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Identity

People are sharing how they discovered their sexual orientation and every journey is unique

"I first realized that I liked men at the tender age of 12 while watching 'The Mummy' with Brendan Fraser for the first time."

sexual orientation, sexuality, lgbtq

Everyone's journey of self-discovery is different.

Discovering one's sexual orientation is a deeply personal journey that unfolds differently for everyone. Some people have a defining moment when they know what they’ll be into for the rest of their lives, and others go through life without much questioning.

Some people go for more of a trial-and-error approach where they come to an understanding over numerous experiences, while others view their sexuality as fluid and would rather live without any label.

What’s important to remember is that there's no "right" timeline or method for this self-discovery. What matters most is allowing oneself the time, space and love to grow and evolve organically. Everyone deserves the freedom to find their truth at their own pace.


​A Reddit user by the name of Jacklawd asked the online forum, “How did you conclude that your sexual orientation is what it is?” It received nearly 5,000 responses from almost every sexual orientation imaginable. Many people's journeys also made them understand that they were asexual—meaning they weren't sexually attracted to other people.

The discussion was valuable for many because it gave them a free place to express their personal journeys in a public forum. After reading other people’s experiences, there were many who felt a lot less alone.

Here are 17 of the most interesting responses to the question: “How did you conclude that your sexual orientation is what it is?”

Bisexual

"I can't remember a time when I didn't feel attracted to both men and women. It never went away, never wavered. Figured by 25, that's pretty well set that I'm bisexual." — TinyTinasRabidOtter

"Saw a hot girl. Saw a hot guy. Thought 'yeah both is good.'" — HailYourSelf717


Lesbian

"I accepted that I like women pretty quickly, but it was far harder for me to accept that I DIDN’T like men. I don’t know why but apparently that’s pretty common with lesbians. Compulsory heterosexuality (look it up) is a bitch. But one memory I frequently go to as proof is my especially close relationship with my 'best friends' and literally using one of her shirts as a pillowcase, vis a vis Jenny by Studio Killers. Also, having sex with a woman for the first time and all my fears melting away once I got lost in the moment. I can’t fathom being intimate with a man without feelings of extreme anxiety and nausea (no offense gents, you’re all great!! This is a me problem, not you!)." — Hannah_of-Acero

"I dated men forever and thought all straight women were attracted to other women. And then I had sex with a woman and there was literally no doubt. The glaring neon sign was there, I just didn’t see it for what it was. Nobody in my life was surprised though lmaooooo I wanted to have a big dramatic 'coming out' moment and everyone was just like 'oh good you figured it out.'" — melxcham

"I like my best friend -> I like girls -> bi?? -> I've never been attracted to a man -> lesbian." — Environmental-Cap727

Queer

"The labels got too annoying, so I just went with Queer. I feel comfortable with it, and it's not like I owe anyone an explanation. Nobody really asks for specific labels these days." — Random_Person


Gay

"I’ve liked guys since I was like 3. When I was 14 briefly wondered if I might be gay. Realized I’d never liked a girl and liked many guys so decided it was very unlikely. When I was 20 realized straight people weren’t typically interested in or turned on by the thought of having sex with people of the same sex as them. Decided I like guys so much more than I would ever be interested in a girl that it really didn’t matter. The thought of dating a girl is also a complete turn-off for me." — Harakiri_238

"I'm gay and grew up in a small, Christian village. So being openly gay was not really an option. I first realized that I liked men at the tender age of 12 while watching 'The Mummy' with Brendan Fraser for the first time. Everyone was talking about Rachel Weisz and I was always thinking 'She's pretty but... Did you see that guy?!' Then things moved back into the shadow thanks to some religious brainwashing and witnessing how my best friend was sent away to one of these 'healing camps' for just mentioning that he thought he is gay when we were 16. So I bottled it up. Dated a couple of girls, later a woman. Never was really into any of them. And I'm still to this day really sorry that I wasted their time. I completely closed that chapter when I moved to a big city and was finally able to explore myself without the fear of the entire village finding out and talking. I was 24 and had finally a feeling of knowing who I am and where I belong." — OneMorePotion

