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Taking Note Of The Note-Taking

, , , , , | Learning | January 1, 2022

Several years ago, I worked as a substitute Special Education Paraprofessional (Aide). This particular day, I was assigned to a high school student who didn’t need much help, so I was mostly there to take notes for the aide I was subbing for. The science class was watching the movie The Day After Tomorrow, and the teacher instructed the students to take notes on the various weather and scientific aspects they saw in the movie to discuss later. I had watched the movie in the theater when it came out years ago, so I knew the plot.

The classroom had several tables set up with chairs all around, and since my chair faced away from the screen, in order to take notes, I had to turn my body slightly to write. Several times after a scene in the movie occurred, I turned to write notes, and the students nearby immediately leaned forward to start writing, too, sensing that something important must have happened if she’s writing it down!

I wish I could have read the other students’ papers just to see what they came up with. I even thought about pretending to write when nothing happened, but I’m not that mean and I wanted to enjoy the movie. It sure was fun to see the students scribble notes just because I was.

Hilarious Eggsplanations

, , , , , | Right | December 31, 2021

I’m doing undergraduate research in a lab. Our number shows first when looking up the university phone number, so we get some odd calls.

Me: “Hello, [University] genetics lab.”

Caller: “Hello, I’m a journalist from [Local Newspaper]. I needed some information about the recent eclipse.”

Me: “You probably want to talk to the physics department, then.”

Caller: “No, no, I want to speak to some biologist. You see, a farmer called us today with a story of her chicken laying an egg with a starburst on it.”

I start chuckling and put the phone on speaker.

Me: “Okay, so what do you need to know?”

Caller: “I want to run a piece about this chicken, but I need a scientific explanation about how the starburst may have formed. Is it possible that the chicken was scared of the eclipse, and that she transferred the distress onto the egg somehow? You know, like in that movie.”

Me: “Excuse me, which movie?”

Caller: “The one with the elephant.”

My colleagues have stopped working and are silently cracking up in the background. Meanwhile, the head researcher looks like she’s about to blow a gasket

I have clocked by now what movie he is referring to, but I just want to milk this call for all it’s worth.

Me: “Er, I’m afraid I don’t know what movie you’re referencing.”

Caller: “This guy’s mother saw an elephant and caught a fright, and the baby was born looking like an elephant. Is it possible that it happened with the chicken?”

Yes, the movie “Elephant Man” does discuss the theory… as a clue to how backward was the science in those days. Quoting that to a lab full of people who are specialising in genetics, however, will only get you laughed out of the building. The head researcher reaches the end of her tether and comes up to the phone.

Researcher: “For God’s sake, mister, educate yourself! John Merrick suffered from a genetic disease; those were growths on his body! And chickens don’t get scared of eclipses; they just go to sleep!”

Caller: “B-but… what about the starburst?”

Researcher: “There are several factors that will impact on the eggshell appearance, from chicken age to viral infections to mineral imbalance. There is no mechanism for a chicken to record distressing events onto the eggshell, and what would be the evolutionary benefit—”

Caller: “But it’s starburst shaped!”

Researcher: “That’s all you know.”

The caller quit it at this point. We had fun coming up with “scientific explanations” in the following days. My favourite was that the chicken, frightened by the eclipse, had clenched her “egg hole” so tight that it had left an imprint on the shell…

You Gotta Keep Moving With The Times

, , , , , | Related | December 26, 2021

I’m sixteen in the early 1990s. My family and I are white, and when I start dating a black girl, my parents are having none of it. They argue with me while a movie review TV show plays in the background.

Mother: “We’re not being racist! Society simply doesn’t accept black and white people dating each other.”

Father: “If you get serious about this girl, you’re going to experience a lot of hatred from both races. You’re young and idealistic, but believe me, people are not going to approve of you two being together.”

And then, I have my one and only “Glitch in the Matrix” moment, when the TV reviewers start speaking on the same subject.

Reviewer #1: “Say, [Reviewer #2], there’ve been a lot of movies with interracial couples this year, haven’t there?”

Reviewer #2: “Oh, yes. Wayne’s World, The Bodyguard, White Men Can’t Jump… It’s not nearly as controversial a subject as it used to be.”

Reviewer #1: “Almost a non-issue anymore. People just don’t care.”

I grinned smugly.

Both those reviewers have since gone to the great movie house in the sky, but I still give them two thumbs up.

Not Exactly Clever As A Fox

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: King_of_the_Dot | December 9, 2021

I work in a restaurant. I have just come in for my 4:00 pm shift, and I start with a table on the patio that starts off as normal as any. The older couple at the table is both cordial and pleasant. They order two drinks, I drop drinks, they order food, I drop food, and they don’t need refills, so everything seems to be going just fine.

As they finish eating, they stop another server.

Couple: “Can we watch Fox on the TV?”

This is no problem; we have forty TVs and will adjust any of them to anything you want to watch.

I don’t know if the server they told failed to tell me in a timely manner, but when I drop off the bill, I ask if they wanted to watch something on TV, and the lady confirms that she wants to watch Fox, and she seems kind of agitated. I go inside to the bar and ask the bartender to change TV #35 to Fox, as he has the tablet/remote behind the bar.

The bartender and I confirm that the station is just playing a sitcom, which has us both a little confused, because why would they want us to tune to a sitcom at 4:30 pm at a restaurant? I then return to the table to drop off their receipt.

Me: “Did you want to watch [Sitcom]? That’s what’s on Fox right now.”

Wife: “I want. To. Watch. Fox. This is ridiculous!”

Husband: *Calmly and pleasantly* “We are fine.”

Wife: “We! Are! Not! Fine!”

I immediately freeze in place, mouth agape, not knowing whether this lady is joking or not. After a few seconds, I try to say something and begin to stutter a bit and apologize as the husband starts waving me off with a smile.

So, completely perplexed, I begin to turn to walk away as the wife pipes up.

Wife: “You’re all a bunch of liberals!”

It finally dawns on me that she means Fox News. I go inside to tell everyone that this lady doesn’t know how to ask for what she wants. After explaining to most of the front-of-house staff what just went down, the lady comes inside and walks up to a full bar to announce:

Wife: “This is ridiculous! You’re all a bunch of liberals and this is censorship!”

Then, she turned and walked out.

I would have taken zero issue with turning the TV to Fox News for those folks.

I Need To Go Write A M*A*S*H/Bob’s Burgers Crossover Fanfic Now

, , , , , , , | Related | December 9, 2021

I’m joking with my dad about planning my funeral.

Me: “I’m gonna have a TV in the corner that just plays Bob’s Burgers on a loop the whole time.”

I pause for a second and decide to poke fun at my dad as he is the world’s biggest “M*A*S*H” fan.

Me: “At your funeral, I’ll play M*A*S*H.”

Dad: “I know you’re joking right now, but please actually do that. I think it’ll add a nice touch.”

Me: “Now you’re gonna tell me you want to be buried with your Kindle because your favorite game is on it?”

Dad: “Stop perfectly planning my funeral! I’m not dead yet! But please, yes, also do that.”