described a global government ruled by twelve people chosen for their IQ, wherein all people are assigned careers based on aptitude tests, and "dissenters" (his word) are "removed" from society and forced to live in labor camps. Basically, this kid spent several pages outlining a civilization somewhere between The Giver and 1984. Your textbook dystopian nightmare.
I didn't have any idea what to say, or where to even begin, so I just told him it was very interesting, but didn't talk about himself enough. I suggested we take a look at his previous draft.
He got into an exceptional school, and is now studying political science.
I may have enabled future Hitler.
Ms. Hunter Quits[rebelmouse-image 18348856 is_animated_gif=
I've actually had the reverse happen before, where an English teacher revealed a personal issue to our class through an assignment.
It was 6th grade. My English teacher was a young, peppy woman that always made time for her students and always had some sage advice for her them if you made the effort to ask. As a problem child myself, she was one of the few teachers I can recall being comfortable talking to about my own personal issues. One day, I remember the class getting a week long assignment where we had to write a short essay about something we were struggling with (be it personal, something relating to school, etc.), with the catch that it can be done anonymously. Over the course of the week, we submitted them, and she would read them out loud. Some people we could guess wrote what, some people we couldn't, as is the nature of these kinds of assignments.
That Friday, the assignment is pretty much winding down, and as she finishes reading what we think is the last essay, she says "Actually, one other person submitted an essay." hesitates a bit, and starts reading it. At first, no one is really sure who it's about and I could see a few people zoning out a bit. It wasn't until the words "nicotine addiction" popped up that people started listening and everyone noticed that our teacher was actually fighting back tears while reading it. As it turns out, reading our papers over the course of the week inspired her to confront her own nicotine /cigarette addiction. Everything ended with a big class group hug. She actually did manage to quit.
Hope you're doing okay out there, Ms. Hunter.
Horrible Beginning, Happy End[rebelmouse-image 18348857 is_animated_gif=
Between 16 and 21 I was a TA, then later, guest speaker in my high school health class.
I was both because I had grown up in an abusive home, had a history of drug addictions and alcoholism plus I had my first son when I was 16. So I would talk to the class about the importance of using a condom / birth control, the difficulty of parenthood as a teen, How to deal with abusive and dangerous home situations, As well as running a lot of group activities on the dangers of drug addiction and alcoholism.
The end of every quarter the teacher would ask them to write a thank you note for me. For both my TA stuff then guest speaking.
One girl wrote me a 4 page letter about how much it helped her and made her believe she could fix herself too, and that she didn't need to kill her self that summer.
She had hated her self and blamed her self for everything. I told her teachers that I HAD TO talk to her, and I grabbed her out of her next class after reading her letter and we spoke for the rest of the day. She went into great detail of everything that had been happening for the past 9 years. We made a plan and got her out of her house, into drug counseling.
She and I still talk to this day and she is doing very well. Shes getting her degrees to become a child psychologist specializing in helping children recover from abuse. She's become one of the most well adjusted young women I have ever known.
He's Never Been In The Military[rebelmouse-image 18348858 is_animated_gif=
I wrote my SAT essay about my dad who had died in Iraq. He's never been in the military. I may be an awful person, but I got a great score on it and I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't just between me and the person grading it... And now the whole internet I guess.
Because She Was Drunk[rebelmouse-image 18348859 is_animated_gif=
For one of my journalism classes last year we had to write a piece about a life changing moment. Every single one of us wrote about someone in our life who had died, except for one girl, who wrote about a time she accidentally drank a bottle of olive oil because she was drunk
"He Shouldn't Be A Teacher"[rebelmouse-image 18348860 is_animated_gif=
I teach in South Korea. One of my 6th grade students keeps a personal journal in English that he's very proud of. He is just starting to learn English, so his entries are usually very simple things like:
**"Today I went to the park!" **
One day he showed me his journal and one page had a detailed description about how the science teacher hit him hard in front of the whole class because he couldn't do one of the experiments properly. That page was longer than any other page in that journal, and more complex too. I remember the sentence:
"I feel bad every day in that class because my teacher is a horrible man. He shouldn't be a teacher."
The Poetic Love Triangle[rebelmouse-image 18348861 is_animated_gif=
Two years ago I put my students through a poetry unit which involved the writing of a LOT of poems. I think each student probably wrote ten to fifteen poems in a month in a variety of styles and lengths, with different amounts of editing.
