Social Studies Prove That Analogies Abhor A Vacuum

, , , , , , | Learning | November 12, 2018

(This takes place in high school social studies class. The teacher is explaining a concept of economics. I’m known to be a pretty smart kid and a whiz at science, but I don’t usually participate.)

Teacher: “Think of it this way. Does anybody know how a vacuum cleaner works?”

(A few students raise their hands, including me.)

Teacher: “[Student #1]?”

Student #1: “It sucks stuff in with a big fan.”

Teacher: “No, that’s incorrect. [Student #2]?”

Student #2: “There’s a pump and it pulls air in.”

Teacher: “Nope, not right, either.”

(The teacher then looks at me and gives me a look that tells me he is not looking forward to my response.)

Teacher: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Things always move from an area of higher concentration to lower concentration, so a vacuum cleaner pumps air out of a chamber inside it, creating an area of lower air pressure inside. The higher air pressure outside of the vacuum pushes things into it, and they end up in the bag, which is porous to allow air to pass through.”

Teacher: *pause* “No, that’s not right, either. The point is, nobody knows how a vacuum works.”

(He carried on with the lesson, and I frowned and sat back in my chair, knowing I had a better explanation than anyone else, and deciding that he wasn’t expecting someone to actually know how a vacuum cleaner works, ruining the analogy.)

Loopholes In The Law Open Up Anyone To Be Accused Of Stalking

, , , , | Learning | November 11, 2018

(Over the past two years at my high school, thanks to some rumours, I have found myself with the reputation of a stalker. This has seen different groups of people at different points in time follow me around, steal my property, burn it, and continue to spread word of my supposed misdeeds. One morning, I am reading text messages on my mobile phone and standing out in a courtyard. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a boy who is particularly short, looking quite angry. As I finish my messages and turn to leave, he and his group of friends approach me.)

Short Boy: *calling out from the other side of the courtyard* “Stop taking photos!”

Me: *knowing what to expect* “Pardon?”

Short Boy: “Why were you taking photos of me?”

Me: “I was not taking photos of you.”

Short Boy: “Yes, you were! I saw you!”

Me: “No, I wasn’t. I was messaging my friends.”

(The short boy looks to his own friends for backup. They start murmuring amongst themselves to provide a nice background ambiance.)

Short Boy: *with renewed vigor* “You were taking photos of me; I know it!”

(This goes back and forth for a while, with me asking why I would bother to take photos in the first place, and him and his friends interrupting with the same sentence. Eventually, he switches it up.)

Short Boy: “Show me your camera roll!”

Me: “No, it’s my phone, and it’s private information.”

Short Boy: “That settles it! You took the photos and you’re not letting me look!”

(I walk away from them, and they don’t follow but shout insults from a safe distance. Now, I need to talk to friends about this, because my dealings with the popular kids always end well for them, and I’d like to tell someone my side of the story. I have my phone to my ear and someone on the line when they walk through the doorway.)

Me: “Oh, there they are now.”

Short Boy: “He’s deleting the photos!”

Me: *on phone* “As you’ve just heard, they’re giving chase.”

(They realise that I’m actually on the phone and back off, giving me an opportunity to end the call and run away… right into another friend. We move into a corridor and I explain exactly what happened, and we agree to see the dean as soon as we can, which is different from our usual tactic of ignoring and trying to keep a moral high ground. The doors open and in walk several people. It turns out that this kid is a part of a big clique at school, the same clique that tried to call me out for “stalking” at the start of the year, and also the same clique that bullied my special needs brother on the bus home both this and last year. This could not get any worse.)

Girl: “There he is; look!”

(They look. I am holding my phone.)

Short Boy: “I saw you taking photos! You’re deleting them right now!”

Me: “I’m telling you, I have not taken any photos of you! You’re all vain p***ks who are so paranoid that–“

(My friend pulls my arm and together we walk away.)

Friend: *hurried* “Don’t bother with them. Come on.”

(They follow, obviously. I see that one of them, the ringleader of the previous accusers, is pointing his phone at me. It does, in fact, get worse; I hate having my face recorded.)

Boy With Phone: “Why’d you take photos of him, huh? That’s called a breach of privacy!”

(I’m fuming at their hypocrisy, but remain silent. My friend makes a daring move and yanks the phone right out of the kid’s hands. It is recording on a popular messaging app that deletes messages after they’re sent, so she stops it, but before she can delete it the phone is swiped back and we scamper away. The bell rings and two classes go by, and in my interval period I take it straight to the dean. I’m asked to identify who the students are, and relay the names of some people, but I cannot name the short boy. By lunchtime, they’ve figured out who he is by association and the dean reaches a decision.)

