Both Sound Inappropriate

, , , , | Learning | August 9, 2017

(We are talking about low-level disruption, largely because the teachers are sick of it.)

Teacher: “Off-topic discussions, teachers stroke students—”

Student: “Teachers stroke students?”

(The class laughs.)

Teacher: “Teachers SLASH students.”

Me: “Teachers slash students?”

(Now that was an off-topic discussion.)

Keeping This Partnership Civil

, , , , | Learning | August 9, 2017

(The year is 2004 and same-sex marriage is a hot topic. For some reason this is discussed in my economics class.)

Teacher: “Banning same sex marriage is not prejudice.”

(Most students let out an audible ‘What?’)

Student #1: “How is banning same-sex marriage not in anyway prejudice? It’s banning a minority from a right the majority has.”

Teacher: “It is not. For example I won’t be allowed to marry a man.”

Student #2: “That is so stupid. You’re already married.”

Teacher: “Yes, but I won’t be able to marry a man. And don’t call me stupid.”

Student #1: *now raising her voice* “You can’t marry a man now because you’re already married. These people are not allowed to marry the people they love but you are because some people a long time ago said so.”

Teacher: “Lower your voice. This discussion is over.”

Student #2: “You brought it up.”

Teacher: “ENOUGH!”

Student #1: *now practically shouting* “NO! You can’t bring this up and not defend what you say. Nothing you said makes any sense. You say the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard and you expect us to not say anything about it.”

Teacher: “Enough. Let’s move on.”

Student #1: “Gladly.”

(She gets up and leaves with Student #2 following behind her.)

Teacher: “Let’s just read for the rest of class.”

(The following week a memo was sent to classes that current events would no longer be discussed during class. Student #1 never came back to that class.)

The Cult Of The Living Skull

, , , | Learning | August 9, 2017

(My friend works as an anthropologist at a university.)

Friend: “Funny story; I was glancing through our skull models and apparently we have the cast of Charles Manson’s skull in our collection? I just thought that was an odd choice.”

(Friend thinks for a moment…)

Friend: “Or wait, maybe it’s Charles Mason. That would make more sense.”

Me: “Charles Manson isn’t dead, so I hope not.”

Friend: “That’s why I was confused. Must have been the English astronomer, then.”

The Situation Doesn’t Add Up

, , , , | Learning | August 8, 2017

(I am in my last year of school, which usually results in a relaxed teaching atmosphere because everyone who is still there really wants to learn. For the last two years of school students can choose most of their courses; however, maths is mandatory for everyone. I end up in one of those mandatory classes. Needless to say, none of the students are too interested in the subject, just trying to pass. That year we are assigned a new teacher who is pretty young and obviously excited to start his first real teaching job. On the first day of class…)

Teacher: *after his introduction, beaming at the class* “So that’s enough about myself. Now, are you excited to study some maths? Tackle those solutions!”

(Embarrassed silence follows his words. Finally, a classmate speaks up slowly:)

Classmate: “Mr. [Teacher], do you realize what sort of course this is?”

Teacher: “Sure? Year 13, Basic Maths?”

Classmate: “And… sorry to kill your buzz, but none of us chose to be here. Basically, we sort of hate maths, but we have to endure it to get our certificates.” *several nods and murmurs of agreement from the rest of the class*

Teacher: *looks taken aback and sort of crestfallen* “But… I mean… You’re all… I mean, really? But maths is fun!”

(In the end, we feel so sorry for him and his crushed hope that we come to an agreement: We’ll do the work willingly, no debating and moaning, as long as he accepts that this is certainly not ‘fun’ for us. In exchange he actually sets aside one hour per week for us to all play games together instead of doing coursework, complete with impromptu theatre or the occasional show organized by a student who was an amateur magician. It improves the mood so much that everyone puts in the work in their free time, and I actually pass the course with better grades than in the years before. At the end of the year, after grades are given and coursework completed, we have a couple lessons left with nothing to do, so we usually end up just chatting. On the last day ever, the teacher comes in and stands up proudly:)

Teacher: “Here’s to the end of my first year as a teacher. I’m happy to say you guys taught me more than I ever expected, and I want to thank you all for putting up with me and my apparently abnormal love for maths. May you all prosper in your non-scientific endeavours.”

(We all clapped and laughed. Afterwards, though, he added:)

Teacher: “Besides, I’m so f****** happy they assigned me the advanced class for next year. I’ll be with my kind again at last.”

They’re In Your Hood Now

, , , | Learning | August 8, 2017

(I am mixed-race, black and white, and my skin is visibly brown. I identify as black. I am sitting at a fairly diverse table of pre-schoolers playing with play-dough. The first kid to speak is also mixed like I am, and visibly brown.)

Kid #1: “Miss [My Name], what are those strings for?” *points to the strings on my black hoodie*

(I put up my hood and pull the strings tight a la Kenny from South Park when he gets scared, tie them off, and grin at the table of kids from my tiny remaining circle of visible face.)

Kid #2: “You look like a black person.”

(Pause.)

Me: “I AM a black person…”

Kid #1: *shocked* “You’re a black person?!”

Coworker: “So are you, [Kid #1]!”

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