The Several Tears Of Bureaucracy

, , , , | Learning | July 26, 2013

(Our high school band is planning a department trip to Puerto Rico.)

Director: “Good news, everyone! We’ve made it through another layer of bureaucracy, which means we’re closer to Puerto Rico!”

Student: “‘Layer’? How many layers are there?”

Director: “Oh, well, bureaucracy is like an onion. You have to peel through layer after layer after layer, and you’re crying the whole way through.”

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Sent To The Glue Factory

| Learning | July 26, 2013

(I am sitting and waiting for an English class to start. Since the teacher is very intense, many of us often review our reading while we wait.)

Classmate #1: “For some reason, George Herbert’s name makes me think of Humpty Dumpty.”

Classmate #2: “That poem never made sense to me. ‘All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.’ What were the horses gonna do? They don’t know how to use glue.”

(Cue everyone’s horrified expressions as we collectively realize the relation between horses and glue.)

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A Touching Conclusion

| Learning | July 26, 2013

(I go to a school where I am a misfit, and bullied for no reason. I am in a science class, and the teacher has seated me at a table next to a guy I do not know very well. We’re taking a science test.)

Boy: “MAN, stop touching me!”

(The teacher shushes him. I assume he’s not talking to me, and continue to do my test, until about a minute later.)

Boy: “MAN, [my name]! STOP TOUCHING ME, DAWG!”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Teacher: “Both of you stop!”

Me: “But I—”

Teacher: “STOP!”

(I give up and return to my test. Without fail, a minute later…)

Boy: “MAN! [Teacher], TELL [my name] TO STOP TOUCHING ME, DAWG!”

Teacher: “[My name]!”

Me: “I’m not doing anything! We’re literally on two separate ends of the table!”

Teacher: “Well, whatever you must be doing, stop it!”

(At this point, I am angry and on the verge of tears, but continue working and move further away from the boy. Two minutes later…)

Boy: “[Teacher]! [My name] KEEPS TOUCHING ME!”

Me: “No, I’m not! Are you freaking serious, dude?”

Teacher: “BOTH OF YOU, OUT!”

Me: “But I’m not—”

(The teacher calls security and a dean from the hallway, and has me escorted out. I am treated as if I am resisting. At this point, I’m sobbing so hard that I cannot breathe. The dean has me sit in the adjacent lab room so that I don’t faint. While I am in there, he speaks in hushed tones to calm me.)

Dean: “Calm down. What happened?”

Me: “I don’t know! I was sitting, taking a test, and he started screaming that I was touching him, and I didn’t! I don’t even want to touch him! We were even on two separate ends of the table! Please let me finish the year!”

Dean: “Calm down, take some deep breaths. Put your head down, and I’m gonna go talk to [classmate].”

(While the dean is gone, I hear a commotion in the classroom beside me. The dean sits us both in the room, and calls for security for both of us. Suddenly, my teacher emerges and announces there are witnesses. There, lining up to speak on my behalf, are a small group of people, a couple of whom I believed disliked me. They all tell the dean I did nothing, and there was no reason for my classmate to raise a fuss. I am not punished, but I am sent to the nurse to make sure I’m okay. It turns out, he was attempting to get me barred from a grade-wide trip, and ended up getting himself barred. Thanks to the kindness of people who had heard the worst about me over three years and ignored it, I did complete my test, and I finished the year on the dean’s list.)

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Cannot Save This Situation

, | Learning | July 25, 2013

(I work in our university’s IT department, which also maintains three computer labs on campus of which two are in the library. All of our lab computers use software known as ‘Deep Freeze’ which, upon re-start, completely resets a computer’s settings, registry, and wipes saved data. The background of every machine, and various signs, tell users to ‘Save often!’. A young student approaches the lab help desk.)

Student: “I was upstairs working on my paper for the last six hours, and now it’s gone!”

Me: “Which station are you working at?”

Student: “One on the 4th floor.”

(I follow her to our 4th floor lab, and we head to her station.)

Me: “So, describe what happened.”

Student: “I was working on my paper and needed to go to the bathroom. When I came back the screen was dark, so I held the button down.”

(The student points to the CPU’s power button.)

Me: “Did you save your work to a flash drive, or e-mail it to yourself?”

Student: “No. Why? I should have to do that!”

(I explain Deep Freeze to her, show her the desktop background warnings, and the signs we have around the lab.)

Student: “I shouldn’t be expected to read! Get my paper back!”

Me: “There’s one thing left to try, but I doubt it will work.”

(I open the word processor, and attempt to access the auto-recovery section, which is blank as I knew it would be.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, but your paper is gone. Are you sure you didn’t save it to a drive or online document storage?”

Student: “No! I don’t know these computer things. You’re not being helpful! You will call my professor and tell him you lost my paper! I want your manager!”

(I get the name of her professor,.who teaches in Computer Information Systems; the kicker is he doesn’t teach lower division classes!)

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Charles The Charlatan

| Learning | July 25, 2013

Professor: “Now class, I know you all learned about the Holy Roman Empire in high school. What do you remember?”

(The class is silent.)

Professor: “That’s okay; I’ll give you a hint. Do you remember learning about Charles Mengie?”

(The name does not sound familiar, and certainly does not sound like it is from that time period.)

Professor: “Come on! Charles Mengie, what kind of school doesn’t teach you about Charles Mengie! You all must have not paid attention; I know you learned about him! Charles Mengie!”

(The professor gives up, and writes his name on the board. Immediately, the light bulb goes off in all of us upon seeing how it is spelled.)

Me: “Professor, did you mean Charlemagne?”

Professor: “I guess that’s another way you can pronounce it… Charles Mengie!”

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