The Situation Doesn’t Add Up

, , , , | Learning | August 8, 2017

(I am in my last year of school, which usually results in a relaxed teaching atmosphere because everyone who is still there really wants to learn. For the last two years of school students can choose most of their courses; however, maths is mandatory for everyone. I end up in one of those mandatory classes. Needless to say, none of the students are too interested in the subject, just trying to pass. That year we are assigned a new teacher who is pretty young and obviously excited to start his first real teaching job. On the first day of class…)

Teacher: *after his introduction, beaming at the class* “So that’s enough about myself. Now, are you excited to study some maths? Tackle those solutions!”

(Embarrassed silence follows his words. Finally, a classmate speaks up slowly:)

Classmate: “Mr. [Teacher], do you realize what sort of course this is?”

Teacher: “Sure? Year 13, Basic Maths?”

Classmate: “And… sorry to kill your buzz, but none of us chose to be here. Basically, we sort of hate maths, but we have to endure it to get our certificates.” *several nods and murmurs of agreement from the rest of the class*

Teacher: *looks taken aback and sort of crestfallen* “But… I mean… You’re all… I mean, really? But maths is fun!”

(In the end, we feel so sorry for him and his crushed hope that we come to an agreement: We’ll do the work willingly, no debating and moaning, as long as he accepts that this is certainly not ‘fun’ for us. In exchange he actually sets aside one hour per week for us to all play games together instead of doing coursework, complete with impromptu theatre or the occasional show organized by a student who was an amateur magician. It improves the mood so much that everyone puts in the work in their free time, and I actually pass the course with better grades than in the years before. At the end of the year, after grades are given and coursework completed, we have a couple lessons left with nothing to do, so we usually end up just chatting. On the last day ever, the teacher comes in and stands up proudly:)

Teacher: “Here’s to the end of my first year as a teacher. I’m happy to say you guys taught me more than I ever expected, and I want to thank you all for putting up with me and my apparently abnormal love for maths. May you all prosper in your non-scientific endeavours.”

(We all clapped and laughed. Afterwards, though, he added:)

Teacher: “Besides, I’m so f****** happy they assigned me the advanced class for next year. I’ll be with my kind again at last.”

The % Men

, , , | Friendly | August 6, 2017

(I just got a test back and my teacher doesn’t write down percentages, so I calculate the percentage in my head. My friend, who is sitting next to me asks me to do the same for her.)

Friend: “How do you do that, especially so quickly?”

Me: “Oh, that’s an easy one! You know how everybody has a secret superpower they have to discover themselves?”

Friend: “What? No. Whatever. Continue with the story.”

Me: “Okay, so, my superpower is that whenever I go shopping there is a sale, but the weird thing is these sales are always very specific number like 53% or 29%. I always go to the mall with one friend, who always asks me for an item’s sale price because she is too lazy to get her phone out. So, after years of her asking and me calculating I’ve become really good at it!”

Friend: “Wow, with your algebra class and acceptance to that prestigious engineering program, I thought you were gonna say that your superpower is mental math.”

Me: “The power of shopping!”

(I later let my mom know that shopping is educational for me.)

An Unconscious Unconscionable Comeback

, , , , , | Learning | August 3, 2017

(There’s a research group down the hall from mine that keeps borrowing our chemicals, and it’s starting to annoy me.)

Guy From Other Research Group: “Here’s your NaOH back. We’re setting tissue samples next; do you guys have any chloroform we could borrow?”

Lab-Mate: “Yeah, it’s over there.”

Me: “Knock yourself out.”

Just Plane Stupid

, , , , | Learning | June 28, 2017

One time in Physics I got bored and made a paper plane out of a page from my notebook. I then asked the teacher in the middle of class whether he’d let me fly it through a Bunsen burner flame. I can’t remember why I thought it was even remotely a good idea to ask, especially given that the closest thing I had to a justification was “I wonder if it’ll catch fire mid-air.”

He let me do it after the class was finished. He justified it afterwards as a demonstration of how convection worked, despite that we’d done convection two months or so previously.

It didn’t catch fire, by the way.

I Heart Math

, , , , | Learning | June 22, 2017

(Our teacher has written a question on the board and a fellow student is trying to answer it.)

Student: *finishes writing answer*

Teacher: “x<34?”

Student: “No, it’s lesser than four times—”

Teacher: “But you have put a three in there after less than.”

Student: “Isn’t that how you write it?”

Teacher: “No. Less than is just the arrow.”

Student: “That’s how I’ve always written it.”

Other Student: “Sir, less than 3 is a love heart in text language.”

Teacher: “Oh, I see. Please, no one do that in exams. I beg of you.”

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