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Stories from school and college

Music Is Ageless

| Learning | March 11, 2013

(I am a 21-year-old receptionist at a music school. One evening, there is a student waiting for his lesson in the reception area.)

Me: “Hi there. How old are you?”

Student: “8 years old. How old are you?”

Me: *smiles* “How old do you think I am?”

Student: “I dunno. You look really old.”

*silence*

Student: “Yeah, you look like you’re like, 17 or something.”

Light On The Brain Cells

| Learning | March 11, 2013

(I am working in the office supplies section in late July.)

Customer: “Excuse me, miss, do you have any more of these pencil boxes?”

Me: “Right over here.” *points*

Customer: “Great. I need 29 more. I’m a first grade teacher.”

Me: “That’s nice of you.”

Customer: “There’s only five left in the blue.”

Me: “I apologize, but we do have 20 black ones left. Except for the color, they are identical.”

Customer: “I can’t get black for first graders. It will scare them.”

Me: “Okay. Well, you can try the back to school area, but I doubt they’ll have more than one or two blue left. You’ll have to keep coming back throughout the summer to get 29 more in the blue.”

Customer: “Okay, thank you.” *scoots off to school section*

(Not 15 minutes later, the customer is back putting black cases in her cart.)

Me: “I see you decided to get the black ones after all; excellent choice.”

Customer: “I know. Now I have to cover them in stickers so the children won’t be scared!”

Has A Plain Brain

| Learning | March 11, 2013

(My younger sister is in high school, and I often pick her up. I overhear a conversation when I am waiting.)

Student #1: “I’m gonna go get a burger… wanna come?”

Student #2: “Over at [fast food] place? Nah, they always mess up my order when I go.”

Student #1: “What do they do?”

Student #2: “I always order it plain but then they put nothing on it.”

Student #1: “You dumba***, that’s what plain means!”

Student #2: “No, it isn’t! Plain means a plain burger! You know, how they’re supposed to make it. No changes.”

Student #1: “I can’t believe I’m friends with you.”

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.”)

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!”