We’re Positive That Was A Bad Choice

, , , , , , , | Learning | May 4, 2021

My school is hybrid with students coming in part-time due to full-time viral yuck. A student emails me that she may have been exposed to viral yuck and wants me to know she’s quarantined. I call her to check in on her.

Me: “So, you went out with friends and one of them tested positive afterward?”

Student: “Yes, ma’am. I didn’t even hang out with her that much.”

Me: “You were in different rooms the whole time?”

Student: “No, but we only got near each other to pass what we were smoking.”

Me: “…”

Student: “What?”

Me: “First of all, why are you telling me that part? Second, you put your mouth on something that had her saliva and breath on it?”

Student: “Well, now that you put it that way, I’m worried.”

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A Mono-Track Mind

, , , , , , | Learning | May 3, 2021

In my freshman year of high school, I have some pretty bad luck with my health early on in the year. Somehow, I manage to catch strep and tonsillitis AT THE SAME TIME, so I miss about two weeks of school. I am okay for a while after the full course of antibiotics, but I start feeling sick and groggy again pretty quickly so I go back to the doctor. This time, I have mono. Not only that, but I have TWO DIFFERENT STRAINS of mono.

My school, in their infinite wisdom, says I can’t miss any more days or I’ll have to repeat the semester. Great. So I try to just power through, which is made more difficult by the fact that my first class of the day was algebra.

I’m sitting in class, nodding off HARD while trying to pay attention and take notes, pinching my arm black and blue trying to stay awake. Eventually, I decide to take a ten-second power nap to try and recharge a little bit. I close my eyes and count to one…

Teacher: *Shaking my shoulder gently* “[My Name]?”

Me: *Groggy* “Huh?”

Teacher: “Your pencil’s still moving, but your head’s been down for ten minutes.”

Me: “What?!”

I look at my desk and see pencil scribbles everywhere.

Me: “Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. I’m trying to pay attention, I swear I am…”

I frantically try to clean up the scribbles and grab the desk when I get dizzy.

Teacher: *Concerned* “[My Name], you look like h***. What’s wrong?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I have mono.”

Teacher: *Shocked* “What?! What are you doing in school? You should be at home resting!”

Me: “I’d love to be, but the office said I can’t miss any more school since I missed so much last month.”

My teacher is silent for a moment, clearly angry.

Teacher: “Put your head back down and go to sleep. I’ll print the notes for you. Do you need, I don’t know, water or something? Anything I can get you?”

Me: “I’m okay. Are you sure?”

Teacher: “I’m sure. Go to sleep.”

I thanked him and went to sleep. I genuinely don’t remember the rest of the day, or most of the recovery period, but when I got home my parents had gotten a VERY apologetic call from the office saying that I could stay home until I was better and my teachers would email me notes and assignments. Turns out my algebra teacher had gone to the office and demanded an explanation as to why one of his students was being forced to attend class when they were too ill to even stay awake and the vice-principal, who was awesome and way better than the principal, hadn’t heard about this and demanded an explanation, as well. I might hate math, but that was the absolute best math teacher I ever had!

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I Pledge Allegiance To Tea And Scones

, , , , , | Learning | April 29, 2021

I was a teenage boy attending high school in the USA. Every morning, the whole class would stand up and, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, recite the pledge of allegiance. I did not join in.

As time went by, the homeroom teacher noticed my lack of standing and pledging, and she got angrier and angrier, until one day, she flipped out.

She grabbed me by my shirt and dragged me through the halls of the school, red-faced and screaming almost incoherently about the pledge, the flag, patriotism, and so on and so forth. She dragged me through the office, past a surprised-looking receptionist, and thrust me through a closed door and almost onto my bum in front of the principal, still screeching away at the top of her lungs.

When he could finally get a word in edgeways, the principal said;

Principal: “Why do you refuse to recite the pledge, young man?”

Me: “Well, I’m English. Why would I?”

I thought the teacher was going to burst a blood vessel in her brain when he calmly accepted my explanation. I ended up changing homerooms the next week. Can’t imagine why.


This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of April 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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Cut This Lesson Short

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 26, 2021

My mother is a high school maths teacher working with some of the younger and more difficult students. To try and encourage her students, she stamps their work with various motivational phrases.

A few minutes after giving her class back their homework, she notices one student looking a bit puzzled for a few minutes before putting his hand up.

Student: “Miss, what’s a eunuch?”

