The Psychology Of Laziness

, , , , , | Learning | August 27, 2019

For a while, I was a psychology major in college. The major had some interesting electives, including “psychology of animal and human interaction.” I loved animals and thought psychology was interesting so it was a no-brainer to me.

Our final, worth a considerable portion of our grade, was a group research project. Groups of four to five students had to find participants and animals, and record how people talked to the animals. Each student had to have their own set of data so that the professor could still grade our individual contributions.

Enter Lazy Classmate, who, while seeming soft-spoken and nice, absolutely refused to participate meaningfully in this project worth a huge part of our grade. He was never confrontational, but he never delivered on anything promised and we had to write his portions of the paper for him, etc. Standard useless project member things. The real surprise was when we all reviewed the final paper and data.

The lazy classmate had apparently failed to collect his data set, as well, and it was incredibly obvious. He had taken my data and copy-pasted it completely. This was an upper-level, restricted elective. He couldn’t have been that stupid, right?

He was that stupid. The teacher noticed immediately and our feedback on his contributions to the project was the final nail in the coffin. The project was graded out of 100 total, and then divided for each student. So, a 100% for an individual student was a 20/20. Imagine my surprise when the lazy student didn’t show up on the final day, and the rest of the group had found we’d all been given 25/20. The teacher had not only reported the student, but had given us his points, as well, giving us all a big grade boost right before the semester’s end.

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I Can See Communism From My House!

, , , , , , | Learning | August 26, 2019

(I’m a high school sophomore in World History class. We’re doing a unit on the Cold War, and so, naturally, we discuss capitalism versus communism quite a bit. We have an assignment to complete during one of our classes. One of the questions asks for the names of the two modern communist countries. I put down Cuba and China, check my answer on the Internet, and move on. Then, I hear this from another student halfway across the room.)

Student: “Wait, which Alaska is communist again?”

(The worst part is that he’s lived in America all his life and seemed completely serious!)

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I Am Beeping Diabetic, B****es!

, , , , , | Learning | August 23, 2019

(I’m diabetic and have a few medical devices and accommodations. One of my devices beeps really loudly when I have high blood sugar. I am in math class and it beeps. The girl next to me tells turns to me.)

Girl: “Silence your phone!”

Me: “My phone is silenced.”

(It beeps again three minutes later.)

Girl: “Oh, my f****** God, turn your phone off! I can’t focus!”

Me: “My phone is silenced.“ 

(She is super mad, and so when it beeps a third time, she gets up and yells.)


(The teacher took my phone, but I didn’t mind, because when the fourth beep chimed the girl stared at me, so angry that she just got up and left. The next day in class, it beeped and I took it out and programmed it to stop; she looked very embarrassed.)

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At The End Of The Day, It’s All Semantics

, , , , , , | Learning | August 23, 2019

While I was doing my bachelor’s in linguistics, I also took a Norwegian practical writing course. It aimed to teach an academic approach on how to write, critique, and understand various genres of text. I was in it to improve my article writing proficiency.

We usually worked in groups in this course, and one of the assignments was writing and critiquing poetry. Our teacher was a major experimental poetry nerd, so we wrote various more or less serious poems without structure as jokes, but every member of our group wrote poems. I figured we would be fine. 

Then came the day when we were to turn in our poems, and I found out that I was the only one in our group that had actually finished any poems that I was willing to turn in. I was too flustered to be angry, so I just went into problem-solving mode. I grabbed the poems I felt done with, and I was one short to complete the assignment. While the teacher was going around getting the poems for other groups I was frantically going through my rucksack to see if I had anything. I found a page from a Semantics paper I had done. For non-linguists, that’s word-math. It’s strange lambda transformations, arrows, and brackets. It was one simple sentence, “John kicks the ball,” written five or six times in increasingly more obfuscated ways with various symbols scribbled around. “F*** it,” I thought, added it to the pile, and turned it in.

The week after, we were going through our poems in class, and the lecturer was beaming. One of the poems was just fantastic! It had broken with all convention while using simple language and yet conveyed so much meaning, life, and action. It was one of the best poems she had seen and was written by one of us. And then she held up the page from my Semantics paper and wanted to know who the poet was.

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Quiet Departure, Loud Reaction

, , , , , , | Learning | August 21, 2019

(In my two last high school science classes, I am notorious for sitting alone in the back corner at what is supposed to be the teacher’s desk, messing around on my laptop and blatantly not paying attention. But I take my textbook home, do the classwork there, and make 100s on all my tests, so the teacher doesn’t care. Other students aren’t doing so well with their grades. One day, I raise my hand and ask to go to the restroom; the teacher gives me permission but the other students don’t hear her. I walk out of the room.)

Student: *screaming* “Oh, my gosh. [My Name] sits back in the corner and never does any work in here, but we get in trouble if we’re talking or don’t pay attention for one second! She just gets up and leaves the room and you don’t even say anything!”

(The teacher found the outburst so funny she gave me permission to leave the room whenever I wanted without asking.)

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