Teachers Reveal The Most Creative Ways Students Have Tried (And Failed) To Cheat
Eyes on your own paper!!
It doesn't make you a bad person to have done it once or twice in life. Moments happen when memory lapses and you need a little help from a friend. Just don't make it a habit. Cheating is rampant in school (and in life for that matter) and teachers have to work overtime in this day and age of technology to be vigilant that kids use their own answers and not their friend's. But sometimes you have to laugh at the ingenuity of others when it comes to grabbing answers. Its too bad educators can't give out points for creativity in cheating. Its really too bad cheaters don't find a more productive way to use their minds.
Redditor u/german900 wanted the teachers out there to give us some stories about their students by asking.... Teachers of reddit, what is the smartest/most creative way of cheating that you've seen?
50. Steve Holding That GrudgeGiphy
No idea how my teacher didn't notice this, most likely just didn't care, but I whispered to my friend to tell me an answer to a question on the geography bee. He told me and I got it right. He then got his question wrong and I ended up winning the geography bee and representing our school in the state finals. I'm sorry Steve.
49. RIP Angelfire
Not a teacher (but both my parents are). In high school in the 90s we had to write a big research paper, but the main point of the project was to use sources from The Internet. We could use 1 or 2 from other sources, but had to have a ton from this Internet thing.
The thing was, I went to a backwoods school and was one of the few people in the school, including the teachers, that ever went online.
I found all the content I needed in some book from the library and had a heck of a time finding all the internet sources I needed. So I did what anyone would do. I made an angel fire page with a name close to my report topic and put a big Under Construction banner on it. Then did the same thing with Geocities. I cited both of them and got an A.
48. Coders In Training
While I am a teacher, this is in regard to when I was a student in high school.
I think it was back in 2002/2003. My buddy and I were allowed to use our TI-83 calculators in biology class (I don't recall why). You can connect these calculators to transfer data and programs between them, yet the cable is very short.
So my friend cut the cable and extended it using a landline phone cord. He sat in front of me in class and made it just long enough to reach. We covered the cable using our backpacks to hopefully not get caught.
I wrote a chat program that functioned similar to any basic instant messenger. During test time we would chat back and forth using our calculators.
47. Lost In The Shuffle
A kid in my English class would post the answers to vocab tests on a very cluttered bulletin board that he sat next to and the teacher never noticed. Did it for every test.
Not a teacher, but I used to write formulas on the inside of the wrapper to my water bottle and then re-wrap it.
Also knew a guy who would make himself throw up mid-test if he didn't know the answers and ask to go home. He'd get the questions from someone and re-take the test the next day. He ended up being diagnosed with "severe test anxiety" and was given his own special room to take tests in alone. 5 Sosonta
45. Beep Beep Boooooooop Beep
So this'll probably get buried, but at my college about three years ago there was a huge incident with a group of students who would use the reflections off their watches to signal in Morse code the answers to the test. They were only caught during the second test by a bored TA staring at the wall who happened to catch on. Blew my mind that someone would even think of that as a way to cheat.
44. The Cleverest Man
Heard recently from an acquaintance. He has 30% hearing and uses hearing aids, as he kept getting new updated ones, he gave the old in-ear ones to some of his friends in class. During a test, they would use the aids and configure them so that a very quiet whisper would be wholly audible between them but to no one else. They would just say the answers to each other very very quietly.
43. It Took Extra Work
Someone came to the test room early and had taped a sheet of notes underneath the desk. I thought it was odd that he was there so early. He wanted to make sure that he sat in that seat. He hid a small mirror in his lap so he could read the notes underneath the desk.
However, in the age of smartphones, anyone who continuously looks down at their lap is always on the proctor's radar. I saw the reflection of the lights above him on his face, found the mirror and he got a 0 on the exam.
42. Agaze Away
Not me, but from one of my elementary teachers.
You know how people tend to gaze towards the ceiling when thinking during a test? This one kid (admittedly ingenuous) put his notes up on the ceiling, cheating off of them while appearing to be in deep thought. He did, however, get caught. My teacher mimicked his stance, seeing the plethora of notes. Sadly for our hero, he ended up having his parents called. Would've worked otherwise...
41. The Missing
On my Organic Chemistry final, I came to the very last page of the test and had no idea how to answer the last two questions. So I did what anyone would do. Just ripped the last page plum off. Turned her in.
A week later I got an email from the teacher that something must have happened when he was assembling the test and I had not received the last page. He extrapolated my score from 85 points to 100 points and I passed that bia easily.
40. Bling Bling Cheat CheatGiphy
In college Asian Humanities, I was having a reeeeally impossible time remembering Asian names/dynasties and their years. I had an exam I had to get an A on to pass the class. I had to take the exam in the testing center (cameras and monitors at every desk to catch cheating) and I happened to get a copy of the exam from a friend that had completed it. Just memorizing wasn't working because it was a lot of Asian names and places that I just could not for the life of me remember and even though it was multiple choice, it was a 50 question test.
Sooo... On the way to the test I had an idea, I stopped at Wal-Mart and bought a box of little colored beads and a thing of string. I sat in the parking lot and made a "cheating bracelet". A= aqua B= blue C= copper D= dark purple And put a clear decorative bead at the beginning/end to show where to start.
It was actually a pretty bracelet, I finished it there in the parking lot in less than 3 minutes, put it in my wrist and wore it in the test. Each side of my wrist showed about 1/3 of the answers, so I only had to move a little or pretend to fittle with it once or twice over the hour to see the rest.
It was amazing.
I purposely missed a couple hard ones to throw off the scent. No one ever knew and I magically passed that class.
39. Just Normal Tricks Of The Trade
A guy I knew did something super clever (and super risky).
One of his law finals was an open book test (I think they were statutes or something - IANAL), so he printed out a bunch of precedents in the same format, font and size as the book he was allowed to take (on the same size paper).
He then managed to get a local printer/binder to insert the new pages into his copy of the book.
Got away with it, too.
38. Too Good To Discipline
My brother was taking some sort of maths class in college and the professor told them they could use whatever they wanted as long as they could fit it on a single piece of paper. My brother brought his roommate who was a math major and had him stand on a piece of paper. The teacher allowed it just because it was so inventive, but he changed the rules after that.
