Math Can Be A Slippery Slope

| USA | Learning | June 5, 2013

(I’m in math class. The students are a bit rowdy and not focusing on the lesson as they should be.)

Teacher: “You guys need to pay attention to this stuff. One day, knowing Calculus could save your life.”

Student: “Really? Give one example of how Calculus could save our lives in the real world.”

Teacher: “Okay, how about this scenario? Say you are walking down the street one day, hand in hand with your significant other. Suddenly, a man jumps out from the shadows brandishing a knife. With a wild look in his eyes, he screams, ‘You better know what the second derivative of x^3 + 2x^2 + 4x + 8 is, or I’m going to poke you full of more holes than a spaghetti colander!'”

Student: “That’s ridiculous. Like that is ever going to happen in the real world.”

Teacher: “Son, let me assure you… if there are any jobs in the world likely to cause a psychotic break, high school math teacher is at the top of that list.”

(The students spent the rest of the day focused on their lessons.)

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The Slow And The Delirious

| USA | Learning | June 4, 2013

(For my film class,. we are analyzing Asian films—specifically drag racing/action films. Note: our group consists of four boys, and one female.)

Group Member #1: “What the h*** is that loud squeaking noise?”

(The mechanic smugly opens his mouth to answer, but before he can say anything, somebody else speaks.)

Female Member: “It’s just the compression brakes on the car.”

(The mechanic in our group snatches the remote and pauses the movie.)

Mechanic Member: “How the f*** you know that?”

Female Member: “I read.”

Mechanic Member: “But… you’re a girl!”

(Myself and the other two guys inch away from him.)

Female Member: “And?”

Mechanic Member: “So, you ain’t supposed to know stuff about cars!”

Female Member: “You do realize you’re throwing a fit over something trivial, right? I mean who cares what extra knowledge I have or why?”

Mechanic Member: “Because, if you women actually know stuff about cars it makes it harder for mechanics when you bring your cars in!”

Female Member: “So you’re mad because if I brought you my car, you wouldn’t be able to lie to me about what’s wrong with it?”

Mechanic Member: “Yes!”

Me: *to mechanic* “I know you gave me your business card earlier, but now I’m definitely going somewhere else.”

Group Members #1 & #2: “Me too.”

Mechanic Member: “Aw that ain’t fair! You’re takin’ business away from me! I’m a MAN! I deserve it!”

Female Member: “So you think you’re entitled to lie to your customers and engage in dishonest business practices, and you’re angry that you ruined it for yourself?”

Mechanic Member: “F*** you! It’s all your fault! You shouldn’t know stuff about cars!”

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Do Juneau How Stupid You Sound

| USA | Learning | June 4, 2013

(We are learning the names of countries and states in French. The teacher pulls down a large map of North America and begins lecture.)

Student: “Wait, where’s Alaska?”

Teacher: “What?”

Student: “Alaska!”

(The teacher points to Alaska. This particular map is large enough that it has Alaska in its proper place above Canada, as opposed to in a box separately.)

Student: “But Alaska is an island!”

(Everyone is confused and silent.)

Student: “Next to Hawaii! Haven’t you ever seen a map of the United States?”

(It dawns on us that many maps have Alaska next to Hawaii on a corner of the map to save space.)

Class: “You thought Alaska was an ISLAND?”

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Now Your’e Just Axe-ing For It

| Brookfield, WI, USA | Learning | June 4, 2013

(Our history teacher is notoriously terrifying. He gives students detentions for almost everything. He is also a Lord of the Rings fan. My sister is late to class.)

Teacher: “[Sister’s name], why are you late?”

(My sister takes a breath and puts her hands behind her back.)

Sister: “But sir, a student is never late. Nor is she early. She arrives precisely when she means to.”

(The teacher blinks for a second.)

Teacher: “Is that so?” *points at the board* “A wizard detention for Gandalf, then!”

(My sister writes her name on the board.)

Teacher: “Good. Now, then—” *spins around and looks at me* “You know what I don’t get? Gimli smashes his axe on the Ring, and it breaks. Then one second later, HE HAS ANOTHER AXXXE!”

Student: “Maybe he has a spare?”

Teacher: “What, a cart full of axes behind him? Anyway. We have a different schedule today, so your lunch period will be separated.”

Me: “Cut in half, as it were.”

Teacher: “Like an orc.”

Me: “…or Frodo’s finger.”

(Only three of the students plus my sister and I understood the references, unfortunately. My sister served about three seconds in detention before she was let go early by the teacher.)

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Before And After School

| Learning | June 4, 2013

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