Bullies Come In All Shapes And Sizes

Bullies Come In All Shapes And Sizes

They also shape an education that stays with you.
I recently had to write a paper for a class where I had to use particular sociological theorists and apply their theories to my life. One of the theories in particular really stuck out. It speaks about keeping a "file" in order to truly study society and how you need to know the individual. I have been writing a "file" or journal for over 20 years. At one time I wrote every day. The details of certain periods of my life are forever preserved.....for better or worse. That time period was high school.

I started junior high school at a disadvantage.

In the summer between seventh and eighth grade, I had lost my brother in a very tragic motorcycle accident 1,000 feet from the house I grew up in. My brother was an extremely popular, energetic and positive person. Everyone knew him and most of them loved him. Since I was pretty young when it happened and it was the first funeral I had ever been to, it was quite surreal for me. One of my teachers who was close to my brother when he died kept saying "I'm so sorry for your loss" I didn't really know what he was talking about. I kept expecting my brother to walk into his bedroom where I would be laying on his bed watching his little black and white television and say:

"Oh come on.....there's a basketball game on....go downstairs and watch T.V!"

I was probably in denial for the first few years afterwards.

When the school year started ,people either avoided me or tried to be friends with me just because they wanted to somehow feel closer to him. I know that because they never even talked to me before. I didn't know who my real friends were until years later. One day in the cafeteria, a tough girl pointed at me and said:

"That's the girl whose brother is dead!"

And she laughed. A few people that I thought were my friends, stopped talking to me completely once they found out.

I always dressed older than my age and developed a full figure quickly. I walked with my books over my chest. Like a lot of teenagers, I just wanted to grow up. Two years later, one day, my English teacher announced in front of the whole class that I dressed "sleazy." I was mortified. A bunch of the kids laughed but most of the girls in my class looked horrified. The teacher used to give out a ridiculous punishment called "Big Blues"......a paragraph stating how you will never ever do ____ again. You had to write over and over again.

I used to have to write them all the time for no apparent reason.

One day while hanging out by the cafeteria with my friend Kay, whose sister knew my brother. Kay was recalling the time that her parents went away and my brother and his friends decided to jump their fence and go for a swim in their in-ground pool. Kay was friends with Cassandra whose brother had recently died. Her brother was in his 20's and none of us really knew him. She became enraged when overhearing us talk about my brother. She said:

"Shut the fu*k up!" I am tired of hearing about him. He's dead......get over it!"

I calmly stood up and punched her in the face. Both of us were taken to the principal's office and in separate offices we explained what happened. Being that she was clearly still grieving her brother and I had issues with what she yelled at me...... they gave us both a week of detention separately.

Kay was a very flirtatious girl and a lot of boys liked her. Kay was used to getting what she wanted. What she wanted was a boy that was in my social studies class. She knew that I was friendly with him and she asked me to tell him that she liked him. I did. He said "I like someone else though......YOU!" I was completely shocked. I was very shy and didn't date in high school. The idea of this boy liking me made me nervous. That weekend Kay invited me to sleep over her house. I knew she had an ulterior motive but I didn't want it to get in the way of our friendship. I was nervous that she was going to ask me what he said about her. Sure enough it was one of the first things. Sitting on her perfect bed in her perfect room twirling her perfect hair she asked" So what did he say" I said "Oh I don't know.....I don't know if he heard me." She hammered me for details. I just wanted her to get over him and stop obsessing. I blurted out "He said he likes me!" She said "Oh!" and tried to fake a smile.

That Monday in school, it seemed like the whole school was against me. Kay had a lot of friends. She must've told all of them that I said the boy liked me.Several of them yelled "Slut!" at me as I walked by. 'What had I done that made me a slut?' I wondered. 'I never even kissed a boy!' I approached one of her friends when she was alone and said "What's going on?" She said" Well there is a rumor going around that you went home with that boy and fooled around with him!" I said "What? That's a lie!" All day I heard "slut" "tramp" "'ho" being yelled at me. You name it...... her friends called me it! As I was walking to my gym class, I was suddenly surrounded by Kay and all of her attack dogs. They pushed me, threw my books, and pulled my hair. I just kept yelling "It's a lie!" I ran into the art class nearby where I knew that boy was, I pulled him out and said "You need to straighten this out right now!" He had no idea what was going on. I asked him in front of the gang of witches "Did you and I EVER fool around?"

"No" he shouted.

I asked "Have I ever been to your house?"

He yelled "No, never!"

Several months later, Kay and her attack dogs wanted to make it up to me by kicking the crap out of a girl they hated. This girl was the daughter of a teacher. Her mother was my teacher. My teacher did not give me the 3rd part of my test because I had a fight with her daughter. The daughter overheard me say that "I want to kill her for failing me when I have a B+ average!" It was just a reaction to receiving my failing grade. I looked at the other students tests. I clearly did not receive the 3rd part of the test. When I got home from school that day, my mother told me that the principal called and wanted to see me in the office the next day with my mother. We went. I explained my side and the whole matter was dropped except that I never forgot about it. It bothered me for years. As far as I knew, this had never happened to anyone else with that teacher. It was all because I disagreed with her daughter!

(article to be continued.....stay tuned!)

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.

Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.


Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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