At the end, we produced a poetry wall where everyone's poems went up and hung there for the rest of the year. One day as I was reading over the wall, I realized that - if you knew the kids involved - you could TOTALLY follow the course of a grade nine love triangle through the poems.
You could read about how happy Jane had been with John, but then about how much of a dick John had become. Then they changed to Jane's discovery of how nice Tim is, and how much she liked spending time with Tim. Meanwhile, Tim's poems start off being all lonely and then observing John and Jane from a distance, getting to know Jane, happiness with Jane and finally overwhelming joy when Jane leaves John and starts to date Tim.
John, for his part, showed some understanding in his later poems, his earlier stuff being mostly dark and accusatory. Ultimately, John realized that Jane was probably better off with Tim and came to know that he, too, would be okay and was a better person for going through it.
Of course it was all symbolic and didn't have any names attached, but if you knew the kids, and knew the fact they'd had this little love triangle, it was almost painfully obvious what they were writing about.
"Gay Videos"[rebelmouse-image 18348862 is_animated_gif=
I didn't experience this a teacher, but as a student. We had to give a presentation in our communications class about our guilty pleasures. Some people did chocolate or keeping up with the Kardashians.
An international student did hers on "GV, aka, gay videos." She did indeed mean pornography. I mean slides with images and everything.
Something Bad Can Turn Out Good.[rebelmouse-image 18348863 is_animated_gif=
In high school, my son had to write about how a bad thing turned out to be something good. The bad thing was his mother's death. He gave me a copy. I'll hold onto that forever.
His mom turned into a much different woman from the person I'd married. She'd become addicted to opioids, was angry all of the time, and took the slightest incident and magnified it all out of proportion. We were in the process of getting divorced when she died of an overdose. According to his essay, the good was that she wasn't yelling at us any more; that I'd met the person who is now my fiancée, and was much happier. Also, instead of her being a non-working financial burden, I was receiving SSI survivors' benefits for him and his younger brother. That meant I didn't have to work as many hours, and had gotten a better job, so I had nights and weekends off to be with the family instead of working mall hours.
It's been a couple of years since I've read it, so I don't remember the details, but that's the gist of it. We're all happy now. We weren't before.
About A Boy[rebelmouse-image 18348864 is_animated_gif=
Not the teacher, but wanted to share this story. In tenth grade, we were assigned to write a paper about a major moment in our life. At one point, we had to present our rough drafts to the entire class. A friend of mine started her essay with something along the lines of
"I remember standing there. Knowing HE was in that room. That HE would change my life. That HE would -"
And my teacher cut off her. Called her out in front of the class, told her off for "writing about something as unimportant as a boy"
My friend was shaken up, then flatly announced her paper was about the day she met her biological father and what it felt like to be told to never contact him or his new family again.
_The teacher was mortified. _
I believe she pulled her out later to apologize, but there wasn't much coming back from that.
Mom Chose The Boyfriend[rebelmouse-image 18348865 is_animated_gif=
Students (grade 3...9ish y/o) had to write a poem that goes like
I am happy when\__
I am excited when_
I am angry when\__
I am sad when*__*
One girl wrote "I am angry when" but never finished it. There were multiple erased words. Then:
**"I am sad when my mom's boyfriend comes over" **
I saw it when she turned it in - as they were being dismissed to gym.
I asked her to stick around. I went line by line through the poem asking her to explain each point. She couldn't explain why she erased the "angry" part, just saying she couldn't find the right words. She said:
"I don't know what word fits for angry all the time."
She said that moms boyfriend makes her cry, and he grabs her too hard. I asked her why he grabs, and she said he grabs her when she's being bad. I asked her to point to where, and she pulled up her pink sleeve. She had bruises on her arms.
I asked if she wanted some juice, or a treat before gym to keep the conversation moving away from what evidence I uncovered. She had a hard candy and we walked to gym together while she happily enjoyed it and we talked about her favorite gym game.
After I dropped her off, I went right to the principals office, and told them the situation and we made notes on the conversation. We had to follow protocol, so child protective services were called, they saw the girl half an hour later, and she was taken to their day center while the mom was contacted.
Her mother refused to leave the boyfriend, and the child was relinquished into protective services. She was forced to change schools, the whole bit. The last time I saw her was guarding a bowling pin from being pelted by dodgeballs. She had a big smile, mishapen only by the candy she still had tucked in her cheek
My heart still hurts in all kinds of ways thinking about it. I have never talked to friends or family about it. This is the first time I've said anything in over a year.
