Elective Selective

| Italy | Learning | May 9, 2016

(Our substitute teacher has just handed out the results of our trigonometry test.)

Student #1: “I know you teachers all tell us not to compare our tests with those of our classmates, but I just compared my test with one of my classmates…”

(A lengthy discussion follows. Turns out the reason why Student #1 has a lower mark is that she has successfully completed all three problems and hasn’t done the fourth, which was marked ‘elective,’ whereas her classmate has completed two problems out of three and the ‘elective’ one.)

Student #1: “But why is the elective problem worth more than any of the other three?”

Substitute Teacher: “Because I wanted you to solve it! That’s why I wrote ‘elective’ on it, duh!”

(Yes, the teacher didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘elective’ – among other things. When he left at the end of the year, we gave him a framed class picture, with the words “An ELECTIVE farewell” written on it!)

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