Believe it or not, there is a such thing as too much freedom.
If you've ever been a student in an English, Literature, or creative writing class then you've probably been asked to do some kind of free writing. Thinking back on it, most of you will have some kind of cringeworthy, angst-filled, poetry in your pasts.
It's bad enough thinking back on your own writings, but imagine what teachers and tutors must deal with. They've got to read these assignments from every student, in every class, every year. They must have so much cringe to share!
Reddit user DarkLazer215 asked:
Yup. We called it. It's like cringe-central in here. Pull up a seat, folks. We've got death, furries, foot fetishes, an interview with God and at least one butt rash so bad it ended a marriage.
I was teaching an test prep class to high school aged students in China. One of my students is planning on being a nutritionist. I gave her a topic about what she would change if she could be the president for a day. She could have written anything - but what she wrote was honestly terrifying.
She said that she would imprison everyone who was over a certain BMI until they were thin, and if they were repeat offenders they should spend life in prison for wasting public resources and making healthcare more expensive for everyone else.
Well... It wasn't the topic itself, but a student literally cited TheOnion as one of his main sources. No, they didn't do it as a joke, it was 100% unironic. They literally used TheOnion to support their thesis claim and failed the assignment because it destroyed the entire paper's credibility and argument.
That was enough to make me lose hope.
Hitting Too Close To Home
I teach literature at a college and mostly deal with freshmen and sophomores. For our freewriting unit, one of the assignments asked the students to write any original story based on your favorite fictional genre. So, one of my students wanted to do horror. I said great! That's also a favorite of mine. Go nuts.
Eventually, the assignments are turned in and I'm grading them at home. I get to the kid with the horror story and it's about a serial killer who stalks women. Okay, whatever. Nothing I haven't seen before.
But then the story goes into long, excruciating detail about the next victim: a petite blonde in her early 30s who teaches English. And it just so happens I'm a petite blonde in her early 30s who teaches English.
I didn't report it or anything since it was a creative exercise. I didn't grade him unfairly, either. But I seriously couldn't look that kid in the eye ever again.
My HS English teacher had to state, due to a submission the year before, that writing about your foot fetish and pleasuring your SO with your feet would not be read or graded.
English tutor here. I had a student in high school who was really struggling with the writing prompts I was giving him (he was studying hybrid genres in school, and how to write a hybrid genre short story). So I basically gave him a long list of genres, told him to pick any two he wanted and combine them to write a story.
He didn't get it.
He emailed me asking for clarification, like "which topic do I choose here?" and I told him he could be as creative as he liked. Pick horror and sci/fi, pick mystery and crime, pick romance and mystery, whatever strikes your fancy. I literally could not have given him an easier prompt.
Then he asks me to give him some examples of hybrid genre stories, so he has an idea of what to write. So I emailed him a list of famous hybrid genre books (e.g. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, Gun With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem, Harry Potter, etc).
This kid basically latched onto "Harry Potter" and rewrote the sorting ceremony from Philosopher's Stone, word for word.
There was no orientation (no info about his main characters, who were coincidentally also called Harry, Ron and Hermione), no complication, no climax, no resolution. It was literally just an incomplete retelling of the sorting hat ceremony from the first book.
Not only did this kid fail to think of a single creative story idea, he plagiarised one of the most famous books of all time and was daft enough to think I wouldn't notice.
It really made me despair.
Counselors Were Needed
Two stand out.
First one the prompt was "If you could go back and change one thing from your life, what would it be?"
A young man wrote about the night his abusive alcoholic dad came home. Apparently from the story, dad came home this way often. The fateful night he wanted to change was the first time he stood up to his dad. Dad came home, kid defended his mom and dad left in a drunken rage. Dad got into a head on collision and died. Kid totally blamed himself for his father's death.
2nd story the prompt was "Create a holiday and include the traditions and customs of the holiday."
A student created national black people day. I was like OK, how are you going to celebrate it? She said by killing white people. I questioned her, kind of shocked. She said yeah, once a year we can kill as many white people as we want.
I got the counselor involved in both of them.
