Having A Frosty Reception

, , , , | Learning | September 16, 2018

(I am in primary school. My teacher tells us that we are watching the movie “Jack Frost” at Christmas. I am not that much of a fan of the 1998 movie, but for me it is a passable story. However, when our teacher sits us down to watch it, I notice it looks very different.)

Classmate #1: “Er, [Teacher], I think the beginning’s different.”

Teacher: “No, it’s normal. Just sit back and watch this.”

Classmate #2: *voice getting high-pitched* “Miss, please turn it off!”

(The narrator is talking about gory stuff, DEFINITELY unsuitable for ten-year-olds.)

Me: “[Teacher], this ISN’T Jack Frost!”

(The teacher holds up the video case.)

Teacher: *in a sarcastic tone* “Oh, silly me! I must have picked up the horror movie by mistake! Oh, well–” *pauses the video* “–maybe you should learn from my lesson — after all, this is a school environment — and actually read what’s on the back of a box before picking it up. But that’s enough. Let’s get back to watching it, shall we?”

(She made us watch it for another ten minutes. I counted by looking at the clock on the wall, before the bell rang for break. We couldn’t run out of there fast enough. Some of us were crying, and one of us spent the entire breaktime on the toilet. When our headmistress came in to talk to the teacher, she simply smiled sweetly and asked her to look around. The headmistress couldn’t find any trace of the video. Instead, she found the Jack Frost movie that I thought we were going to watch. She had just fast-forwarded to a part where there was a car crash and said that this scared us. She never carried out this sort of prank again, but I think she was angry that some of us had failed in our recent test by not reading all of the information on the sheet. We were all terrified of her for the rest of the year, but after that she didn’t act horrible once.)


Would Be Quicker To Post A Darn Letter

, , , , | Learning | September 15, 2018

I taught for an American school in Mexico in 2000. Most people did not have Internet in their homes at the time, and email was the easiest way to communicate with friends and family in other countries. My school decided to help us by offering us Internet at school.

Internet usage process:

  1. Have your email contacts begin emailing you at an email address shared by every school employee, with your name as the subject.
  2. Log on to the school’s one computer. Find the emails addressed to you. Copy and paste the email bodies into a Word document and save them to a floppy disc. Delete your emails. Log off.
  3. Read your emails offline. Compose your responses in a Word document.
  4. Log back on. Copy and paste your responses into the bodies of your emails. Log off again.

Oddly, I found I’d rather spend about a dollar for an hour of time at an Internet cafe.

They Are All Relatively Ignorant

, , , , , | Learning | September 12, 2018

(I am teaching a 12th-grade journalism class.)

Me: “For today’s assignment, I want you think of someone famous that you admire. They can be living or dead, as long as they are a real person. Imagine that you have the entire day to interview that person, write at least five questions, and try to think about how he or she would answer. Be creative! Here is a list of famous people to help give you an idea, in case you don’t have someone in mind.”

(The list contains a variety of people from history and the present day that most students should be familiar with, especially by the time they are in high school.)

Student #1: “Ms. [My Name], I don’t know who this person is.”

(I walk over to the student’s desk. To my astonishment, he is pointing to Albert Einstein’s name on the list.)

Me: *thinking the student is pulling my leg* “Come on, you know him! He was the scientist that came up with the formula E=MC2.”

Student #1: “Never heard of him.”

(I was shocked that even though I picked common people that are usually discussed in social studies and other subjects in school, these kids had no idea who I was talking about! The only names they did recognize were Dr. Seuss and Martin Luther King, Jr. But, they only knew MLK, Jr. because they don’t have to go to school on his birthday! They had no idea why he was important!)

Batteries Can Be Used At The Same Time, Though

, , , , , | Learning | September 10, 2018

(I go to an all-girls school. It is my third year, and I am sitting in French class. My French teacher is new to the school, and is known for being strict and never cracking a smile.)

French Teacher: “Girls, can anyone tell me what the French word is for ‘battery’?”

(Everyone looks at each other, clueless.)

French Teacher: “I’m sure you all know it; it’s a very popular brand of batteries. It begins with a D.”

Student: “DUREX!”

(Here in Ireland, Durex is a condom company.)

French Teacher: *trying to refrain from laughing* “Eh, no, [Student]. It’s Duracell.”

Centering On The Wrong Thing

, , , , , , | Learning | September 8, 2018

(I’m in year two of primary school. My teacher has basically said my work is rubbish — all because I spelt “centre” with an “er” instead of an “re” — and has called my parents in.)

Teacher: “We can’t have this sort of mistake. If we don’t pull him up on it now, then he won’t learn.”

Mum: “Is that all? Two letters the wrong way round from a seven-year-old? Considering using ‘er’ is actually a correct way of spelling ‘centre’…”

Teacher: “Not in this country.”

Mum: “No wonder everyone calls you a dragon if you get so picky over something so minor, even if it’s correct to begin with.”

(Thankfully I moved up to year three soon after and never had that trouble again.)

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