Never Free Of Unit Three

, , , , | Learning | June 19, 2017

Teacher: “There will be three units to complete. Unit 1 is weighted at 40% and Unit 2 is weighted at 60%.”

(Long silence.)

Me: “Does that mean Unit 3 is optional?”

Teacher: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Is Unit 3—”

Teacher: “Are you talking back to me?”

Me: “I’m asking you a question.”

Teacher: “It sounds like you’re talking back to me.”

Me: “…”

Student: “So is it?”

Teacher: “Detention! You and [My Name]!”

(We never found out if the ethereal Unit 3 was optional.)

1 Thumbs
  • Paul Nieuwkamp

    Great, another teacher who is pissed off their students are smarter than they are…

  • Lord Circe

    Am I talking back to you? Uh, no. If I was talking back to you, I’d be saying something about how you are such a dried-up old raisin of a has-been, who ought to have been thrown out years ago to make way for a newer model, given that you are obviously too utterly ignorant to teach kindergartners how to use Play-Doh, much less teach anything of substance.

    If I’m going to get in trouble for “talking back”, then I’ll darn well do the thing properly.

    • Kelly Luper

      This is pretty much why I got detention with one particular teacher in middle school. Frequently.

      Of course I ended up in her classes three periods a day (out of seven.)

    • Jenna

      Matt must have missed this comment. Bet he’d like it as much as I do!

  • Amber Wilkinson

    My sister once got detention for insisting that the plural of “person” is “people”. She looked it up in the dictionary and took it to the teacher for proof, too. This was in first grade.

    • Jackie Fauxe

      They have detention in first grade? That’s terrible.

      Also, while your sister was obviously correct, it is worth remembering that “persons” is a plural of “person” too–“persons of interest”, for example.

      • Amber Wilkinson

        To the best of my knowledge, “persons” is used for legal work. For general purposes, it’s “people”. I could be wrong. But when you’re teaching a group of small children, it’s “people”. (M-W suggests that “persons” is for referring to multiple individuals when speaking of them as individuals, such as “missing persons”.)

        • Jackie Fauxe

          I agree, and I wasn’t trying to say that your sister was wrong; I just wanted to remind people that “persons” is used in some circumstances too.

        • Rebecca Jones

          Makes sense as an explanation. I can’t for the life of me remember what explanation I was given before (I know I was given one) but that’s as good as any I suppose.

          They use it at the airport too.

        • Similar to why I wasn’t really annoyed at my elementary school teachers who told us to never start a sentence with “because,” even though we learned otherwise when we got to high school, because it’s really difficult for elementary kids to know how to properly write a sentence that starts with “because.”

          • Kumajiro

            I was part of the “Because” club in fourth grade. Because I proved I could correctly start a sentence with the word “because”, I was allowed to do so on assignments. There weren’t many of us. (On the other side, I never got to join the “Pen” club, which was for people with good grades in cursive writing. They all got cool pens when they joined.)

          • That sounds pretty neat. We didn’t have official recognitions like that in my school, but I got to be in a sort of “Doodle” club in that, because I was getting my work done just fine and doing well on tests, I was allowed to doodle in my notebooks in classes where the teachers were usually pretty strict about it. A classmate even complained once, and the teacher pointed out to him that the reason HE wasn’t allowed to doodle all during class was because he wasn’t getting his work done.

    • Robert Morson

      I had an English teacher in junior high school who marked me off for spelling because I spelled “cannot” as a single word with no space. Finding the word in the dictionary did not change her mind.

      • Difdi

        I once appealed a ruling like that to the Principal. That is, after all, part of a Principal’s job, and it beats paperwork.

    • datawog

      My first grade teacher gave me detention for reading a book during recess.

      • Amber Wilkinson

        Wow. That’s… special.

      • Siirenias

        I never got in trouble for reading. I did get in trouble for not studying my assigned books because my books were a better story.

  • Margrete Sonnenberg

    I got yelled at for talking back when I asked what movie we were watching

    • Trinity Morningstar


    • kaninefat

      Now, if the teacher had yelled at you for not paying attention I would have understood.

    • Kitty

      My math/physics teacher snapped at me for grinning in class once. I wasn’t talking or anything, I just grinned… it’s what I do sometimes. And she told me to shut up, so I retorted that she can’t tell me to shut up if I haven’t said anything. (We had a mutual hatred for each other. And that wasn’t the first or last time I had to tell the principal about her behavior towards students)

    • Ronald M Bisnett

      One of my favorite moments was when my best friend burped during a study hall in 5th or 6th grade. He said “excuse me” right after, but got detention for not saying it as loudly as he burped. Because, obviously, there’s NO WAY he would have received detention for loudly shouting an “excuse me” across the room. Not at all.

      • Difdi

        Yeah, but that’s thinking inside the box. Outside of box thinking is that he has been ORDERED to shout in study hall if he ever burps again.

        Can you tell I gave my teachers gray hairs in school? =)

  • Christine Wood

    I’m going to say yes.

  • Pierre Senninger

    Was that teacher Dolores Umbridge by any chance?

    • godzillahomer

      Nah, this is non-magical school

      toads are only allowed in the biology classroom

      • Vulpis

        …Unless they have a teaching degree, apparently.

    • James Samuelson

      I must not tell lies.

  • Well, maybe not before, but I’d sure be tempted to talk back after that.

  • Denton Young

    Sounds like the principal needs to fire the teacher and replace him with one that can do math.

  • Souless night

    Have a nice power trip see you next fall

  • Allan

    The “teacher” s clearly an idiot.

    • allahboleh

      Aaaand homeschooling gets another point

  • Kitty

    “Are you talking back to me?”
    Yes. Now, answer my question.

  • Scot MrSpellcheck Rogers

    Obviously a maths class. 😉

  • Ronald M Bisnett

    I had a History professor in college who made a list of all the mistakes we’d made on our first paper and spent an entire class going over the list. The highlights: She marked a word as wrong because she didn’t know what it meant. She insisted ‘state’ does not and cannot EVER refer to a national government. She also said a transitive verb was intransitive.

    I really wanted to anonymously sneak some corrections into her mailbox, but it was really hard to find a time when she was away and the history department’s office was empty. She seemed like the vindictive type, so there was no way I was going to risk getting caught.

  • allahboleh

    Did you just assume that unit’s weighting!?

  • Silent Hunter

    Crap like this is why I started using a micro-cassette recorder in school. Then I would just refuse to show up for detention, and play the tape to my parents.

  • Harold Wagner

    I hate adults who do this. Apparently kids aren’t allowed to ask questions and parents/teachers are never wrong.

    • 😸Moon😸

      Chat Noir:*Facepalm*

    • Huck Perry

      and that’s why today’s adults are crazy, they was not allowed to ask when they was kids so they grew up and saying “I know better!” or something.. :p

  • heatherjasper

    One of my teachers marked me off in a spelling test for not spelling archaeology as archeology. I’ve always seen the second a in there, so I don’t know where she got her spelling.

  • Mad Hatter

    I never understand this reaction from teachers. I’m sure they think the kid is being a smarty-pants, but you need to give them the benefit of the doubt. A simple solution: “I’m sorry, Johnny, but I’m not following you. We need to move on, so let’s discuss it after class.”

  • Ace_of_Judea

    (with as much attitude as possible) Yes, that’s generally how conversations work: you talk, then I talk back. Now, is the third unit optional or not, you stupid crow?