What A BS Degree

, | The Netherlands | Bigotry, School

(I’ve been helping a student from China get her books for her Master’s programme. Her English is fine, but she has a strong accent. After I’ve finished helping her, the next customer steps up.)

Customer: “If that’s how she speaks English, she’s going to have serious trouble with Dutch. She’ll be useless in class!”

Me: “Actually, her courses are all in English, so she won’t have to learn Dutch.”

Customer: “What? That’s ridiculous! They’re making all these courses in English to let lazy foreigners get in easily. What about us, hmm? We have to put up with having to speak a foreign language in our own country just so she can come here and basically get handed a place at university by the stupid management. I bet she’ll get a job here, too. Everyone seems to think it’s more prestigious to hire some foreigner than someone who actually knows the language and the culture and everything!”

Me: “… Anyway, let’s get your books. What is your major?”

Customer: “International relations.”

Lions And Tigers And Big Box Stores, Oh My

| North Georgia Mountains, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, School

(I’m a tour guide for a private college in the North Georgia mountains in a town of 9,000 people. It’s not the biggest city, but it’s the biggest within about 50 miles. A married couple from Atlanta comes to visit the college.)

Man: *nervously* “How do people typically adjust to living in the middle of nowhere?” 

Me: “I actually think it’s peaceful here in the mountains, and I’ve never heard anyone say they miss the traffic.”

(At this point, the couple sees a small green spider on the roof of the golf cart and literally jumps out of the stopped vehicle.)

Me: “Aw, he won’t hurt y’all.”

(The man hesitates three times before finally squishing the spider with his handkerchief. He cautiously climbs back in.)

Woman: “Do you have any… mountain lions here?”

Me: *in an exaggerated southern drawl* “Ain’t seen many mountain lions ’round these parts, far as I reckon.”

Man: “What about bears?”

Woman: “Panthers?”

Me: “I’m pretty sure the most we have up here is foxes and coyotes.”

(The woman gasps like she might have a heart attack while the man’s eyes get very wide. I do my best to assure them that these animals are harmless to humans and that they will likely never see on on campus, and continue with the tour.)

Woman: “How far is civilization from here?”

Me: “Well, the city is the county seat, and there’s lots to do and see downtown, and plenty of options for shopping and dining.” 

Man: “Is there a Walmart anywhere near here?”

Me: “About a 10 minute drive.”

Couple: *in unison* “HALLELUJAH! CIVILIZATION!”

D As In Duh, Part 2

| Pennsylvania, USA | Language & Words

Me: “You’ll also want to check out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  You can apply for that online if you have internet connection.”

Caller: “I do. What’s the URL?”

Me: “All right. It’s www dot ‘F’ as in ‘Frank,’ ‘A’…”

Caller: “Sorry, how do you spell that?”

Me: *confused* “…How do you spell what?”

Caller: “Effasinfrank.”

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D As In Duh