Doesn’t Have That Friday Feeling

, , , , , , | Romantic | September 7, 2017

(It’s Friday, a workday in the USA. I make my wife and myself breakfast every day, typically eggs and toast.)

Me: “I have to go, I’m late.”

Wife: “Late for what?”

Me: “I still go to the 10:00 meeting. I’m late for work.”

Wife: “What?”

Me: “I work today. It’s Friday. I work on Fridays. It’s America.”

Wife: “It’s Friday?”

Me: “Yes; do you feel like it’s Saturday?”

Wife: “You served me breakfast in bed.”

Me: “But if it’s Saturday, how come you didn’t get your egg poached with salmon and capers and cheese?”

Wife: “I’m going to check.”

Me: “How come we didn’t watch Saturday morning breakfast cartoons?”

Wife: “It’s really Friday!”

Me: “You must have thought your Saturday morning really sucked.”

Some Students Should Be Sectioned

, , , , | Learning | September 7, 2017

(I teach at a large university that has over 30,000 students. Some of the introductory and GE classes are very large, containing 350 to 400 students. In addition to two smaller classes for majors [about 40 students each], I also teach one of those 400-student freshman courses. The class is divided into 15 smaller discussion sections taught by TAs. I do the lectures for the class twice a week. This exchange happens over the e-mail.)

Student: “Hi! I am in your class, and I wanted to know whether we have a quiz this Friday.”

Me: Hello. Which class are you in?”

Student: “Your Tuesday/Thursday class.”

Me: “I teach three classes that meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Which one are you in?”

Student: “I am in the history one.”

Me: “I am a professor of history. All classes I teach are about history. What is the title and number of the class you are taking with me?

Student: “Oh! I didn’t know that. It’s HST 101.”

(That’s the one with nearly 400 students in it, and the quizzes are given by TAs in their discussion sections; schedules may vary.)

Me: “Your TA is giving the quizzes, not me, so you need to ask them that.”

Student: “How do I ask my TA?”

Me: “You should probably email them.”

Student: “What’s their email?”

Me: “It’s on your syllabus. The TAs for each section are listed right below my contact information.”

Student: “But which one is mine?”

Me: “The one whose name appears next to the number of your section.”

Student: “How do I know what my section is?”

Me: *entirely losing patience at this point* “Go to your [Student Enrollment System] page and look at the courses you are enrolled in. Find HST 101. After 101, there should be another number, like 01, 02, etc. That number is your section number. Then find the name of the TA for that section on your syllabus and email them about the quiz.”

(I didn’t hear from the student or about her again until the next week’s TA meeting, when one of the TAs mentioned that she had a student finally show up in her discussion section that she hadn’t seen before, but whom she had tried to contact multiple times at the beginning of the semester because the student was not attending. The student finally showed up because a sorority sister of hers told her that there were graded quizzes in the sections. Guess who didn’t pass the class?)

You Shall Not Gate Pass

, , , , | Working | September 6, 2017

(My sister is a marine and has received orders to be stationed in Japan. I have looked up what benefits military members receive at an airport, and learned about gate passes, which are passes for military family to accompany the member to the departure gate. After my sister checks in her luggage, we ask the agent if we can receive a gate pass for our mother. We had thought only one family member was allowed to accompany my sister.)

Me: “Could we get a gate pass so that our mom can go see my sister off? She’s a member of the military and we have the deployment papers.”

Agent: “TSA is probably not going to let you in unless you have a boarding pass.”

Me: “We’re not asking for a boarding pass; we’re asking for a gate pass.”

Agent: “I can’t give you any because of the increased security. Even if I gave you one, TSA will not let you pass.”

(My sister told me to drop it and we headed back to our family. As she hugged us goodbye she started crying, frustrated about not being able to get a gate pass so that she can at least have more time to spend with our mom, so I went up to a TSA agent and asked if there was any way they would allow a gate pass. She told me that we should be able to get a gate pass from the airline agent, and that they were not responsible for giving those out. I went back to the airline check-in and found another agent that appeared to be friendlier. I asked her the same thing I asked the previous agent. She said a gate pass would be no trouble; we just needed to provide the deployment papers and an ID for whom the gate pass is being issued. I then asked my sister who she wanted to accompany her to the gate. The airline agent overheard, and told us that as long as we had proper ID, it wasn’t limited to one family member. I ran back to where our family was waiting so I could tell them the good news, and we ran back to the agent to show her all of our IDs. My mother, two brothers, my sister’s significant other, and I all ended up accompanying my sister to the gate to see her off as she boarded her plane. We had absolutely no issue going through security, and at the time we were there, the line was relatively short and quick. We managed to get through it in about 15 minutes.)

Harry Potter And The Inevitable Asylum

, , , , | Related | September 4, 2017

(I’m visiting my parents, and watching Harry Potter movies all weekend on the TV. My parents have never seen them, and my dad asks me what they’re about.)

Me: “Harry Potter is an orphan boy who lives with his aunt and uncle, who make him live in a cupboard under the stairs. He finds out that he’s a wizard and that his parents were murdered by an evil wizard named Voldemort. He goes to a school called Hogwarts where he learns magic and makes friends.”

Dad: “Oh, I thought it was about an abused kid who made up all these adventures in his head to keep himself entertained.”

Me: “…that would have been a much different story, yes. Still interesting, though!”

They Get Our Vote!

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 2, 2017

Facebook is semi-allowed at my workplace, and three of my Facebook friends are on the city council. Of those three, one also owns a pub in town.

I happen to be extremely sensitive to smells. It was a Sunday, and only two staff were on duty, a librarian and myself, so we couldn’t take breaks. I had just finished helping a super heavy smoker and was extremely sick to my stomach. After 15 minutes of terrible nausea, I posted a message to Facebook asking if someone would bring me a ginger ale, as I couldn’t leave the building and didn’t have time to call home between patrons.

Within a half hour, my councilman friend had the cooks at his pub make me homemade potato chips and brought me, not one, but two bottles of ginger ale, and two bottles of ginger beer (non-alcoholic). He took time out of his workday to help me not spend my workday throwing up.  

It’s not every person who takes time out for others, and especially not every politician.

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