They Think It’s All Just A Game

, , , | Learning | March 8, 2019

(I’m part of the school’s Technical Crew, and I have to set up an information night which was expecting at least 600 parents. I show up early because I have nothing better to do, so the event is all set up and ready to go twenty minutes before the setup was intended to start. So, of course, having finished, I sit down to do homework. The teacher in charge comes in.)

Teacher: *sarcastically* “So, you’re done, are you?”

Me: “Yes, Ms. [Teacher].”

Teacher: “Really? What about the banners?”

(I look at the four banners, in perfect position.)

Me: “Right there.”

Teacher: “The computer?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but whoever has it hasn’t brought it yet.”

Teacher: “You should still be testing to see if it works!”

Me: “How am I going to test it?”

Teacher: “Well, just do your tech crew thing and fiddle around with the electronics!”

Me: “Let me get this straight. You want me to test the projector and audio, without having anything to use to test it?”

Teacher: “Just use your phone.”

Me: “…”

Teacher: “Just plug it in!”

Me: “You do know that an aux cord cannot plug into an HDMI female end, right?”

Teacher: “Uh-huh.”

Me: “Would you plug a USB into a power outlet?”

Teacher: “No, of course not!”

Me: “Well, that’s more or less what you’re asking me to do.”

Teacher: “Fine, then. Sit on your games until we get the laptop.”

(I look at the notebook with writing in it. I look at the pencil in my hand. I look at the PowerPoint open on my iPad.)

Me: “You are seeing this, right?”

Teacher: “You Year 7s think I’m stupid or something?! I know that you’re gaming!”

(She storms off, leaving me wondering how exactly a tall — 180cm — guy like me looks like a kid fresh out of primary school. Later in the evening:)

Teacher: “How are things going?”

Me: “All good, but couldn’t we leave the door open in this room? It’s so hot!”

Teacher: “You’re young. You’ll live.”

Me: “Well, what about the free food that tech crew gets at all long or hard events like this?”

Teacher: “Forget about it! We really need to make a profit!”

(Later on, I checked the sausages. They sold literally hundreds of sausages, running out of sausages that they paid 1 AUD per box and sold for 3 AUD PER SAUSAGE. I never did another event for her again, nor did any of my comrades who were with me.)


This Will Not Test Well

, , , , , | Learning | March 7, 2019

(I sit at the front by the teacher’s desk. When my fellow students come up to talk to him, it is often all too easy to overhear, even though I try to ignore them. The day after a test, we’ve gotten them back and spend about half the fifty-minute period going over missed problems. First, we cover those a lot of people got wrong, then those people ask for help with. After we finish, we have a moment while the teacher puts a few things away and calls up the next lesson on the projector. A student comes up to him, and I witness this question.)

Student: “I missed the test yesterday. Can I make it up?”

Teacher: *incredulous look* “Not after we went over it!”

(It felt like it took all my strength not to do a physical face-palm.)

Walk Me Through It

, , , , | Learning | March 5, 2019

(I am roughly eight years old. I have never been athletically gifted, and this is an example. In gym, we are playing a type of dodgeball where one of the rules is no running with the ball. I have just caught a ball and I start to run.)

Teacher: “[My Name], no running with the ball!”

Me: “Oh, sorry!”

(I start to walk very slowly.)

Teacher: “What did I say? No running!”

Me: “Is this still running to you?”

(I start to walk even more slowly.)

Teacher: “No, you can’t run with the ball!”

(Now I’m completely confused and just stand there, looking at her.)

Teacher: “When you are holding the ball, you have to stay in place; you can’t move around.”

Me: “Oh… that’s what that means.”

Past The Statue Of Limitations

, , , , , | Learning | March 4, 2019

In Germany, it’s custom that after their finals, the graduates will play a prank on the school and teachers. In my father’s year, however, they get a new principal with no sense of humour whatsoever and they’re forbidden to do so. The graduates decide that only makes it even more fun.

The father of one of the graduates owns the local junkyard. The father of another one owns a construction company. My father’s mother has a beverage store.

They meet up with some other graduates at the junkyard on a Friday night. My father brings some crates of beer, and the construction company owner’s son brings welding equipment, angle grinders and such, and a small excavator. Someone else brings a tractor with a large trailer; it’s a fairly rural area. They then spend the night building a huge statue from junk, randomly cutting and welding things together. Before sunrise, they bring it to the school with the tractor. They dig a huge hole in the school’s front yard and cement the statue two meters deep in the ground.

When the principal discovers the statue on Monday morning, he’s furious. He gets a shovel and tries to dig it out himself. When that fails, he calls a construction company. Spoiler: The statue is still there today.

He then threatens to withhold all the graduation certificates if the culprits are not turned in, but it turns out that’s not legal. In the end, the prom is cancelled as a punishment.

But the story does not end there. Some younger students still have classes. An arts teacher decides to make the prank the subject of her next exam and asks her students to write an interpretation of the statue’s composition and the “artist’s” intentions. My father’s little sister is in her class and writes, “It was late. There was beer. They just welded together whatever they found. There was no planning beforehand and the message it’s intended to convey is ‘suck our d***s, [Principal].'” While that was 100% accurate, it was not what the teacher wanted to read, and my aunt got an F.

Every year since then, the graduates at this school have built a statue and displayed it at the schoolyard. When my cousin graduated from there a few years ago, I visited the school for the first time and she showed me their impressive “statue yard” behind the actual schoolyard. They make sure now to actually plan the statue and design it to convey a more elaborate message, though, because that arts exam has become a tradition, too.

Wolf Whistling 101

, , , , | Learning | March 3, 2019

While at university, I was going for a snack, and two of my mates were in line in front of me.

They saw a nice young woman taking a coffee, and starting making remarks about how nice she looked, loud enough to be sure that the lady heard them.

Fast forward a few minutes later. We were waiting for our new professor, and guess who it was? The nice young woman. They wrongly assumed she was a just another student.

She arrived, looked at us, saw them, paused, and smiled at them. It was the first time in my life I’d seen a black man blush. Of course, they looked sheepish, didn’t know where to hide, and were unusually quiet and calm during the whole semester.

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