Never Asking That Again[rebelmouse-image 18348867 is_animated_gif=
As a first assignment to a composition class I would have students do a personal essay where they had to discuss something that happened to them earlier in their life and how their perspective on that event has changed over time. It was natural that a lot of students would pick tragic events but usually it was when their grandma died or something like that. They could sometimes be a bit hard to read but were generally not too bad.
But then I had a student tell a story about her younger sister getting sucked into the propellers of a speedboat and chopped to pieces. The next semester I cut that assignment from my curriculum and have never used it again.
And there are just as many grievances for which we are not at all sorry.
Curious to hear about people's track record of their questionable behavior, Redditor NanoPKx asked:
"What is something bad you have done with no regrets?"
Is it petty theft or flat out stealing? You decide.
The Parting Gift
"'Forgetting' to bring back a company ipad after they forgot about me having it. Actually they never asked for it back so I still have it and use it."
"I stole a barn kitten while delivering packages for FedEx. He kept climbing my legs and getting into the van, sitting under the wheel when I tried to back out (it was a steep driveway, no way to swing the van around). I called the number on the package, looked the name up on facebook, called the local non-emergency to get contact info, all failed."
"So I took him. Now, if you're not from a rural environment, you might not understand that barn cats like that are 'no-man's-cats.' For all the owners know, he got sick or got got by a coyote. And he would have died, because when we got him to the vet he had a nasty upper resp infection and some other nasties."
"Now, one deformed nasal passage and the cutest snore later, we have a bonkers little orange cat with the heaviest penchant for snuggling I've ever seen (his name is Monty btw)."
"Edit: I forgot to pay my Cat Tax: https://imgur.com/a/HIXS4us"
"Edit Part 2: Monty loves the attention. Thank you for loving him as much as we do :3"
"MmmmMMMMRrrrrrrrrrrAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW" -Montgomerey Valentine, 2022
The Dirty Treat
"A housemate of mine kept eating mine and my girlfriends food and even though I asked him to stop the only thing he would ever say is 'I thought it was mine' then keep eating it."
"Well I bought my girlfriend some ice cream she really enjoys and she put the half she didn’t finish back in the freezer. Well when she want to get the rest it was gone and it made me madder than I think it probably should have."
"The very next time I saw him and somehow keeping a straight apologetic face I told him how he accidentally ate our sex ice cream and that bits of it had been on our parts etc. I told him I felt guilty not to tell him and that I had to apologise for him to eat such a thing."
"I will never forget the face he made when I told him. A face of pure self disgust and shock to which all he had to say was 'I wish you never told me that' and proceeded to move out around a month later."
"Although he didn’t actually eat sex ice cream, like why the f'k would you put it back after use anyway? Sometimes I wonder if I went to far but in that moment I just did not care at all. He still doesn’t know it isn’t true and I’ll probably never see him again."
"F'k you Vitas buy your own food."
Vengeance is sweet.
"A drunk driver hit my parked car, left a huge dent in the front driver’s side door, and then drove away. I happened to be looking out the window at the time and saw the whole thing, including his plate number. Cops got there not long after and took my statement. After a couple days and a couple phone calls, I found out nothing was going to come of it because he was the son of the sheriff the next county over."
"Fast forward a couple months, I see his car parked behind a local bar within walking distance of my apartment. I got out my hunting knife and sliced all four of his tires, and made a couple trips around it destroying the paint job. Yellow Pontiac Sunfire, and I still remember the goddamn plate number even after almost 20 years."
For The People
"I was a GM for a retailer that was going out of business. During the liquidation I let my employees that worked until the end store product they wanted to buy in a closet I claimed I didn't have a key to. Oh the final days I sold them all the items they requested for 95% off. 70" tvs, ipads, gaming laptops whatever they requested."
"Years ago I worked for a wealthy dude who was married to someone semi-famous. He would waltz in every morning and talk about the fantastic dinner he had the night before, how he hung out with some other famous person or whatever else."
"He paid me peanuts. I had a hard time making ends meet."
"I was the office assistant and IT guy. So it comes time to get a new computer for one of the designers. I spec something out, and show it to him. It was a ripper of a machine for the time (early 2000s). But it wasn’t expensive enough for bossman."
"So I added a really high end graphics card. Boss was happy then. The card added nothing for the designer: they only did illustrator and photoshop."
"So I came in that weekend and swapped the graphics card for my aging one from home."
"No one ever knew. Or cared. And I got a new graphics card."
