Teachers are usually pretty good judges of their students' potential. Every once in a while though, one student will come along that either becomes so successful or fails so hard later in life that the teacher can't help but wonder what happened.
Reddit user u/jargson asked:
"K-12 teachers of Reddit, what is a story of a student you had who went on to surprise you with how much they later succeeded or failed in life?"
I coached a girl in Rugby 7s at highschool in 2017. She was not good! I never told her she wasn't good and always encouraged her but she was just starting (much later than most other students who have been playing since primary school). I never expected anything from her.
2 weeks ago I was watching a professional women's game and hear my highshools name, rewind and figure out they were talking about her, now playing professional rugby. Needless to say I was very proud.
As an adult, died in a police shootout following a manhunt for murder. I looked up his very distinctive name on a whim and there were a few articles about him.
As a middle schooler, he was rude, ran a gang of bigger boys, and was a great athlete. His mom (single and never came to parent/teacher meetings) was about my age, and I was an undergrad - you do the math.
Wasn't allowed on sports teams because of his grades, so I suppose could never channel that energy or get a strong authority figure. The school was/is in gang territory; students dumbed themselves down to fit in.
Made me think about how sometimes the odds are just so stacked against you through no fault of your own.
This is not mine, but my grandpas. I don’t know if this story counts, but I’ll say it anyway. There was this child actor who needed to act like an architect in a movie he would be in. My grandpa was still teaching at the time and is an architect so he had the kid in his class for a while to learn. That kid was Tom Cruise.
Not a teacher but went to school with a guy that had a 100% average because his mom baked cookies and did other things for the teachers and if he got anything less than 100 she would complain about it to the profs. She also had him listed for several learning disabilities, which he didn't have just so he could take like 2 weeks to write a 1 hour test (obviously went home and cheated). (He was on some special education plan that let him take all that time). He was genuinely a really smart guy too but his mom put too much pressure on him.
He got into the best university with a full ride- flunked out first year.
Since then, he's dropped out of like 4 other unis after a semester in each. He now works full time at a Tim Hortons as a cashier.
It's sad but karma is a b!tch because his mom used to always put down other kids by saying stuff like "you must feel really bad (sons name) got the highest average and you were only second highest. Don't worry, not everyone can win" ... she singlehandedly probably ruined his life.
Her poor son. He never had a real chance at growing up, I hope he is doing okay emotionally.
I work in a delinquent youth placement. We'll call this student Bob for anonymity.
Bob had problems. Authority issues, substance abuse, aggression, raised in the streets inner city minority kid. Bob wasn't going to see the age of 30 if he didn't get arrested. Nothing out of the ordinary for our facility. Over months and months we get Bob doing better. SA counselors, staff members, teachers, therapists.
He's working as a student worker and making money. He earned his GED. He even enrolled in community college in his home town. We were damn proud when he left our facility and got a part time job between classes.
Fast forward a couple months. One of our staff members does a recidivism check (is bob doing ok or in jail again?). Bob was shot by a rival of Bobs former gang for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He died at the hospital, he wasn't even 20 yet.
Johnny Depp went to my high school (waaaaay before I did) but the chemistry teacher was the same guy (but much,much older by the time I got there). He'd always tell us how Johnny was always skipping school,didn't do well academically and played guitar in the halls. His mom was supposedly always being called.
Young girl, very smart but no Einstein. They removed her from her school and put her in the Center Based Gifted Program for the super-smart. The teachers there promptly ruined her (as they did all the kids in that program). None of them were truly challenged, given a curriculum that allowed them to pick and choose what they wanted to study (which taught nothing about hard work or slogging through the difficult parts) and brainwashed all the kids their parents (and everyone else in society) were the equivalent of low IQ monkeys compared to their "genius" and not worth their respect.
She graduated high school with high marks, because they were pampered and indulged, but college....where it's actually hard, and you actually Have to study and people don't constantly praise you for being 'amazing'....she lost her mind. Couldn't keep up with the other students, didn't know how to work for grades, and convinced herself her high school bf would cheat on her if she didn't go home and be with him.