An Unexpected Rash
This guy wrote me a paper about how his swampy butt ruined his marriage; describing it initially as an "unexpected rash." He wrote at length about how this "rash" caused his wife to stop having sex with him and refuse him any intimacy. After some time, he and his wife got a divorce, and he promptly blames the rash for it.
It isn't much later in the paper (at this point a good six pages long) that he details his struggles with proper hygiene due to cheap toilet paper causing this rash.
So, because this guy couldn't wipe properly, he lost his wife, his kids, and his sanity... to the point where he decided to come tell me about it.
Personal Interview With God
Former English adjunct here. One time a student wrote about a first date that went horribly wrong, including running over a cat and having it stuck to his truck tires, and then vomiting at dinner.
Another one that stands out wasn't a topic, but an assigned research paper. A student maintained that she didn't need sources, because God told her the information. She actually cited God as a personal interview in (correct) MLA format.
Interest In Blueberry Muffin
I was teaching a University 101 class. Study habits, how to write essays, time management. How to get by at college for kids who honestly aren't really ready for college. The assignment:
"1 paragraph about something that interests you."
One of those "essays" read:
"I am interest in blueberry muffin. Like how they round on the top and ripped on the sides. That what I like."
I kept that on my fridge for a year.
Not a teacher, but in 3rd grade I moved to a new school. I was in a Montessori before, the new school was a catholic school. I was a Unitarian Universalist, and we always called our preacher Reverend, not Father.
In my new school, the school priest, Father Jim, was retiring and we had to write a short essay about how much we'll miss him. This was like, I dunno, the third day of school? I had no clue what the hell a Father Gym was, and since nobody bothered to write out his full name I assumed this school just had a weird name for the gym. So of course, I wrote an essay about how much I'll miss the gym, and how terrible it's gonna be that I can't run all over it or play football in it anymore, and how terrible it is that the gym is "re-tire-ing." I ended the essay wishing the gym well with it's new tires.
The teacher was not amused.
A Poorly Made Koala Head
Not a teacher, but in middle school I was forced into this leadership class. The last project we did in that class was a 5-6 minute presentation on any subject of our choice. There was this scrawny and weird kid in the class that was always on his phone and he never talked to anyone.
Well, presentation day comes around and this kid rolls into class with a poorly-made koala head and we all assumed that he was going to inform us about koalas or something.
This kid, full of energy, storms up in the middle of the room and gives an extremely detailed presentation about his fursona. I remember his presentation time being far longer than 5-6 minutes and no one stopped him. He even went over common vocab used in the furry community and shared a couple of paragraphs from his poorly written fan fiction involving his fursona and another character.
I felt incredibly bad for this kid because he was extremely creative, but instead he spent all of his time and creative efforts on something that doesn't really matter all that much.
I used tutor Middle Schoolers and lower class men who just graduated high school. A kid wrote an essay about Cavemen using Hieroglyphics to communicate how they'd fight the dinosaurs. The assignment was to write about an early human civilization and compare and contrast their way of life to ours.
This kid was in AP World History (effectively a college level class), and didn't understand that there was around 63 million years separating Dinosaurs and the first Homo-Sapien civilizations. He then told me that I was incorrect and posed the question "If dinosaurs were dead then how did people ride them?"
I was truly baffled by that.
Not a teacher, but my classmate once wrote a solution essay titled ''Why do black people steal bikes - and how to stop it'' One of the solutions included spray painting black people white. I wish I was making this up.
No Future For Us
I am a student teacher in South Africa.
We are having a practice debate in English class and the matter of discussion is basically: FURTHER EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT / NOT IMPORTANT. The student are 12 years old. Upon introducing the topic the students seemed immediately irritated. When I asked them why, the one kid (who always speaks without raising his freaking hands, no matter how many times you tell him) said, without any emotion whatsoever:
"What does it matter what we do, there is no future for us anyway."
My heart dropped. I honestly love children very much and as a student in South Africa I know how difficult it can be. The locals literally throw rocks at students, burn buildings, vandalize buildings to the point that there are nothing left, burn cars and tires and disrupt classes by literally swearing at you, telling you, you should all be dead, jumping on the tables, even grabbing examination papers from students and tearing them up and disrupting sporting events by storming on the fields mid-game.