Straight Women

"I never had that need to explore my sexuality I see a lot of people have because I have only ever felt attracted to men. I’ve had women come up to me, but I have never even felt curious, I just don’t feel attracted to them. I guess that makes me straight." — NenaBurguesa

"I just knew as a young girl that I really liked boys. I had two older sisters, and I loved it when they'd invite their boyfriends over! I would bother them and ask them questions." — I_Need_A_Better_Name

Straight Men

"Heterosexual 34M here. Contrary to a lot of heterosexual men, I'm not just saying 'well I'm straight, that's it' because you also do have to realize it at some point...I played basketball and practiced jiu-jitsu, saw a lot of beautiful, athletic men showering naked, and never was attracted to them. I had beautiful gay men hitting on me and didn't feel attracted (nor repulsed, just: that it's not for me, sorry). So I concluded I was straight." — Teebo_

"When I was a teen I questioned it because I thought that even thinking some men are attractive made you gay. But I later realized that I didn't want to be physical or romantic with men at all, I actually am kinda repulsed by the idea of naked guys, I simply liked they way they looked. Same way I look at a car or something else that is aesthetically pleasing. But with women, I want to experience them physically, emotionally and intimately. I want to be with a woman, I don't want to be with a man in any way. So that's when I understood I'm straight." — MembraneintheInzane

Asexual

"After well over 20 years of never having a crush on anyone, it starts to dawn on you that maybe you're the odd one out not feeling anything. For me, sex was always just this super distant thing that I never, ever thought about unless it was brought up externally. Masturbation was always an 'oh yeah people do that, right' kinda deal. Any sexual body part was always either completely unremarkable or outright ugly. That people really did imagine having sex with people was surprising to me. 'Wait, they're not just meming about a taboo subject because it's taboo? People actually think that way?' Porn never interested me, and I have zero desire to look at it when I can instead be watching a documentary on Dave Stieb. Yeah, at some point it becomes hard to ignore that you're different.

"While I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything by being asexual and being in a position where I never want to try sex, I definitely do feel like I'm missing out by (possibly) being aromantic. I can appreciate a well-written romance (note: most are not for infuriating pacing reasons alone), and it does feel like it's something I'm missing even if I've never felt it. While I can think of someone as 'pretty' or 'cute,' words like 'hot' and 'sexy' have no intuitive and intrinsic meaning to them. I can give you a dictionary definition, and I can tell you how other people use them, but I don't actually feel it." — 47Robin

"Fellow ace here. I really thought that people were kind of arbitrarily deciding who they liked. I really didn’t understand that you actually had some feelings for someone. I only thought it was kinda judging the appearance of someone. And it was just crazy when people started to like each other at like 13-15. I just faked that whole thing. I remember when learning about sex ed, in my own thoughts, I was like why do we need to know this? Nobody is having kids. Might as well learn about colonizing Mars or the Moon as well. I really thought everybody was like that and just lied about finding people sexy and the like. I can understand someone being pretty, but it’s the exact same feeling when seeing a sunset, art, or listening to great music or seeing a great movie." — Craigularperson


Aromantic-Asexual (AroAce)

"Never developed a crush, never felt drawn to anyone sexually, and even as I grew older was repulsed by the idea of having sex. I heard the term 'aroace', researched its meaning, and the label just fit. I am aroace. I can love people platonically, but I do not feel sexual or romantic attraction/love." —

​Pansexual

​"I fell in love with a man who transitioned. After I'd come to terms with 'losing' my lover, I realized that I still loved her just as much as I'd ever loved him, and that was that my pansexual orientation was born." — Fluffy_Fox_Kit


No Need for a Label

"If you're asking for insight to better understand others who are different from you, I think you've gotten plenty of great responses already. However, if you're looking for info relating to your own definition of sexuality, then I want to STRONGLY impress upon you that there isn't actually any need to define yourself with labels. Society is really obsessed with putting people into categories to better understand them. You don't have to do that. It's totally fine (and I feel really healthy) to just experience life as it comes. My mom is 65+, has 3 previous hetero marriages, and has recently found a girlfriend. It doesn't mean she's been gay the whole time. It doesn't mean she's straight and acting out. She's just in love, and that's great." — IronFlower

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.




Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?


If all of earth's land ice melted, it would be nothing short of disastrous.

And that's putting it lightly.