37. He Subverted You
My high school history teacher gave his first test, 50 multiple choice questions, collected it and then handed the tests back to us the next day for us to grade as he called out the answers.
I changed two of my answers.
Later that day he came by afternoon class and presented me with a photocopy of my original answer sheet and my changed, graded sheet and asked me to explain the discrepancies.
Busted. I admitted to changing it because I had felt those two questions were ones that the real answer was my second choice - and so gave myself a break...
Luckily I hadn't tried to change ALL my answers to correct. Had a long talk about honesty and I got off with a warning and my actual grade.
Never tried to cheat in his class again.
36. Morse Code Was Popular
Obligatory not me but my 7th and 8th grade Science teacher told us how about 3 or 4 years before we came, she would teach her students Morse Code. Anyway, these two guys figured they could share answers to each other by blinking. It took a few months, but she eventually caught on, made them both wear sunglasses every time there was a quiz, told the other teachers who also made them wear sunglasses during exams, and never taught the language again.
35. Cheating By Binder
When I was in middle and high school a lot of teachers didn't care about making the tests hard. I had a few who would release a "review" the day before the test, and it was literally just the test. I would take two, turn In one, and use other as a cheat sheet.
My mom also bought be a bunch (like 30) cheap translucent binders. You can't see the paper inside but if you press it down you can see the paper crystal clear. So if the teacher catches wise just lift your foot and cheat sheet gone.
My friend caught on and asked for one of my stack. They were hard to find and eventually the rest of the class caught on. Sold one for $10 ea and made $150. Mom wondered why I ran out so fast.
34. Coating My Lies
I have to remind my middle school students that I used to be one myself so I know what I'm looking for.
However, one girl I tutor told me that she sits next to the coat rack in her classroom and she puts answers in a coat pocket and she's able to see it. She also writes everything she doesn't know on her palm in pink ink so it's easier to wipe off in an emergency.
33. Formulaic Concerns
Wrote all the formulas or even derivations that were important on the back of my calculator with a pencil in such a way that only if you look at it from a particular angle against the sunlight you could see them. So if a teacher does look at the calculator, It looks like scratches but if you tilt the calculator it has everything written on it. Did this for all 4 years of engineering. Pro tip : write all the formulas at the back of the answer sheet as soon as you get them when the teachers are busy. Then just rub off the evidence.
32. Coffee: More Uses Than One
Not a teacher, but as a student I would get a black paper coffee cup from the shop right behind my school and write the answers in pencil under the hot sleeve. Then just slide the sleeve down to look at them. If the teacher looked over I'd just take a sip. This got me through a final on all the presidents and their time in office.
I was really bad at French in high school. Year 2 started getting really difficult for me. Wrote some conjugations down on a small piece of paper, had it in my palm and was peeking at it. I look up, and my eyes locked with the teacher's. Without dropping eye contact, I put the piece of paper in my mouth and ate it. No proof. She definitely watched me like a hawk the rest of the year.
30. Cursive Counter-foolsGiphy
Not a teacher, but this was kinda creative. In one of my classes, I used to get my work done so fast that I was bored for half the period. Eventually, I decided that I knew the material and (probably not a smart idea) decided to try an experiment. I gradually started writing more and more in cursive in the class until my teacher got used to it, then I'd throw in errors to see if they'd catch it. They didn't, which confirmed my suspicions that they couldn't read cursive and just gave me credit anyway. So for the rest of the year, I would literally just scribble in my 'homework' and the teacher believed it was just my handwriting and gave me credit anyway.
29. A Troll By Any Other Name
Not a teacher, but last year my professor "accidentally" shared the link of the answers to the next exam, and he "forgot" to delete it.
Everybody thought that we were saved.
The link was actually redirecting us to Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'
Mr. Bocska, if you see this, you da MVP
28. We're Just Innocent Nerds
Me and a few friends of mine actually learned tengwar and wrote our cheats in that.
None of the teachers could read it and we could hide behind the fact that we're just a bunch of Lord of the Rings nerds writing all kinds of elvish texts on our stuff.
We even had long sleeve shirts and other kinds of clothing covered in elvish looking texts which were basically giant cheatsheets disguised as teenage drive to "be unique".
27. Change Plan, Change Plan!!!
A few of my classmates found out that they had to take another exam in order to pass physics two days before and they had to learn 3 years worth of material. Obviously that was not a lot of time, so we decided that one of them is going to record the exam with a pen with camera inside, hand us the pen while somebody distracts the teacher, we would solve the exam and send it to somebody outside the classroom that was in communication with the guys taking the exam through a spy earpiece.
Well, not everything went according to our plan. The teacher sent everyone that wasn't taking the exam out of the classroom, so the only way we could get the pen with recordings was for the pen to be thrown out of the window. Fortunately, the pen didn't break and we helped them pass the exam!
26. Use Objectification To Your Advantage
I'm not a teacher but in high school I would wear a skirt every time I had a test and write a cheatsheet on my upper thigh. Would slowly move my skirt up while taking the test. I knew I couldn't get caught because a teacher could get in a lot of trouble for telling a student to lift up her skirt.
25. Indents, Lies, And Videotape
In HS I had a Dixon #2 (yellow pencil) with all the formulas for geometry carefully inscribed on it. I'd done it in such a way that the writing was an indent, so you had to hold the pencil just so to see the writing.
In college, I had calculator apps for chemistry (periodic table, chemical naming/ formula, etc), and often had notes in the calculator.
In one class, the teacher handed out the key to the test as you were leaving and didn't confiscate phones. About 1/2 of the class (not me) got texted the answers and blew the heck out of the curve. The next test was significantly harder.... hardest I ever studied for a C (usually A's were easy). Jerks.
24. Fortune Smiled
In high school it was getting close to final exam time. I was studying for a Spanish final. For some reason I looked in the recycle bin in the class and found what I thought were old exams. I took a few to study with my friend. When it was time for the final exam the teacher brought out the EXACT SAME exam that I had spent a week practicing.
23. The Age Of Deception
I taught kindergarten (I teach another grade now), and between 5-6 is a really interesting age. There's a cognitive development that occurs between 5-7 where children become much more aware of the perspective of others, and therefore learn how to deceive their peers.
