Student Failed Assignment For Not Knowing The Dictionary Definition Of A Dictionary Definition

, , , , , | Learning | November 9, 2018

(English has never been my best subject, since I’m a very literal person and assignments often require us to recognize and understand foreshadowing, symbolism, dramatic irony, and so on. However, I do have a large vocabulary, so when our homework one day is to define a list of words, I complete it before class ends. Much to my shock, when the sheets are handed back, all of them are marked wrong. Despite being generally timid — and even cowardly — overall, I can’t accept this, and confront my teacher.)

Me: “Why did you mark all of these wrong?”

Teacher: “Because they are all wrong.”

Me: *offended* “I know what all these words mean! Everything I wrote down is right!

Teacher: “Yes, but the assignment was to look them up, to show that you know how to use a dictionary.”

Me: “It didn’t say that, though. It just said to define them, and I did.”

Teacher: “You should have known.”

Me: “How?!”


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Starting A New Trope

, , , , , | Learning | October 15, 2018

(During university, I work as a student assistant in my major department. We have one professor who has a particular list of instructions for tropes, etc., that he does NOT want his students to include in any of their final papers. He is tired of reading them and tries to encourage students to think outside the box. Luckily, he doesn’t dock points for using items on the list; he understands his isn’t the only class they take and with four or five final papers to do, students will sometimes rush and just try to fill in the word count. The number one item on the list is:)

Trope #1: “NO opening any paragraphs with dictionary definitions. (Example: The dictionary defines “courage” as…)”

(At the end of the semester, I am collecting final papers for one of his classes. Most students are choosing to turn them in electronically, but there are still a handful of people who insist on turning in hard copies. So, I set up office hours at the student assistant desk to collect them. At the very last minute, a girl comes running up to my desk and practically throws her paper at me.)

Student: “There! I made it!” *tosses her hair back* “I’d better get an A+ on that thing. I didn’t even want to take this stupid class, but my advisor said I had to.”

Me: “Uh-huh… Well, I’m glad you made it by the deadline.”

Student: “I mean it! I included everything he asked for.”

Me: *starting to pack up* “Well, I’m sure it will be fine… Wait. ‘Everything he asked for’?”

Student: “Yeah, on that dumb list he kept pushing at us.”

(I glanced down at her paper, which happened to be on top of the stack I was about to put in a folder, and the opening paragraph began with, “The dictionary defines courage as…” Her topic didn’t even have anything to do with courage. I started to tell the student her mistake, but she’d already walked away. I flipped through the rest of her paper, and it was filled with every single trope the professor didn’t want to see. I warned the professor about what had happened, and he actually found it pretty funny. I have no idea what that girl’s reaction was when she found out what she’d done, but I bet it was interesting. It’s not like the list was vague; it was filled with the words “NO,” “DON’T,” and, “DO NOT USE,” underlined in all caps.)

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I Have A Couple Of Adjectives I Could Call You Right Now

, , , , , | Learning | August 4, 2018

(I play football in high school. One Friday, due to an away game, I have to miss my English class for the day. My teacher hands me a worksheet with the assignment she gave in class. The work sheet says to pick a “word” that begins with the first letter of our last name — F in my case — and write a paper about how that word defines part of our lives. Given my age and location, football is a very large part of my life — takes a lot of my time and has taught me a lot of lessons — so I write my paper on that word. On Monday we are to present our papers, what word we chose and why.)

Me: “…and that’s why I chose the word I did.”

Teacher: “Well, [My Name], that was a well-written piece, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to take off half of the credit since you didn’t follow directions.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Teacher: “The assignment said to select an adjective, and ‘football’ is not an adjective.”

Me: “But the sheet you gave me just said, ‘word,’ not, ‘adjective.'”

Teacher: “Raise your hand if you understood the assignment as I gave it.”

(The rest of the class who were in class on Friday raise their hand in agreement.)

Teacher: “It seems everyone else was able to understand the assignment just fine. Perhaps you’ve taken too many blows to the head playing that game.”

(I ended up getting the fifty, despite my complaints to both her and the principal.)

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Misread The Teacher’s Knowledge Level

, , , , , | Learning | June 27, 2018

(I am a teacher’s assistant at the department of mechanical engineering, teaching mainly an intro-level mechanical design course. As the course is rather difficult — especially given that it is taught to first-year students — it is common for them to do assignments together, in small groups, then hand them in individually as per course requirements. One semester, however, there is a student that does so well that it becomes a habit for him to do assignments soon after they are posted, and then share them with all the other students in the course, at least as reference material. While it is strictly against the rules, I willingly ignore it, as he does help the whole class to do better — but of course I can’t tell the class that I know what’s up… At least until I have to make the following announcement at the beginning of one lesson, after returning the assignments and reviewing common mistakes with the students.)

Me: “Guys, I know that this course isn’t simple; I know that you do the assignments in groups, and I’m quite used to seeing the same odd mistake pop up in several people’s assignments when grading them.”

(I then look directly at that excelling student, and continue:)

Me: “But guys, if all of you are going to base your work on one student’s solution, at least make sure that that one student didn’t misread the question!

(Cue laughter and that student’s face turning beet red.)


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Totally Wade Wilson Worth It

, , , , , , | Learning | June 18, 2018

(This happens in college. I’m doing some homework in my dorm when my friend and roommate comes in.)

Friend: “Hey, do you want to see the movie The Witch with me tonight?”

Me: “That’s the horror movie that just came out, right? Sure. You wanted to see it?”

Friend: “A little, but the professor for my mythology and folklore course said we can get extra credit if we go see it, so it’s mostly that.”

(That night, we head to the movie theater. When we get there, I see a movie poster on the wall of the building for “Deadpool,” a movie we’ve both been very excited to see, and see that the release date was over a week ago.)

Me: *pointing out the poster* “I didn’t realize Deadpool was out already.”

Friend: “Me, either. Huh.”

(We go inside to wait in line, since we haven’t actually bought our tickets yet. Inside, there’s another very large poster for “Deadpool” that we can see from the line. After waiting in line for a couple minutes, my friend turns to me.)

Friend: “Hey, [My Name].”

Me: “Yeah?”

Friend: “Do you want to see Deadpool, instead?”

Me: “I was hoping you’d ask!”

(Needless to say, my friend did not end up getting the extra credit, but she had no regrets about watching “Deadpool,” which we both greatly enjoyed!)

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