The country is in a rough place, but not yet in ruins and this is the future generation intended to save it. I have never felt more helpless in my life than that day- seeing a class full of faces that should be dreaming about becoming doctors and nurses and scientists and engineers, are utterly, utterly hopeless.
Needless to say, we never got to the debate. Spent the rest of our time trying to convince these students that they can change their circumstances.
There are few things more satisfying than a crisp $20 bill. Well, maybe a crisp $100 bill.
But twenty big ones can get you pretty far nonetheless.
Whether it's tucked firmly in a birthday card, passing from hand to hand after a knee-jerk sports bet, or going toward a useful tool, the old twenty dollar bill has been used for countless purposes.
Breaking Even<p>"I got a jacket and a pair of jeans at goodwill for about $20. My first time wearing the jacket I found a tiny zipper inside a pocket."</p><p>"There was a secret inner pocket with a twenty in it."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdv70q?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TheBrontosaurus</a></p>
Keeps On Giving<p>"23 Years ago I was in the US for some work and was not prepared for the cold of Chicago. Went to wal-mart and bought myself a cheap, warm jacket."</p><p>"I'm wearing that jacket right now - still looks fine, still keeps me warm."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpe41xv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TastyEnd</a></p>
As Good As They Come<p>"Wool pinstripe double breasted suit from Goodwill, fit perfectly and was brand new. Ended up wearing it to get married the next year." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdw6mx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">verminiusrex</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"God I love Goodwill!!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpe5aee?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Neverthelilacqueen</a></p>
The Socks She Needed<p>"I work at a thrift shop. A homeless lady came in and asked us where the socks were. We only sell new socks, so I directed her towards the new socks and she was... shocked and disappointed by the price tag, surely."<br></p><p>"I gave her a moment as she looked, and she moved to some kids' socks and picked them up, and I... just couldn't let that happen. I told her that I would help her, and told her to get herself some socks and a jacket."</p><p>"She kind of just... held out the children's socks, so I took them, put them back, and grabbed the extra fluffy socks that were hanging."</p><p>"She grabs a jacket and some pants, and I pay for it. My coworker looks the other way since we're not supposed to purchase anything while on the clock. The lady is in tears as she walks out."</p><p>"I notice that she's still outside a minute later putting them on, and ask her if they fit her or if she needed something else; and she told me they were perfect and proceeded to cry. I cried in return."</p><p>"It was a good day."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpen3w1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Snowodin</a></p>
Not Forgotten<p>"A guy came into my work when I managed a mom and pop Pizza Place. He said he was stranded with no phone, and no money, but that the people at the Verizon store next door to us said they could get him a cheap phone with some minutes on it for 20 bucks."</p><p>"He offered to do dishes for a few hours to make some money so he could get this phone. I told him not to worry about it and gave him a 20 from my wallet. He thanked me, asked me for my name, and then he left and I never saw him again."</p><p>"Skip forward about 5 months, and when I get into work the owner was there and said she had gotten a letter addressed to me. 'Weird,' I thought."</p><p>"But when I opened it there was a 50 dollar bill and a short note from the guy I gave 20 dollars to thanking me for my kindness and for not turning him away."</p><p>"Turns out he was in a bad way (addicted to hard drugs and homeless) and really was stranded there. He was trying to get a phone so he could contact his parents (who lived in another state) for help."</p><p>"From what it sounded like, he seemed to really turn his life around. He was clean and working a stable job while still living with his parents."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpem2xc?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Mixmaster-McGuire</a></p>
The Best Finale<p>"It was the day before payday. My wife came to see me at work. My break was in an hour, so I asked for her to wait a bit, so we could enjoy it together. She did."</p><p>"I bought her some lunch, because it was what I could afford. I bought her a ham and cheese sub sandwich and two iced teas. These were her favorite. I bought gas with the rest of the twenty so she could get home. She dropped me back off at work."</p><p>"That night, she passed away. It brings me comfort to know that I bought her favorite sandwich and drink for her that afternoon. It was likely the last thing she ate, since it was near dinner. I'll never forget it. Best $20 I ever spent, because it was for her."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpe9c6d?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">LollipopDreamscape</a></p>