I could always tell when a student was a little ahead of the curve when they would cheat during games or activities. I caught one student during a math game deal out all of the low number cards to his peer while he kept all of the high number cards.
He kept winning every single round. I walked around the classroom and stopped to watch these two students. The student who was dealt the low cards had no awareness that he had been dealt a bad hand and was happily playing while the other student won every round and was cheering.
I had to stop the game to scold the student who was cheating, but in the back of my head I was just impressed that he was smart enough to cheat.
22. Just To Keep Consistent
We had a professor at my college who never changed his test problems, just slightly offset the numbers: this was calculus 2+3, so knowing how to set up the problem was most of the work, and the professor was a super harsh grader.
There was an 'inheritance' network for old tests. A person the semester before you would gift you their old tests, then you'd gift your email old tests and theirs to a student the semester after you. By the end of the year most people had 3 to 4 different versions each
21. Taking Down The Curve
In 10th or 11th grade US history we had a quiz each Friday where we had to State the president of the week (starting with Washington and moving forward) and name his party, years in office, former occupation, VP and cabinet members, etc. Rather than study for this very easy quiz, I would write the answers in my notebook hard enough that it indented the next page, then just trace the intentions for the quiz. Pretty much the whole class started doing this eventually. One day, the teacher told us to turn our papers over and flip them upside down. We all failed...
20. Creativity with Chocolate....Giphy
My teacher shared with us a story about how since she allowed eating during her tests, one person pulled out a giant bag of M&Ms and ate a specific color corresponding to A/B/C/D. It was a two student duo and they only got caught when another student ratted them out. babydragon0
19. Too smart to cheat!
In a lot of my college courses I wasn't allowed to use anything higher than a TI84. So I took the guts of my TI89 and swapped it into my TI84. Never got caught. NakedEngineer
Oh crap that's the way to do it! Blainezab
18. Classic Ways....
Not sure if this would work anymore, but if I had a paper to write on a book I didn't read I would find a well written paper online. Then translate the entire thing from English to German, German to French, French to Spanish, then Spanish back to English. Pull the original paper and the new one up side by side and clean up the grammar on the new paper and you've got the same concept, but written just different enough to not be plagiarism. Worked like a charm. Throwmylifeaway000
17. An Ancient Code...
I was supervising a final chemistry exam along with another coworker. Not 15 minutes in, a hand slams down on a desk and I turn around expecting the worst, only to see my coworker angrily shouting at a pair of really frightened 10th graders whose desk he smashed. Amidst the shouting I caught the words, "Morse code." The guy proceeded to take them to the office. I called a hallway supervisor to take over and ran after the group.
Apparently, the kids were silently tapping the answers amongst themselves in Morse code. Not even with their fingernails, just their fingertips. I never heard a thing, my coworker happened to catch "B" in Morse code or something. I honestly thought he finally went crazy solely because of his appearance, picture Robin Williams in "Jumanji" going WHAT YEAR IS IT.
I'm 100% sure that if this coworker weren't in the room, they'd have gotten away with it for sure. itellteacherstories
16. ME! ME! PICK ME!Giphy
So, the teacher, let's call him Mr. A, had a reputation for being a phenomenal teacher who had every student engaged/invested in his class, no matter how mundane the subject. Any time he asked a question, every student's hand would shoot in the air with them shouting things like "call on me!" or "I know the answer!"
Simply, Mr. A developed a reputation in the district as one of its best teachers.
Fast forward a couple years and I'm grabbing coffee with Mr. A and I ask him "what's your trick? How did you get every student bought in?"
His response, "well, I told the kids every time we had a visitor in class, I need you all to raise your hand like I was giving away free candy. BUT if you don't know the answer raise your left hand. If you do know it, raise your right hand, so I know who to call on and we all look good. Worked like a charm." JuiceCastillo
15. Click Done!
In high school I was in a computer based learning program and our science tests were taken digitally. However, they used a program where once you entered the test your entire screen was locked into the test and the only way to exit it was to click the finish button on the test or turn off your computer which effectively did the same thing. Another feature of the program was that once you were in the test, anything you had in your clipboard (copied text) was not able to be pasted into the answer sections on the test to prevent the only other way to cheat.
However, after creating my own classroom at home, making fake tests and playing with the program to figure out a way to cheat I realized that it would allow you to copy things from inside the test and paste them elsewhere in this test. The developers of the program also did not take into account the sign in screen where you have to find the test and enter it.
Long story short, I could copy my entire page of notes I had taken on the test material, paste it into the section where I would enter my login information. Then recopy it, enter the test and paste it again in one of the answer sections, using it to answer every question and then deleting it before clicking 'finish.'
14. Use your words....
In elementary/middle school we had to write a paragraph each week featuring all the vocabulary words included in that unit. One clever kid wrote something along these lines:
One day kid's name had to write a paragraph for English class. He sat down, picked up a pen and used these words in it: "proceeds to list out all the words."
The teacher only let it go once because she never saw that happen until then. lukeydukey
13. Write it in Ink...
College physics, girl with a really intricate tattoo on her leg wrote formulas in between the tattoo lines. Even looking closely you couldn't tell unless you knew what you were looking for. You could tell it was test day because she wore shorts. ScarthMoonblane
12. Don't be a Lemming....
I can name the worst, and I've definitely shared it before, but it wasn't my student, it was a friend's.
She'd downloaded a worksheet for the kids to do while she was in a meeting of some sort. Kids found the worksheet's answer sheet online and proceeded to copy the answers. Last answer said "student responses will vary." And that's what one kid wrote as his answer.
Other times you'll see one kid misspells something or gets an answer wrong, and everyone who copied from him has the same error. Jubjub0527
11. That is some MacGyver stuff!!Giphy
One of my old teachers told us a story about a student who had rigged up a tiny scroll of paper in a wristwatch with notes written on it. He turned the scroll by winding the watch.
He ended up getting caught because he was winding his watch so damn much during the exam, but the teacher loved the creativity. vancouver-duder
10. The Staple Giveaway!
I remember a story from my O-chem professor. This student all semester who wasn't showing up to class kept getting his score improved significantly after re-grades. They got their tests back, had a day to review them, and were allowed to re-submit for a regrade. They knew he was cheating because of the unlikelihood of the grading mistakes on multiple exams but the TA's who graded it couldn't confidently say it wasn't their handwriting.
