I work at Chickfila. Every Tuesday is “Kid’s Night,” and we do some sort of craft, like make trees out of pipe cleaners, or glue tissue paper to a person outline. Today, it was paint flowers with celery stalks. It was also the first night I was asked to lead it.
I adored watching the kids paint flowers and stems and the different designs they swirled into the background. But most of all, I liked talking to them. Little kids say the darndest things. Maddie, 11, said her favorite color was sea green and she wanted an accent wall in her bedroom because she saw it in a Lowe’s commercial for painter’s tape. Kennedy, 8, said she likes doing cannonballs because she sinks all the way to the bottom of the pool. Christopher didn’t say anything, but he did make all the flower stamps into smiling people.
I asked every single one what their name was, what their favorite color was, and what grade they were going into.
But you know what every single one of them going into third grade said when I asked if they were excited for school? Every single one?
“I used to be.”
I used to be.
They have only had three years of school, but now they aren’t excited.
“Why aren’t you excited now?”
They all stopped painting, brows furrowing, before they looked up and gave me a sheepish smile.
“I’m scared about the STAAR test.”
THIS IS WHAT STANDARDIZED TESTING DOES TO OUR CHILDREN. IT TERRIFIES THEM. IT SUCKS THE LIFE OUT OF SCHOOL. IT DISGUSTS ME.
EIGHT YEAR OLDS ARE SCARED ABOUT A TEST. SCARED. SCARED ENOUGH TO NOT BE AT ALL EXCITED ABOUT GOING INTO THE THIRD GRADE.
IF YOU DON’T THINK THIS IS A PROBLEM, GET TF OUT MY FACE.
Things about Beyond Birthday that we don’t talk much about but should
-He drives a stolen car. -Invited Naomi to dinner (and was rejected) once. -Went through a 13 year old girl’s panty drawer -Crawled on all fours. On a crime scene floor. Where there was still blood. -Used make-up -Crushed a 13 year old girl’s eyeballs -“an aggressive top” –Cleaned the entire scene but the blood -Undressed and dressed Believe Bridesmaid -Ate an entire jar of jam in less than 5 minutes. -Wakes up at 6AM -Really knows his roman numerals -Took a severed arm with him -“Read” and entire lengthy book in under ten minutes -Had his jar of jam in his victim’s fridge -Aggressively beat Backyard’s arm with a hammer -Mathematical genius -Convinced His victim’s relatives to allow him permission to investigate his own case -Likes Akazukin Chacha -Knows each of Akazukin Chacha’s volume’s page numbers -Crawled from underneath a bed -Literally stood outside the bathroom door and commented on why he didn’t hear the toilet flush, creep -Was referred to as some kind of creepy pedophile -Casually walked around with his own crossword puzzle -Do you even know how much time and strength it takes to cut off a limb? -And strangle a grown man? -Claimed Quarter Queen ‘looked better’ after death. (Ref to the glasses) -Laughs to himself -Cracks his neck and walks with his neck craned awkwardly to the side -High possibility that he might have killed in the past -Isn’t maniacal whilst killing his victims, is actually only interested in experimenting
A red flag: "I don't want you to see me as an authority figure"
If your boss or academic advisor says something like “I don’t want you to see me as an authority figure,” that’s a major red flag. It almost always means that they want to get away with breaking the rules about what powerful people are allowed to do. They’re probably not treating you as an equal. They’re probably trying to exercise more power over you than they should.
Sometimes authority figures say “I don’t want you to see me as an authority figure” because they want you to do free work for them. The logic here works like this:
They want you to do something.
It’s something that it would be wrong for an authority figure to order you to do.
If they were a peer asking for a favor, it would be ok to ask, and also ok for you to say no.
The authority figure wants you to obey them, but they don’t want to accept limits on what it’s acceptable to ask you to do.
For purposes of “what requests are ok to make”, they don’t want to be seen as an authority figure.
They also want you to do what they say. It’s not really a request, because you’re not really free to say no.
It’s usually ok to ask your friends if they would be willing to help you move in exchange for pizza. It’s never ok to ask your employees to do that.
It’s sometimes ok to ask a friend to lend you money for medical bills (depending on the relationship). It’s never ok to ask your student to lend you money for a personal emergency.
Sometimes authority figures pretend not to have power because they want to coerce someone into forms of intimacy that require consent. They know that consent isn’t really possible given the power imbalance, so they say “I don’t want you to see me as an authority figure” in hopes that you won’t notice the lines they’re crossing. Sometimes this takes the form of sexual harassment. Sometimes it’s other forms of intimacy. For instance:
Abusive emotional intimacy: Excepting you to share your feelings with them, or receive their feelings in a way that’s really only appropriate between friends or in consented-to therapy.
Coming to you for ongoing emotional support in dealing with their marital problems.
Trying to direct your trauma recovery or “help you overcome disability”.
Asking questions about your body beyond things they need to know for work/school related reasons.
Expecting you to share all your thoughts and feelings about your personal life.
Analyzing you and your life and expecting you to welcome their opinions and find them insightful.
Abusive spiritual intimacy: Presuming the right to an opinion on your spiritual life. (Eg: Trying to get you to convert to their religion, telling you that you need to pray, trying to make you into their disciple, telling you that you need to forgive in order to move on with your life.)
If someone says “I don’t want you to see me as an authority figure”, it probably means that they can’t be trusted to maintain good boundaries. (Unless they’re also saying something like “I’m not actually your boss, and you don’t have to do what I say”.) Sometimes they are intentionally trying to get away with breaking the rules. Sometimes it’s less intentional. Some people feel awkward about being powerful and don’t want to think about it. In either case, unacknowledged power is dangerous. In order to do right by people you have power over, you have to be willing to think about the power you’re have and how you’re using it.
Tl;dr If someone has power they don’t want to acknowledge, they probably can’t be trusted to use their power ethically.
“Could you just close the door and come over here? You have no reason to rush out, I didn’t post your grade. I want to discuss it in person.”
You swallowed hard at his words but did as you were told, closing the classroom door and going over to his desk. He was looking through the stack of students’ sketchbooks on his desk, presumably for your own. He pulled one of of the stack and laid it in the middle of his desk, and you froze.
You could feel all color draining from your face once you noticed which sketchbook he had pulled out of the pile. There was a Hello Kitty sticker stuck to the top right corner of it, indicating it was your sketchbook.
Your personal sketchbook.
word count: 10.1k
genre: fluff & smut (a lot of soft/domestic stuff, concludes w smut)