Our parents play a huge role in our lives—they are the first people who set out to help us understand the world. Mothers and fathers essentially lay the foundation for who we all become once we reach adulthood, for better or for worse.
While you might have put your parents on a pedestal as a child, sometimes as an adult you can learn something about their past that changes everything you thought you knew. For one college student, that’s exactly what happened… in front of her entire class!
In February 2018, 19-year-old Anya Hettich, a student at California State University in San Bernardino, was sitting in biology class when she found herself the audience to something she wasn’t remotely prepared for.
Sure, science class can be exciting… Students are given the opportunity to perform hands-on procedures that show them the wonders of all living organisms, how could it not be?
However much fun these classes might be, they’re certainly not known for their interpersonal drama. Of course, students like Anya are prepared for some physical danger, like getting burned by the Bunsen burner, but no one expects the heartbreak of deep, dark secrets revealed!
Initially, the subject matter seemed rather boring to Anya and the other students, especially since the class started at 8 a.m. Yet the lesson of the day had them all discussing blood types, and nobody predicted the turn of events that followed…
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The class was learning about Punnett squares; simple diagrams named after pioneering geneticist Reginald Punnett. They’re used to help predict which genes may be passed from one organism to another.
As part of the lesson, the students in Anya’s biology class were discussing comparisons of their blood types (as these are genetically inherited traits) to that of their parents. This caused some concern for one of Anya’s classmates…
This particular woman discovered something that seemed like it must have been a mistake. Her mother’s blood type was A, and her father’s blood type was O. This meant that her AB blood type should have been impossible.
What followed was so dramatic that Anya couldn’t help but write about it on Twitter. “My prof [sic] explained that that’s impossible, that she’s confused on the blood types or something—she even drew out the different Punnett squares to show her.”
The professor was right: People with type A blood can only pass on the A blood type to their children. The same goes for type B. However, while people with type AB blood can pass on both type A and B, type O can pass neither.
In other words, since blood type O comes from a recessive gene, it was scientifically impossible for this young woman to have type AB blood if neither her mother nor her father carried blood type B.
Clearly, something was off, but she assumed the professor filled out her Punnet Square incorrectly. “The girl was persistent that she wasn’t wrong on the blood types, and was confident that there was something wrong with how the professor was doing it.”
The professor didn’t want to make the student any more uncomfortable. Could you imagine trying to move forward with your lesson plan after a student revealed to the whole class that the man she called her father was not who she thought he was?
Ultimately, the professor “told [the student] to talk to her parents to double check the blood types and make sure the information was correct.”
It wasn’t long before Anya’s classmate returned with shocking news. Anya was bewildered, so one could only imagine how her classmate must have felt! “…her mom had an affair with her husband’s brother who is his stepbrother,” Anya tweeted.
“So technically,” Anya continued, “she’s been raised by her uncle and not her dad her entire life—her mom hid it from the both of them for 21 years.” This had all the makings of a made-for-television movie!
That’s right, thanks to what should have been a simple class study, a young woman’s world was shattered. “Because my prof told her she was wrong with her blood types, she figured out her uncle was actually her dad and vice versa,” Anya reiterated.
Anya wrapped up her classmate’s story with a somewhat predictable, yet no less heartbreaking conclusion. The young woman’s mother and the man whom she thought was her biological father, were getting divorced.
Since the story was told second-hand it’s impossible to determine the details of what happened when her classmate confronted her parents with this information. One could only guess that it was a difficult pill to swallow!
While you can’t blame this young woman’s parents for making the surprisingly quick, yet painful decision to get a divorce, that doesn’t make the outcome any less heartbreaking.
It’s unfortunate that what should have been a straightforward and fun class assignment turned into an emotional nightmare for one family. Hopefully, that poor student can move forward now that those bizarre revelations came to light!
Could you imagine this happening in front of everyone in your class? It must have been so painful.
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