Ultimately it was an office worker for the department who figured it out near the end of the semester, his staples were angled different than the exams handed out that were mass stapled. He was recreating the test, printing it, re-answering it, and then grading it in the same pen as the TAs and had done a good job copying the writing style. 11JulioJones11
9. Stretch it out....
Stretch a rubber band around a text book, write whatever you want on it, then when you take it off the textbook, it'll just look like scribble until you stretch it to see what's written. Spanish conjugations drove me to do some incredibly unethical things. Reddit
8. It's like being a TSA Officer....Giphy
Writing down math formulas and putting them in the instructions insert of the calculator.
More recently, kids will put the answers on their smart watches. It's to the point where I make all students removes their watches and place them on the classroom counter before the test starts. Reddit
7. It's just a Smudge...
I had class in the AM with a kid who was a TA for my physics class the afternoon before (weird period system at my old school). He would tell me the answers to app tests he had graded the day before and I would write them in black ink on the side of the sole of my black boots. I would then sit with my leg bent with my foot on my knee and read the answers during the test. You couldn't see them unless the light hit the ink just right. After the test I would just lick my finger and smudge the answers out. Joshiebear
6. Can you hear... the answers?
During a keyboard harmony lab exam (a room with 28 keyboards), one devious student had previously recorded another student's perfect performance of the exam piece on MIDI <in-out-through>.
The cheater played the recorded piece on MIDI, but used all the right hand motions on his keyboard at the back of the room to try to fool me that he was actually playing it in real time.
Unfortunately for him, the student he recorded happened to be my piano student, and I recognized the distinctive playing immediately. I didn't embarrass him during class by calling him out on it, but dealt with the problem privately - a lesson he told me later that would stay with him for the remainder of his life. Back2Bach
5. Follow the Context....
As a student, I remember when my entire year level was accused of cheating, as the test results came back consistently high. What the teachers failed to realize, was that some of the answers were actually hidden in other questions.
So if you got stuck on one question, you could find the answer later on in another question.
An example would be (this was a Japanese language test) "What does ___ word mean" and later on, a question would use that word in context, so you would understand what that word meant. Cont4x
4. Like you do....
Im not a teacher but I was a student. I had a friend who knew Kurdish and Turkish (We all know Turkish ofc) Anyway, he had to move from his city due earthquake and come to opposite side of the country (Istanbul). He was writing his notes in Kurdish on his desk and 1 desk in front of him. Since none of the teachers and us knew Kurdish it was like gibberish to us, but we knew he was writing down notes in Kurdish. berkaltun
2. The Patsy....
My sister in law is a teaching assistant at her kids school. Her youngest daughter (My niece) was 7 at the time. She stole the test the night before, pretended it was homework and had her mom "help her with her homework" then sneaked the answers in to the test.
One of the other kids caught her, let the teacher know and my SIL, who was overseeing test conditions, died inside when she realized it was the homework sheet that she'd filled out. jonnyg112
1. Mr. D "The Mastermind!"
I'm a high school teacher, but this story is about my own high school math teacher playing us and "cheating."
It was an honors algebra/geometry class, and it was well known that Mr. D re-used the same questions every year, just changed the numbers. He made a big deal about making sure we all gave our exam papers back to him after we had looked at our scores and gone over everything together to prevent cheating for the next year.
Well, of course, some of my classmates got their hands on a complete set of tests from the previous year. Soon, everyone had a set. Before each exam, we would sit together and make sure we knew how to solve every problem on that test so we could do it on the real exam with different numbers.
Years later, when I became a teacher myself, I saw Mr. D at a funeral. I confessed to him that this is what we used to do. He smirked and said "Who do you think leaked the test packet to get you to study?" Mr. D had figured out that kids won't study if the teacher suggests it, but if they think they're getting away with something, they totally will, so he managed to get a test packet out and circulating as contraband. Blew my mind. sarahsuebob
Who among us hasn't seen things that made us think we were still asleep?
Sometimes those scary movie moments are a reality.
Once in a while, Michael Myers IS in the shadows.
There are so many unexplainable happenings that leave our nerves wrecked.
As I type this, I swear I can hear moving in the bushes outside.
I'm not in the mood to be terrorized before bed.
Redditor TractorLoving wanted to hear about the things many of us have seen that left us shaken and a bit scared, so they asked:
"What's the most creepy thing you've ever witnessed?"
I've lost track of the number of things that have creeped me out in life.
I barely leave the house.
From the bushes...the lion king disney GIFGiphy
"When I was about 12 I was sleeping on my trampoline with a friend and we heard the bushes move behind us, we flashed our flashlight to the bushes and a mountain lion was laying there stalking us, I have never run so fast in my life."
"Finding my dad dead in his recliner. I swear I heard his voice when the coroner came for his body."
"My granddad knocked over my great-grandma's ashes in his car accidentally, and to this day swears he heard her laugh, loud and clear as if she was standing next to him. She had a hugely wicked sense of humor and would have found this (and my very stressed granddad carefully collecting her ashes back into the container before my grandma saw) very funny."
From the Sea
"When I was serving my time as an engineer in the merchant navy we used to have to clean out what is called 'sea chests;' they're basically big filters for seawater that we would pump in to use as coolant and if the pumps were on when we were dockside we'd find all sorts of things like bottles, fish, crabs etc."
"One day we opened up the chest, pulled out the filter, and immediately saw this gold shiny thing which turned out to be a Rolex watch. Usually, we'd just dump out the filter but with the mitigating circumstances, we went through it thoroughly and found a piece of a shirt with cufflink still attached and last but not least a nicely rotted finger."
"The police ended up closing off the dock and dredging it but never found anything on the end." ~ MarkyBhoy101
TerrifiedWatching I See You GIF by TravisGiphy
"This guy followed me home. Said he saw me there often and named a few local spots I go to sometimes as places he sees me. It’s been about a year. Never saw him again. I was terrified for a little while for sure."
Stay vigilant out there kids.
People are watching and some of us don't notice.
