Profesora Jekyll Y Señora Hyde

, , , , | Learning | February 11, 2020

(Our Spanish teacher is usually really nice. This week, we have a quiz, a big project, and a test all in Spanish. On Monday, we have the quiz. On Tuesday, we have time to work on the project. Our teacher is checking to see how much work we have done.)

Teacher: *angrily to the whole class* “I am disappointed in you guys. You are all extremely behind! I know that some of you will leave this to the last minute and I know that a few of your projects will look like Google translate. I’ll be surprised if I’m not sitting in front of the honor board with at least one of you. Because I know that you guys are going to cheat!”

(She continues ranting to us for ten minutes about how she knows we are all going to cheat and get expelled. We are all pretty surprised at this reaction as nobody has even gone as far as passing in a homework assignment late. The next day, we are all nervous about going back to the class. My friend and I both have social anxiety and our nicest teacher unexpectedly screaming at us didn’t help. Nonetheless, we all show up to class on time worried about being yelled at.)

Teacher: *calmly and kindly* “So, a lot of you did pretty badly on the quiz. A lot of you guys failed.” 

(For the whole class, she is really kind again and explains everything we got wrong on the quiz.)

Teacher: *as we are leaving* “I will not postpone the tests! You guys need to start being responsible; I expect better from high-schoolers!”

(Nobody asked her to move the test. She just decided that that was worth yelling about. Oh, did I mention that this is a class of mostly freshmen? And that it’s a new school to a lot of us, as well? We take our tests and get them back after the weekend.)

Teacher: “The class average was 95%! And there were several 100s. Only one of you failed. I am really surprised none of you cheated. I was sure I was going to get someone expelled!”

(I still don’t know why she was so sure that we would cheat, but also, she left some posters on the wall that had a few things that would help out on the test. And I’m pretty sure more than a few of us noticed.)

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Some Tests Are Born Again Soul Destroying

, , , | Learning | February 5, 2020

(We have just had a particularly hard test.)

Me: “That test killed my soul… which is quite impressive as I thought my soul was already dead.”

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WeManagedToFitThisVeryLongTitleInThisVerySmallSpace

, , , , , | Learning | November 22, 2019

(I’m taking a finance class. We’re preparing for our midterm, which involves a lot of formulas. The professor is talking to us right before the end of class.)

Professor #1: “Oh! One more thing. You are allowed to use whatever information you can fit on a 3×5 notecard. Class dismissed. See you Thursday. Be ready!”

(I get an idea on Wednesday night. I type up all the relevant formulas in a Word document, shrink the font so that it will fit on the notecard, print it out, cut out the 3×5 square, and tape it to the notecard. The next day, the professor does a card check. When he gets to me…)

Professor #1: *inspects my card* “You typed this? Nice job! I’m gonna keep this in mind as a tip for future students.”

(Fast forward to the next semester. I’m in a Strategic Management class, which is my final course before I graduate. We are a couple of days out from our final exam.)

Professor #2: “Remember, guys, you can use one 3×5 notecard on your exam. Whatever you can fit, you can use. I’ll even let you use the front and back.”

(Everyone groans, as there’s a lot of vocabulary involved, and there’s no way that we can possibly fit everything on there, even if we use the back.)

Professor #2: “Do your best. Now, get outta here. Exam Wednesday. Last thing between most of you and graduation!”

(I remember what I did for my finance class and get to work typing definitions and principles. It takes some extra creativity, but I manage to shrink the text to make it small yet readable, and get about 75% of the content on the study guide onto the notecard. Fast forward to Wednesday. The professor walks in.)

Professor #2: “All right, people! Card check. Bring ‘em out!”

(He gets to me. He picks up my card and inspects it with a raised eyebrow.)

Professor #2: “You’ve got most of the study guide on here. How did you do that?”

Me: “Typed it.”

(He turns it upside down and squints at it.)

Professor #2: “Can you even read this?”

Me: “Yes.”

(He starts laughing.)

Professor #2: “[My Name], you’re a smart-a**.”

(I passed my exam with 90%.)

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This Curriculum Was Designed By A Doof

, , , , | Learning | November 1, 2019

(I go to an “elite” high-school that specializes in language learning. The really cool thing about their curriculum is that after the initial hard learning in the first year, students take one or more classes entirely in their primary language. For me it is German, and because the school doesn’t have enough teachers to cover all subjects, my classmates and I end up with chemistry and biology in German all through ninth grade. Our final biology tests are tough and most of us review all of the year’s learning material so that we can pass. Skip ahead to tenth grade. Note: it’s usual for schools in Bulgaria to hold “entry-level” tests for most subjects, in order to review the most important things from the last year and to ease the transition in the new stuff.)