This video by Business Insider Science (seen below) depicts exactly what our coastlines would look like if all the land ice melted. And spoiler alert: It isn't great.

Lots of European cities like, Brussels and Venice, would be basically underwater.

In Africa and the Middle East? Dakar, Accra, Jeddah — gone.

Millions of people in Asia, in cities like Mumbai, Beijing, and Tokyo, would be uprooted and have to move inland.

South America would say goodbye to cities like Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

And in the U.S., we'd watch places like Houston, San Francisco, and New York City — not to mention the entire state of Florida — slowly disappear into the sea.

All GIFs via Business Insider Science/YouTube.

Business Insider based these visuals off National Geographic's estimation that sea levels will rise 216 feet (!) if all of earth's land ice melted into our oceans.

There's even a tool where you can take a detailed look at how your community could be affected by rising seas, for better or worse.

Although ... looking at these maps, it's hard to imagine "for better" is a likely outcome for many of us.

Much of America's most populated regions would be severely affected by rising sea levels, as you'll notice exploring the map, created by Alex Tingle using data provided by NASA.

Take, for instance, the West Coast. (Goodbye, San Fran!)

Or the East Coast. (See ya, Philly!)

And the Gulf Coast. (RIP, Bourbon Street!)

I bring up the topic not just for funsies, of course, but because the maps above are real possibilities.

How? Climate change.

As we continue to burn fossil fuels for energy and emit carbon into our atmosphere, the planet gets warmer and warmer. And that, ladies and gentlemen, means melted ice.

A study published this past September by researchers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany found that if we don't change our ways, there's definitely enough fossil fuel resources available for us to completely melt the Antarctic ice sheet.

Basically, the self-inflicted disaster you see above is certainly within the realm of possibility.

"This would not happen overnight, but the mind-boggling point is that our actions today are changing the face of planet Earth as we know it and will continue to do so for tens of thousands of years to come," said lead author of the study Ricarda Winkelmann, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

If we want to stop this from happening," she says, "we need to keep coal, gas, and oil in the ground."

The good news? Most of our coastlines are still intact! And they can stay that way, too — if we act now.

World leaders are finallystarting to treat climate change like the global crisis that it is — and you can help get the point across to them, too.

Check out Business Insider's video below:

This article originally appeared on 12.08.15

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Pop Culture

Europeans asked Americans about life in the US and here's what they said

Americans explain tipping, political media, public transit and more.

A side-by-side photo of the European flag and the American flag.

Over on Reddit, Europeans asked Americans different questions about American life, covering every topic from tipping culture to favorite landmarks to football fascination (not to be confused with soccer, of course).

It’s clear from the candid conversation that there are both many wonderful, awe-inspiring things Americans take for granted, and things that, well…aren’t exactly superior, despite USA pride.

Still, it’s interesting to see what mundane aspects of living in the US, both good and bad, might be a source of fascination to someone living outside the country. It can, after all, be easy to forget that the world contains a vast number of lifestyles, and one of the biggest benefits of existing in the modern age is being able to explore those different ways of life. Hopefully physically, but sometimes a good old fashioned internet thread does a pretty good job at giving us insight.

Check out what Europeans wanted to know about America below:


1. "Americans, do you think that political extremism is rising as drastically as it's portrayed in media?” -Jo-Gama

“Unfortunately, yes. The media likely makes it out to be worse than it is, but by doing so, they continue to push people in that direction.” -Fat_Feline

“I think the media makes it sound worse than it is. We’re mostly aware it’s a problem, but we have so many other things to worry about. Rising prices of food, housing and gas affect us way more on a daily basis than racial/political issues. That being said, I also think that the fact we have protests and people speaking out means there’s a large part of this country that is actively working towards change. It’ll just take a while because many current politicians have been alive since polio was a legitimate concern to Americans.” -carminie
america vs europe, reddit, politics, media, fake news

"The media certainly amplifies extreme voices, but the day-to-day reality is that those voices are all around us.”