She dropped a full ride scholarship in the first year. They broke up, of course, and she ended up 'managing' a rap group that was going nowhere, fell into drugs and a bad crowd and now works at as a cashier.
I taught at a high school. I had one student who was incredible in school, she had an awesome family, involved in clubs and was extremely shy. She was going to Brown or Princeton and wanted to be a civil engineer. Opened up and adult video hub the other day and I pretty sure she's a cam show girl. If not this chick has a doppelgänger.
Mayhaps she is cam-girling to pay her way through one of the aforementioned schools?
Honestly I have 80k in student loan debt. If I had known in college what I know now, I might have entertained the idea just to finish college debt free.
Best friend and Valedictorian I graduated with, did not go to college. Had multiple full rides 1400+ on the SAT. (When the max was just 1600). She scored perfect on the math. She Just wanted to live at the beach, so she did. Worked a crappy 9 to 5 and lived in a trailer. She's very happy. Success for her.
Taught a very talented kid. Taught him in middle school and was a beast on the basketball court. He could dunk a basketball in the 6th grade. He never played a game because of his grades and was later shot in a drug deal. One of his buddies ended up getting a full ride to play football at a Div. I college. Promptly quit because he didn't like being told what to do all the time.
Not my story, but my grandma's. She was a middle school English teacher and had this one student who was problematic. He was well known as a troublemaker and a bully. My grandma was a pretty strict teacher so she didn't take his crap. She had to take disciplinary actions on multiple occasions, so it's safe to say he was not a fan of her. But my grandma was always able to see his potential, and she didn't want him to waste his life.
Flash forward about 35 or 40 years. This student got ahold of my grandma's email address and contacted her. In the email he stated how he has had a very troubled life and had past problems with the law. He then said that he remembered back to her English class and how she was the only teacher who ever pushed him to be a better student and person. It ended up that those memories gave him motivation to turn his life around.
He cleaned up his life and was able to get and hold a job. He wanted to thank my grandma for being the only person who ever believed in him and pushed him to be a better person. It definitely made my grandma happy to know that even if it was decades later, she was able to help give someone self worth and a second chance at life.
Had a student who was one of the most undisciplined, uncontrollable people I had ever met. He probably had several undiagnosed learning disabilities, and had no regard for any kind of social norms, both in interactions with teachers and peers. He would wander the halls, barge into classes that were not his own, and attempt to engage in conversation with teachers in the middle of their lessons. He would have loud outbursts, sometimes of song, sometimes just to hear the sound of his own voice. On a few occasions, he would remove his shirt in class and lewdly rub his nipples.
This is just the stuff that immediately comes to mind, every day this kid would act out in some new, creative way.
He also happened to be an extremely talented singer and performer, and last year (his junior year of high school), he auditioned for and got a role on a show on a streaming service. I'm hoping the tutoring they provide him is more effective than traditional schooling, and that he gets his behavior under control... otherwise his success may not last long.
My neighbor taught chemistry in high school for almost 10 years. In particular, she recalls a student of hers who got perfect scores on almost every test. She was a hard worker and could be seen constantly studying. Ironically, despite her being a "nerd", she was pretty popular, and had lots of people around her. 2 years later she failed her senior year. It was discovered she had multiple accounts of drug abuse and had run away from home.
It was a huge scandal, as the school my neighbor worked in was a prestigious and highly competitive private school.
To everyone's surprise, two years later she came back to the school. After going to rehab and therapy she was a whole different person. She repeated her senior year, and managed to graduate with excellent grades. Now she's happily married after graduating from college.
One of my professors has this story.
She is a creative writing professor. She went and got her MFA in writing with a few guys who were writing this play. She said that they goofed off and never took their work seriously and they asked her to write with them. She figured them to be losers and turned them down. So now she's a creative writing adjunct professor, and her classmates, those guys... have their own animated series you might have heard of.... South Park.
There was a kid I grew up with who was a bully crazy kid. He was constantly in fights in elementary school. His mom was called almost every day, and he was on ritalin 2x a day and he was STILL a handful.
8th grade he suddenly decided not to be a psycho. He got great grades and studied hard. Was a straight A student all thru high school.