When times are tough, people had to do what it took to survive.
"In college I was so poor I would steal toilet paper from the supply closet in our major building."
Hungry College Buddy
"I stood watch for a college friend who was going hungry because he’d been disowned and his roommates had made living with him intolerable after he came out."
"I was loosely affiliated with an off campus program with local churches that gave free student dinners on Thursdays. We would go to church to eat, then bring dishes into the kitchen."
"Anyway, he would go in there and steal stuff like peanut butter, literal bread (not an allegory), granola bars etc. while I watched out for the pastor."
"Eventually we both got caught, the pastor for the college students got a bit mad because he was responsible for us while we were there to eat. And I think it was offensive on some level to steal from church. But then he saw what my friend was taking, and asked him if he had enough to eat. My friend shamefacedly said no, not usually."
“'Okay, fine. Put the food back, and come with me.' Took my friend grocery shopping instead, got him connected with the food pantry and community garden at church instead."
Based on these examples, people didn't twice about their actions in the heat of the moment.
Within reason, we all gotta somehow get by.
But do you think their actions deserve punishment?
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When a person sees someone they care about going through a struggle or crisis, their instinct is to uplift them with positive advice.
But sometimes, the wisdom imparted by friends isn't always helpful or relevant to the situation.
Curious to hear from strangers online who could do without specific knowledge, Redditor Saibotnl1 asked:
"What life advice can just f'k off?"
These Redditors have a problem with how certain people have on outlook on life.
Time To Rest
"Sleep when you’re dead."
"Cool, but you’re going to be dead a lot sooner."
"People have it so much worse than you so don’t be sad!"
"To that I like to say, 'people have it so much better than you so don't be happy!'"
Your Life Path
"Almost anything relating to what age you must be in order to buy a house, have children, marry, have a profession, or do anything else. Seriously, everyone's life is different from everyone else's. Make your life the way you want it to be. If you so desire. Up to you."
On The Contrary
“Cheaters never prosper”
"Yes, they f'king do."
People can get out of any situation they find displeasing.
But others feel people should just "stick it out."
"Just ignore bullys or get someone else to handle it for you. I have never seen this work, only makes it worse. The only effective way I've seen to deal with them is by not making yourself an easy target and make them scared to f'k with you again. If going psycho on their a** is the only thing they'll respond to that's their fault. Also want to add in schools they will punish you for self defense but that punishment is only sitting around a few hours in detention or sitting around at home with a suspension. The punishment is temporary boredom, it's absolutely nothing compared to being bullied and when it's over the important message will still stand that you will not tolerate being a victim."
– User Delted
Remain to be Miserable
"Stick it out"
"Whether that's sh**ty jobs, shi**y relationships, shi**y living situations..."
"By all means don't just give up on things when you face challenges, but if something feels wrong or is wrecking your peace then take some control and change it if you can!"
"Easy for you to say," might be an auto-response to these suggestions for many people.
Invitation For Recklesslessness
"Live like everyday was your last"
Yall know what people do when they learn they have a single day left to live?"
A Possible Consequence
"I did that as a teenager and ended up homeless and addicted to heroin. Didn’t pan out for me too well."
"19 years sober though today."
A Practical Approach
"If I knew with certainty that I had one day left, I'd double-check all my financials, my will, and my insurance policies, make sure my wife had all of my passwords and knew where all the money was, spend the rest of the day with her and the kids, then call the medical examiner and ask to lie down on the gurney so that when I die they won't strain their back moving my remains out of my house."
Nose Stuck In A Book
"Work while they sleep. Study while they party"
"That's not a recipe for success, that's a recipe for a lot of white hairs, burnout syndrome and a stroke before your 40s..."
Doesn't Apply To Everyone
"Do what you love and money will follow"
"I love walking my dogs and grilling food for my friends but That sh*t doesn't pay the bills as well as my engineering degree!"
While people's intentions are good, they're better off keeping their two cents in their own pockets.
Not everyone likes to hear platitudes.
Sometimes, people just want to know they're not alone with their problems over listening to unlikely solutions that are nothing more than superficial pick-me-ups.
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Kids start going to school from the age of five, and for the most part, they spend more time at school than at home. Because of that, teachers can become very important figures in the lives of their students.
Some students don't have the best home lives. Some keep it to themselves, but others confide in their teachers.
Curious about various situations, Redditor Delicious_Mastodon83 asked:
"teachers of reddit what is the saddest thing you found out about a student?"