Photo credit: Canva

“I've seen it in person…Discourse is growing further and further from center and no one wants to talk about it anymore. My parents would often hold parties where their friends would talk politics and sure, maybe get a little heated - now politics is a no-go zone because no one can get along. Conversations evolve into arguments and fights and it's just not worth it. And it's leading a lot of people with differing views to refuse to mingle together, which makes things worse. The media certainly amplifies extreme voices, but the day-to-day reality is that those voices are all around us.”uarterRobot

2. "Do you acknowledge your heritage from European countries?”Mitchelljvb

“Yes, Americans love learning about their ancestry, we have DNA test and tv shows where people will learn about their families past. Most people with European ancestry are able to track their family to the original country they came from.”Nimzay98

3." How can y’all call football (soccer) a boring sport but like American football, which has like a billion interruptions, and baseball, which has close to zero action?” -TheCatInTheHatThings

“I think people dislike football (soccer) because of the lack of scoring, a team can make 10 attempts at goal and end up not scoring but the other team can make 1 attempt and make it in. And that one goal may be the only goal for the whole game. American football, on the other hand, with its yard system, means that any progress by either team ultimately counts towards the end result. There is also more scoring.As an American, I do not understand why anybody watches baseball. That still eludes me.” -rand0m-nerd

“Which city in the US has the best public transit system in your opinion?”RoboGen123

“New York City, hands down.” -kmobnyc

“Chicago over NYC imo.” -Uhhsoka
america vs europe, reddit, subway near me, public transit near me

A photo of people riding the subway.

Photo credit: Canva

4. "Do you ever get tired of how big your country is? Like getting from state to state could take much time as getting to France from England.” -pasta_and_lobster

“Not at all. It’s actually one of the things I love most about the states. If you’re into outdoorsy activities, you’ll never run out of new places to explore.It’s also nice to be able to travel so far without the need for a passport.” -anonandlit333

“Yep. Only problem is gas money lol.” -SouthernMuadib

5." Do you believe the US educational system needs a reform?" -lotlotov

"Which US education system? It has like 3000 different education systems.” -Due_Satisfaction2167

“It’s a very real and scary problem that our government is choosing to ignore.” -wildflowersandroses

“Yes. It’s inequitable. Our taxes fund education, so rich towns have great school systems while those with lesser means get a lesser educational experience." -Username_goes_here_0
america vs europe, reddit, education

"Our taxes fund education, so rich towns have great school systems while those with lesser means get a lesser educational experience."

Photo credit: Canva

6. "How tf does the imperial system work?” -Small_Cock_Jonny

“It's mostly based around units that are intuitive and useful for daily tasks rather than scientifically rigorous. An inch is about the…the length of your top thumb joint…A foot is 12 inches because 12 is easily divisible by a lot of things, you can break it into quarters, halves, thirds, sixths or twelfths…The temperature scale goes from 0 degrees, which is about as cold as it naturally gets most places and also corresponds to the coldest temperature that saltwater can be before freezing, up to 100 degrees which is about as hot as it gets most places and also is close to the temperature of the human body. Overall there is a lot more emphasis on being able to cleanly divide things into halves and quarters, which doesn't exist in metric. A pound is 16 ounces so it can be divided in half four times. A gallon is 16 cups, for the same reason. A cup is 8 ounces. All powers of two.” -Cryptizard

7. "Your favourite place in the us? (city, landscape, landmark, whatever)" -Ovreko

“This is kind of a cop out but National and State parks, Teddy Roosevelt did us good by protecting our natural resources for recreation.” -RosePrecision

“I'm probably biased but southern California is a great place to visit. There's a lot of climate diversity thanks to the mountains and deserts. There's also the beaches, although I do think Hawaii has better beaches. New Mexico and Arizona are good to visit if you like indigenous culture.” -FantasyBeach

North Carolina…. Such a slept on state, I miss that place. Mountains, beaches, food, major colleges, and nice cities all within 3hrs.”-Piff370z
america vs europe, reddit, american landmarks

"Teddy Roosevelt did us good by protecting our natural resources for recreation.”

