Not The Type To Pay Attention

| Learning | May 18, 2016

(It is the ’70s, when my mom is going to school to train to be a secretary. There is a room full of typewriters where you come and type your assignments and practice typing. One night, someone breaks in and steals all the typewriters. My mom has a class across the hall from this room. She watches another student walk past the yellow police tape, and go to a spot. The student puts her books down, sharpens her pencils, arranges them, gets out her correcting tape, gets out her book stand, and turns to the correct page. She then gets out a sheet of typing paper, and proceeds to try to put it in the typewriter. It is only at this point that she notices there is not a typewriter there. She looks around, confused, and then goes across the hall to where my mom is in class.)

Student: “There aren’t any typewriters in there.”

Teacher: “Yes, someone stole them, and now your fingerprints are all over the room.”

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Exercise For A Different Type Of Person

| Learning | April 28, 2016

(I’m in my late forties and taking an evening class to upgrade my computer skills. I don’t know much about computers at this point, but have spent most of my working life in clerical jobs and am a very fast and accurate typist. Most of my fellow students are much younger.)

Teacher: “Okay, class. Now we’re going to do a timed keyboarding exercise. Go to [Site]. Ready? Start.”

(I start clicking away at my usual 100+ words per minute. After a bit, I sense the teacher standing behind me.)

Teacher: “Will you cut that out! You’re demoralizing the rest of the class.”

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Fractionally More Stupid

| Learning | January 5, 2016

(While at history club, the topic wanders over into ethnicity. We start discussing what ethnicities we are:)

Me: “I’m 1/8 Danish.”

Student #1: “I’m 1/3 German.”

Me: “No, you’re not. It’s not possible to be 1/3 anything.”

Student #2: “Well, my daughter is 1/3 Mexican, 1/3 Thai, and 1/3 White.”

Me: “Let’s ignore the fact that “White” is not an ethnicity. That’s not possible. What are her parents?”

Student #2: “I’m Mexican, and her father is 1/2 Thai and 1/2 White.”

(I then proceeded to draw a rough diagram of how that meant the daughter is 1/4 Thai, 1/4 White, and 1/2 Mexican. Not one person in the room of five other students agreed with me.)

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Not What They Meant By ‘God Is Love’

| Learning | October 31, 2015

(There’s a chipper girl in my class who always comes off as a conservative Christian and always directs conversations toward loving God. On the last day of class, the teacher asks each of us what we want to do professionally.)

Classmate: “I’m training to be a sex therapist.”

(We’re all surprised.)

Classmate: “Well, I think people deserve to have good sex. God gave us these bodies for a reason, and I want to help people experience all of his gifts.”

(The teacher moves on. Later, we’re saying goodbye, when the girl gives us a big, formal farewell, ending with:)

Classmate: “I want you all to know that God loves each and every one of you. He loves you as a friend, a family member, and as a lover.”

Teacher: “If I were you, I wouldn’t tell that to your clients.”

(She smiles, not aware anyone thinks she said anything strange.)

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A Japaneasy Fix

| Learning | September 4, 2015

(In our Japanese classes, whenever we do a study guide, each student is assigned a different question, which they then complete and write up on the board.)

Teacher: “…and don’t forget [Japanese Syllable] at the end.”

(Noticing he made the same mistake on a later question, one of my classmates, sitting in the back of the class, throws his pencil to the front and runs to grab it.)

Classmate: “Whoops, dropped my pencil.” *bends down to pick up pencil, then not-so-subtly corrects his work as he stands up*

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