Getting All Goggle-Eyed Over Your Lack Of Pants

, , , , , , | Learning | October 17, 2017

(There’s one guy in my chemistry class who behaves so that we can never tell if he’s being funny or just stupid. It’s usually a mix of both. We are taking a test.)

Question #8: “Which item does the safety contract mandate you wear at all times during a lab? A) goggles B) lab coats C) flip flops D) pants.”

Student #1: *walks up to [Teacher]* “Hey, [Teacher], what’s the answer to number eight?”

Teacher: “We’re in the middle of a test, [Student #1]. I can’t just GIVE you the answer!”

Student #1: “But [Teacher], I honestly can’t tell. Are you sure it’s not a trick question?”

Teacher: *takes test, reads over question* “This is obvious! Did you even read the safety contract?!”

(At this point, the entire class has stopped taking the test to listen to the argument, which is by no means quiet.)

Student #1: “Well, you need to wear goggles, but pants are important!”

Teacher: “Which item is implicitly stated on the contract, [Student #1]?”

Student #1: “But pants are more important than goggles!”

Teacher: *mentally head-desking* “Seriously?! Tell me why you need to wear pants, specifically, in a lab environment.”

Student #1: “I won’t be allowed into school without them, and they’ll protect my legs if I spill chemicals on them, like this!”

(He then proceeds to march back to his table, backhand [Student #2]’s water bottle, and send it flying across the room, spilling partway on [Student #2] in the process.)

Teacher: “Now all you’ve done is spill the chemicals all over [Student #2]’s legs, not yours, AND spilled his water bottle!”

Student #1: “So, he needed pants more than goggles!”

Teacher: “No! That wouldn’t happen unless he worked with someone especially clumsy during his lab, and most people take the chemicals and put the beaker up to their face to measure or examine them!”

([Teacher] grabs an empty, clean beaker from her desk and demonstrates by putting the exposed end close to her eye.)

Teacher: “If you don’t have goggles, you may go blind if you slosh the liquid out of the container!”

Student #1: “But if you -”

Teacher: “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE ANSWER IS GOGGLES! NOW PLEASE SIT DOWN AND FINISH YOUR TEST!”

(The entire class starts cracking up, and [Student #1] walks back to his desk in defeat. The next day:)

Teacher’s Aide: *wasn’t here yesterday* “So, this goggles vs. pants question–“

Teacher: “NO.”

(The entire class cracked up again.)

Time To Adopt Plan B

, , , , | Learning | October 16, 2017

(I balance my course load like this: Every semester I choose the highest-intensity class that I can get access to, and balance that class out with the lowest-intensity class available to me toward my degree. That way, I have a consistent workload all four years — I have half of my classes that require a lot of focus and time, while I can breeze through the other half of my work, instead of knocking out classes “in order” and burning myself out by junior and senior year with an increasingly difficult workload with no break. Because I did this, by my last year I am frequently the only senior in a 100-level class full of freshman, like this particular class. I have known this professor for over three years, while my classmates were meeting him for the first time. The professor assigns us into groups for a project with a loose schedule for presentations to be finished over the next two class periods. The day of the first presentations, many of us are in the classroom early before the professor arrives, and I hear muttering all around the room.)

Student #1: “Uh, hey, we’re not ready to present today; can we switch with you and go Thursday instead?”

Student #2:No! We’re not ready, either. Maybe Group D wants to go—”

Student #3: “No way! We’re scheduled to go Thursday, and we need that extra time!”

Me: “Oh, for Pete’s sake.” *addresses the whole room* “Who’s ready to present today?”

(One kid puts his hand up slowly, but his partner slaps it down. No other hands raise.)

Me: “All right, guys, I’ve got this. Watch and learn.”

(Everyone settles down in their seats and the professor arrives in the room.)

Me: “Hey, [Professor’s First Name], does [Professor’s Son] know he’s adopted?”

(The professor whips his head at me with a scandalized look on his face, and the class freezes, wondering what h*** I unleashed.)

Professor: “Does he… know? Are you serious? Of course he knows! He’s black! Look at me; I’m white and Jewish! And you’ve seen my wife… well…” *turns to class* “—you guys don’t know my wife, but [My Name] took my wife’s class last semester. She’s Irish! [Son] knows he’s adopted; are you crazy?”

Student: “Wait, you have an adopted son?”

