How Old Does That Make The Mother?

, , , | Learning | October 21, 2018

(I’m a private English teacher and work mostly with kids. When I first get to know the children, we usually chat a bit about our families, likes and dislikes, etc., to make them feel comfortable and to assess their current English level. One time a student’s mom comes in and tells the kid to pay attention, and he pouts a bit, since we’ve just started and she’s already hovering.)

Me: “You know, moms are always like that. My mom is the same way. Even if I was a hundred years old, she’d talk to me like I was a baby, too!”

Boy: “You’re a hundred years old?!

Shooting For Controversy

, , , , | Learning | October 20, 2018

(An exchange student from Slovakia gives a presentation about her home country to several classes. Some gems:)

Girl: “These are common dishes in Slovakia. For some reason they all look disgusting.”

Girl: “No one cares about American football besides you. No one.”

Girl: “In Slovakia, we don’t have school shootings, or hurricanes, or tornadoes. We’re pretty peaceful.”

Girl: “Where do Europeans vacation? Other European countries!”

Girl: “In Slovakia, everyone usually goes to several other countries once a year or so. In America, you guys don’t even go to Canada. It doesn’t make sense!”

Girl: “How do you guys not have a volleyball team, but you have a bowling team?!”

Girl: “I like gym class here. I hate gym, and I don’t have to do anything.”

(After class:)

Me: “Sorry your national dishes look disgusting.”

Girl: “That’s okay; we don’t have school shootings!”

Only Cheating Themselves

, , , , , | Learning | October 19, 2018

(I am a highschool sophomore recently diagnosed with severe ADHD and depression. Both mean that I have terrible focus even though I am a gifted learner. Once I am diagnosed, I am allowed by the school to bring a small laptop to school, on strict orders that it is not to be connected to the school’s Wi-Fi and that the teachers have to watch me set up my laptop at the beginning of each class. It is the second day I have my laptop. This teacher is known to have the toughest class, with extremely few chances for extra credit.)

Teacher: *walks to the front of the class the moment it starts* “Can anyone tell me, for extra credit, what was invented during World War II in an effort to replace the dwindling rubber supply?”

Me: *opens laptop, then raises hand*

Student #1: “Hey, she’s cheating!”

Teacher: “Yes, [My Name]?”

Me: “Silly putty.”

Teacher: “That’s correct.”

Student #1: “She only knew that because she looked it up on the Internet!”

Student #2: *jumps up from behind me* “Yeah, I can see her laptop from here!”

Teacher: *walks over to look at my laptop, which is still on the log-in screen* “Doesn’t look like it. And it’s not connected to Wi-Fi.”

Student #2: “She just logged out when you weren’t looking!”

Teacher: “Mind logging in?”

(I do so, revealing that the laptop still needs to boot up.)

Teacher: “Thank you. [Student #2], we will need to talk after class.”

(He was the best teacher I had that year. Several years later, he is now the head principal of my old high school.)

Some Strange Lab Conditions

, , , , , , | Learning | October 19, 2018

(I teach a biology lab on Friday afternoons. One student is absent, and that evening I receive an email.)

Student: “Hi, professor. I could not come to lab today. I’m wondering, am I able to do the lab without coming to lab? Since I did not come to lab, can I still get 100% for the lab?”

Me: “Hi, [Student]. Unfortunately, you do need to come to lab to do the lab, since we’re using equipment you can’t take out of the lab, and hazardous materials that aren’t safe to use outside of the lab. You can only get full credit if you actually do the lab.”

(On Tuesday I see the student in class.)

Student: “Hi, professor. I emailed you last week.”

Me: “Yes…”

Student: “Yeah, my email made no sense. I had a fever; I don’t even know what I said. What I wanted to ask was, can I make up the lab another time?”

Me: “Oh, that makes so much more sense.”

(We scheduled a make-up lab and had a good laugh.)

There Was A Reason Mama Left Her With You

, , , | Learning | October 19, 2018

(I work at a kindergarten. It is the first day of class, and some kids tend to cry because they don’t want their parents to leave. One tiny four-year-old girl is in my arms, crying softly. But when we get to the classroom, she suddenly launches backwards headfirst. I barely hold on to her before she hits her head. She starts screaming like a banshee, and kicks me repeatedly, so I lay her as carefully as possible on a rug. She keeps screaming, dropping on the floor, hitting her head, leaving hundreds of scratches on her own chest, and banging her head some more against a door. I try to get her to sit on a chair, but she jumps down so hard it flips and almost impales her. If I try to talk to her, she gets even more angry. We call her family, but no one picks up. And by the end of the — short, thank God — day, she is covered of scratches and bumps, but calm and laughing. I am extremely scared that I will get in trouble, though. I explain everything to the girl’s mom when she arrives.)

Mom: *laughs and smiles* “I have five kids, and they have all been like that on the first few days of school. Don’t worry.”

(This happened for one whole month until the girl and I bonded, but my coworkers and I still remember her as Demon Spawn.)

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