Tag Archives: student

Nicole the Nuisance

My fourth grade field trip companion.

My fourth grade field trip companion.

A few weeks ago, I was telling my boyfriend about all the crap I did as a kid, and I realized two very important things. I was a horrible little ball of energized annoyance, and these stories are actually kind of hilarious.

So here’s one of my better tales involving an annoying child and a fire alarm. It’s short, but it’s also super cringeworthy and makes me hate myself a little bit. Enjoy…?

In fourth grade I came to the important realization that being annoying is adorable so therefore I should be the biggest pain in the ass because adults will love me and find me endearing. And what more could I really want at age nine? I forget where this came from, but I also think I concluded that being dirty and gross was really cute, too. Memories are burned in my mind of me standing in front of the bathroom mirror and messing up my bangs before returning to class only to be stared at like the grimy little gremlin I was. I didn’t mind that they stared—in fact, I reveled in it. I loved the attention and I loved getting it by being the dirty, weird kid. Being unpopular was my goal in elementary school, but that’s probably a different story for a different blog post/therapy session.

Fourth grade was the epitome of my “bad” days, to the point that I was under teacher supervision during every field trip. This came to be early on in the year after I drew a picture of a mean substitute and wrote “The Bitchy Witchy,” which of course the poor substitute found and delivered to my teacher. My 26 year old self aches for this sad old woman who was just trying to do her job, while nine year old Nicole sits in the corner maniacally laughing.

This story takes place at the planetarium, which is probably one of the coolest places for a nine year old to visit. We were standing in line to get into the theater and I was bored. Maybe I had ADD, or maybe I was nine and easily distracted. But whatever the reasoning, I walked over to the fire alarm and set off the alarm.

Now let me just clarify something. This wasn’t a situation where I schemed and planned to ruin everyone’s afternoon. I was never one of those kids that wanted to pull the fire alarm, and I frankly can’t pull a prank to save my life. I was bored and the idea of opening a little box that I saw everyday at school but never desired to touch suddenly became important. No, necessary. I had NO IDEA that just opening that clear plastic case would set the alarm off, though. I wasn’t even bad enough to purposely do this.

People shouted and started hurrying around, and I distinctly remember the panic in my teacher’s eyes. She looked around trying to pinpoint her student’s locations and not lose her job, only to see Nicole the nuisance standing next to the fire alarm looking guilty and terrified. She laughed. She. Laughed.

I still maintain that this teacher adored grubby little ol’ me and wanted me in her group because she liked me so much, and this situation is my biggest piece of evidence. Even when she was telling me that I was disgusting or annoying, she always did it with a smile. When I think about it now, it’s definitely a weird, negative relationship to have with a teacher, but it made for a fun school year at the very least and a slew of insecurities that I’m dealing with in my adulthood at the very most. BUT I DIGRESS…

From what I remember, no firefighters came to the location and I don’t think we even evacuated the planetarium. Soon after the chaos was resolved and someone closed the fire alarm case, we got to watch our starry show. As soon as the lights dimmed, I took out my Snoopy flashlight (the one I brought on all my field trips, along with all the other toys that I made sure to bring on any class outings). My teacher tsked, leaned in close to me, and whispered, “That’s cute, where’d you get that?”

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Student That Just Won’t Quit

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Recently a student began showing interest in me. He’s probably closer to his 40s with an incomplete high school education and an intermediate grasp of the English language. Obviously a match made in heaven, but seeing as he’s a student, I knew it would kinda sorta be inappropriate. However, he persisted.

It started out as him walking me to the train despite living next door to where the institution is located. He’d walk three or four blocks out of his way to go with me. I would make comments saying he didn’t have to do that, and show my obvious discomfort, yet he didn’t care. He said it was the perfect opportunity to practice his English, because I guess the two hours I just spent teaching weren’t sufficient. In the beginning, it seemed innocent enough and I didn’t think he would act on it. Until he asked me for my number. I turned him down and said that I couldn’t give him that. He then rode the train with me to my connecting station, because he conveniently had errands to run in the area. I sat on my phone the entire time showing little interest in what he was saying, and I was hopeful that things would dissipate, although deep down I knew they wouldn’t.

The next week he walked me to the train again. As I descended the stairs, he said he had something for me. I knew immediately what it was and looked around with impatience as he dug through his pockets for it. He gave me a note with his number and email on it, and I told him I couldn’t take it. “At least take it and throw it out, don’t make me take it back.” I told him that I would be throwing it out immediately.

He then goes on to tell me he’s very interested in me. He knows it’s wrong because I’m his teacher, because of the age difference, that I’m very beautiful. I told him no. I couldn’t do this. He’s right — it is wrong. Clear and straight to the point. He asked if there was someone else and I lied, saying I had a boyfriend. He asked if I swore to god and I looked him in the eyes and said yes, damning myself to an eternity in hell. He became choked up and told me it was hard to hear, but he’s glad he knows.

The next class I had with him, I left before my students (the organizers of the institution were making an announcement and I was no longer needed), and he ran down the street to catch up to me and give me another note. I pocketed it without looking and he apologized for his actions the prior week. He wants us to just be student and teacher now. Although annoyed, I felt confident that the situation was finally over and done with.

Due to a family emergency, I missed a week of class. When I came back, I wasn’t in the state of mind to deal with any bullshit. So when he followed me in the rain for eight blocks while I talked to a friend on the phone, I snapped. I told him to go home, I’d be awhile, I’d talk to him Friday. He held up his finger trying to get a word in and I walked away, leaving him to soak. His chance to explain never came because I reported him to my institution and had him removed from my class.

What pisses me off the most about all of this is that he doesn’t KNOW me. I’m almost certain this student doesn’t even know my last name (they refer to me a “teacher”). He doesn’t know any of my interests, my favorite TV shows, what music I listen to, what I enjoy doing in my spare time. What he knows is that I’m pretty, which means he’s interested. He also realizes that I’m a nice person who doesn’t like to hurt people’s feelings, even when I probably should, so he’s persisting until I break and give in. “How did you meet mommy, daddy?” “Oh, I relentlessly bothered her until she felt desperate enough to give me a chance!”

There’s also the fact that I have to lie about my life. I’m almost tempted to start wearing one of my rings on my ring finger, but the act of having to change my routine and lie about a huge part of my life is beyond irritating to me. I’m single and yeah, fuck it, I’m happy that way. Why should I have to put on a charade in the hopes that maybe someone will respect my fake relationship? Even when I told people the truth when I did have a boyfriend, they didn’t stop acting like creeps.

I try to be polite and friendly to all of my students. They’re in a new country where they don’t know anyone. The language seems daunting and they’re nervous. I want to dissolve that anxiety and provide them with some comfort in this new place. A person to turn to with any issues that arise as a foreigner here, someone they can trust. I tolerate more than I probably should, but I don’t like pushing people away — especially if they need help with something that I can provide assistance to. Now I just feel like what I’ve offered has been taken advantage of.

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