Teacher: “All right, students, hope you had a good summer, but now things are getting tough again. Our entry-level test is on Tuesday next week.”

Class: *groans*

Teacher: “I also have some good news, though. This year we won’t be learning in German, so at least you won’t be bothered by grammar and new biology vocabulary.”

Class: *sighs in relief*

Classmate: “Excuse me, Mrs. [Teacher], we are still having the entry test in German, right?”

Teacher: “Why? It’s in Bulgarian, too.”

Classmate: “But we know all this stuff in German!”

Teacher: “So, translate it; you’re smart enough, I believe?”

Classmate: “Yeah, for most things, but those special terms aren’t that easy to translate. All materials we have from last year are in German, and we don’t even know what half of the organs are called in Bulgarian!”

Teacher: “Oh, come on. You can do it. End of discussion. Now, let’s review. Can someone tell me anything about the chemical substances in a human cell?”

Class: *looks dumb*

Teacher: “Anyone? No one?”

Class: *looks even dumber*

Teacher: *sighs* “All right…” *in German* “Chemical substances in a cell?”

Classmate: *also in German* “I know that one!” *proceeds to explain*

Me: *facepalm* “We’re so failing that entry test.”

(Most of us did fail. I still think it was a very stupid change in curriculum.)

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Beware The Hijabberwocky

, , , , , , | Working | October 16, 2019

(I work at an institute for further adult education, supervising examinations. There have to be two supervisors present at all times to make sure that everyone follows the rules: no cheating, no use of electronic devices, etc. One supervisor is from the institute and one acts as a neutral party and is not affiliated with us at all. The external supervisor has been working with us for many years. He is a gruff, retired teacher and works mostly on a freelance basis. However, I notice that he has become increasingly irritating and difficult to deal with over the course of the last couple of months, sometimes to the extent that he flat-out insults examinees and threatens to kick them out for the most insignificant reasons. When I supervise with him, I almost have more difficulty keeping him in check than the students. But since he has been with us for so long, my boss says that we should at least work with him occasionally to keep the good relationship. On this day, I am once again supervising an exam with him. It is still early and the examinees are slowly filtering into the room, and while I do the identity and passport checks at the entrance, he is writing down the seating plan for those who have already chosen a seat. Suddenly, I hear him raise his voice, sounding angry. Sighing internally, I make my way over to where he is to see what is going on. He is currently standing in front of a woman who is already sat down and looks rather uncomfortable. She is also wearing a hijab.)

Me: “Hey, Mr. [Supervisor], is everything okay? What’s going on?”

Supervisor: *aggressively* “Yeah, I am just doing my job! We have to collect all electronic devices that these people may have so that they cannot use them to cheat right? I want her–” *gestures to the woman* “–to show me her ears! For all I know she could have one of those button-like radio things in there and get the answers from someone else!”

(I stare at him for ten seconds flat while my brain tries to catch up with what I just heard and come up with a coherent response. He, a broad, roughly sixty-year-old guy just demanded from a clearly Muslim woman to take off her headscarf to show him her ears! After finally getting my bearings, I desperately try to defuse the situation because the woman is definitely shaking right now.)

Me: “Uh, I really don’t think that that’s necessary. We are required to collect all mobile phones, smartwatches, and the like, and we have to supervise everyone, of course, but it definitely does not say anywhere in the regulations that we are required to search the clothes of the examinees or anything! I am not sure if that would be legal.”

Supervisor: “But I am here to ensure the safety of this examination! This is a cheating risk we should not tolerate! She has to show me her ears!”

Me: *firmly because I have had enough of him* “No, Mr. [Supervisor], that is not how we are supposed to do this. The regulations of [Testing Company that develops the exams] say nothing about frisking students! If you want, we can discuss this matter later, but now the other examinees are waiting to start the exam. Please finish your seating plan and then we will continue with the examination!”

(I intentionally tried not to make a big deal out of this to keep everyone as calm as possible but I was fuming inside! Somehow I managed to convince him to drop the subject and the exam went about without another major incident. The woman was okay from what I could tell and I made sure he did not go too close to her again. I kind of understand his concern and the safety rules of these exams are definitely not foolproof but it would be way above my paygrade — and his, for that matter — to try and change them. That, and he definitely went about it in the worst possible way! I also informed my boss in great detail about what had happened. Needless to say, we do not work with this supervisor anymore.)

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