Absent-Mindedly Kidnapped

, , , | Learning | March 12, 2018

(I am a student at an adult learning centre, which is basically high school for adults. Unlike traditional high school, this school’s attendance policy is very strict, and one of my teachers is explaining this to the class.)

Teacher: “Here at [School], you are only allowed up to three absences without notice. If you miss more than three days without prior notice, you will be automatically withdrawn from my class. If you know you will be missing a class on a test day, you need to arrange an alternate test day with me.”

Me: “What if there are extenuating circumstances where I have to miss more than three days, including test dates, but I’m unable to give you any prior notice?”

Teacher: “In what circumstance could that ever be possible?”

Me: “Well, what if I got kidnapped? Even if my abductor gives me a phone call, I don’t think I would use it on school.”

Teacher: “Oh, that won’t be a problem. I’ll probably see you on the news, and I will accept that as notice.”

(It was foolish of me to challenge her wit. Many teachers handle bratty kids just fine, so a smart-mouthed adult is probably nothing in comparison.)

Your Reasoning Doesn’t Add Up

| Basingstoke, England, UK | Learning | February 22, 2017

(Due to issues with my family, when it came to time to do my GCSEs — the last exams of mandatory education in the UK — I did far worse than expected. A few years later I’m trying to get the important two, maths and English, covered. English goes fine, but I had for some time strongly suspected that I have a learning disability called dyscalculia which affects, among other things, my ability with numbers and basic mathematics. My teacher has me see a specialist who confirms this. Then we have this conversation once we’d moved onto the maths.)

Teacher: “Hm, well, it seems like a lot of the problems you’re having are because you don’t know your times tables.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I told you that I’ve never been able to learn them.”

Teacher: “Well, we need to get you to learn them. Once you learn them, you’ll be able to do division with no trouble, and-”

Me: “Uh, I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Believe me, I’ve tried to learn. Unless you have a magic wand-”

Teacher: “No, it’s fine. Here—” *she pulls some papers out of her folder; a times tables square and some basic times tables number puzzles* “Do these. They’ll help you to learn them.”

Me: “I’ve used things like this before. Over and over, in fact. It doesn’t help.”

Teacher: “Give it a go. It got all of my sons to learn their times tables.”

Me: *after a long pause of being too stunned to respond* “Do your sons have DYSCALCULIA?!”

Teacher: “No, but it worked on all of them! Give it a go.”

Me: “My parents had me use these before! They. Didn’t. Work.”

Teacher: “Do them. They’ll work.”

(My parents used to lock me in my room with nothing to do until I “stop being lazy and learn the times tables” with sheets just like these. It was like trying to decipher a foreign language with no context. It worked about as well at this point as it did in my childhood. This was when I stopped trying to get a better grade. The good news is that eight years later I’m training to be a counselor,  and nobody gives a d*** about my mathematical ability!)