Heaven Help Yourself To Everything We Have

AL, USA | Learning | May 10, 2013

(Our school has quite a large and successful vegetable garden. Each harvest time, we get the kids to help us collect all the vegetables, which are then given to the families of students who are on free or reduced-price lunches. One day, I get a phone call asking about the garden.)

Me: “Hello, this is [my name].”

Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for Mr. [last name].”

Me: “Speaking. What can I do for you?”

Caller: “The office told us to call you about the garden?”

Me: “Yep, that’s me!”

Caller: “Well, we were hoping to just pick it all up next week.”

Me: “…E-excuse me?”

Caller: “The vegetables? We have a truck we can pick them up with.”

Me: “Well, sir, the vegetables from our garden actually go to students at our school. We don’t give them to external folks unless we have a big harvest, and unfortunately, this year’s is barely going to be enough to feed our students.”

Caller: “Well, aren’t you just selfish! I’ll have you know that I’m from [local church-run soup kitchen], and I’m going to have your vegetables for God!”

Me: “So what you’re telling me is that my students should starve because you want my vegetables?”

Caller: “You’re supposed to donate!”

Me: “I’m supposed to feed my kids, too. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Caller: “FOR GOD!” *hangs up*

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Necessity Is The Mother Of Inventing Your Son’s Homework

USA | Learning | May 9, 2013

(A student had turned in a paper obviously not written by him. After he gets a failing grade, his mom asks for a conference.)

Mom: “I don’t understand why my son got a failing grade on this project.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, he didn’t follow directions and the paper didn’t sound like he wrote it.”

Mom: “Of course he did. I have worked very hard with him on his writing skills.”

Me: “When I asked him questions about what he wrote, he didn’t know the answers.”

Mom: “What kind of questions? Maybe the questions were too hard.”

Me: “He didn’t know the title of his project.”

Mom: “Well, that’s easy. It’s [title].”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I know that and you know that, but your son does not know that. Sorry, but his failing grade stands.”

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Pint-sized Protectors Of Prudence

Niigata, Japan | Learning | May 9, 2013

(I work as an English teacher in a Japanese Elementary school. I’m eating lunch with some of my third grade students and they’re asking me questions about myself.)

Little Girl #1: “Sensei, where are you from?”

Me: “I’m from America.”

Little Girl #2: “How old are you?”

Me: “I’m 23 years old.”

Little Boy #1: “Do you have a boyfriend?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Little Boy #1: “Where does he live?”

Me: “He lives in Nagasaki.”

(Note, as I live in Niigata, Nagasaki is very far away and I only see my boyfriend three times a year.)

Little Boy #1: “Have you ever cheated on him?”

Me: “What? No, of course not!”

Little Boy #2: “Well, has he ever cheated on you?”

Me: “Definitely not.”

Little Boy #1: “How do you know he hasn’t cheated on you? Nagasaki is so far away!”

Me: “I’m pretty sure he hasn’t cheated on me.”

Little Boy #2: “You don’t know that! He could have a new girlfriend right now! I’m just trying to look out for you. You have to be more careful!”

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Always Weed Out Google Searches

Ontario, Canada | Learning | May 9, 2013

(I am a Grade 4 and Grade 5 French teacher. I am doing a mini-lesson on things the kids might see outside.)

Me: “Sun is ‘le soleil,’ clouds are ‘les nudges,’ and the sky is ‘le ciel.'”

Student: “How do you say ‘grass?'”

Me: “Hm. You know what? I don’t remember offhand. Let’s look it up.”

(I encourage any student to look up words they don’t know, and have made no secret that there are words I don’t know or forget. So I quickly Google it and respond.)

Me: “Grass is ‘l’herbe!’ There we go.”

(Fast forward about three months. I am sitting in my office preparing a lesson, and creating a word search.)

Me: “… nuage, ciel, arbre… grass… grass… What was ‘grass’ again?”

(I Google, and I find ‘le gazon.’ Confused for a moment, I look a little more thoroughly, and then, to my combined amusement and horror, I figure out my mistake.)

Me: *to my colleague* “So apparently three months ago I taught the kids a French street term for ‘Marijuana.'”

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Opaque To Logic

USA | Learning | May 8, 2013

Teacher 1: “I can’t get this copier to work right. Can you figure it out?”

Teacher 2: “I’ll try. What do you want to do?”

Teacher 1: “A double-sided transparency for the overhead projector.”

Teacher 2: “A… double… sided… transparency?”

Teacher 1: “Yes. They want us to do double-sided copies to save paper.”

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