They Fear Learning

| Learning | August 1, 2013

(I’m a teacher in a crowded hallway. I see one of the girls being bullied. She’s being harassed by three of the most popular, pretty girls in her grade. The bullied is also a known school fanatic, and constantly carries a backpack full to bursting with books. The girls assume that no teacher can see them.)

Girl #1: *to Girl #2* “Aw, little [bullied girl]’s trying to get to her next class on time, like a good little girl!”

(Girl #1 trips the bullied girl, whips out her phone, takes a picture, and starts texting.)

Girl #1: “Oh, dear. You fell over!! And look, your books are just everywhere!”

(Girls #2 and #3 are stomping on the books, laughing until they’re practically falling over.)

Girl #3: “Who are you texting it to?”

Girl #1: “Oh, a ton of people, and let’s not forget, [bullied girl]’s crush!”

Girl #2: “Oh my God! You’re a genius!”

Girl #3: “Totally!”

(By now, the bullied girl is crying and trying to salvage her supplies. I start pushing my way to her, but one of her friends gets there first.)

Bullied Girl’s Friend: “Back off, you so-called popular idiots. Do you even know what texting is? In the base of it? Or even how it works? Do you know that it needs an ATSC? An ATSC is often referred to as a ‘digital input’, which negates the need for an external antenna to capture an analog signal. When the conversion happens, it will be essential that the cell you wish to continue using have the ability to receive and translate digital signals. Furthermore, should you decide to utilize a Video Cassette Recorder, you would most likely find it beneficial to connect a converter box to translate the digital signal to an analog recording outlet.”

(All the girls are giving the bullied girl’s friend a blank stare. The friend just glares at the three girls until they squeak up.)

All Three Girls: “Sorry.”

(They dash off. As they I go, I help the bullied girl pick up her stuff.)

Bullied Girl: *to her friend* “That’s not for a cell phone; that’s for a TV—”

Bullied Girl’s Friend: “I don’t know; you’re the nerd here. I was just reading it off of this!”

(The friend whips out her phone that she was hiding behind crossed arms, and shows us the screen. I take the phone and look at it. It is

Me: “If you allow me to post this on the new Geeks Rule section, I’ll pretend I didn’t see your phone in school.”

Both Girls: “Sure!”

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High School Is A Strenuous Experience

| Learning | July 31, 2013

(I discover I have scoliosis at a very young age and it has a visible impact on my flexibility and posture. It also leaves me with headaches, cramping, and uncontrollable muscle spasms. This is all on my school records due to multiple visits to the nurse and doctors notes from missing school. My junior ROTC instructor appears to be unaware of my condition as we do special stretches.)

Instructor: “Come on [my name]! You can bend farther then that! Really stretch into it!”

Me: “Yes sir, I’m doing my best.”

Instructor: “I know you can do better then that! Fine, since you want to slack off, you’ll be helping me demonstrate the next stretch. You’ll really be able to feel it in your lower back.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

Instructor: “I said move it Private!”

(Not wanting to get in trouble, I step forward. He instructs me to lay face-up on the mat on the floor.)

Instructor: “Alright, for the next one you have to tuck your hand under your back, right at your hips. Then, keeping your legs perfectly straight, lift your feet up six inches from the floor and hold it.”

(I try to do as he instructs, but after a few seconds my feet drop.)

Instructor: “You’ll have to do better then that. Everybody on the floor. Get into position, and we’ll hold for a count of one hundred! On my count!”

(I keep trying to hold it, but it’s putting to much strain on my back. Even though I’m having muscle spasms, I try to soldier through but I start crying loudly from the pain.)

Instructor: “Alright [my name], if that was too hard for you, we’re going to run a mile instead. Everyone on your feet! [My name], I said on your feet!”

Me: “I can’t… I can’t move!”

(Our class commander is really worried now, and decides to step in.)

Class Commander: “Sir, I don’t think she can stand on her own. May I take her to the nurse?”