Back Up CreepScared Homer Simpson GIF by reactionseditorGiphy
"I was in a restaurant years ago on lunch break. At the time I was a very thin 25-year-old woman. There was this big creepy guy sitting there who would NOT stop staring at me from the moment I walked in the door."
"I mean just open face staring without blinking for the entire 15 minutes I was eating several seats away. I asked for a box and left early to get away from him. As I walked out he said, 'You shouldn't be out alone. Someone's going to grab you and steal you away." 100% convinced creepazoid had someone locked up in his basement."
'Youth in need'
"Was working in a restaurant. Nice place. That night we held a charity dinner for a 'youth in need' type of house. The guy representing the house, a worker there, was such a nice and kind man. Every teen there was only saying nice things about him. A good soul, that was giving everything he could for these teens."
"At one point they gave a big check to the charity. I must guess an amount they rarely received. Well under the excitement, that poor man had a cardiac arrest. Dropped there on the stage, cheque in hand. He couldn't be brought back. He died. Seeing this was already bad enough, but the kids everywhere in the restaurant screaming and crying for hours after... haunting."
Inside the House
"One random night in middle school I woke up and had the odd feeling that something or someone was present in the house and coming towards my room. I was scared so I closed my eyes to pretend to be asleep. I could faintly hear something come into my room and it felt like someone was standing over me, looking to make sure I was asleep. I laid on my back, eyes shut, until the feeling passed, and ended up falling asleep. I woke up in the morning to find out that our house was robbed."
There in lies the rub...
"Well dressed 50 something business dude on a quiet Chicago L train reading a Wall Street Journal. Pretty woman with long curly hair dozing in the seat in front of him, her hair dangling behind the seat. The guy is rubbing and playing with her hair while reading his paper so I figure she's his wife or girlfriend who just wanted some space to nap."
"He is now intently rubbing and fondling her hair and not reading anymore. Suddenly she snaps awake and pulls in her hair like a bug was in it or something. She gets off at the next stop, he continues reading. They didn't know each other at all."
Why do people feel the need to overshare?
People really need to discuss boundaries.
If someone were to ask us which book we either hated or could not finish, we all have an answer to that question.
There are some books that simply do not work for us, while others stick with us forever.
Redditor Fair_Swing_6461 asked:
"What is the most challenging book you've ever read and why?"
"I have been an avid reader for many years. Thick and difficult books usually don't daunt me. 'Ulysses' by James Joyce has me beat, though. I just can't take the rambling about nothing at all and gave up 200 pages in."
"'Finnegans Wake' by James Joyce: hold my pftjschute."
"'Finnegans Wake' is very similar to this for me. I tried to read both 'Ulysses' and 'Finnegans Wake' and never got too far with either, even though they fascinated me."
"'Finnegans Wake' is so much more difficult to understand than 'Ulysses,' in my opinion. 'Ulysses' is like a waking man’s stream of consciousness while 'Finnegans' is almost in a weird dream-like stream of consciousness that hits different readers in different ways. 'Ulysses' is Joyce playing with style/prose while 'FW' is him playing with language."
"'Infinite Jest' by David Foster Wallace."
"Every page has footnotes that are required to understand the story. All 1,000 of them."
House of Leaves
"I'm reminded of 'House of Leaves' by Mark Z. Danielewski, where the footnotes are the story."
"'The Silmarillion' by J. R. R. Tolkien."
"It's like the Old Testament of Middle Earth. I couldn't do it."
"'Being Mortal' by Atul Gawande."
"My Dad read it to prepare himself for his death from cancer. He gave it to me and said he hopes it brings me the comfort of his demise as it brought him."
"I can't get past chapter three. I cry each time I try to finish it. Ugly uncontrollable despair cry."
"It is a great book, it has helped me a lot. The author has some important insights into mortality. But six years on, I am still not there yet."
"'Les Miserables' by Victor Hugo, in French. I was a second-year French language student."
"I came here to say 'Les Miserables' in English. The plot, more plot, 50+ pages of the history of Paris's sewers, more plot, more plot, more extremely long history."
"I enjoy history but don't interject an extensive detailing of it in the middle of a story."
"'Blood Meridian' by Cormac McCarthy. Judge Holden is one of the most disgusting yet intriguing characters in fiction I have ever read."
Reading Comprehension Who?
"I've read a bunch of Thomas Pynchon and Dostoevsky cover to cover and forget everything that happened in them."
"I find it very hard to reconstruct the words on the page into a movie in my brain. I might as well be reading a bunch of numbers. Pretty much all fictional books are challenging for me."
"'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov. It's an infamous book that has been historically misinterpreted, romanticized, and weaponized as a love story, when it's really the account of the sexual abuse and manipulation of a 12-year-old girl, written from the perspective of the abuser trying to convince the reader of his innocence."
"Some scenes are gut-wrenching when you actually read between the lines and keep in mind who is telling the story. It's the ultimate 'unreliable narrator.'"
Intruder in the Dust
"Anything by William Faulkner. Specifically 'Intruder in the Dust,' because that is the one I actually read. It was a requirement for one of my college classes. It was awful."
"He doesn’t use punctuation. Sometimes a 'sentence' can go on for pages at a time."
"'The Sound and the Fury' did me in. I had to read it for my last year of high school at a time when you couldn’t look up summaries and whatnot."
"It was just an uninterrupted stream of consciousness with barely any punctuation or flow. The definition of word vomit. I felt the mental equivalent of motion sick when I read it, and thinking back on it I can vividly recall these feelings, even several years later."
"'Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics' by Peter J. Lewis."
"The book focuses on the three dominant interpretations of Quantum mechanics from a viewpoint of metaphysical ontology (the philosophy of what exists and what is real)."
"I have read many popular books on Quantum physics both in English and in Dutch. I can say I understand 70% of what is written in those books. This book sparked my interest very much when I came across it."
"I did not understand any of it. I could not finish the second chapter as I had no idea what the h**l this guy was talking about. It grounded my smug a** for a while."
"'Moby Dick' by Herman Melville. Just chapter after chapter describing whales and the whaling process. This might have captured the imagination in the 1850s, but when you’ve been watching Attenborough documentaries since childhood, explaining how big a whale is becomes tedious."