My family always joked that he was so smart he would either be a super villain or the president, he had the potential for both equally!
Now he's married with kids and helps people manage their money. If you had asked me in 6th grade what his life would have been like as an adult, I would say he would be in jail for aggravated assault. Lol.
Not a teacher, but I have a relevant story.
You know the show Scrubs? Well the creator of that show went to my high school. And I was a big fan of the show (when it was still good) and I tracked down one of his teachers. Specifically his creative writing teacher. He told me that his former student was a C student at best, and was solidly mediocre. So that's kinda funny.
Haha yeah that is cool! It would be interesting to see if the stuff he did in that class was actually "C" worthy, or if the assignments weren't really directed to bring out his talent? Or did he acquire the talent later?
There is a kid I taught in an English center here in South Korea. His name was John and it was for a debate class. John was good at debating but way too cool for school. He was in 7th grade or so and was getting to that age where he didn't give a sh*t. I really really wish he actually tried and released his potential, but alas, wasted.
Come a few yrs later and I run into him on the streets. I actually didn't recognize him but he came up to me and was very excited. It was kind of surreal because he was never really excited to see me. He thanked me for teaching him debate and he had just won a national competition. I was very proud of him. Sadly, thats the only time I ever saw him again.
I used to work for a company that took kids on wilderness trips for 3-4 weeks to teach them life skills, as an alternative to juvenile detention. Overall positive experience, and I really think the organization turned some kids' lives around.
However, one course I instructed was the worst--terribly behaved kids, terrible instructor team, terrible weather events. At the end, I kinda feared that the kids left worse off than they arrived. 4 months later, I was in the same area finishing another course (that was 100% more successful).
I was meeting with the local probation officer when one of the kids from the terrible course stopped in to see her unannounced. He needed her to sign papers because that was the day he was getting off probation.
I cried on the way home, knowing that he made that happen on his own because he's a good kid--and that the course I instructed didn't f*ck him up. But I know that not all the students had his success.
Not sure what a K-12 teacher is but here goes. I used to teach a girl, aged 13, who came from a very wild family. Drugs, vandalism, absenteeism among others. Not many staff predicted a great future for her as her school work was being held back due to family matters. Skip forward about 25 years and I bump into this girl with her mother. We gave each other a hug and she introduced me to her mother as 'The only teacher I could talk to at school.' She then told me she had a daughter....who was at University....about to graduate in Law.....aiming to be a Barrister! Wow what a cosmic change from her background! That ranks very high in my list of fantastic changes.
Not a teacher but I think I'd be one of those success stories.
Growing up my teachers all told my parents I'd never succeed or accomplish anything - my music teacher told my parents to take my instrument back to the store before paying too much for it since I'd never be any good (we couldn't afford private lessons). In high school the vice principal told my mom I wouldn't even manage to graduate and was destined to drop out and end up in prison.
I did graduate on time, and now I'm a prosecutor. I have no criminal record (except one minor speeding ticket), have lived on two different continents, speak several languages, and am a soloist in a local orchestra. To those rare teachers who believed in me- thank you. To this day I have constant feelings of inadequacy and I'm convinced I'm going to fail everything any second, but thanks to a few people urging me on, I dare to try.
To those teachers and everyone else who said I'd never succeed - f**k you. You tried to destroy me and nearly succeeded - thanks to you I spent years afraid to even talk, let alone try to do things I wanted to do. I'm happy I finally stopped letting my fears control me. camarhyn
I think it was my great-great-grandfather on my father's side. He was the Headmaster in a school in now Poland (back then Germany). He kicked this one student out of his school for document forgery (I think report cards) Anyway, forward a couple of decades and that student, Oscar Schindler, saves 1200 Jews from the Nazis. Fried3ggs
Not a teacher, but a classmate of mine.
Running back on our football team. I was a marching band geek and we were in the same class, so I saw basically every game of his. First team varsity his freshman year. Lightning fast, great vision, elusiveness, and a ton of raw power. First team all county, all state. By our senior year he had stacks of scholarship offers from D1 schools. Traditional blue bloods and newer powers, too. Notre Dame, Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, USC, name a school they probably offered him. We were all convinced he was going to get a full ride to a big school and get drafted in the NFL before his senior year.
