Acting Circumloquacious

, | Learning | March 26, 2016

(I teach English to Spanish speakers. Some of the students couldn’t pronounce “circumstance”. They keep pronouncing the first syllable as in “seer”. This class in particular was mostly composed of men.)

Me: “It’s ‘circumstance’, as the ‘sir’ in ‘Yes, sir! No, sir!’.”

Student #1: “Like in ‘circus’?”

Me: “Yes, exactly!”

Student #2: “Like in ‘circle’?”

Me: “Very good!”

Student #3: *very excitedly* “Like in ‘circumcision’!!!”

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Stuck In The Middle

, , , , | Working | March 1, 2016

(I’m getting my first driver’s license at 16. My mom sends me in with the required stuff — birth certificate, social security card, etc. — and waits in the car for me. I have an unusual middle name, with a small difference between it and something more traditional, like “Kinderly” instead of “Kimberly.”)

Employee: “Number 26!”

Me: *approaches counter with form filled out, which I pass to the employee. All my documentation is in a folder I am holding* “I’m here to get my first driver’s license.”

Employee: *looks over form, pushes it back to me* “You spelled your name wrong. You need to redo this.”

Me: *shocked pause* “…I’m sorry. What?”

Employee: “Right here. Your middle name. That should be an ‘m’, not an ‘n’.”

Me: “…No, it’s correct. My middle name is spelled with an ‘n’.”

Employee: “No, it’s not.”

Me: *completely unsure how to respond to that* “Uh… but… it is, thou—”

Employee: *interrupting* “Go get a new form and stop wasting my time!” *shoves form back across the counter at me* “Number 27!”

(In a daze, I walk out to the car and explain what happened to my mom. She’s FURIOUS. She takes my form and folder of paperwork, marches up to the counter, and interrupts the employee with the next customer. Luckily, the customer sees how pissed she is and just steps aside.)

Mom: “Did you tell my daughter that she spelled HER OWN NAME incorrectly on this form?!”

Employee: *stone-faced* “Yes. Because she did. That should be an ‘m’, not an ‘n’.”

Mom: *whips out the copy of my birth certificate & social security card in the folder* “So, I guess these are wrong too, then?!”

Employee: *glances at the certificate and card* “Yep.”

(I see the customer we interrupted stifle a giggle. My mother looks like her head is about to explode.)

Mom: *pulls it together enough to manage a very tight…* “Manager. Now.”

Employee: *rolls her eyes and hollers for a manager*

(The manager comes over, and my mom relays the story. The manager looks completely baffled.)

Manager: “Did you seriously tell this girl she doesn’t know how to spell her own name?”

Employee: “It’s supposed to be with an ‘m’!”

(I never put my middle name on forms anymore – just the first initial, just in case.)

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Failing English And Math At The Same Time

, , , , , | Learning | February 16, 2016

(We’re in 11th grade English class, just beginning our unit on Hamlet. It took some time to pass out the books, so many are only half paying attention. The teacher finally gets to begin.)

Teacher: “So the play opens with Horatio speaking to two sentries… Does everyone know what a sentry is?”

Student: *in back* “Yeah! It’s, like, 10 years!”

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Looks Like Couches Can Make You Fit After All

, | Learning | October 15, 2015

(One of my students isn’t great at spelling. His writing topic is “how can an unhealthy person get fit?”)

Student: “People can get fit by doing more exercise by going to the gym and getting a personal couch.”

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Military Service Will Eat Through Their Childhood

, | Learning | October 14, 2015

(My Iranian student is telling me about different ways people can shorten their compulsory military service time.)

Student: “And they can get two months taken off for every child they consume.”

Me: *laughing so hard I’m almost falling over*

Student: “That wasn’t the right word, was it?”

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