Photo credit: Canva

8. "What’s with you guys and tipping, don’t get me wrong it’s great to tip but the way you guys make it seem bothers me.” -Armysars

“Companies don’t pay their workers. It’s not entitlement but survival, especially if you’re on a tipped wage. You make around $2 per hour if you are under this wage. Keep in mind that you would need at least double minimum wage to afford an apartment.” -Alarmed_Inflation_68

“It annoys us too. It gets worse year over year as well. I would rather we pay people a liveable wage from the outset than have them survive on tips. Tipping culture won't go anywhere though, it gives business owners an excuse to pay their employees as little as possible.” -Fat_Feline

9. "What do you learn in ‘science class’? Don’t you have separate classes of like physics, chemistry, biology etc.?”-Gilbert_Grauschwanz

“Usually the early years are clumped together as 'science class.' When you get to middle/high school, the classes are separated. I remember taking earth science/geology, biology, physics, and chemistry.” -Arumidden

“The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.”-Alexandria-Rhodes
america vs europe, reddit

“The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.”

Photo credit: Canva


10. "Since WW2 the US has been at the forefront of innovation and has been responsible for many of humanity's great accomplishments during this period…Does this give you a sense of pride or is it not that important from your perspectives?”Torridesttube69

“Honestly my national pride depends solely on who's criticizing my country. A fellow American criticizing our economy? "yeah dude this country's a shithole" A Brit*sh tourist criticizing our economy? "🇺🇸America🇺🇸🇺🇸🦅🦅🦅greatest🦅🦅 nation 🔫💪💪💪 on earth 🦅🦅🇺🇸🇺🇸" -overcork

Family

Mom calls out teacher who gave her son a 'zero' grade for not providing class with supplies

Her viral video sparked a debate as to whether or not providing school supplies should be mandatory for parents.

@shanittanicole/TikTok

A zero grade for not providing school supplies?

The debate as to whether or not parents should supply classroom supplies is not new. But as prices continue to rise, parents are growing more baffled as to how they can be expected by teachers to provide all the various glue sticks, colored pencils, rulers and other various items the incoming students might need.

What’s even more perplexing, however, is penalizing the children of parents who won’t (or can’t) provide them.

This was the case for Shanitta Nicole, who discovered her son received a zero grade in his new school for not bringing school supplies for the entire classroom.

Nicole was especially surprised by this reaction since she had already gone through the effort of making sure her son had every supply he needed from the school’s list, which was slightly different than the one they previously had.

And yet, the 7th grade teacher informed her son that he was still expected to provide for the classroom, not just himself. And, thus, a zero grade, for failing the assignment, so to speak.


Even though Nicole thought the rule was “weird,” she went out and bought the bulk items, which included tissues, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, pencils, Expo markers, and red pens.

And yet, the next week—her son still has a zero. Concerned, Nicole emailed her son’s teacher.

“I’m like, ‘hey…my student has a 83 in the class and everything else in the class is 100s and 98s and he still has a zero for something called ‘classroom supplies.’” she said in a video.

“‘We bought the supplies anyways, but I don't feel like it's the parents' responsibility to supply your classroom. And I definitely don't think it's appropriate to assign a grade to students based off of whether or not they've supplied your class with supplies. That doesn't make any sense.’”

@shanittanicole Am I doing too much? #fyp #school ♬ original sound - Shanitta Nicolee 💖

And while Nicole’s email did get the teacher to reconcile the grade, there was no mention to her other concern regarding the responsibility for parents to provide the entire class with supplies.

“So, I emailed the principal because I just, I might be extra, but I just want to see what's going on. Why do I have to buy supplies for the classroom?” the frustrated mom concluded.

Nicole’s video quickly went viral on TikTok, and several weighed in to agree that the teacher’s actions were misguided.

“That is so unfair!! Especially for the kids whose parents CANT afford groceries let alone classroom supplies,” one user wrote.

Another added, “You are not wrong. It is 100% ok for [the teacher] to ask for supplies, but mandate it for a grade? Absolutely not.”

And this point is truly what Nicole took umbrage with, as she noted several times in the comments. It has less to do with being asked to help and more to do with her son’s grade depending on it.

In a follow-up video, Nicole shared that the school principal did end up reaching out, notifying her that while, yes, teachers are allowed to ask for donations, it should never be mandated.

@shanittanicole Replying to @yafavv._.dancer😍😘💞😍😍💞 Graded Supplies Update #fyp #school ♬ original sound - Shanitta Nicolee 💖

“What the teacher was trying to accomplish, but it definitely wasn't appropriate,” the principal told Nicole.

While the teacher might have not handled this situation in the best way, it goes without saying that this is a larger systemic issue—one that isn’t exactly fair to parents, teachers and students alike.