Last I heard, he just smokes a lot of weed and works some menial job now. Such an enormous waste of talent. WuTangGraham
Not a teacher but a guy my dad went to school with.
This guy was a stellar student. He had a hyper ambitious and ruthless streak even from the youngest age. He had a gift for ingratiating himself with authority figures. Also being from a very rich family, people were speculating about him as being a future president of Vietnam (this was in Saigon, South Vietnam before 1975).
Fast forward many years later he is a refugee in Australia rising through the ranks of the Australian Labour Party (equivalent to the Democrats in the US) and the power brokers have huge ambitions for him - they had plans in making him a member of the Upper House in NSW parliament (state level senator) and eventually making him federal senator (national level senator). But he decided to have his political opponent assassinated.
Today he sits in a prison called Supermax and is marked Never to be Released on his files. Redf2016
This is basically the opposite what you asked, but I was the student bound to fail. After a brain injury, my doctors (all 5 neurosurgeons) STRONGLY believed I'd never make it through college. Well, I needed a LOT of tutoring, stretched a 2 year degree into 5 and barely scraped by with a 2.5, but I did it. I DID it!
I lost almost everything I was good at in that injury. I lost most of my vision, got seizures, became extremely socially retarded and unable to read body language (still struggle) used to be a swimmer and gymnast aspiring to go to the olympics, but now can't stand on one leg without falling. My intelligence became stunted, I became very depressed and self absorbed (I later learned this is common with brain injuries, to have narcissistic traits but not full blown.) I still can't work, I'm honest to god a failure in almost every aspect of life except 1.
I'm a damn good artist and a quick learner with making things.
I'm an idiot but I know my limits, I know when I can't advance, so I focused on the one thing I know I can do well, and that's art. I was good at art before but it wasn't what I specialized in. Now, with everything being taken in that accident and taking a year to relearn basic sentence structure, another 7 to be able to hold a normality conversation and a ton of gaming to get some basic hand eye coordination down, I'm good at gaming and I'm good at drawing.
I suck at a lot of things, but I'm hoping to teach art to inmates in prison so they get a second chance like I did. Someone to believe in them. I'm far from the best artist out there but I'm not terrible, I'm proud of it and it's what made me be accepted full ride into college. I have no aspirations to change the world, lead a big inspirational movement about breaking limitations because I was restricted, I pushed but I didn't beat my head against a wall on things I was physically unable to do. I'm happy being a nobody. I just want to help others get that same self satisfaction/purpose. KatTailed_Barghast
I'm a youth worker in the UK and have both a success and failure story. When I started working for the youth service we had a little recording studio, the guy who was running it had left and nobody else really knew how to use the equipment apart from me so I took over running it for a little while. We had all sorts of kids coming in to record stuff, from complete amateurs to kids who have had music and singing lessons since the dawn of time. One kid I remember has made it pretty big now, Olly Alexander from years and years. I think I still have some old recordings of him somewhere.
On the other end of the scale I was working with this one kid who had been abusing drugs and started dropping out of school etc. I was brought in to kind of mentor him but he was well past any help I could give him. Turned out that kid was on the British Olympic cycling team and got kicked off for smoking weed. He just hangs around skate parks smoking weed all day now. Really sad to see. fantapants55
I taught a kid who has now gone on to be a fairly popular entertainer in Australia. She was a good student, applied herself, was polite to everyone... the kind of dream student every teacher gets at least once in their careers. She's become a great adult too. I give kudos to her parents (as I taught her brother as well, and he was just as great a student). She deserves every success. Yet_Another_Mel
Not me, but my cousin. he had a student who was extremely successful and smart, scoring A+ in every test she had, she was a star student and every teacher complimented her on her knowledge. students and teachers both knew that she was bound to get a great job that carries a lot of money. not once did he think of the upcoming scenario:
Years later, he was at Woolworths shopping for school supplies. as my cousin was checking out, he saw her name tag and it said her name, she also sounded and looked very familiar. He asked if she was the straight A+ student, and with a red face she nodded. he was very surprised she isn't a lawyer but instead a bland woolies (Woolworths but in Aussie slang) cashier. thatfilthyoldshoe
I had The CEO of Samsung in my class. Not the best student (A-B) but surely didn't expect him to be anything great. Man-Dog-67
Had a student in 2nd grade. He was sweet but overly emotional. His mom was young and tough with him but loved him the best way she knew how. He was good and smart and sweet when I had him, but had some issues with fighting in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade (mostly because he overreacted to everything). Anyways, fast forward 6 years- he was arrested for shooting his mom in the head as she slept, then beating her with a baseball bat because she didn't die from the gunshot, then loading her body into a plastic bin and dragging it down 5 flights of stairs and leaving it in the garbage area for the super to find in the morning.
