Unintended Condescendences

| Learning | July 10, 2013

(Note: our Global Studies teacher has been treating us like we’re stupid all year.)

Teacher: “Today we will be discussing ‘unintended consequences.’ Can anyone tell me what an unintended consequence is?”

(The class collectively rolls their eyes; no one says anything.)

Me: *sarcastically* “Uh… consequences that are not intended?”

Teacher: “Exactly right! Can you repeat that for those who weren’t listening?”

Me: “…”

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Laziness Can Be A Glitter Pill To Swallow

| Learning | July 10, 2013

(Our math class is divided into groups for an assignment where we have to take clippings from the newspaper. I am the only girl in the group. Near the end of the assignment, I realize that the guys haven’t kept notes about where they found their articles.)

Me: “Okay, so we’ve got our problems done, but we need to go back and find the articles so we can do citations.”

Guy #1: “Oh, we’ll just make something up. It’s not like she’s going to check or anything.”

Guy #2: “Yeah, don’t worry about it.”

Me: “Well, I’d rather have the correct citations, but if you can make them seem believable, I guess we can make that work…”

(Our next meeting is the day before the assignment is due. None of the citations are done. Note that I volunteered to put everything together at the end.)

Me: “I thought you guys were going to make citations for these.”

Guy #2: “Well, we figured since we were going to make them up anyway, you could just do it when you put everything together.”

Me: “But I don’t have time to make up all of your citations. I don’t even know what papers these are from!”

Guy #1: “Well then just leave it blank.”

Me: “But—”

Guy #1: “I’ve got stuff to do today. Are we done?”

Me: “No! We need to figure this out!”

Guy #1: “Well, good luck with that.”

Guy #2: “Yeah, see ya!”

(I spend all night creating citations for every article. When it comes time to put everything together, I decide to pick the most girly binder I own: pastel rainbow with glitter. When I get to class, I put the binder on the professor’s desk before the guys come in. She calls us up after class.)

Professor: “So, you all looked this over before you turned it in?”

Guy #1: “Yep. It was a group effort.”

Professor: “And you agreed to the rainbow, glitter binder?”

Guy #1: “…Yeah.”

Professor: “Well then. I have to say, it certainly stands out from the others.”

(The professor called them on their lie. I got an A on the project—they did not.)

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Outsourcing 101

| Learning | July 10, 2013

(I am a secretary to the department chair, who is in her office. A student comes in.)

Student: “Hey, sorry, do you know where I can find Professor Aaronson?”

Me: “I’m sorry, who?”

Student: “Professor Aaronson. I’m in his every class twice a week. I couldn’t reach him by phone, and I can’t find his office.”

Me: “What course does he teach?”

Student: “Modern American Drama. Lit 317.”

(I look up the class, but it’s taught by Professor [name]. He has been with the university for 20 years and is well-known to all in the department. I tell the department chair, who calls the professor but gets no response. Later, she sits in on his class and returns with an odd expression.)

Me: “So, what was going on?”

Department Chair: “Professor [name] wasn’t there. He paid someone named Aaronson a fraction of his salary to teach his courses for him. I can’t find him, and Aaronson said he had been told it was all official and approved by the board.”

(I never met “Professor” Aaronson, and Professor [name] was fired, but props for coming up with an ingenious scheme to sub-let your own job!)

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Getting Them Who-oked

, | Learning | July 10, 2013

Teacher: “Draw a picture of a spaceship.”

(Ten minutes later, the teacher walks around the classroom. The majority of students have drawn round flying saucers or Star Wars-type spaceships. However, one student has drawn a refrigerator.)

Teacher: “A refrigerator? That’s most certainly not a spaceship!”

Student: “Well, if the TARDIS, which is both a spaceship and time machine, looks like a police box, why can’t a spaceship look like a refrigerator?”

Teacher: *confused*

(This teacher didn’t know about Doctor Who but after this incident she got hooked. Same as some of the other students!)

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The Right Answer Requires The Write Question

| Learning | July 9, 2013

(A student calls Student Administration with a complex question.)

Me: “Okay I’m going to give you some details to write down. Do you have a pencil handy?”

Student: “No… uh… I just have this pen here. Hang on; I’ll be right back!”

Me: “No, wait. Wait! Wait!”

(It’s too late. I spend the next three minutes listening to the student scramble around his home and calling out to his girlfriend, desperately looking for a pencil. Finally he comes back to the phone.)

Student: “I’m really sorry, but I can’t find a pencil. I’ve only got this pen. I’m gonna have to call you back!”

Me: “No wait! Wait! Wait!”

Student: *click*

(Now I ask, “Do you have something to write with?”)

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