Following This Conversation Is Fruitless

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Learning | March 28, 2013

(I’m in first period at school. We’re watching the morning announcements and the school counselor has come in to watch. The following interaction occurs after the announcements end.)

Teacher: “So, what do you think?”

Counselor: *distracted* “Oh… I was just looking at your board, and it said, ‘The impeachment of Andrew Johnson’, and I was just thinking about how it had the word ‘peach’ in it.”

Teacher: *looks confused*

Counselor: “Then I thought about how it should really be ‘im-grapefruit-ment’ because grapefruits are sour and getting impeached would be a sour experience.”

Teacher: *eyes begin glazing over*

Counselor: “Actually, I don’t like peaches, but I guess they’re good.”

Teacher: *blank stare*

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Extratesticular Activities

| Rochester, NY, USA | Learning | March 28, 2013

(I work for a foreign language professor at my university. I’m sitting in the student workers’ office with another student and we’re discussing our experiences studying abroad through the school’s programs.)

Student: “The language school in France was nice because it was connected to the university there. Sometimes they hosted programs so you could hang out with the other foreigners and meet French kids from the university to practice your French with.”

Me: “The one in Berlin was nice too, but since it was just a language school, I didn’t really have a chance to meet any Germans. At least the school had programs to get the students together and—”

(My earring suddenly gets caught on my scarf.)

Me: “—f***!”

Student: *awkward pause*

Me: “Well, that came out rather differently than I’d intended.”

(I meant to say that we could get together with the other students to speak German!)

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Like Tolkien To A Brick Deeping Wall

| UK | Learning | March 27, 2013

(I am at an open day at school for my young son. It isn’t a faith-based school, so there are no requirements to be a particular religion. I am currently talking to the headmaster who has only been there three months.)

Headmaster: *notices my wedding ring* “What on Earth is that?”

(My wedding ring is a replica of the one ring from Lord of the Rings.)

Me: “Oh, it’s my wedding ring. My husband and I are huge Lord of the Rings fans.”

Headmaster: “What are all these demonic symbols on it?”

Me: “Oh, it’s Elvish writing, a language that J.R.R Tolkien made up.”

Headmaster: “A good Christian should never wear demonic symbols on their person!”

Me: “Oh no, me and my husband are atheists, but we want [son] to learn about different religions and decide for himself what he wants to believe.”

(The head looks taken aback by my son’s name, which is Japanese even though both my husband and I are British.)

Headmaster: “What sort of a h***ish name is [son’s name]?!”

(I am starting to get slightly annoyed now, but still persevere as it is a good school.)

Me: “We both have very common names, and wanted to name our children something that meant a lot to us, even if it wasn’t necessarily in common usage.”

Headmaster: “Well I don’t want any of your kind coming to my school and corrupting the other children, and I will send messages to the other schools in the county warning them of you! You should be ashamed of yourselves!”

(She proceeded to write “Do not accept anyone called [son’s name]” on her notepad and shooed me away. I later learnt she had been fired for turning away three Muslim families, but I still didn’t send my son to that school!)

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Dumbed If You Do, Dumbed If You Don’t

| Melbourne, Australia | Learning | March 27, 2013

(I am doing my teaching placement in a primary school classroom. A student’s mother comes in to drop her son off for the morning. The teacher notices her hovering around the kids’ reading boxes.)

Teacher: “Oh, are you looking for some books for [son’s name]?”

Parent: “Why is my son only in Blue Group? Green Group is the highest! He’s smart!”

Teacher: “Yes, [son] is a very good reader, but the books in this box are more on his level in terms of reading comprehension. He’s doing very well in this group.”

Parent: “This is ridiculous. You are not giving him enough credit! I want him switched!”

(She continues to rant about this until the teacher finally gives her a book from the harder box.
Next Monday, she returns to speak with the teacher.)

Parent: “Why did you give [son] this book? He couldn’t even read it! You’re trying to make him feel dumb!”

Teacher: *to me, jokingly* “You sure you still want to be a teacher?”

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Hold My Hand 101

, | OR, USA | Learning | March 27, 2013

Me: “Hi, what can I help you find today?”

Student: “I need a book for my class.”

Me: “Okay, do you know the course number?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Do you know who your professor is?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Do you know what department the class is in?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Do you know the name of the book? Or the author?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Okay… do you know anything at all about what you’re looking for? Do you know what the book looks like?”

Student: “No.”

Me: “Well, I don’t think there’s anything else I can do to help you.”

Student: *heavy sigh* “FINE.” *eye roll* “I guess I’ll go find my syllabus and come back.”

(Believe it or not, this kind of interaction happens ALL the time!)

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