He did all this while his 6 year old sister was home. His motive was "my mom was always bothering me about missing curfew and hanging out with the wrong people." (Yeah because he was in a gang). Last I saw, they showed him on the news being led into court in shackles with those big mittens on his hands so he couldn't attack anyone. ItWasTheMilk
I'm not a teacher but I have a story. In elementary school my teacher thought I had a mental disability. She wanted me gone and would tell my parents that I should visit a special needs school. I had to visit doctors and therapists. I wasn't good at school and I knew that. Somehow my parents managed to keep me in her class. They divorced because they fought so much about my problems. My teacher talked to them again and my father finally snapped.
I don't know what happend but my class didn't see her again. The new teacher allowed me to repeat a year. Finally I felt like I could understand school and I felt like someone believed in me.
I was a very good student in secondary school. Now I'm in university and I love it.
Every child deserves a chance. Jaci98
Not really my story but I go to the school Jihadi John used to go to and teachers would say that he was a friendly guy, good at sports and very likeable. He apparently also had an insecurity about his breath and would always try to cover his mouth up at times. Fast forward about 10 years and he became a terrorist that was part of ISIS. He's dead now too. doubleadizzl
Not a teacher. But when my mum was in middle school, she was a bit of a problematic student, especially during science classes, it got to the point that she got dispensation for "lack of interest and will to learn" and didn't have to turn up for the rest of the year. She now has a PhD in biochemistry. TheFriendlyPenguin
Not a teacher but a student I guess.
I found myself in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse at a fairly young age. I wanted to quit so terribly but I couldn't figure out how. When I left, I just remember one of the counselors saying "I give it a month and you'll be back." It was really upsetting but it pushed me to stay sober, just to prove him wrong.
In a couple days I'll have 6 years sober. My life is mostly put together, and I'm happy. So thanks Brian for not believing in me. You were wrong. blandnachos
Cuba Gooding Jr. went to Apple Valley Senior High, where he flunked drama class. PrintedinPLA
My grandad was a total failure at school, (he was probably severely dyslexic, and mildly autistic).
He left quite early on to become an apprentice boiler maker. But going to night classes, and steadily working his way through all sorts of texts on many academic topics, he eventually applied to university and was accepted to study psychology (he would have preferred to study mathematics, but the establishment had too many mathematics students to accept him).
From there, he became a professional psychologist, and one of the leading specialists in addiction and rehabilitation. Who was partly responsible for quite a few important changes in how addicts were handled. — Though he always said that it was no where close to enough, and I am inclined to agree. Direwolf202
My aunt, my father's sister, was ridiculously, unbelievably smart. As in, she skipped two grades in elementary school smart. But because she was a woman in Italy in the 1940s, she was married off at age 17 to an older, abusive, raging misogynist who made sure she was "put in her place" as a wife and mother. She worked as a seamstress for some time, but she wanted so much more from her life.
