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Stories from school and college

Positively Paid In Fool

| Learning | March 29, 2013

(At about 10 am I get a phone call in class. I let it go to voice mail and wait until after class to check it. It was from Financial Aid, they said it was urgent and to call them back.)

Office: “[University] Financial Aid, may I have your name and ID?”

Me: “[Name and ID]. I was returning a call from earlier that said I needed to call you, and it was urgent.”

Office: “Ah, yes. Thank you for calling us back so quickly. We have a note here that says you have a balance on your account that needs to be taken care of for you to continue with classes.”

Me: “Well, how much is it?”

Office: *a few moments of silence* “You have a balance of… zero.”

Me: “That was quick. Anything else then?”

Office: “Nope. Have a nice day!”

This Professor Dean-finitely Won’t Be Back

| Learning | March 29, 2013

(I’m a student at a university that happens to have a lot of veteran students. Since I’m a writer who enjoys writing about soldiers, I’ve been to a bunch of the university’s veteran group meetings. On the first day of class in a new semester, I see a veteran I know walk in and take a seat at the back of the class. The classroom is small and there are only six rows of seats.)

Professor: “Good morning, everyone! Can you all to move up front here, please? I don’t like people sitting far away from me.”

(Everyone obligingly scoots up a row except the veteran student. From speaking with him previously, I knew that he was only comfortable in a room if his back is put to a wall.)

Professor: “You!” *pointing at the veteran student* “Move up. No student in my class sits in the back row.”

Veteran Student: “I’m really not comfortable sitting anywhere else.”

Professor: “Now you’re just being difficult. Move up or I’ll drop you from the class.”

(I catch the student veteran’s eye and he nods.)

Me: “Professor? He’s a veteran and he isn’t comfortable sitting further up. You can speak with veteran services if you’re—”

Professor: *looks over at me sternly* “Be quiet.”

(The professor then turns and points to a seat in the first row.)

Professor: *to veteran student* “Come sit here. Right now.”

Me: “Professor—”

Veteran Student: “No.”

Professor: “Fine. I’m dropping you. Give me your name.”

Veteran Student: “No.”

(The veteran student proceeds to stand up and walk towards the door.)

Veteran Student: “I refuse to be in a class with a professor as awful as you are. I’ll be dropping this class myself, thanks, and I’ll be talking to the department head while I’m at it.”

(The veteran student leaves with a nod to me, and I turn back to the professor.)

Professor: “See him? He’ll never get anywhere in life being disobedient like that.”

Me: “Excuse me? He served eight years in Afghanistan. I think he’s done more than enough with his life, including risking it to protect yours!”

(I stand and grab my stuff. On my way out, I turn back to look at her.)

Me: “By the way… his uncle is the dean.”

(The professors jaw drops. I heard she resigned a week later for ‘personal reasons.’)

Their Poo-h.D Is A Total Waste

| Learning | March 28, 2013

(We are having a debate about whether foreign intervention is necessary for third world countries to establish safety and security. A student is discussing how aid rarely comes with no strings attached and often leaves nations with very few options. We had previously mentioned the potential environmental benefits of government regulation, especially concerning toxic waste.)

Student: “… and so other nations make it so that these countries are forced to make a toxic dump off their shores—”

Professor: *giggling* “Toxic dump… Sorry. The imagery is just…” *continues giggling*

Following This Conversation Is Fruitless

| Learning | March 28, 2013

(I’m in first period at school. We’re watching the morning announcements and the school counselor has come in to watch. The following interaction occurs after the announcements end.)

Teacher: “So, what do you think?”

Counselor: *distracted* “Oh… I was just looking at your board, and it said, ‘The impeachment of Andrew Johnson’, and I was just thinking about how it had the word ‘peach’ in it.”

Teacher: *looks confused*

Counselor: “Then I thought about how it should really be ‘im-grapefruit-ment’ because grapefruits are sour and getting impeached would be a sour experience.”

Teacher: *eyes begin glazing over*

Counselor: “Actually, I don’t like peaches, but I guess they’re good.”

Teacher: *blank stare*

Extratesticular Activities

| Learning | March 28, 2013

(I work for a foreign language professor at my university. I’m sitting in the student workers’ office with another student and we’re discussing our experiences studying abroad through the school’s programs.)

Student: “The language school in France was nice because it was connected to the university there. Sometimes they hosted programs so you could hang out with the other foreigners and meet French kids from the university to practice your French with.”

Me: “The one in Berlin was nice too, but since it was just a language school, I didn’t really have a chance to meet any Germans. At least the school had programs to get the students together and—”

(My earring suddenly gets caught on my scarf.)

Me: “—f***!”

Student: *awkward pause*

Me: “Well, that came out rather differently than I’d intended.”

(I meant to say that we could get together with the other students to speak German!)