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Don’t Forget To Put A Title On This One!

, , , | Learning | February 16, 2020

(There’s an elderly teacher at my high school who is retiring at the end of the year. From his attitude about the situation, it’s clear that he’s retiring not because he wants to, but rather because the school is pressuring him to. And they have good reason for that. He’s become increasingly forgetful over the years, to the point that he’ll forget where his classroom is and what material he’s supposed to be teaching. He often loses students’ assignments and insists that they never turned them in instead of admitting that he can’t find them. We’ve learned to document everything we turn in for his classes. One day, I’m in his class taking notes when my pen runs out of ink. I turn around to quietly ask the person behind me if I can borrow one.)

Teacher: “[Not My Name], I told you I’d give you a detention if you disrupted class one more time!”

(I look around to see if he’s talking to someone else, since that’s not my name and I’ve never disrupted class before. He does seem to be addressing me, though.)

Me: “But–”

Teacher: “That was your final warning! You’re getting a detention.”

(He goes to his desk to fill out the detention slip. In my school, a teacher giving a detention fills out two slips, one for the student and one for the office. When he hands me the slip, I notice that the wrong name is on it — the same one he called me before. The girl whose name is on the slip is not in this class and looks nothing like me.)

Me: “Um… but I’m not–”

Teacher: “One more word and it’ll be a week of detentions!”

(I stop talking and end up not taking any notes for the rest of class. After class gets out, I go to the office.)

Secretary: “Can I help you?”

Me: “I got this detention slip, but it’s not my name on it. And I’m not really sure what it’s for. All I did was ask to borrow a pen.”

Secretary: “Let me guess: Mr. [Teacher]?”

Me: “Yeah. How did you know?”

Secretary: “We have a special file for his detentions.”

(She holds out her hand for the detention slip and I give it to her. She then puts it directly into the recycling bin.)

Secretary: “Don’t worry about the detention. He never remembers to turn in the office copy anyway.”

(I found out later that the other girl was in that teacher’s class in the previous period and sat in the same seat as me. The teacher never mistook me for her again, but it certainly wasn’t the end of his memory issues.)

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