That Line Trumps All Others

, , , , , , | Learning | November 23, 2017

(I’m in my college’s cafeteria and am listening to some conversations going around me as a project for one of my writing classes. I need to hear a few lines of conversation and then fill it in with the rest of the story. I wish I had heard more from this conversation so I could use this, but all I got was this single line:)

Student: “…and it was like Kim Jong-un with giant baby hands!”

Scan-Wrong

, , , , , | Learning | November 23, 2017

(I teach undergraduate courses and use Scantron sheets for their exams to reduce my time spent grading. This means I have to take a trip to the Scantron Center across campus — not a place known for its friendly customer service.)

Me: “Hi, I’m here to have these Scantrons graded.”

Receptionist: “Okay, are you going to wait for them to finish being scanned or come back later?”

Me: “I can wait.”

Receptionist: “Take a seat over there.”

(After a few minutes…)

Receptionist: “Wait, you didn’t bubble in [option X]. We require you to select [option X] now.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry about that. Let me fix it.” *bubbles in single missing bubble and hands it back to her* “Here you go!”

Receptionist: “You know, you really should call if you have any questions on how to fill out the sheet. It gets busy around here, and it makes things go smoother.”

Me: *looks around at completely empty waiting room* “Oh, okay. Well, I’m sure I’ll remember to bubble that in next time.”

Receptionist: “Just call or email first. It’s faster. We get so busy, and it holds us up if we have to have you fix things before they are scanned.”

(She goes back to browsing the Internet on her computer. I look around again. I half-expect to see a huge line out the door based on her scowl and grumpy demeanor indicating that I’m holding up her line. Nope. Still totally empty.)

Me: “Okay. Well, thanks.”

Receptionist: *yelling to me as I’m sitting down to wait* “Just call us first! It makes it easier! We get so busy!”

(Apparently this type of interaction wasn’t unusual; many graduate students seemed to have the same type of interaction over the most minor of issues, particularly the freaking out over how “busy” it got there. I’ve been there probably 20 times now, at different points in the semester, and have only ever seen one other person there besides me.)

Pooping Out Existentialism

, , , , | Learning | November 23, 2017

(Overheard in a school hallway:)

Student #1: “Well, babies seem to know. That’s why they cry all the time.”

Student #2: “I thought they cried because of the existential angst crashing in on them all at once.”

Student #1: “I think they cry because they have wet diapers, [Student #2]!”

Sadly That’s A Real-World Foreign Policy

, , , , , , | Learning | November 22, 2017

(I have a friend who does not have any talent for languages, but has a well-known love for those video games where you manage an empire and either plot world-domination or achieve victory by diplomacy or other means. We are in French class, and my friend has been asked to answer a question in French.)

Friend: *in plain Dutch* “I can’t; I don’t know how to.”

Teacher: “You need to learn languages. Do your best! Imagine you’re playing your empire control game. What if a region under your control only has French citizens? How would you rule them?”

Friend: “I don’t; I execute them all.”

Teacher: “Not the point I was making, but I suppose it would work.”

But They Can Without A Brain, Apparently

, , , , | Learning | November 22, 2017

(We are learning about the human body when a classmate raises her hand.)

Teacher: “Yes, [Student]?”

Student: “Can a human live without a heart?”

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