In Good Standing, If Not Good Ruling

| Learning | February 27, 2014

(It’s the first day of our anatomy and physiology 201 course.)

Professor: “Okay, I have some ground rules. First, don’t break the models. ‘U of A’ med school gets the good stuff, so even our crappy hand-me-downs will cost more than your tuition. Also, you MAY NOT call me Dr. [Last Name], Professor, Mr. [Last Name], or anything of the sort. You’re in college now, not high school. If you MUST, you can call me [First Name], but your main choices are ‘Snakeboy’ or ‘The Great and Powerful Oz.'”

(The class laughs at this, but the professor isn’t finished.)

Professor: “Last, you all have my number now, so if you end up drunk at a bar, I will pick you up in exchange for a beer. I expect you all to extend the same courtesy to me. It’s only fair. Now, sign the class conduct paper. None of you read them and I don’t enforce half the rules anyway. Good? Okay, class dismissed.”

(Our first session was about 15 minutes long. Make no mistake. Students learned more from him than any of the other instructors, but we did so with an equal dose of side-splitting hilarity.)

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Burning Down The House

, | Learning | September 4, 2013

(I am in calculus class. The professor is very much a geek, and I once saw him wearing a Portal t-shirt. A student points to a missing ceiling tile, through which some insulation can be seen.)

Student: “If there’s an earthquake, will all the asbestos fall out of the ceiling?”

Teacher: “There’s no asbestos.”

(The students start laughing.)

Teacher: “It’s not asbestos!”

Student: “You don’t know that!”

Teacher: “That is not asbestos! I know what asbestos is; that’s insulation. You know what asbestos is?”

Student: “It’s cancer.”

Teacher: “It is a cause of cancer. It’s a classification for any material that is made of fibrous minerals. So if you go to the natural history museum at the Smithsonian and go through their rock collection, you see the rocks that are growing hairs, that’s asbestos.”

(He goes into more detail about how asbestos was used before it was known to be dangerous. I raise my hand.)

Me: “And Cave Johnson loves it!”

(Several students begin to laugh.)

Another Student: “It keeps out the rats!”

(The teacher catches on and chimes in.)

Teacher: “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Get the irony boys to make those lemons combust!”

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Shouldering Someone Else’s Burden

| Learning | July 24, 2013

(I am a former American football player who has just had major shoulder reconstruction for a career-ending injury. I have a rather high pain tolerance, so I don’t wear a sling. I also don’t like attention, so I try not to make a big deal of it. However it is still a major injury and I am limited in what I can do physically for a while. I am taking summer-school classes at the local community college. The teacher is bringing in several boxes and is being helped by the female TA.)

Teacher: “Hey [my name], help [TA’s name] with those boxes will you?”

Me: “I can’t; I just had shoulder surgery and can’t carry anything.”

Teacher: “Bull! If you had surgery, you would be on so many pain killers you wouldn’t be in school! Now man up, be a gentleman, and help her out.”

Me: “I’m serious; I really can’t. I am still supposed to be in a sling to be honest, but it itched too much.”

Teacher: “Its one thing to be lazy, but being a liar is a different matter entirely, and I wont tolerate it in my class.”

Me: “I’m not lying.”

(The teacher puts down his boxes comes over and lightly slugs me in the shoulder. I wince and let out a groan.)

Teacher: “See, if you really had surgery, you would be bent over screaming.”

(At this point, I have a large red stain spreading across my shirt from where he busted my stitches open.)

Teacher: “…Is that …is that blood?”

Me: “Yes it is. You tore my stitches open. I’m going home for the day now, and will probably miss tomorrow too, because I’ll have to go back to the doctor.”

(The teacher never apologized, but the TA was impressed, and felt bad enough to give me her number. We’ve been dating since, so all is well that ends well.)

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The Widening (Band)Width Of The Generation Gap, Part 2

| Learning | July 15, 2013

(Some of the young ladies in my class are chatting to one another during study time. The instructor walks over and starts asking questions to see if they’ve done any work.)

Instructor: “So if you had a malignant tumor in your gallbladder, what would the medical term for that be?”

(The student pauses for a moment, looking thoughtful.)

Instructor: “Well?”

Student: “Buffering…”

(Everyone laughs.)

Instructor: “Only someone your age would say ‘buffering’.”


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Some Things Just Don’t Add Up

, , , , | Learning Right | October 27, 2011

(I work in the testing center for a community college. We administer placement exams and make-up exams, among other things. This particular student is taking his placement exam.)

Me: “Okay, sir, I have you set up on that computer over there.” *points to computer* “Just finish filling in your personal information and the test will begin.”

Student: “Okay, thanks.”

(About forty-five minutes go by as the student goes through the exam. I then see him raise his hand, so I stand up and walk over to his computer.)

Me: “Is there something wrong?”

Student: “Yeah, it’s telling me that I’m about to start the arithmetic test.”

Me: “Yes, that is part of the placement exam.”

Student: “But I’m supposed to be taking a math test, not an arithmetic test!”

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