Leaning Into the Nerdery<p>"It was my ninth or tenth birthday. My grandparents gave me $20. The first $20 bill I ever held in my hand! I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it."</p><p>"A week later, we went into the city and Toys R Us. I went straight to the Transformers aisle. And there he was. My favourite Transformer. The one I always wanted...Soundwave."</p><p>"He's the one who turned into a Walkman and he could eject cassettes that turned into robot animals. The price tag said $19.99. It was meant to be."</p><p>"I took Soundwave to the clerk and gave her my $20 bill. "And here's your change!" she said, as she gave me a single penny."</p><p>"Ah, Soundwave. The best friend a lonely little nerd could have."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdzzxe?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">originalchaosinabox</a></p>
Different Time<p>"I went to a Rush concert in 1982. The ticket was $9.50 and the t-shirt was $10." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdyr0k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PaulsRedditUsername</a></p>
Motivational Spending<p>"My then six year old niece had a loose tooth she loved to show off and had resisted pulling out for two weeks. We were all at my parents and I was getting ready to leave, I pulled out a $20 and said 'I'll give you this right now if you pull out your tooth.' "</p><p>"She was already crying because her little sister had did something so when she ran into the bathroom none of us had no idea in what she was about to do."</p><p>"So she comes out crying still, but a little bit of blood I'm her mouth because of course, she pulled out her tooth. But the now removed tooth fell down the drain to the sink and she was crying because she lost her proof!"</p><p>"After she calmed down she was happy as a clam with a brand new $20 and everyone was quite proud of her. My sister told me she spent it on candy and shared with her little sister."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpdxi4k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">themasimumdorkus</a></p>
For the Story<p>"It was actually to a scammer in Rome. There was this guy right outside of Colosseum who started tying strings around my wrist and told me to make a wish. I knew it was going to cost but I thought what the hell, last day in Rome so might as well go with it. </p><p>"My wish was to find love."</p><p>"I spent rest of the day getting lost in the city and stumbled across two weddings and one baptism ceremony. So I did find love, just not for myself."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lvu5aq/whats_the_best_20_you_ever_spent/gpe7b2w?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">FatalFinn</a></p>
I realize that school safety has been severely compromised and has been under dire scrutiny over the past decade and of course, it should be. And when I was a student, my safety was one of my greatest priorities but, some implemented rules under the guise of "safety" were and are... just plain ludicrous. Like who thinks up some of these ideas?Redditor u/Animeking1108 wanted to discuss how the education system has ideas that sometimes are just more a pain in the butt than a daily enhancement... What was the dumbest rule your school enforced?
Don't Peek<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDc4OS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNDE0Mzc2OH0.Y1Lzy1MTqxyVqOCe9xjeHTRZsKnbyVjYzdb4-Heldyo/img.gif?width=980" id="78b19" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e14a90be026b734830e7661f776ba4a8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="475" data-height="475" />schitts creek wtf GIF by CBCGiphy<p>Took all the doors off the men's room bathroom stalls because of vandalism for 2 months.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gphrfce?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> Endless_Vanity</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Endless_Vanity/" target="_blank"></a></p>
Scanned<p>School added thumb print scanners at gates of school which counted as registration - needless to say I would just walk to school scan my thumb and walk back home with them none the wiser. Was a great few months until they noticed. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpidnou?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">richpianofan5</a></p>
Age of Empires...<p>Conservative Christian College. A group of us played Age of Empires one weekend. They didn't like it and called a meeting. Everyone involved got misdemeanors on their records. There was nothing in the handbook about it being against the rules. The only person that didn't get any punishment was the son of the president even though he was just as involved as the rest of us. <span></span></p>
