Stories from school and college

You Just Got Schooled, Part 2

| Learning | March 11, 2013

(I’ve just moved to a small town, where the job market is even worse than most places. I’ve taken a job waiting tables at a small diner. I’m waiting on an older man and his wife when the following exchange takes place.)

Customer: “So, why didn’t you go to college?”

Me: “Um, I did.”

Customer: “Oh, didn’t make it?”

Me: “No. I graduated five years ago.”

Customer: “Well, I meant a real school… not like [local community college].”

Me: “Actually, I went to [Ivy League school].”

Customer’s Wife: “Oh, that’s a good school, dear!”

Customer: “So, what are you doing here?”

Customer’s Wife: “She’s trying to take your order. So stop being a jack*** and tell the nice girl what you’d like already!”

 

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You Just Got Schooled, Part 3

| Learning | March 11, 2013

(I worked in the tech repair department of computer electronics retailer. I walk up to the customer service desk to do an inspections for a coworker and a customer making a return.)

Coworker: *to me* “Hey, this customer is doing a return and we need the product inspected.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I inspect it and passively listen as the customer and coworker reminisce about the days when he was her soccer coach in a public high school a couple years back.)

Customer: “…yeah, things on the team aren’t like they used to be. With that recent rule change, they’re letting homeschoolers join our sports teams now too. The nerve of them taking positions from kids who are enrolled at the school and actually learning something! Those parents are uneducated idiots to prevent their kids from getting a good education.”

Coworker: “Wow, sounds like there are some issues to be worked out.” *looks at me* “Hey, weren’t you homeschooled?”

Me: “Yes I was, for six years into high school. My mother has a Bachelors in Teaching and father has a Bachelors in Science. I received four tech certifications before working here, and just graduated with a bachelor in Computer Information Systems.”

Customer: *stands their quietly, looking away*

Me: *to the customer* “Everything looks good. You can go ahead with the return.”

 

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Losing English Patience

| Learning | March 11, 2013

(I work at a sandwich shop across the street from a high school. I serve a lot of teachers who come over here for lunch.)

Me: “You want a turkey on white with tomato? That’s [price].”

Customer #1: “Oh, and can I have a bottle of water?”

Me: “‘Course!”

Customer #1: *scoffs* “I can’t believe you just said that. As an English teacher, I think I should tell you that saying that isn’t proper English.”

Me: *not sure what to say* “Um… sorry?”

Customer #1: “There you go again! Those are fragments, not complete sentences! All the other teachers who come in here would be ashamed.”

(The customer behind her speaks up.)

Customer #2: “Yeah, well, I’m a math teacher, and trust me, we don’t care.”

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Time To Teach Time Travel

| Learning | December 29, 2012

(I am a substitute teacher. This takes place on Picture Day, where all the kids go with their homeroom teachers to have school pictures taken. After about a quarter of my students have sat for their portraits and are sitting quietly near me while they wait for their classmates to finish, the principal comes in to the room.)

Principal: “You need to take the students who are finished back to your classroom. They can’t just loiter in here.”

Me: “But, I thought I wasn’t supposed to leave any student unattended.”

Principal: “That’s right.”

Me: “So, I have to walk each student, as they are finished, back to my classroom?”

Principal: “Yes.”

Me: “And, then, return here to escort the next student?”

Principal: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll do that.”

(I proceed to escort the 6-8 students who were finished back to my classroom. I then return to the cafeteria, where portraits are being taken. Just then, the principal walks in, seemingly livid.)

Principal: “What did I tell you about leaving students unattended?”

Me: “I’m confused. I thought I was supposed to escort each student back to my classroom, and then return here for the next student.”

Principal: “Yes! That’s right!”

Me: “But, to do that, the students in the classroom would be left unattended.”

Principal: “Students should NEVER be unattended!”

Me: “Then, should I stay in the classroom and tell students to just return to my room when the portraits are done?”

Principal: “What are you thinking?! Students should never be left unattended in the classroom, in the cafeteria, or in the hallways.”

Me: “Let me see if I am getting this right: I am supposed to be in the cafeteria throughout the time the portraits are being taken so the kids aren’t unattended in the cafeteria. I am also supposed to escort each and every student back to my classroom so they aren’t unattended in the hallways. Once I take a student back to the classroom, I’m supposed to stay there so that they aren’t left unattended in my room. Is that right?”

Principal: “YES! God, why is that so hard to figure out? At this rate, it’ll be a miracle if you don’t flunk out of your master’s program.”

Me: “So, tell me, how am I supposed to be in the cafeteria, in my classroom, and escorting students in the hallway all at the same time?”

Principal: “You are the teacher. That is your job to figure out. Now, get it done!” *storms off*

(I did my best to bend the laws of physics and reality to accomplish his directive, but it didn’t work. In the end, I ended up having to leave the students unattended in the cafeteria, where at least the adult photographer and school secretary were present. At the end of the day, I was relieved from my position as a long-term substitute teacher for “Endangering the safety of students by leaving them unattended.”)

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In Need Of Hire Education

, , , | Learning | December 1, 2012

(At the fast food restaurant where I work, most of my coworkers are in high school.)

Manager: *to Coworker* “I need you to stay late and close. [Another Coworker] called in sick.”

Coworker: “I can’t. I have to study for a test I’m taking tomorrow.”

Manager: “But I need you to stay. What’s more important, school or this job?”

Coworker: *stunned* “Finishing high school is more important!”

Manager: “Fine, have it your way. But with that attitude, you’ll never amount to much!”

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