Like… Like An Owl?

, , , , , | Learning | February 19, 2019

This year’s English teacher is a nice lady, but she’s very strict about quiet time. When the class is supposed to be doing “individual activities,” e.g. writing down instructions or notes, if she hears a single word, she’s on the case of the student responsible.

Sometimes, my neck has a tendency to crack loudly as my head, of its own accord, jerks to face in the other direction. This happens just as “quiet time” begins and I hiss in pain, and from the other side of the room, the teacher hears.

“Did you not just hear me?” she says, glaring. “I said silent!

While she may be good at spotting troublemakers, she didn’t seem to notice that my head was briefly facing in the wrong direction.

Epitomizing “Awkward Turtle”

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 18, 2019

This happened in my junior life science class. The teacher was young and good looking but completely socially awkward and odd. He often laughed at his own jokes that really weren’t funny. One class in particular sticks in my head as the weirdest thing I ever witnessed.

We were studying the reproductive practices of different animals, sea turtles specifically on this day. Instead of just explaining it,  the teacher decided to do a… demonstration.

He proceeded to put a large cardboard box on his back to look like a turtle, placed a small container with sand in the back of the class — right next to my chair — and lay “eggs” to bury in the sand.

By eggs, I mean golf balls, which he placed between his legs and dropped into the sand to simulate laying eggs. Unfortunately for me, I was right in the view of his backside. It was the most awkward thing to ever happen to me in a class, and I about fell out of my chair, exclaiming, “OH, MY GOD!”

However, to this day, I do still remember exactly how sea turtles reproduce, so I guess his method worked?

I’d Like An Ice-Cream Planet Myself

, , , , , | Learning | February 14, 2019

(My film studies class has been watching “Planet of the Apes.” The second day of the film, the teacher takes a few minutes to ask if anyone has questions about the movie or the notes we’ve been taking. One student voices a complaint:)

Student: “How come they ended up in a field? Weren’t they on a desert planet?”

Teacher: “Well, they thought they were on a desert planet, because they didn’t see any plant life, but they just happened to land in a desert.”

Student: “But that doesn’t make sense! Either they’re on a desert planet or on a living planet; you can’t have both!”

(By now, several other students are snickering.)

Teacher: “Well, what type of planet is Earth? Earth has deserts and fields, and polar regions–“

Student: “Earth is an Earth planet!”

(The entire classroom bursts out laughing. The teacher sighs, turns around, and pretends to write on the whiteboard.)

Teacher: “Today on Things Said in [Teacher]’s Class: ‘Earth is an Earth Planet.'”

To A Teenager, It Will Never Not Be Funny

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 13, 2019

I was in Grade 9 in the 1970s.

Our science class had just started a new unit on mass, or gravity, or something like that. Our teacher, a young, pretty cool guy, was a very visual teacher, using props, video, or whatever he thought would help.

At the beginning of the lesson, our teacher stood in front of thirty fourteen-year-olds, holding a tennis ball and a golf ball, and said loud and clear, “Class, I have two balls.”

He had to leave the room for about ten minutes while we finished laughing hysterically.

A Blood Alcohol Level That Does Not Compute

, , , , , , , | Learning | February 12, 2019

When I am in high school we have regular “IT” classes. These are ridiculous classes on basic computing skills. Given that it is the mid-2000s and everyone has a PC at home, there is literally nothing to be learned here. We are given floppy disks to store work on.

Most of our teachers struggle to teach anything, but we have one teacher that decides it’s not a battle worth fighting. He spends the first few weeks trying to explain how to use a keyboard or mouse, how to save word documents, etc., before giving it up and just sitting there like a child repeating over and over, “Do whatever you want; I still get paid.”

This probably would have been fine. What isn’t fine is about three months into the school year he figures he’s never taught anything worthwhile at all, so he gets drunk one morning and then sits at his desk drinking “water” most of the day. Eventually, one student decides that mucking around on the Internet is boring and throws a chair across the room. This is so much fun that another one does the same, except this time it goes through the door. The teacher is so drunk at this point he doesn’t even notice, but a nearby deputy head teacher does, comes to investigate, and finds a class in chaos and a teacher who can barely sit up given how drunk he is.

The end result is that the teacher is fired that second and has to be removed from the school by police because he is too drunk to stand and has put children in danger with his actions.

Not long after this, a group of students from several years get together and approach the head teacher complaining that IT lessons are a waste of time and don’t cover anything remotely worthwhile. The following year, the IT department is refreshed with new equipment and staff. Lessons are designed to focus much more on actual practical things such as the basics of programming. While I do feel bad that the teachers were forced to teach lessons that were useless in the face of a generation that had been using computers for years, that was no excuse to get completely drunk on the job.

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