"Genius"<p>In my freshman year of high school we had a terrible vandalism problem, the bathrooms would be broken in various ways almost constantly. In a stroke of pure genius, the staff decided that any bathroom that was vandalized would be closed for the week on first offense, the quarter for second, and permanently on the third offense.</p><p>They took back the rule after closing every bathroom on day one. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpi77co?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> Samus388</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Samus388/" target="_blank"></a></p>
Is this Footloose?<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDc5Ny9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzg0MjU2M30.PeBUt-YWZeeRStaD_RZlGPQzo29E9t733yqZbIiJlYs/img.gif?width=980" id="3a5bd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="102730e3b1b90ba9cb393561c702c9af" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="500" />kevin bacon dancing GIF by STARZGiphy<p>Prom was a mandatory lockdown for the night in order to avoid students going to parties after prom.</p><p>Prom was held at various house parties across town instead. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpi37x7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Coffee-spree</a></p>
HOLDEN FOREVER!!!<p>My high school mascot was Daniel Boone holding a musket. A kid wore a Guns 'n Roses shirt to school and was told he had to change shirts because of the pistols on the shirt. He pointed out the hypocrisy of the school mascot and they changed EVERYTHING. The mascot was switched to holding a flag pole instead. <span></span></p>
No Dots<p>You couldn't wear ANY kind of head items that were "gang colours" (red or blue) - this No included hair bands, scrunchies, beads in your hair, ribbons - ANYTHING. I got in trouble for wearing a blue hair band with white polka dots. </p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gphzpyf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Pleasant-Flamingo344</a></p>
Clothes Check<p>We had to wear belts. Someone snitched that people weren't wearing belts under their sweaters, and they actually checked and a bunch of people got detentions. Stupid. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gphz3y6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ooo-ooo-oooyea</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gphz3y6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"></a>We had belt raids at my school where the dean would burst into classes, completely interrupting any education, to check that everyone was wearing a belt. </p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpia8pp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">GuinnessMicrodose</a></p>
Chase the Flat<p>We weren't allowed to play tag football at lunch, only frisbee. When I asked the principal what the difference was, he responded with a sarcastic tone, "A football is round and a frisbee is a flat disk."</p><p>He left the school later that year, went to another school, and a few years later was brought up on charges for failing to report the abuse of a student by a teacher. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpi6lh3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">uninc4life2010</a></p>
Poke-Thief<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDgwMy9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODg5MzY2Nn0.5LMPk1suou6U2SvAURKP-sHEuK7Izpkbxm0PWqvx95E/img.gif?width=980" id="b6e9f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="92383d30e34aa92fd74cf6c1374ec294" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="480" />hotline bling pokemon GIFGiphy<p>Pokemon cards got banned in middle school because someone stole the vice principal's kid's cards. Yep. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpiapym?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> Skadoosh_it</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Skadoosh_it/" target="_blank"></a></p>
In the Face...<p>If you were involved in a fight, you got suspended. While it sounds reasonable, context didn't matter.</p><p>I got suspended once not for throwing a single punch, kick, whatever. I got suspended because someone knocked the books out of my hand and when I reached down to grab them they punched me in the face.</p><p>I got suspended for walking down the hallway and unprovoked getting punched in the face.</p><p>Forget Brandon Valley Middle School. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lwjlif/what_was_the_dumbest_rule_your_school_enforced/gpicbyx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CLG_MianBao</a></p>
One of the golden rules of life? Doctors are merely human. They don't know everything and they make mistakes. That is why you always want to get another opinion. Things are constantly missed. That doesn't mean docs don't know what they're doing, they just aren't infallible. So make sure to ask questions, lots of them.Redditor u/Gorgon_the_Dragon wanted to hear from doctors about why it is imperative we always get second and maybe third opinions by asking... Doctors of Reddit, what was the worse thing you've seen for a patient that another Doctor overlooked?