Dean: “I’m going to come up with what’s basically a contract that says that you can’t talk to him and he can’t talk to you. I’m doing this early on so that it doesn’t escalate.”

Me: “That sounds a lot better than what’s happened in the past. Thank you so much.”

(I left, and found the nine-strong group waiting at my corridor, having turfed my group out. We moved constantly and they followed until classes ended. By the following day’s lunchtime, the “contract” had been drafted and the short boy had confessed and signed it. There were next to no loopholes: Neither of us could go near each other, or send our friends after each other, or discuss each other; the contract would no longer be in effect at the end of the school year. I happily signed, and Short Boy and I stayed well away. Unfortunately, they’ve been exploiting as many loopholes as they can; while Short Boy is not allowed to send his friend over, there was nothing saying that his friends couldn’t do it of their own accord. There wasn’t anything saying that the friends couldn’t talk about me of their own volition, either, leading most of that sort of population to go into a frenzy whenever I so much as hold my mobile. One of the new outcomes of the two-year-long saga is that I now become really anxious when I hear a [Popular Phone] camera. On the flip side, school’s ending soon and hopefully, after the exams and school holidays, by next year people will have forgotten about this particular incident.)

 

Shameful Timekeeping Reported As Main Reason Behind Entire Class Turning On School Management

, , , , , | Learning | November 10, 2018

I work with third graders as a teacher’s aide. Every week I take a few of them to a separate classroom at lunchtime and work with them on goal setting. One day I have a meeting with my boss that goes over lunch time, so I am a few minutes late getting my kids from the cafeteria. I tell them it’s my boss’s fault and they should tell him, “Shame on you.” When we get back to the classroom, my boss has left, so we get started and I forget about it.

Ten minutes later, the door opens and my boss walks in. Suddenly, in perfect unison, my students turn, point, and scream, “SHAME!”

That pretty much ruins the students’ ability to focus for the rest of the period, but it is worth it to see the terror and confusion on my boss’s face.

Student Failed Assignment For Not Knowing The Dictionary Definition Of A Dictionary Definition

, , , , , | Learning | November 9, 2018

(English has never been my best subject, since I’m a very literal person and assignments often require us to recognize and understand foreshadowing, symbolism, dramatic irony, and so on. However, I do have a large vocabulary, so when our homework one day is to define a list of words, I complete it before class ends. Much to my shock, when the sheets are handed back, all of them are marked wrong. Despite being generally timid — and even cowardly — overall, I can’t accept this, and confront my teacher.)

Me: “Why did you mark all of these wrong?”

Teacher: “Because they are all wrong.”

Me: *offended* “I know what all these words mean! Everything I wrote down is right!

Teacher: “Yes, but the assignment was to look them up, to show that you know how to use a dictionary.”

Me: “It didn’t say that, though. It just said to define them, and I did.”

Teacher: “You should have known.”

Me: “How?!”

 

Explosive Uptake Of Chemistry In Schools, As It Turns Out Blowing Stuff Up Is Awesome

, , , , , , | Learning | November 9, 2018

(Decades before the TV show about blowing things up with science, there was my high school chemistry teacher. The very first day of class, I sit down in my chair and lean back lazily. Then I freeze, with my eyes wide.)

Friend: “[My Name]? Are you okay?”

Me: “The light fixture is melted.”

Friend: “What?!”

(He looks up where I’m looking, and right above the table where the teacher would be making demonstrations, the hanging light fixture is indeed partially melted, and twisted. The ceiling is pock-marked with black marks, and I could swear there are things… embedded… in the ceiling.)

Friend: “Uh…”

(The facts spread quickly as other students file in, see other kids muttering uneasily, and follow the pointed fingers. The teacher comes in:)

Teacher: “All right, students, I know this is not a class you want to take first thing in the morning, but I would like to inform you now that there will be no dozing off in this class.”

(The entire class wordlessly points to the ceiling.)

Teacher: *with an evil smirk* “Oh, darn. You already figured out the reason why.

(To be fair, nobody did doze off in class. Our teacher was notorious for demonstrating why you followed the rules exactly, by demonstrating how NOT to do things. Just about everything our teacher did either exploded, caught on fire, or did something likewise terrifying. Every day a demonstration happened, the first three rows of students scooted their desks back as far as they could, cramming toward the back of the room. I learned a lot about chemistry, but I wonder, years later, if my teacher ever happened to teach the hosts of that show. It would explain a lot.)

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