Although this isn’t exactly a maths question, my mum decides to try and answer anyway.

Mum: “Uh, well, a long time ago, in some countries, nobles used to have lots of wives or girlfriends who were all housed in special rooms within their palaces. You know how dogs can get neutered to prevent them having puppies? Well, they used to do that to some of their male servants so that they could be trusted to look after the women, and those servants were called eunuchs.”

As you can imagine, all of the students in the class have stopped what they were doing and are watching this scene. The student looks even more puzzled and a bit angry.

Student: “Well, why did you call me a eunuch, then?”

Mum: “What? What are you talking about? When did I call you a eunuch?”

Student: “You did! You wrote it on my homework!”

Mum: “I don’t know what you’re talking about! Show me.”

The student stormed up to her desk with his homework in hand and showed her the message she had stamped on it. What did it say?

“You’re unique.”

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Those |337 Haxxor Skillz Are Finally Paying Off

, , , , , , | Learning | April 24, 2021

Our school’s MFL (Modern Foreign Languages) department has signed up to [Website], which has lots of puzzles and vocabulary testing. [Website] is not particularly well made, and soon, people are finding bugs.

[Classmate #1] finishes a test and clicks “Submit.” The website buffers, and [Classmate #1] clicks repeatedly, at speed.

Website: “You have gained 1,000 out of 100 points on this test!”

This, of course, is shared loudly and excitedly with other students. For that entire lesson, nobody does any work, and instead, everyone utilises the easiest game on the website to gain hundreds of points in seconds.

My friend meanwhile does Computer Science for A-Level. Having recently completed a unit about websites and security, he decides to take a look at the code behind the website. He identifies how, at the end of the puzzle, the authentication key stops changing, letting the website send the points several times. He also identifies the exact request being sent to the website’s database, and writes a line in cURL, which sends a request to the website.

Website: “You now have 1,000 more points than before!”

My friend now sets up a while: True loop repeating the request. (A while loop repeats something while a condition is true, and True is always true, so it does it infinitely.) It runs overnight.

Teacher: “Wow, everyone, I’m impressed! You’ve all clearly done lots of homework; the school has over a million points!”

This would have taken rather longer than we had, but several other schools have several million points. Therefore, my friend declares his intention to reach a BILLION points!

Me: “I don’t think that’s wise. Ms. [Teacher] will notice your absurd score.”

Friend #1: “It’s fine. Everyone else has really high scores from that previous glitch. Besides, the scores reset every month [in about a week].”

Me: “Still, you might get in trouble with the [Website] technicians.”

Friend #1: “The whole website is bad; they probably don’t have much to do. And it isn’t as if I will hurt the server; they will have [technical stuff] in place to stop my requests from overloading the server.”

The program runs fine overnight, but the next day he is disappointed that he “only” earned several million points. Trusting in [Website]’s ability to withstand his onslaught, despite the fact that it has up until this point been coded mostly with Swiss cheese, he sets up a loop that will open his program in new windows. Within a few seconds, he has several thousand windows open and his program almost overloads his own computer, though he stops his program pretty quickly.

Friend #1: *Via text* “I’ve just DOSed [Website]. The police will come to my house now.”

Spoiler: they don’t.

After confirming that I am unable to do my own homework on the website:

Me: “I warned you about loops, bro. I told you about loops.”

However, about half an hour later, the server is back up again, and [Friend]’s own Wi-Fi is immediately destroyed by the server, which sends a reply to every packet [Friend] sent to it. In the meantime, however, he has shared the original loop, which did not crash the program, with a friend of ours with a better connection. It is at this point that a technician notices. Encoded in the replies to the packets the program sends is this message:

Technician: “Oi, matey, I see you. Stop that.”

The technician changes the authentication key which is being used by the program [Friend #1] wrote. Of course, [Friend #2] now knows what to look for and manages to get it running again.

The next morning, [Friend #1] and [Friend #2] find that the entire school has zero points on the accounts. During a lesson that day:

Teacher: “I’ve just received an email from [Website]. It says that several students have been messing with [Website] and that the school’s score has been reset to zero! It also says that [Friend #1] and [Friend #2] are clearly very clever and that they would like to talk to them?!”

[Website] corresponded with the school and my friends for a while; they seemed more impressed than annoyed. They managed to fix many of the bugs, and eventually, [Friend #1] was offered work experience with [Website]!

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