"I think people approach it wrong. It’s not a book about an exciting adventure, although it does have that, it’s a book about being bored at sea and reminiscing on life. I hate when people say you should only read the plot chapters. The point of the book is finding meaning in the dull things around you, and the writing is beautiful."
"This is a strange choice because it's a classic, but I struggled with 'David Copperfield,' because of the writing style, by the author, Charles Dickens, who wrote these long, drawn-out sentences, and it got to the point, as I was reading, where I would just start to count, in my mind, how many punctuation marks there were, in each sentence."
While we could take this conversation as sad, seeing as how there are books out there that some people do not like, it's better to take it as a reminder that not every book is going to be for us, and we have every right to put that book down and pick one up that we'll love instead.
People Reveal How The Troubled Kid From School Ended Up Making It Big
If we think back to our childhood and school years, we likely can remember someone who was always getting into trouble.
The assumption at the time might have been that this child was going nowhere, but as some will point out, these troubled kids can wind up being just as successful as everyone else, if not even more so.
Redditor bluewhalebluejay asked:
"Teachers of Reddit: Do you have a former student who you thought was doomed but ended up making it big? What's their story?"
Being Someone's Beacon
"I've had a few kids stand out."
"One of my first ones was a kid who was in my grade 10 drama class. Nice kid to me, with no major issues. Funny, not super academically inclined, but started to really like drama and we got along."
"He missed class somewhat frequently for excused absences that were noted as 'court.' I assume mostly weed related... just because of reasons. But I never asked."
"Anyway, halfway through the semester, he came in and announced it was his last day because he was being sent to juvie and he was upset he wouldn't be able to continue in drama (his other courses they could manage through distance education type things)."
"Was subbing back at the school the following year and ran into him. He'd caught up on all his missing credits while in juvie because he 'had nothing better to do so why not get some s**t done.' He was going to now graduate on time and was super proud of himself. Not sure where he's ended up now ten years later, but weed is legal now so as long as he's not dealing, so hopefully he's doing okay."
"Different school and where I ended up getting a permanent position so I stayed in the same place for a while, had this girl show up in grade nine and had her for Arts and English. She was... a lot. She would fully shut down and just not do anything. Or talk. Or she'd have a full-blown tantrum. She was exhausting."
"I drug her along through the Arts class and got her participating some days, which was apparently huge because in elementary, she was just left to do nothing all day because she wasn't disruptive. I jokingly suggested she take Drama with me the following year, but she hated speaking in public so figured that was a no-go."
"Did get her to do the lighting for the school show, though. She took drama every year. By the end of grade 12, she engaged with people, she could speak in front of the class, and she was completing credits (slowly and with a lot of support), but you could get work out of her. Apparently, I became her favorite teacher and I was one of the only ones she would do work for initially. But my god was she a lot of work some days. Glad I stuck it out because we got there eventually."
Imposed Limiting Beliefs
"I had a teacher tell me I'd probably end up managing a Borders, but they went under in 2011, so the joke's on her."
"My math teacher in high school moved me to the back of the room and told me to sit there and just look out the window. She said I’d be working at McDonald’s one day. I made $300k last year. She’s dead now."
"Not a teacher, but I knew a kid who was your stereotypical couldn't give a f**k student."
"He never did his work, p**sed off teachers, cut class, did all kinds of drugs, and always had detention. I remember the highlight of his work was writing an essay on why he was Black, despite being white. About mid-senior year, he dropped out, and he kinda just disappeared. I honestly thought he'd end up in jail at some point."
"In 2019, my job sent me over to a site to do a survey for a company installing our AV equipment. Lo and behold, the guy leading the project was the same wild and crazy kid from high school."
"We chatted and caught up on things, but the guy really turned his life around. He got his GED, quit drugs, took up trade jobs, and worked his way up to a senior position in that AV installation company. It's interesting to see how people change like that when they enter the real world."
Lack of Interests
"I had a student who was supposed to be a high school dropout but ended up graduating law school with honors."
"That sounds like that was a case where the kid was smart but bored and needed a passion to find."
"This sounds like my father and his brother. They were the same, screwing around in high school with bad grades, smoking weed and drinking and pulling pranks and playing poker all lunch, until college when they found what interested them. Now my uncle is a surgeon and my father is a scientist."
Such a Small World
"I taught geography to a very talented (and now famous) footballer. He wasn't particularly academic but is now a multi-millionaire. The tabloids loved his scandals, but I dare say he's loving his retirement now."
Mental Health Assistance
"I did some volunteer work in mental health services for teens, specifically with music."
"Probably obviously, teens with mental health problems can be incredibly self-conscious and reserved. This one girl, in particular, was quite timid most of the time when there was anyone with her who wasn't a close friend."
"Over the course of a few years, I managed to coax her into singing in front of me, then to the group, then at a fundraising event for the group."
"The last thing I heard about her was a post on Facebook that a friend showed me. She was complaining about there only being about 50 people at a gig that she was playing! I still remember having to talk her into that first performance with just one or two people there!"
"Son of two teachers, not a teacher. Our class criminal was acting out in grade school. He was a bully. He'd push kids down the stairs. He grabbed the boobs of the first girl in our class to have them."
"When he'd get in trouble, he'd run away from school, and the principal would get in his VW Bug and chase the kid down."
"In Junior high, he was suspended as often as he was in class it seemed. The same was true in high school. He didn't so much as graduate, as was passed on a plea bargain."
"Many years later, I saw him on Facebook. He's an oil man in Texas. His house is bigger than my yard, by a lot. He has a beautiful wife and daughter. On the surface, he made it and is living the dream."
"Now, he may still be a criminal. Financial success doesn't make one a good person. I don't know who he is these days. All I can say is growing up, I pictured him in jail or maybe in a trailer park as an adult. I never pictured him in a mansion living the high life."
"The money may be nice but I'd rather have a small house than work on an oil rig, that's a dangerous life."
"I bet he started on a rig or in a field, but he looks like a suit and tie guy these days. I agree 100%, though. My job gets me by (barely), but I'm safe and have a good work-life balance. I'd rather barely scrape by than be financially well off and either in danger or stuck at work all the time not enjoying the fruits of my labor! 40 hours a week is as much as I care to put in (I'd prefer less to be honest)."