Professor: *beaming* “Yeah! Actually two of our kids are adopted…”

(My professor then goes off on a string of stories about the foster kids he and his wife have raised and the two they’ve adopted and how much of a nightmare the foster system is, their biological kids, a few trips to Ireland they’ve taken as a family, and several anecdotes about the kids in general.)

Professor: “Oh! D*** it, it’s already 2:30. Who was supposed to present today? Well, we’ve got fifteen minutes left… Nah, screw it. I don’t want to rush you guys presenting; there won’t be time for feedback discussion after if we do that now. Tell you what. I’m shifting everyone forward a day; we’ll just cut class early. See you Thursday!”

(As we filtered out of the classroom, the “kids” and I exchanged a nod.)

Virgo-ing On Awkwardness

, , , , , | Learning | October 13, 2017

(A classmate’s birthday was earlier this week.)

Teacher: “My birthday’s tomorrow, guys.”

Student: “My sister’s birthday is tomorrow.”

Teacher: “Oh! So you’re both virgins! Virgos!” *runs out of room*

“Inside” Your Mind

, , , | Learning | October 13, 2017

(I’m a middle school teacher and we’re getting back into the swing of things after summer vacation. When it’s nice outside, we really try to encourage the kids to go outside for recess, and that’s where we station our supervision. We do get some kids who try to sneak back in, and that’s where this exchange happens, after I hear some kids running in the hall.)

Me: “Hey, guys. What do you need? Are you going to the bathroom?”

Kid #1: “Uhhhh, no.”

Me: “Okay.”

Kid #2: “We’re just getting some water.” *drinks from fountain*

Me: “Great idea! Have fun outside. It’s sooo beautiful out.”

(Shortly after, I walk toward another entrance and see them inside again, trying to sweet talk a support worker into letting them stay inside. The support worker is telling them “no” when I round the corner.)

Me: “Hey, guys! Saying ‘hi’ to [Support Worker]?”

Kid #1: *shocked to see me* “Uh, yeah, and then we’re heading outside.”

Me: “Awesome! Have fun; it’s soooo beautiful outside.”

(As they are heading outside, one of the kids turns to their friend and says what they think I can’t hear.)

Kid #2: “Hey, let’s try the door by [Other Teacher]. We can hide in her classroom, too.”

(I wave to them until the door is closed and then book it to the other side of the school where that door is. I wait behind a wall, where they can’t see me, until I hear the door open and see them walk up.)

Me: “HOWDY!”

Kid #1 and #2: “WHAT THE F***!”

That’s Your Opinion But No One Asked For It

, , , | Learning | October 12, 2017

That’s Your Opinion But No One Asked For It

 

Middle School, Canada

 

(I teach grade seven, which means I do get a lot of hormonal kids. The best is those that want to be seen as adults, so they pick little fights to showcase their independence. This is amplified by the end of the year with one female student.)

 

Me: “Okay, [Student], remember that survey we did? You had great answers; I just need you to add some missing details.”

 

Student: “Why do I have to add more? I’m done with this. You can’t make me change my opinion; it’s my opinion.”

 

Me: “I didn’t ask you to change your opinion; I’m just saying we need more examples with your work. See here: you wrote a great answer, but the survey asked for an example of how you showcased your answer in the course.”

 

Student: “But it’s my opinion; that’s what I wanted to write. Why do I have to change it?”

 

(The best incident is after a fun field trip for a high school event. One of the high school teachers gives the teachers a bunch of toys to give our kids. This happens when I’m about to give out the toys.)

Me: “Mrs. [Teacher] gave you guys some gifts, which was really nice of her.”

Student: “Ugh, I hate that teacher.”

Me: “I didn’t ask you how you felt about her. I was saying she gave us gifts. Let’s listen—”

Student: “Well, that’s my opinion. You can’t get mad at me for having an opinion.”

Me: “Again, did I say, ‘you need to change your opinion’? No. I said, ‘you need to listen,’ and I didn’t ask what your opinion was, either.”

Student: *yelling* “But it’s my opinion!”

Me: “Okay, you know what? Go to the office.”

Student: “What?”

Me: “You’re distracting others and the lesson with this. Go sit at the study carrel and come back when you’re ready to listen.”

Student: *goes and grabs the office pass in anger* “WHY ARE YOU ALLOWED TO TELL ME TO GO AWAY BUT I CAN’T TELL YOU TO GO AWAY!?”

(She eventually did calm down, but no one was ever trying to get her to change her opinion.)

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