In Need of Parents
"Not a teacher but was a school-based therapist. Had a student (7 -8 y/o) I didn’t know knock on my office door and ask if I’d adopt her and “if you have room, my brother too, but if not, that’s ok, we can be split up. We’re split up now. And I don’t take up space. I just need a sleeping bag”. Broke my heart."
Heartbreaking, But Industrious
"My mom taught at a school in a bad neighborhood in Chicago in the mid 90’s. There was a second grader that would save his milk and ketchup packers from lunch for his mom so she had something to eat when she got home from work."
"Not a teacher but a parent with a 9 year old son. Every day I pack extra in my sons lunch because he tells me he has a friend that never has anything to eat. It's winter and my son came home and told me his friend was turning up with shorts and shirt and holes in his shoes. So I sent in a jumper and long pants for him to wear and some slightly used but good condition shoes. I have been up to the school recently and the teacher pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for helping this child. Apparently teachers are not allowed to aid kids they teach here in Australia and they have already reported the issue 3 times to child welfare without results so I was the only one helping this child. The teacher told me before I started sending in more food and clothes, this child would steal others food from their lunches and look through the bins because he was so hungry. They doubt he gets fed at home. So now I make sure to always send an extra lunch and some school clothes/supplies when I can. I can only hope child welfare eventually does something but it breaks my heart."
Amazing Big Sister
"It was right after winter break and before class started I was just talking with some students and asked if they got anything fun for the holidays. One girl said on no, I don’t ever get presents, my mom is a drug addict. But I went out and got some stuff for my little sister so that she can have a real Christmas."
"She just said it so matter-of-fact. She was so used to being the parent to her little sister that she didn’t even care about her own childhood. It totally broke my heart."
The Importance Of Human Affection
"Second hand story from my mom, elementary teacher for 30ish years. She had a hug or a handshake out the door policy, just some small contact and a proper goodbye, and had this young boy who always picked the hug. She wondered why he always went for it, most kids would go back and forth depending on their mood that day, so she asked him why he was always so excited for the end of day hug? His answer, "It's the only one I ever get.""
Coming Out The Other Side
"Two teenage boys (16/14) with learning disabilities were on my caseload, they never missed school but often ditched class. They were homeless mid-year after they went home from school to find the locks changed, their Mom had abandoned them for a new boyfriend. She didn't leave an address for them to find her."
"*Edit: both eventually dropped out, however a couple of years later the younger brother came back to visit. He and his brother were both working construction, and his brother had gotten married, had a child, and was living with his wife’s family."
"The younger had roommates and was saving for a car. He told me it was a shame I didn’t have kids, because I would make a good Dad."
"People often persevere, even with the odds stacked against them."
"Not me but my daughter is a teacher, she has lots of stories but one that stands out for me is one of her kindergarten kids saying she was tired and her asking why, the little girl explained that she had been up all night with her mums newborn baby. She did this every night, fed her bottles and everything."
Luckily, He Was Resilient
"This year I had a 17 year old kid enroll at my school. He was sitting in my math class and I could tell he was struggling. After class I took some extra time to go over a concept with him. I asked him to read the question to me, and he sat there silently. He then looked at me and said “I’m not going to lie to you, I cannot read. I have no idea how to say these words""
"Turned out at age 17 he was illiterate and had been kept out of school by his very religious, controlling parents. Over the past few months he has worked very hard! Now he can finally read at an 8th grade level and he is STILL improving!!"
– User Deleted
A Heroic Teacher
"I worked in an inner city charter school. One of my students (`M10) had a sib (M8) in a lower grade. The mom was there every day in the beginning of the year encouraging them, helping them and generally being very supportive... until a CPS agent spoke to me asking about her behavior. After CPS left things went downhill. The boys showed up late to class even though they lived a half block away from school. When in school both boys were tired from sleeping in the car while their mom "went fishing". She also had two very young girls which she dragged around making the boys take care of them. One day the boys didn't show up and their teacher walked over to the house to find the mom had loaded up the fridge, paid the rent for the month and abandoned them. The teacher (a candidate for sainthood btw) took them in, adopted them and grew them up to be great men."
This is really heartbreaking stuff! Luckily, teachers aren't just another adult in your life; they can be your saving grace as well.
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TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains sensitive content about depression and mental health.
As the stigma around mental health lessens (however slowly), people are more forthcoming about the problems they are facing. One of the most common mental health issues is depression.
