Takes One To Know One

, , , , , , | Learning | June 3, 2019

When I was in grade seven, our class got a substitute teacher one day. The teacher had a condescending attitude and was talking down to the class. She started off lecturing them about good behavior and then said, “I want you all to be benevolent. You do know what that means?”

I put up my hand and asked, “Is it okay if we act malevolent, instead?”

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Softening Of The Contrarian Librarian

, , , , | Learning | September 13, 2018

(My school is two stories tall. There are two main stairwells, as well as a third stairwell in the library. The two main stairwells become unbearably crowded with students trying to get to their next classes, but the one in the library does not. Being an avid reader, I like to take those stairs to get to class because I can also spend a few minutes browsing for new books to read in my spare time. One day while I’m at school, my mom gets a call from the librarian.)

Librarian: “Hello, is this [My Name]’s mother?”

Mom: “Yes, this is [Mom], can I help you?”

Librarian: “Hello, Mrs. [Mom], I’m calling to ask if you’d like me to ban your daughter from the library.”

Mom: *aghast* “Ban her from the library?! What did she do?”

Librarian: “I see her wandering around the library between every single class period!”

Mom: “Is she causing a disturbance?”

Librarian: “No, she’s very quiet, but she’s here during every transition period. Sometimes she even spends her lunch period in here!”

Mom: *confused* “So, she’s skipping her classes?”

Librarian: “Well, no, she’s hasn’t been marked absent from her classes.”

Mom: *still confused* “Is she running late to her classes?”

Librarian: “No, she hasn’t been marked tardy, either.”

Mom: “Is she failing any of her classes?”

Librarian: “No, ma’am, she’s making good grades in all of her classes.”

Mom: *annoyed* “So, you mean to tell me that she’s making it to all of her classes on time, getting good grades, and quietly looking at books between her classes… and you’re asking if I want her to be banned from the library?”

Librarian: *is quiet for a few moments* “I’m sorry to have bothered you, Mrs. [Mom]. Have a nice day.” *click*

(The librarian was significantly more friendly towards me after that, recommending and reserving lots of new books for me whenever I returned the ones I’d finished, and I continued to use the library stairs without any more trouble.)

The Contrarian Librarian: Looking For Work
Re-emergence Of The Contrarian Librarian
The Inattentiveness Of The Contrarian Librarian

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Murdering Your Assignment

, , , , | Learning | July 24, 2018

(I am in sixth grade. I love to write stories, but I know that my teacher is very particular as to the criteria she gives for assignments. Therefore, by the end of the year, I always ask the teacher to clarify the assignment several times before starting.)

Teacher: “Your assignment is to write a mystery story. In the story, someone has to disappear, but in the end they are found. It needs to be four pages long.”

Me: “Are there any other criteria for the story? Any limitations on what we can or cannot write?”

Teacher: “No, you can write anything you want to write about.”

Me: “Anything?”

Teacher: *annoyed* “Yes, you can write any kind of mystery story you want.”

Me: “Really? Anything? No limits?”

Teacher: *really annoyed* “Anything! Only the original requirements of four pages, and that someone must disappear and be found. Your rough draft is due in two weeks.”

(Several days later, after some kids have finished their draft:)

Several Students: “[Teacher]! Four pages is way too long!”

Teacher: “Okay, everyone should make their story two pages long.”

(A few days later:)

Me: “[Teacher], I wrote four pages like you originally assigned. We did the peer review with my classmates, and I can’t figure out how to cut out half of my story. Can you help me?”

Teacher: *takes paper, looks at it for 30 seconds* “It’s too long; make it shorter.”

(Due date of the assignment:)

Teacher: “Okay, class, now that everyone has finished their mystery story draft, tell me what kind of mystery stories are there?”

Student #2: “Murder mysteries!”

Teacher: “No! No one is allowed to do a murder mystery! No murder, no violence! No one should have included any of these in their stories! I expect you to finalize your drafts and turn them in in two days.”

(Half the class completely rewrote their stories, since they assumed “anything” meant that a murder mystery was okay.)


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Thieves Are On The Periphery Of Society

, , , , | Learning | April 22, 2018

(This story takes place in the late nineties. I have a fairly sizeable collection of novelty pencils: patterns, holographic, Lisa Frank, etc. During one class, I have three out at once for some reason, and as I’m focused on writing something, I see a classmate’s hand inching towards one of them out of the corner of my eye.)

Me: “Don’t touch my pencils.”

Classmate: *shocked* “How did you know?!”

Me: “Peripheral vision?”

Classmate: “What?”

(For the rest of the class, he kept putting his hands where he thought I wouldn’t see, and was amazed every time I did.)

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That Seventies Plan

, , , , , | Learning | March 3, 2018

(My junior high school AP history teacher is explaining his test policies to us in the first class of the year.)

Teacher: “In this class, I honor the seventy-percent rule for tests. If seventy percent of the class gets a question wrong on a test, I have clearly not taught that concept well enough and everyone gets that point for free. If you get one of these questions right, you get an extra credit point for it. Any questions?”

(We all glance at each other until one girl raises her hand.)

Girl: “So… If we all get a question wrong. Like, really wrong. On purpose. We all get the point, anyway?”

Teacher: “Yes.”

Girl: “And… If we did a whole test like that?”

Teacher: “There’s one every year! And I’ll tell you what I’ve told all my other classes. You’re AP kids, so you care about your grades. If seventy percent of you decide to throw one of my tests, and stick to it, then I will give you all full credit just for being ballsy!”

(Sadly, we were never able to get enough of the class to agree that we could try this. I wish now we had… I have a feeling he would have kept his word!)

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