She was kind and loving. She was always happy to see her nieces and nephews and good with kids. She would have made an awesome doctor like what she had dreamed of. But her abusive father and abusive husband made absolutely sure that wouldn't happen, because it wasn't "her place" as a woman. 😢
She died 18ish years ago after suffering from cancer. Her abusive jerk of a husband is still alive, is 90+ years old, and making his daughters wait on him hand and foot because he refuses to accept care. Life just isn't fair sometimes. slinky999
My mother's story. She taught an Oscar-winning best actress who was the class bully. She definitely put the 'mean' in mean girls. Mom said the woman was the reason she was absolutely sure evil walked on Earth. PainIsTruthful
Ryan Cooglar. Always was a nice guy. Great smile. Charismatic. He was kind to me. Used to freestyle to my beats at lunch. DJSexualChocolate
Not a teacher, but a close friend of a guy with the most impressive 180 ever.
I've know this buddy of mine since elementary, he was never a good student, his grades are like F's to 50s to 60s from grade 1 to grade 10, he's not a troublemaker, he just doesn't give a crap. I use to think that he'd work a shit 9-5 job with no future, well I was wrong.
When grade 11 comes around, I don't know what happened, his grade shot up, like 90s to 100s up, he got multiple 90s and 100s between grade 11 and 12, there's not a single class he has that's lower than a 90.
I was dumbfounded, so I asked him wtf happened? He just said stuff happens. My best guess is that he's Asian, and we all know what Asian parents do to their under achieving kids lol
So after HS we both went to the same university, he continues to excel, high 90s across the 4 years in university. Near the end of our 4th year, he got a job offer at our federal government's economics development department (Canada btw, I don't know the full name), but he declined.
Nowadays he works from home doing something with investment and stock market, I don't really understand, but he can make $150 to $300 a day, Monday to Friday and only work roughly a few hours, like wtf how??
I asked him why don't he accept the job at the government, he has a very good chance to get promoted and be making 100k or more a year, his answer is amazing, "I'm too lazy to move, and if I wanted money I rob a bank," because we live in a different city, so to accept the job he'd have to move out.
But you know what, if he's happy with how it is then more power to him. He's 28 now, bought a house, a car, and forced his parents to retire because he can financially support them.
I still don't know what happened the summer between grade 10 and 11 lol. nuclearhotsauce
4th grade teacher here. I worked at a STEM charter school (public school but need to be selected from lottery to get in/easy to get kicked out of and sent back to regular public school). I had this boy last year that was just an ADHD nightmare. Having ADHD myself, it was a fine line between knowing where he was coming from and having to lay down the law. I had weekly parent conferences where I suggested taking him to a doctor who could give him a diagnosis and medicine to which dad said "African American Men don't get medicated." Deep down he was a good kid, sweetheart and wanted to succeed, but he had no impulse control/anger management skills. After throwing chairs, cursing out classmates and telling me he was going to "pimp slap me," I pretty much gave up on trying to get him help considering his parents wouldn't. We made it through the year and I hugged him goodbye for the summer.
I didn't return to that school because we moved (husband is military) but about 2 months into the school year I got a text message from my former Vice Principal telling me my student picked up where he left off, only his 5th grade teacher wasn't as understanding as I was, he was facing expulsion, and she had submitted all the paperwork to get him removed. He was crying about how he missed me and he didn't appreciate me while I was there. He was realizing, looking back, how much I was looking out for him. Makes me sad that his parents won't get him the help he desperately needs and I fear the path he's headed down. lmp112584
Obligatory not a K-12 teacher but a college student with a friend. Dude shows up to school and gets a 3.8+ average in CS at a UC over the course of three years. This is probably top 5% if not higher at the school. His third year (1 year away from his degree) he straight drops out and starts living in his car because his ideal career is to be an entrepreneur and his goal is to never work for anyone else. The car thing was likely because he watched too many YouTube videos on living in his car. The entrepreneur thing was probably from reading too many of those self help books with titles such as "How to say no to everything but still achieve all your goals in life." mr_clean_magic_reach
Not surprised so much as amazed. I teach English language acquisition and I had one girl who came to me knowing no English except "I don't know." A year later she's having full conversations with friends in English, asking and answering questions in English. I'm just so damn proud. magicalnegress
Most successful student to date was in my 8th grade technology education class. He plays for the Philadelphia eagles now. We did a career project in that class, and I wish I could go back to see what he put. A lot of students put NFL, it would be cool if he put that.
