Losing A Student Almost Makes Them Lose It

, , , , , , , | | Learning | May 18, 2019

During my junior year, I go on a trip to San Diego with one of the clubs from my school, which is in the Chicago area. After our flight lands and we arrive at our hotel, we decide to get lunch at a restaurant in Old Town then spend the afternoon sightseeing in the area.

The hotel offers a shuttle for guests but will need to make four trips due to the size of our group. I am in the second group, and we are dropped off at the intersection where the first group is waiting. There are some stands a few feet from the intersection that have interesting crafts for sale, so I decide to browse while we wait for the last two groups to get there.

I finish making a purchase – which takes me less time than a single round trip to the hotel, let alone two – only to turn around and discover that everyone is gone. Turns out the teachers found out that the shuttle could drop off directly at the restaurant, so the last two groups went there while the first two walked over, not realizing I wasn’t with them.

Thankfully, there are kiosks with maps nearby and I remember the name of the restaurant, so I quickly find my way there. As I am walking up to the front door, one of my teachers is walking out with her cell phone in hand and, seeing me, says, “I was just about to call you!” I don’t have a cell phone, which I tell her. “Then what’s this number?” I check her phone and, sure enough, it is my number – my home number.

And that’s how I narrowly avoided giving my parents a heart attack from 2000 miles away.

Examining Your Examination Technique

, , , , | | Learning | May 17, 2019

(I am teaching multiple sections of a class, and there is a common time assigned for all sections to take exams. Some people have been allowed to register for another class that meets at that exam time, so I arrange to give them the exam as a separate group just before the main exam period. After giving the exam to the small group, I notice that one exam contains a name that doesn’t look familiar. I check our online homework system, and the name is there, too. However, the name has never been listed on the class roster. After contacting the company that runs the homework system, I have the following exchange with one of my students.)

Me: “I’ve noticed that your homework account logs in, gives the correct response to every question on the first try, and then logs out within five minutes.”

Student: “I know the material very well.”

Me: “I’ve noticed a different account that immediately chooses the ‘give up and see the solution’ option for all questions, logs out, and then your account logs in one minute later. For every assignment.”

Student: “It’s a coincidence.”

Me: “The other account has the same IP address as yours.”

Student: “Someone must be stealing my WiFi.”

Me: “During breaks, your account switches to an IP address in [Hometown]. The other account’s IP address changes to the same one at the same time.”

Student: “They must be spoofing it.”

Me: “The company says that this other account was paid for with the same credit card as your account.”

Student: “They stole my credit card information.”

Me: “You are part of the early exam section. Somebody handed in an exam with the same name as this account then, and one with your name was submitted during the regular section.”

Student: “I just decided to come to the big section that week. I have no idea about the other exam.”

(Obviously, I failed this student, and he promptly appealed the decision to my department head. Then to the dean’s office. Then to the university committee. Then to the provost. I spent two months on hearings, summaries, and rebuttals which were a waste of everybody’s time. The student retook the class, graduated, and went on to medical school!)

Aiming For A Reputation

, , , , , , , | | Learning | May 16, 2019

(We have all taken our seats in our classroom. Our teacher always comes in several minutes late, so someone decides to start an eraser-throwing war. The eraser lands on my desk, so I pick it up and throw it across the room. I’m not aiming at anyone, but it hits one boy in the side of his nose. I’m usually one of the more quiet, stay-out-of-trouble students.)

Boy: “Who threw that?”

Me: “Uh, I did.”


In The Name Of Anger

, , , , , , | | Learning | May 14, 2019

(I audition for the school musical and get a lead part. During rehearsals, it becomes apparent that the director does not know my name, despite her personally being present for my initial audition.)

Director: “All right, let’s go over this part again. Let’s start with… um…”

Me: “[My Name].”

Director: “[My Name]! Sorry!”

(This goes on for MONTHS, with her never making a real effort to learn to my name. One day, after a particularly bad day at school.)

Director: “Okay, let’s do this again. You, you there, um…”

Me: “GOD D*** IT!” *slams down music* “I am sick of this! I am your lead part! I have dealt with this nearly every day for three months! Please, just try to learn my name! It’s [My Name]! [My Name]! [My Name]!”

(The director’s jaw dropped. I later apologized, but she insisted that I was correct in my anger. She never forgot my name after that.)

Someone Has To Be Princess Peach

, , , , , , | | Learning | May 13, 2019

(I’m beginning a Spanish class for first- and second-graders. I give them a list of Spanish first names for them to choose from, typical for a foreign language class. Two minutes later:)

Me: “No, you can’t all be called Mario!”

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