Grandma Wins<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDcxOC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0OTQxNTgzOX0.n9IaFGgHwnULMlI2kg7RUftxDg6lyWvdM9CnhvptCRY/img.gif?width=980" id="a0857" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9762f97a23c27ccf6b75974caa854361" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="270" />Old Lady Wine GIF by MattielGiphy<p>Not a doctor, but my grandmother saved my father's eyesight because she didn't listen to their doctor. </p>
The Mummy Appendage<p>When I was a resident, an 80yo female was admitted from the nursing home for confusion. Workup showed some mild UTI and we were giving her antibiotics. The nurse mentioned that her toe looked dark and asked me to look at it. The toe wasn't just dark, it was mummified. It looked like dry beef jerky. I touched it and pieces flaked off. So the patient from a nursing home, had a mummified toe, probably for months, that no one knew about. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lw2g2z/doctors_of_reddit_what_was_the_worse_thing_youve/gpg00qn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Dr2ray</a></p>
The CT Save<p>Here's my story:</p><p>A guy came in to our ICU and was very septic but still talking. He had visited his primary care MD with complaints of a sore throat for a couple of days. Dismissed without any intervention since he didn't appear to have strep throat or the flu. At this point he was having pretty severe abdominal discomfort, so we sent him for a CT scan. As the scan was finishing, he coded and had to be intubated, multi-organ failure, etc. </p>
Patches<p>When I was an ER nurse we got an elderly lady in for altered mental status from a nursing home, when we undressed her to put her in a gown and hook her up to the monitor, I noticed no less than 5 fentanyl patches on her, guess I discovered the cause of the AMS. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lw2g2z/doctors_of_reddit_what_was_the_worse_thing_youve/gpg1lml?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ChewbaccaSlim426</a></p>
Use your Words<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxNDcyMi9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDA1NjI0MH0.WtyCdxL1vRZwD2-jpKZXMOEakwhiBaJIkp1YPnOzlvo/img.gif?width=980" id="e45ca" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f5b98e6a4605a587dbd97579468a51d8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="498" data-height="367" />Communication GIF by memecandyGiphy<p>Neurologist sent patient to our ED without informing her that imaging showed a glioblastoma assuring her impending death. He didn't overlook the disease, he overlooked the communication. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lw2g2z/doctors_of_reddit_what_was_the_worse_thing_youve/gpfl5t5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AzureSkye27</a></p>
Mad Cow Realty<p>During my residency we had this lady in her 60s who was getting progressively more forgetful, just overall declining and getting less and less able to take care of herself. She had been seeing her pcp who diagnosed her with dementia. And she saw a neurologist who agreed. She was not really able to provide an accurate history. <span></span></p>
After Birth...<p>I used to work in maternal-fetal medicine, and every single week, we would have women referred to us "because the doctor couldn't see something clearly with the baby and wanted to double check." Nope, they just didn't want to have to be the ones to tell you that your baby had a complex cardiac defect or multiple anomalies indicative of a genetic syndrome or any other of a large number of horrible things that can happen during fetal development. Still pisses me off when I think about how many women waited weeks for more information because their doctors were cowards who couldn't tell them, "There's something seriously wrong here." <span></span></p>
bad doctors<p>I'm not a doctor, but a RN. This happened to me, but isn't nearly as bad as most of the stories on here.</p><p>When I was in college, I got to where I couldn't swallow. It started with difficulty swallowing, progressed to me having to swallow bites of food multiple times/regurgitating it, and then got to where all I could swallow was broths and mashed potatoes with no chunks. I went to the doctor multiple times, and was told every time it was acid reflux and part of my anxiety disorder. <span></span></p>
The Valve...<p>He put the pacemaker lead in the subclavian artery (and across the aortic valve into the left ventricle). The proper approach is: subclavian vein to right ventricle). And then he didn't notice it for over a year. I saw the patient (a 25 yo woman who didn't need the pacemaker in the first place) when she was in congestive heart failure. <span></span><br></p>
Bitten<p>Rattlesnake bite. On a 2 year old. Patient and dad out in the fields near a small town that is several hours away from the nearest big city, where I work.</p>
When we think about learning history, our first thought is usually sitting in our high school history class (or AP World History class if you're a nerd like me) being bored out of our minds. Unless again, you're a huge freaking nerd like me. But I think we all have the memory of the moment where we realized learning about history was kinda cool. And they usually start from one weird fact.
Here are a few examples of turning points in learning about history, straight from the keyboards of the people at AskReddit.