Not sure if it's a big failure, but one of my students I also taught in 8th grade technology education ended up being shot and killed by his friend cleaning a shot gun. llf002
I was that student. I was the wild girl in high school, was involved in drugs, drinking, dated older boys, skipped school, repeatedly failed my classes, was hospitalized four times for depression, and finally dropped out and got my GED.
Messed around after high school, tried junior college, failed out, waited tables and worked crappy retail jobs. Finally, after watching my then boyfriend shoot up coke, I decided I had to get out of that life and I went back to college.
Four degrees later and a PhD, I'm now a college professor. I love running into people who knew me way back when. Most of them are really happy for me because they knew I was the smart kid who was going through a rough patch. demosthenes29
A student who moved from Scotland to Melbourne in the 50's learnt drums in a pipe band and was pretty good. He dropped out of school at 15 and was sent to prison for 9 months for 'giving a false name and address to the police, having escaped legal custody, having unlawful carnal knowledge, and stealing 12 gallons of petrol.' He later attempted to join the army but was rejected for being 'socially maladjusted.' He later died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 33.
He was Bon Scott, lead singer of AC/DC. The albums he released got 56 Platinums. WillTheLad
I had a student, she was very bright. Simply put, she never did anything with her abilities. It isn't more complicated than that. I'm one of her job references, so every few years I get a call or email from her next menial employer. They're always low-end jobs, paying $12-15 or so an hour to someone who could be pulling a six figure salary. Money isn't everything, but who enjoys drifting through poverty? SeeingSongs
A goodie two shoes girl I knew growing up, nice/ cheerleader/polite/good family/religious/ etc. She dropped off the planet her senior year. Rumor was she got knocked up. Either way, I never saw her again. Super weird. Dani3113kc
Substitute teacher at one point. One of the girls I taught was a nice young girl and good student. She graduated and then started working at the same place as my full time job and I got to train her when she started there. She didn't work there very long to follow some boyfriend out of state but told my boss that I was her favorite person to work with and was thankful for the mentoring. It made me feel like I actually did something right for a change. GhastyGaster
I taught a kid in 8th grade who was polite and funny and smart, often the kid who could get the others in the class to participate when they didn't want to.
He graduated from middle school, and a year later I learn he was arrested robbing a gas station at gunpoint. ringofstones
So one day in school, my science teacher (Let's call him Mr. A) tells us this story:
(Warning, some of the details may be a bit off)
There was this random kid who was participating in the science fair, let's call him Logan. He signed up for the science fair and asked Mr. A for help with his project. Logan wanted to test how well brands like Nike and Under Armour actually absorb sweat or whatever. Logan tells Mr. A he wants to do something along the lines of; taking a fruit with a pit, removing the pit, and filling it with water using a syringe.
Logan plans to poke small holes in the fruit so that the water can come out, and then wrap the shirt material around the fruit, then put it in an oven. So that he can see if the fruit's "sweat" would be absorbed by the shirt. (Don't ask me how that works, I honestly have no clue)
Mr. A calls him crazy for this idea, but Logan does the science fair project anyways. Logan ends up getting nominated to go to a state science fair championship or something, and asks Mr. A to go with him. Mr. A goes, and Logan ends up getting offered like $1,000,000 by Nike or some brand.
A kid who went to my school got offered a bunch of money by some company because of a crazy science fair experiment. Educated_Aries
I was a German Elementary math school teacher of a student who was very obnoxious. I taught him for 3 years because our school was very small and the 3rd-5th grade merged. He was very loud and playful, but obnoxious. I remember him having bad body odor and always trying to talk to girls; you could see their reaction to his smell. His grades ranged from C's to F's due to several failed tests, but he still passed 5th grade.
At the last day of 5th grade math, when the class was to officially be moved on to 6th grade and taught by a whole new teacher, I grouped the class in a circle and asked each of them, one-by-one, what they wanted to be when they grow up. On his turn, the obnoxious boy picked his nose and said "science" in a soft, mumbled voice. That boy? That boy grew up to be Albert Einstein. gnpascua
Appreciate your teachers!
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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