Most public school teachers spend a significant amount of their own money on classroom supplies, to an average of $673 per year, according to a recent survey of more than 1,100 educators by the Association of American Educators (AAE). That number only goes up for teachers in high poverty schools.

At the same time, according to a 2022 survey with Savings.com, the typical parent also spends nearly $600 on school supplies. Plus things like clothes, backpacks, haircuts etc.

In the grand scheme of things, there’s no use placing full responsibility or blame onto teachers or parents. Because either way, students get caught in the crossfire. This is clearly a universal burden that needs attention.


This article originally appeared on 10.5.23

Guy's "buy again" option for Walmart exposes high inflation prices

People have been complaining about the increase in basic necessities for a while now. It seems that things are simply costing astronomically more now than they were jus a few short years ago Some people have been wondering if they're nostalgically imagining things costing less or if there was a time where you didn't need to take out a personal loan to buy groceries.

One TikTok creator that goes by the name Sewerlidd found himself in need of more groceries so he opened up his Walmart account to order some food. While in the account he saw the "reorder all" option (which is handy in a pinch) and decided to check out how much his groceries were a couple of years ago. Turns out, his groceries were a pretty reasonable price for 45 items.

It was when he clicked the "reorder all" button that the price of those exact same items seems to have sent him into a cold sweat.


"I feel like I'm going to be sick. I just looked through my Walmart history and I found my order from two years ago for the whole month worth of groceries. 45 items costs $126," the man says before revealing the price jump. "Now, this order of 45 items for one month would've cost $414. That is four times more."

The price difference is outrageous and commenters agree with the man, including a few of the sentence enhancers he uses to express his frustration.

@sewerlidd

#greenscreen #groceries #economy #inflation


"And this is why I went from buying healthy food back to only buying sandwich materials," someone writes.

"I used to spend $180 for 2 weeks for my family of four and the dog. I am now spending upwards of $430 and trying to figure out what else I can cut. sorry kids you don't get barbecue sauce," a mom shares.

"I knew it was going to be bad. I didn’t know it was gonna be this bad," another says.

"Yep. Have had to adjust what I wanted to buy at the grocery store based on how expensive everything is. Definitely stretching meals with rice and beans already," someone else writes.

Other commenters don't believe that his groceries increased that much, believing he's exaggerating for shock value. Pricing does vary depending on what state you live in and what items you order, so it may be difficult to recreate the same exact situation. Companies like Walmart have also recently lowered the prices of several items which may be causing the discrepancy for others as well. Either way, people are feeling the effects of inflation while grocery shopping so here's to hoping the price cuts stick.

Paper bags with groceries including fruits and vegetables and bread

apples and bananas in brown cardboard boxPhoto by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash

May all flights be like this.

Five-year-old Xavier Rivas thought he would be missing the milestone of his one and only kindergarten graduation. But thanks to the kindness of strangers, he got an extra special memory sure to last him a lifetime.

Aboard a Frontier Airlines flight from Florida to Puerto Rico, an attendant announced over the loudspeaker that the young boy would be given his own mid-flight graduation ceremony, and asked the other passengers to help cheer him on.


In a clip posted to TikTok, we see not only Xavier beam in his cap and gown as he walks down the aisle while "Pomp and Circumstance" plays, but also the fellow passengers as they applaud and give him high fives.

Watch:

@alldayloveme Kindergarten graduation on Frontier Airlines! Lets all congratulate him! #kindergarten #graduation #frontierairlines #fypage #flightattendant ♬ original sound - Laci Alvarez

Other viewers noted how folks instantly lit up at the chance to make one kid’s day.

“It’s so cute when she said ‘kindergarten graduation everyone perked up. Like yes, let's hype this little kid up lol.”

“I love how everyone went from 😠 to 🤩with the announcement.”

“I love how instantly happy everyone was. If only things were as simple today as they were when we were in kindergarten.”

“I cried so fast. This is what being human is all about.”

“It is simple human to human kindness that keeps us sane.”

With all the stories of bad plane behavior out there, this one feels extra refreshing for the soul. It’s just a little reminder that, at least in some ways, humans are hardwired to care for one another…even while thousands of feets in the air.