Tales From The Schoolyard

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School Trippin' by u/LukeRobson. Find him online at and on Instagram at @stoddartist.
School Trippin' by u/LukeRobson. Find him online at and on Instagram at @stoddartist.

It's May, which means most of the kids in school right now are thinking about the summer.

And to celebrate, we've got two stories about some rather unfortunate school mishaps.

First, from the student perspective:

Back in 2013, the kids at Eisenhower High School in Yakima, Washington, were actually super excited to go back to school after summer break. They had a brand new high school to get back to — one that cost more than $100 million to build. A beautiful building, state of the art, with a shining big blue wall at the entrance to symbolize the Yakima River.

But something was missing. Something kind of important.

The building didn't have any water fountains. All the connections for the old ones had been walled off by the contractors.

"So, they put in a couple of vending machines with water that was two bucks a water bottle," says Julia, who was a senior at the high school when this all went down. Her post on Reddit is how we found out about this story.

When the vending machines ran out, says Julia, the school didn't restock them. So the students brought in their own water bottles. And that's when it snowballed.

"[Some freshmen] started bringing in vodka in water bottles. I think they started bringing it for themselves and then other students caught wind and were like, hey  can you hook me up with some of that? And so they started selling it to other students around the school," says Julia.

Drunk students are, of course, very much a problem. Julia says students were passing out, teachers could smell the vodka, and it was turning into a major, major issue.

So then the teachers banned water bottles.

"Parents started threatening to pull their kids because how can you ban water? It's necessary for life. There wasn't water at lunch. You could only buy milk," says Julia.

Eventually, after Julia graduated, the high school did fix the water fountain problem. Though, ironically, the big blue wall meant to represent the Yakima River initially leaked water like crazy.

And now from the teacher POV:

There's a subreddit dedicated to the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and it's pretty active.

A student in an intro computer science class wrote a post on r/uwaterloo that caught fire.

It's a pretty scathing review. And Professor Dave Tompkins hears about the post, reads it, and responds.

"He mentioned something about picking up chicks in class — that I joke about picking up chicks — and I really took offense to that," he says to Amory and Ben. "Most of his other criticism I probably could have let go, but I didn't want to be just complacent and make other people read this post and think, 'Oh, Dave make jokes about picking up chicks in class, that's not appropriate.' "

Dave says he was sleep-deprived due to a sick kid and spent about five minutes writing his response.

"If I had known it was going to get such a reaction, I probably would have spent a little more time crafting it," he says.

What would Dave say to the student, who's since deleted their username, if he could?

"I remember what it's like to be 19 or 20 and to be frustrated. And it's OK to express those opinions," he says. "There might have been a more constructive way of going about it. And when you get older, I hope you look back and reflect about this, and think about how you could have done things a little bit better. But given your current frame of mind, I get it, I understand. Don't let the negativity get you down."

Thanks to u/LukeRobson for this week's art. You can find him at and on Instagram at @stoddartist.

We're on Twitter at @endless_thread and on Reddit as /u/endless_thread. Subscribe to the podcast with Apple PodcastsStitcherRadioPublic or RSS.

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Meghan B. Kelly Multi-platform Editor
Meghan is the multi-platform editor for WBUR.



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