"I taught a first-year university course. It was the fall semester, so for many students, it was their first semester at university ever, and I had one student who struggled. She was young, it was her first time living away from home, and she seemed perpetually overwhelmed."
"I think she was just naive and inexperienced. About a month into the semester and her grandmother passed and they were very close. She came to my office to tell me she had to go home for the funeral and would miss a couple of classes."
"She was sobbing and I comforted her and told her not to worry about class. When she left my office, I honestly thought that I would never see her again and that she was going home permanently."
"I was wrong. She came back a week later and she was laser focused. She started speaking out in class and asking questions, she came to all of my office hours and study groups, and she began to make connections with other students in the class."
"She absolutely blew it out of the water, aced the final exam, and finished the course with the highest grade. We stayed in contact and I was actually her reference for an intensive internship that she was very excited about (and she got it)."
"I will never forget her and she truly humbled me. Was really a lesson for me not to underestimate people."
"I worked administration in an elementary school. But I did take kids with low reading scores to the side to give them tutoring whenever I could."
"One kid stuck out. 15 words read per minute despite being eight years old. She had no confidence in herself, was too terrified to talk to anyone, and burst into tears at any mistake she made."
"Let's just say her family was... unsupportive and difficult. I did not see progress for MONTHS. I was worried about her future in school if she continued to lag behind and be too anxious to make it in the world."
"But eventually, she started talking to me. She stopped crying at mistakes, repeating my mantra ('It's okay to make mistakes, mistakes mean you're learning'). The words per minute score went up little by little as she began to show interest in different reading materials."
"By the end of the school year, she was looking forward to seeing me and her teacher said she was excited when the class took library trips. That teacher and I convinced the school to let me continue monitoring the student into the next school year. They agreed."
"One more year of tutoring passed. That shy, terrified girl became confident and happy. She talked to everyone, helped out in class, and demonstrated a fascination with learning new things. The new teacher told me how this kid was always trying to sneak books in-between classwork. In second grade, when we began, this student was one of the lowest-scored readers in her grade but by mid-year of third grade, she was the highest score. She was even helping out other kids!"
"I worked for a couple of years after she 'graduated' from my tutoring so I got to see her in the hallways. She always liked to tell me what she read in class, what she read in her personal time, and see what I'd recommend for her to read next. By the time I left my job, she was going to middle school and I knew she'd be just fine."
The End of the Bullying Era
"I had this classmate in high school who was the biggest d**k I saw in my entire life."
"He would beat people up if he didn't like the way they walked or whatever, would make teachers so angry in class that one of our teachers was rushed into the hospital due to hypertension."
"One day in our senior year, his mom and dad were tragically killed in a car crash, leaving him responsible for his three younger siblings."
"I didn't see him for a few weeks then one day came back and the principal was kind enough to accept him again back to school, but was informed that he may not graduate due to his very low grades."
"I have never seen such a sudden change of personality in my life. The dude became so focused and determined on graduating high school, it was scary."
"Fast forward 20 years to the year 2022, I had some legal issues to deal with, and one of my friends recommended me to a lawyer, and I was surprised when I saw him. All changed, turned his life around, saw the graduation pictures of his siblings displayed on his office wall, and has a beautiful wife and a daughter."
Talk About Leveling Up
"A stoner kid I knew who did nothing but doodle on everything ended up being some big shot at Lucasfilms and then Disney."
"I am a coach and through a coincidence, two kids who used to be my neighbors came through my team. When we were neighbors, their house was known as the crack house. It ran off a generator for a while and the dad was siphoning gas out of neighborhood cars to run the generator."
"Their dog was left outside barking for two nights in a row (another neighbor and I decided if it went to night three, we were taking the dog, the weather was fair). Finally, the house was foreclosed and the pics of the inside lived up to the crack house name."
"Fast-forward some years and I took one of the kids on my team home. We happened to go past my house and he pointed and said he used to live down there. I put it together and asked if he used to have a dog named Oscar, and he did!"
"So it turns out his dad eventually went to jail for stealing cars and his mom was in recovery for addiction to pills. They had to move in with his grandfather in the local trailer park who was an alcoholic."
"So the older brother did well. He's in college in the next state and is gonna be okay. The younger brother, though, is about to graduate high school as the valedictorian and has a full ride to Cal Tech."
A Different Perspective
"My husband had a teacher tell him with his efforts he would always be a B student, a B husband, and a B father. Another teacher, when learning of us getting married a few years later, said of me, 'Bless her heart.' He was a difficult, under-challenged student."
"I consider him an A+ husband and father, who runs his own 35-person company, a company that puts employees over profit. I'm just sorry those teachers didn’t see what has always been clear to me."
An Irreplaceable Teacher
"For my primary school teachers, I was probably that kid. Never spoke and could never finish a worksheet to save my life. Had all the tutoring in the world and I just couldn’t understand numbers. Didn’t understand punctuation for a while, either. Luckily, English just clicked for me one day and I went from an F to an A in a week."
"Turns out I had undiagnosed Autism and the way they were teaching these fundamentals didn’t slot into my head right. God bless my extra help teachers because they sat me down and gave everything the most arbitrary rules so that it would make sense."
"I can’t remember them properly now but I just remember explaining my young self's logic of the world to her and she made all the punctuation and math symbols slot into those rules so I could use full stops and multiply things without going crazy."
"Now I’m in university studying STEM, probably still applying a lot of Mrs. Brown's logic without realizing it. Bless that women’s patience because I wouldn’t have been able to get into top classes in secondary school without her."
The Perfect 'Thank You'
"I was the special ed kid who was regular all along."
"I was semi-nonverbal as a kid, and wouldn't really do school work in Kindergarten through third grade. I didn't really have a support system at home and had no interest in learning to read or do schoolwork, really. I just wanted to go home and play Nintendo."
"Towards the end of second grade, they started actively monitoring me and another young child. They would sit in on my school day, take notes about my behavior, and leave. They wouldn't talk to me at all, and I didn't realize their presence had anything to do with me until much later."