Instructor: “She’s fine! You see girls like this every year; they want to join the Junior ROTC program but they don’t want to do any hard work. Well, it’s my job to whip them into shape!”

Class Commander: “If you haven’t noticed sir, Private [my name] is crying uncontrollably, and convulsing on the floor at your feet. I’m pretty sure she’s in serious pain, and not just trying to get out of a little exercise. I’m taking her to the nurse now.”

(The incident is brought to the attention of our principle, who has a little chat with my instructor. I get a free write-off on any and all exercises I deem too difficult or strenuous to my condition.)

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This Is Why We’re In A Recession

, | Learning | July 31, 2013

Lecturer: “Now, this compound is both neurotoxic and mutagenic before it sets; it still is when it’s set, but as long as you don’t eat it you should be fine. For this reason, I recommend checking for solidity by shaking the tray from side to side to see if it’s still sloshing rather than tilting the tray to see if it falls out, for reasons I hope are obvious. On you go.”

(Several minutes pass. I am tapping the tray, and notice the sloshing is turning into a wobble.)

Me: “Oh, hey, I think ours is nearly done!”

Lab Partner: “Really?”

(The lab partner proceeds to tilt the tray upwards. My assessment is correct, and we get bits of partially-congealed solid all over our desk. I grab my lab-partner back before she gets any on herself. The lecturer comes over to investigate, and I explain the situation.)

Lecturer: “Well, you’re doing better than me, at any rate. My first lab partner tried to check if it was done by dipping his finger in to see if it was solid, and then licked it clean. He got carted out in a stretcher.”

Me: “Uh…”

Lecturer: “The scary thing is he now works as head of [regional division of bank].”

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Will Need To Say Hell Mary’s

| Learning | July 31, 2013

(I am in the 3rd grade, when children seriously begin to learn to spell basic words. Our teacher has us all take our pencils, and get ready with our lined paper.)

Teacher: “Okay class. I’m going to call out some words, and I want you to spell them. We’ll do 10 words, so number them all.”

(The class all nods at her, and starts numbering.)

Teacher: “Your first word is ‘house’.”

(The students scribble.)

Teacher: “Your second word is ‘boat’.”

(This goes on for the rest of the words on her list.)

Teacher: “Now I’ll call on each of you to say one of the words, and then tell me how you spelled it. [Girl ♯1]? What is word number one, and how did you spell it?”

Girl ♯1: “House. H-O-U-S-E.”

Teacher: “Perfect! Very good. [Boy ♯1]? What is word number two, and how did you spell it?”

Boy ♯1: “Boat. B-O-A-T.”

Teacher: “Excellent!”

(The teacher goes on down the list, calling on each of us until she gets to me.)

Teacher: “Okay [my name]. What’s the seventh word, and how did you spell it?”

Me: “Hail. H-E-L-L.”

Teacher: *shocked!* “Spell that again?”

Me: “Okay. Hail. H-E-L-L.”

Teacher: “Are you, uh, sure that’s right?”

Me: “Why? That’s what daddy says when he hits his hand with his hammer.”

(My father has a fairly thick west Texas accent, so ‘hell’ IS pronounced like ‘hail’!)

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| Learning | July 30, 2013

(My classmate is trying to buy a drink from the vending machine. He puts in $10, but the machine just eats it without dispensing anything. This infuriates him, so he starts kicking and punching the machine.)

Classmate: “F****** MACHINE! GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK!”

(Our instructor walks in and sees this happening.)

Instructor: “Hey, hey, HEY! Stop that! You’re a grown-a** man; you shouldn’t be throwing a f****** tantrum! What the h*** is wrong with you?!”

Classmate: “I’m sorry about that, sir. I know this doesn’t justify it, but the machine ate my $10.”

Instructor: “What I was about to say is that you’re an adult; you should solve this problem like an adult. You’re in trade school for f***’s sake; use a god-d*** hammer!”

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