Depression can affect many different types of people. Factors such as gender, race, nationality, and even age have no bearing on whether someone suffers from depression or not.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, "...an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years..."
Depression displays in certain patterns, such as mood changes, physical difficulties, and social isolation. However, depression manifests differently in different people and feels different to different people.
Reddit users divulged what depression felt like to them when Redditor iodineseaspray asked:
"What does depression feel like to you?"
Some of this is sure to sound familiar.
The Worst Kind Of Boredom
"Like being more bored than you could imagine but also not wanting to do anything at all, even breathe. So you want to do something, but you can't imagine anything that you would like to do so you're just sort of stuck."
"So you then spend literally hours staring at a blank wall hating yourself, your life, and everything around you. Well, as much hate as you can summon in the absolutely mentally numb state you find yourself sat in day after day."
Lack Of Motivation and Energy
"Complete lack of motivation."
"Ignoring people that I love, and who are trying to help."
"I feel it extra at work. Letting things slide until you either get into trouble or trying last minute to prevent it."
"Funny those times when I'm working to save my butt, the depression goes away and i feel super focused and motivated."
"I try to carry that energy over but no, it's rinse and repeat."
"Insecure about absolutely everything, no hope for the future, dissociation from society and not knowing how to “act” anymore, feeling like I’m not as good at the things I always thought I was good at or that the “talent is wasted on me”, only food cheers me up and sometimes even that doesn’t work"
Loss Of Creativity
"This. It's like some numb fuzziness you feel in your brain. It's the worst thing ever for an artist who just wants to create but your brain comes up dry with a dense fog that wants to just lie down for a few hours"
A Mental Inability To Breathe
"For me, it feels like I’m in a lake with a ball chain tied to my feet, desperately swimming up for air, the only problem is the chain isn’t long enough. I can only get an inch of my head out of the water to breath, and as soon as a high tide comes, the water just floods over me and I feel like I can’t breath again. I live like this, constantly feeling like I’m struggling to breathe, weighed down by my own mind. It’s a struggle and I can’t really describe it in any other way, I’m jealous of people who don’t worry about depression"
"Like suffocating under a heavy cloak"
"Like being crushed. Like if the air was crushing my muscles and bones and I can’t breathe because I’m being crushed…"
"Kinda like that."
"Scrolling thru your steam library. Thinking you want to play something, either not settling on anything or not wanting to put the effort into the game. Going back to the scrolling."
"It feels like you're forced to play a game of Monopoly (represents life) and your just rolling the dice to appease everyone but you genuinely don't care about where you go, where you land, what you pick up, what you pay, what you gain."
"You kind of just watch it happen without interest and while people are cheering or oh no-ing for you, you genuinely don't care. Everyone is a piece on this board that hardly matters and you feel like we're all just running in a circle over and over again and it's boring and disinteresting as hell."
"You lose all curiosity for everything and just let everything happen and pass by you. No motivation, hardly any love, hardly any care. Feels like the world is in black and white and your waiting for the game to end became it's so absolutely boring and disinteresting, but it never does."
"You come to resent the game and eventually hate it because it feels like you're being forced to play it and suffer it's consequences when you never asked to play it in the first place."
"That's what depression felt like for me. Since then I've been medicated and recieved therapy. I'm doing a lot better now and I don't feel this way anymore, thankfully."
A Relation To Fantasy
"You know that scene in the Lord of the Rings where Bilbo is describing to Galndalf what having the Ring all those years felt like? "I feel thin. Like too much jam spread over too much bread." That's honestly the best way I've seen to describe it."
"I always say the closest thing to compare it to is a dementor in harry potter. It sucks every ounce of happiness out of you until there is only darkness left."
"Side note: chocolate always helps"
Fear Of Lack Of Justification
"Like someone close to you died yesterday. Expect no one has, and nothing has happened to justify how you feel."
A Physical Pain
"Physical pain in my heart, will start crying just by attending to the physical sensation in my body."
"I've always described it as having a shadow fixed to your brain which fuels things like indecision and negativity. You can do things to temporarily help but you can't truly shift it. Previous normality is forgotten. But it's amazing how much you can mask it."
"I found I didn't realise how bad I was until I started to get better"
"For anyone suffering with depression. Please, please speak to someone. Best thing I ever did"
Depression isn't something you can just deal with or get over. Learning to cope is not easy. However, as Redditor DavosLostFingers pointed out, talking to someone can literally save your life.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, contact the American Psychological Association by phone at 800.374.2721 or 202.336.5500.
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