The Gay Gatsby

, , , , , , , , , | Learning | January 9, 2018

(We’re studying “The Great Gatsby” in English. It might not be explicitly stated, but everyone comes to the same conclusion about one of the character’s sexualities.)

Me: “[Teacher], is Nick Carraway supposed to be gay?”

Teacher: *shocked* “I don’t think so. What makes you ask?”

Me: “The way he’s always describing Gatsby’s beauty…”

Student #1: “And the way that Daisy’s supposed to be really hot, but his only comment about her is that she has a nice voice.”

Student #2: “And the way that he’s supposed to be attracted to Jordan, and he describes her and makes her sound really masculine.”

Me: “And why did he end up in a bedroom in New York with that guy in his underwear… Mr. McKee or something?

Teacher: “Well, it’ll be an interesting topic to think about for your final essay. Now, let’s get back on track.

(By chance, we hit another paragraph with Nick describing Gatsby during the lesson.)

Teacher: *reading out loud* “’There was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promise of life…’”

(The entire class begins to smile and raise our hands.)

Teacher: “Not a word. From any of you. Not one.”

“I Need A Book. It’s Book-Like.”

, , , , | Right | December 27, 2017

(I work in a shop that sells books, stationery supplies, magazines, and other things. Whilst I have some knowledge of books, my department is stationery, so I know very little about our book stock. The colleague who looks after books is on holiday. An older gentleman walks in, glances at the books for a few minutes, then approaches the counter.)

Customer: “I’m looking for a book…”

Me: “Okay, not a problem!”

Customer: “…but I don’t know the name or author.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I can’t really help unless I have something to go on. I need something to put in to our search engine.”

Customer: “Oh, well, it’s about…” *describes vague generic plot that could relate to any number of books*

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t take care of books, so I can’t just pick out a book with only a description of the plot.”

Customer: *scowling, snaps* “Well, this has been a waste of time!”

(He stormed out, leaving me thoroughly confused and thinking, yes, indeed, it was a waste of my time.)

Pink Hats Off To Reading

, , , , , , | Learning | December 22, 2017

(I am about five, and my class is asked to write a story about a sheep being sheared. I am an avid reader and have already decided that I want to become an author, so the story I write is about ten times the length of everyone else’s and briefly mentions that the sheep wears a pink hat. A few weeks later the teacher brings this story up at parents’ evening.)

Teacher: “So, I am a bit concerned about this story. It just seems too fanciful.”

Mum: “Well, she’s five. She followed your instructions and wrote a good story. I don’t see the issue with saying the sheep wore a hat.”

Teacher: “It shows she needs to read more; she should have grown out of this.”

Mum: “Again, she’s five. She also reads every night, so I don’t see how she can read more.”

Teacher: “You shouldn’t let her read all those books. Give her a newspaper, instead. She’ll never do well in English if she keeps reading those books.”

(Thankfully, my parents ignored her advice and continued to let me read what I wanted. Several years later, when I was about nine, I actually had to be put in a class myself for English as I was reading at a high school level. What teacher tells parents not to let their child read books?)

Last Flight To Mordor Now Departing From Gate Bree

, , , , , | Friendly | December 18, 2017

(The other day I was driving in my car, listening to an interview on the radio. The interviewer was talking to a singer who was coming to perform in New Zealand. I can’t remember who she was, but I will never forget the interview:)

Singer: “Now, who am I talking to here? Is this Australia or New Zealand?”

Radio Host: “You’re talking to New Zealand, and we’re looking forward to you coming out here!”

Singer: “New Zealand! Oh, my. I can’t wait to visit. I have never been before, and I won’t have much time, but I’m determined to see an orc.”

Radio Host: “A… I’m sorry, an orc?”

Singer: “Obviously it would have to be in captivity. I wouldn’t want to run across one in the wild!”

Radio Host: *playing along* “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but orcs are extinct.”

Singer: “Awww, really? That’s so disappointing! You don’t have any, not even in captivity?”

Radio Host: “No, we wiped them out. They weren’t very nice. Sorry.”

Singer: “Well, that’s a shame. Can you still visit parts of Middle Earth?”

Radio Host: “That you can do. Make sure you include Hobbiton on your tour!”

(After that, the host changed the subject to the singer’s latest album. But she was so sincere about the orcs, and sounded so truly disappointed to find out she would not be able to see one, that I’m not sure to this day whether she was kidding or not!)

Wish This Teacher Was Like An ‘E’ At The End

, , , | Learning | December 14, 2017

(I’m in eighth grade, teaching a kindergartner to read. Usually, when she gets to a word she doesn’t know, it goes like this:)

Me: “Sound it out. What’s the first syllable?”

Student: “P… pee… rate?”

Me: “So this ‘I’ is a little tricky. It makes the ‘eye’ sound. The ‘A’ in this case makes the ‘uh’ sound, and the ‘E’ is at the end, which means it’s…”

Student: “Silent!”

Me: “That’s right! Can you try again?”

Student: “P…pie…rut? Oh! Pirate!”

(Today, however, I am being supervised. When the student gets to a word she doesn’t know, it goes like this:)

Student: “A…arrh…”

Supervisor: *sharply* “Arrow!”

Student: “Oh… sorry…”

(At various points I try to intervene, but it goes like this:)

Student: “Cap… cap…”

Me: “You’ve got the first syllable right! What do you think the next syllable sounds like?”

Supervisor: “Just tell her already! There’s no point in her trying to figure it out for herself!”

(I hate this teacher.)

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