Gotta Hand It To This Student

| Learning | May 31, 2013

(I’m a university professor and I know from experience that students will do anything to make their papers seem longer. As such, I have very strict formatting requirements. The following exchange happens when students are turning in a short one-page essay. One of my students hands me a handwritten essay on a piece of notebook paper.)

Me: “Woah, wait just a second. What is this?”

Student: “That’s my essay!”

Me: “What?! This is unacceptable! This is in no way even close to the right format.”

Student: “But it’s one page long.”

Me: “I specifically stated 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.”

Student: “You mean you wanted it TYPED?”

(Well, she got me there. Leave it to college students to find any loophole imaginable. I took it for granted that they would know that universities expect typed essays. Maybe she went to Hogwarts?)

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She Beat Him To The Punch

| Learning | May 30, 2013

(There is a bully in the grade four class. He picks on younger children, and teachers refused to intervene. Then, one day at recess…)

Bully: “Hey [new grade one girl], wanna fight?”

Grade One Girl: “Okay, sure!”

(She punches him hard in the stomach. He starts to cry, and runs away looking for a teacher.)

Bully: “Teacher! [Grade one girl] punched me in the stomach!”

(The younger students on playground began laughing and cheering “hooray for [grade one girl]!”. The bully lost his power after that.)

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An Offtweet Sense Of Humor

| Learning | May 30, 2013

Professor: “So, in the prisoner’s dilemma, are the two prisoners allowed to communicate with each other?”

Student: “No.”

Professor: “That’s right. They take away their cell phones so they can’t tweet ‘I’m in prison LOL!'”

(Crickets.)

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Grammar Unleashed

, | Learning | May 30, 2013

(My Korean students have started developing a habit of adding “was” and “were” to any past tense statement.)

Me: “‘I walk home.’ The past is…?”

Student: “I was walked home!”

Me: “No, it’s ‘I walked home.'”

Student: “I was walked home?”

Me: “Hmm. Let me try something.”

(I draw a picture of a student walking along the sidewalk and turn back to the class.)

Me: “I walked home.”

(I draw a leash coming from the student’s neck to the hands of a larger drawn person.)

Me: “I was walked home.”

(The class gets a bit flustered and giggles at the idea of being walked like a dog.)

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Two Wrongs Do Not Fake A Red Light

| Learning | May 29, 2013

(A student is texting during my Spanish class.)

Teacher: “What on Earth is so important that you have to text about it during my class?!”

Student: “Illegal car parts.”

Teacher: “What?!”

Student: “I’m getting a little black box that will stop cops from tracking when I run a red light. And if they search my car, they won’t find it.”

(I expect the teacher to be horrified that the student is admittedly buying something illegal in order to get away with further law breaking. Instead, she looks fascinated!)

Teacher: “They definitely won’t find it?”

Student: “Right.”

Teacher: “So I won’t get arrested?”

Student: “Nope.”

Me: “[Teacher’s name], are you seriously considering buying one of these things?!”

Teacher: “Well, yes, [my name], because [student] says I won’t get caught! Now seriously where do I buy one? I run red lights all the time!”

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