"Based on those reports, they moved me to Special Ed. I'm not sure if they thought I was just slow or on the spectrum, but every day, I would leave class for half the day and go to direct one-on-one class with an aide. She taught me all kinds of fundamentals I should have had before then. I was in the third grade before I learned how to tie my shoes, for example. She taught me how to read. She taught me how to communicate."
"By the fourth grade, I didn't have to go to Special Ed anymore. I was vaguely normal. It would take until the eighth grade before I finally made friends, but it would have never happened with her."
"Unfortunately, much of my childhood is kind of a vague blur. I can't even remember which of the elementary schools I went to where she was. I wish I knew how to unlock this memory and find her if just to write a heartfelt letter of appreciation."
"Wherever you are, whoever you are, thank you for saving me."
These stories were both surprising and heart-warming, and they are a great reminder that no two lives look exactly alike, but also, a tough start does not necessarily mean a dark and terrible life.
People Break Down The Most F**ked Up Thing A Stranger Has Ever Done To Them
CW: violence, fighting, and assault.
We'd like to believe humanity exists with plenty of examples around us of people doing good things for others.
Sadly, the harsh reality is that there are just as many individuals who have no respect for others and wish to cause harm.
People who've had bad encounters with someone they've never met shared their experiences when Redditor Jemuzu8304 asked:
"Whats the most f'ked up thing a complete stranger has done to you?"
Drivers and passengers recall their rude interactions.
"One time I was in south Philly and a car pulled up with two guys in it. They called out to me asking for directions so I walked over. As I was explaining where to go the dude in the passenger seat spit in my face and they sped off."
"You just reminded me of a similarly gross interaction:"
"Years ago after a doctor's appointment, I got into my car and turned it on, at which point a small child started leaning/sitting on the hood. His heavily pregnant mother stood by doing nothing, apparently distracted by her phone. I rolled down my window, and asked if she would mind getting her child off of my car, as I needed to leave, and was concerned he could get hurt."
"She asked if I had insurance. Confused, I answered '...yes?', to which she said 'Well I hope you DO hit him so I can get some MONEY!' She proceeded to lean in through my passenger window, and started spitting on me. The kid was no longer on my car, and I desperately wanted to get away from her, so I put my car in reverse. She then hurled her pregnant belly into my sideview mirror, and shrieked in such an exaggerated way, as if I had hit her."
"I eventually found a new doctor."
Unwanted Car Wash
"Stopped at a red light one time. Someone from a building adjacent to the light threw a bag of ice and water on my car, from a few stories up. Dented the roof and shattered the windshield."
"Wasn't even a nice car, I was driving a Dodge neon sh*tbox."
You never know the capabilities of strangers you encounter.
The Violent Thief
"I got held up at gun point 2 weeks ago in philly 10 feet from the door to my friends apartment. They stole both our watches. My watch was given to me by my dead uncle. https://imgur.com/a/V59aebW"
Hit By A Hard Object
"Reminds me of something. Some a**hole tossed a lock, like the combination type out of a car at me and hit me in the knee. I had trouble walking correctly for damn near a month."
"I always thought if they'd have stopped at a light I'd have hurled that b*tch right back."
"Good thing they didn't. I wasn't in any condition for a fight."
"I also have a drive-by experience but it was with a f'king paintball gun. My friend and I were in freshmen year, just walking to the park to play some ball and with no warning he suddenly recoils and shouts in pain. I had no clue what happened. He reaches at his back and when he turns around I see a bright red paint splat on his white shirt. I look up and see the car that just passed us turns around, pulls up next to us with the kid in the passenger seat hanging the gun out window saying 'Sorry bro, I’m just so surgical with this thing,' and speeds off. Pretty hilarious story in hindsight within our friend group now, but at the time we were pissed. Luckily we got their plates and the cops showed up at their house and they got in trouble. F'kers."
"I was about 11 and me and some friends were standing on a small bridge over a lake. All of a sudden I was picked up and thrown over the railing into the lake below. I tried to grab onto anything I could as I fell and scrapped my arms up pretty good. I still have scars 30 years later. So I swim to the side and some older kid comes up to me and just say - sorry, I thought you were someone else."
Attacks happen when you least expect it.
"Punched me, for no reason. I was standing. Waiting for the community bus. A stranger got out of the car and punched me. I filed the Police report but nothing happen."
Hitting The Elderly
"My grandmother was at the movies and a guy walking up the aisle punched her in the side of the head. He told the cops he was mad because he was on a bad blind date."
"Like...great excuse to wallop a 75-year-old woman minding her own business."
The Ferrari Guys
"Had a similar thing happen when I was in Downtown Los Angeles. I was crossing the street and just came up onto the sidewalk. Some dude in a Ferrari steps out of the car, walks up to me and tries to swing on me in broad daylight. I sidestepped this dude, and he then spun to try to hit me again, calling me a motherf**ker and not to dodge. I caught him with a nut shot with my foot and doubled him over."
"His buddy hops out of the car, and another of his buddies (I assume) gets up from the side of the sidewalk and both are yelling at me, and I'm like, 'ah, f'k, I'm not ready for this.'"
"These absolute legends who had been watching all this sh*t go down just appear out of nowhere and jump these guys for me. Like, six different people from out of the woodwork. Nutshot and Scrub (Ferrari guys) hop in the car and just take off, scraping the car and taking the right side view mirror off. Their (assumedly) other homeboy gets left behind, but he tries to stumblef'k his a** away after having taken a couple of hits to the head. One of the guys who helped me jogs up and punts this dude in the side right after he falls over, doubling him up. Meanwhile, everybody else is checking on me and making sure I'm good."
"Cops show up, detain us, figure out what's going on, let us go, and arrest homie that couldn't get away. Come to find out, these guys have been doing this for weeks, and the people who helped me were local residents who had been on the lookout for Nutshot. Arrested homie later squealed, and all the guys involved got a couple of years for aggravated assault."
My bad interactions with strangers were all random but definitely premeditated assaults.
I was mugged twice in New York City while I was typically minding my own business.
Also, while I was in Barcelona, I had a team of youths pick-pocket me and run off with my wallet containing my passport and credit cards. Fortunately, the friend I was with saw what happened and ran off after them. She sucker-punched the young lady who had my wallet, causing her to drop it.
Be careful out there, folks!