Getting Personally Annoying

| OH, USA | Learning | July 23, 2017

(My friend has bad anxiety so I call up financial aid to ask a question for him.)

Worker: “Financial aid office. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I have a question. If a student’s GPA falls too low to be eligible financial aid is it possible to raise your GPA and become eligible again?”

Worker: “What’s the student number?”

Me: “Well, I am not the student. It’s just a general question. Can you become re-eligible?”

Worker: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I cannot help you without your student number.”

Me: *sigh* “Okay.” *gives number*

Worker: “So, what is the problem?”

Me: “If a student’s GPA falls too low to be eligible for financial aid, is it possible to raise your GPA and become eligible again?”

Worker: “Your GPA is fine. You are eligible for financial aid.”

Me: “No. I am asking for someone else.”

Worker: “Oh…” *pause* “…what’s the student number?”

Me: “It’s a general question. Can’t you just tell me if it’s possible?”

Worker: “I need a student number.”

Me: “Ooookay.” *gives friends number*

Worker: “Uhm… what’s the name?”

Me: *gives friend’s obviously male name*

Worker: “…and you are calling pretending to be him or…?”

Me: “No. I’m calling for him to find out if it’s possible to become re-eligible.”

Worker: “I cannot give out personal information to anyone but the student.”

Me: “Yes, that’s fine. I don’t want any of his information. I just want to know—” *repeats question*

Worker: “We take privacy here VERY seriously. You cannot pretend to be another student; I will not give you ANY of his information.”

Me: “I’m just trying to ask a general yes-or-no question.”

Worker: “I can only discuss this WITH the student. He will have to call himself or come in person to discuss his personal account.”

Me: “Fine. Ok. Whatever.” *click*

Grade ‘A’ For Chutzpah

| CA, USA | Learning | July 22, 2017

(The semester is just over, and I have assigned final grades for the course I teach. One of the students, despite missing about 30% of the classes, manages to pull a C-. The day the grades are submitted, I get an e-mail from this Student:)

Student: “Hi, Professor [My Name]. I see that you gave me a C-. I know I missed a lot of classes this semester, and I was late with the paper, but this is a General Education class, and I really need an A in it. I need to bring up my GPA. I want to switch my major to [major], but they don’t take any students with less than 2.5 GPA, so I really, really, need an A in your class. Thank you in advance. [Student].”

My Reply: “Dear [Student], in this class, you get what you earned, which is a C-. I hope you can bring your GPA up next semester. Best of luck to you.”

(You’ve got to admire the chutzpah, though.)


| Austin, TX, USA | Learning | July 21, 2017

(I’m sitting in an education class for education majors waiting for the class to start and overhear this conversation in front of me between two girls from a sorority.)

Girl #1: “So what major are you?”

Girl #2: “I’m an education major.”

Girl #1: “No way! Me too!”

(A third girl sits down from the same sorority.)

Girl #2: “So what’s your major?

Girl #3: “Oh, I’m an education major.

Girl #1: “No way! Us, too! That’s so cool!

(I’m so dumbfounded by this conversation that I relay it to my mom.)

Me: “Mom, weren’t you in that sorority?”

Mom: “Yeah, but even then they were known for beauty, not brains. I’m pretty sure they let me in just to boost the overall GPA.”

A Very Testing Set Of Circumstances

| FL, USA | Learning | July 20, 2017

(My wife has resumed working on a Master’s degree. The last time she was at it, the deal with the school was any grade below 75% was considered failing. She had surgery twice during a difficult semester and got a 73.7 in one class; the instructor refused to let her do any work to improve it. Now the school requires a minimum 80% in each class, and now her employer is paying tuition but will cease assistance and make her pay it back if she gets below an 80%. This occurs in the class she “failed” last time. All assignments are completed in an online system called Blackboard. The final exam is almost half the total grade.)

Instructor Notes: “Download the exam and work it on your computer, then upload your file when done. This exam is timed. The system timestamps when you download and when you upload. You must upload no more than three hours after you download. If you’re late turning in, I won’t even look at it. If you email me your exam instead of uploading to Blackboard, I won’t even look at it.”

(She downloads the exam, and I start a timer for her. After she finishes…)

Wife: “How am I on time?”

Me: “You have a bit more than 20 minutes left.”

Wife: “Awesome. I’m uploading now.”

Blackboard Web Site: “Due to power outages at our main campus, Blackboard is currently unavailable. We have no ETA for restoration. We apologize for this inconvenience.”


(She emailed the instructor the test and a screenshot of the outage notice. Happy ending – the instructor accepted it, and she ended up with 91% overall.)

Only About 3,570 Years Off

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Learning | July 20, 2017

(This happens in my Islamic art history class, which is a third-year level course. We’ve spent the first week studying the origins of Islam and have just gotten our first quiz back.)

Student: “[Professor], why did you mark this answer wrong?”

Professor: “You said that Muhammad was born ‘around 3000 BC’.”

Student: “So?”

Professor: “Muhammad was born in 570… 570 AD.”

Student: “I was close!”

Professor: “The pyramids hadn’t even been built yet in 3000 BC!”

Student: “Well, Islam is really old.”

(The real kicker? I later found out this student was majoring in religious studies.)

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