Refuses To (El)Bow Out

, , , , | Learning | December 8, 2017

(I’m at a music summer camp. While leaving one of the nightly concerts, I see a girl, who I recognize as a French horn player from my orchestra program, on the ground, and a staff member next to her. I quickly realize that she is injured. As I’m walking over to ask if she’s okay, I hear her listing where she’s hurt.)

Girl: “Both knees… uhh… oh! And my elbow.”

(The staff member next to her shines her phone’s flashlight around, and I see that her knees are both scraped and bleeding. I don’t see her elbow.)

Me: *reaching her* “Hey, are you okay?”

Girl: “Ah, yeah! …Probably.”

(Seeing my discomfort with that answer, she proceeds to wiggle her fingers and put weight on her left hand, then looks back up at me.)

Girl: “Oh, yeah, I can still play.”

(Note that she didn’t check her knees at all or mention how she was, outside of playing horn. Well, good to know she had her priorities straight.)

 

You’re Failing At Tutoring

, , , , | Learning | December 7, 2017

(I work as a tutor at a tuition centre. Our main feature is that we offer personalised learning on a student level, as each student has a unique mindset and thinking style. Students can either come to one of the few centres or be taught at home. The price is higher to be taught at home, but they can skip the centre’s pre-lesson activities. The bulk of parents sending their kids to these centres are from the low to middle-class end of the income spectrum, because the big boss, having come from humble beginnings himself, offers huge discounts. This happens rather frequently to the receptionists, who speak the most with the parents.)

Receptionist: “So, you are unhappy that your child is not improving.”

Parent: “Yes! I didn’t pay such a high price and send him so far away from home just to get nothing!”

Receptionist: “According to what his subject coaches and the student said, he improved from Fs in his class tests to a high C in his post-break exam. That is quite an achievement.”

Parent: “Well, he should be getting As or at least top in his class!”

Receptionist: “Ma’am, that’s impossible. He was failing all of his tests before he started here. It is very unlikely that he can jump to an A. It takes time—”

Parent: “Ugh! You’re useless! Anyway, what’s with all these ‘pre-lesson’ activities? They don’t help my child learn at all!”

Receptionist: “Well, we can always skip those activities by having the coach come to your home—”

Parent: “Well, do it then!”

Receptionist: “—for another $75 a month to cover their transportation fees.”

Parent: “Well, I guess it’s fine if my child continues going here. Just do less of the pre-lesson what-nots!”

Pulled That Answer Out Of Her Rectum

, , , | Learning | December 7, 2017

(I am in biology. The teacher is asking questions.)

Teacher: “Do you have the right answer, [Classmate]?”

Classmate: “I do. It’s Endoplasmic Rectum.”

(Cue the laughter.)

Teacher: “Wow, ‘endoplasmic rectum?’ I usually have to worry about organism, not endoplasmic reticulum!”

Boy Is That Teacher In Trouble

, , , , | Learning | December 7, 2017

(Just a few months ago, two students in my year at school came out as transgender. Both were born female but identify as male, and they have been easily accepted by almost everyone. They have had their genders changed on the school registers, and their feminine names altered to the masculine ones they prefer. Aside from the odd bully, they never seem to get into much trouble, until our school pulls a small group of students out of classes for a special workshop and talk. The two trans students and about 30 others, myself included, show up at the hall where the talk is going to take place. The teacher greets us in the usual manner you would expect and ushers us inside. That’s when things start to go downhill.)

Teacher: “Hello ladies! As most of you know, National Women in Engineering Day was last week and [Name of School] has picked you guys to participate in a workshop that we hope will encourage you to take a career in engineering when you leave school.”

(By this point, many of us are glancing towards the two trans students. They look extremely uncomfortable, obviously wondering if there has been some kind of mix up.)

Teacher: “You girls are the highest performing students in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) out of your year, so we feel you are more than capable of completing these tasks we have selected.”

(The two students stand, starting to leave, as there is no real reason for them to be there.)

Teacher: “[Student #1], [Student #2]! Where are you going?”

Student #1: “To class, Mrs. [Teacher].”

Teacher: “No! Sit back down, and be respectful!”

Student #2: “But miss, this is a workshop about women in engineering and we’re—”

Teacher: *interrupting* “I know what you girls are! Stop with this ridiculous nonsense about being boys. You are girls, you were born girls and you will always be girls.”

(Everyone in the entire hall has their jaws on the floor. The trans students look understandably upset, while the teacher is simply glaring at them. None of us know what to do, until another student stands up, and stalks out of the room. There is silence for a few minutes. The student returns with one of the deputy heads.)

Deputy Head: “Mrs. [Teacher]. May I have a word with these students?”

(The teacher looks smug and nods.)

Deputy Head: “What Mrs. [Teacher] has just said is absolutely incorrect. Girls can be boys, and boys can be girls. I hope that none of you will support the nonsense view that she has just tried to teach you. Mrs. [Teacher], my office. Now.”

Has A Head For Trouble

, , , , | Learning | December 6, 2017

(It is the early 1990s and we are getting a tour of a prosthetic limb plant as part of a group experience for school. Ages range from six to ten.)

Rep: “Anyone have any questions about [prosthetic]? Yes, you in the back.”

Six-Year-Old: “Do you make prosthetic heads?”

Rep: “Oh, sweetie, no. We don’t make prosthetic heads.”

Six-Year-Old: “But why not?”

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