The Mother Of All Cheaters

, , , , , | Learning | December 14, 2017

(I work as a tutor for local college students. I have one student whose mother is way too involved in his schoolwork. She claims she wants to learn the material herself so she can drill him on it at home, but she does a really bad job of hiding the fact that she’s actually doing a lot of it for him.)

Mother: “Today, I want to go over these practice problems that I couldn’t understand when I was trying to help him study, and then we have an assignment to work on.”

(We go over the practice problems. By “we,” I mean the mother and I — the son is eating lunch.)

Mother: “I think we’re ready to start working on the assignment. [Son], is there anything you want to go over with [My Name] first?”

Son: *silence*

Mother: “All right, let’s pull it up. [My Name], don’t help us at first; we want to try it on our own.”

(I work on other things while they do the assignment, but I still hear a lot of their conversation, and while the son knows several of the multiple-choice answers, the mother does all the math.)

Mother: “Okay, [My Name]. Do you want to take a look at this?”

Me: “Looks like most of these are right, but you should take another look at these two. Can you show me how you got those answers?”

(We go over the two questions, and with some prompting, the mother realizes where she went wrong and corrects her answers. After they’ve turned in the assignment…)

Mother: “Lord, forgive me for cheating. At least I tried to do it all myself.”

(So, doing her son’s work for him wouldn’t be cheating, if only they hadn’t asked me to look over it before turning it in?)

Making Money From The Books

, , , , , , | Learning | December 13, 2017

(My professor has asked for the class’s opinions of the textbooks we read from this semester. Most people weren’t fans of [Book #1]. Note that students typically sell their books in an informal used book exchange at the end of the semester.)

Student #1: “[Book #1] was a bit dry.”

Student #2: “And the chapters dragged on. It could have been more concise in getting to its point.”

Student #3: “Yeah, it wasn’t difficult to read, just time consuming.”

Student #4: “I’d prefer if we’d only had to read [Book #2].”

Student #5: “But please use [Book #1] again next year so that we can sell our copies to the next class!”

(The class laughed.)

Perfect Portrait Of A Substitute Teacher

, , , , , | Learning | December 12, 2017

(I’m in eighth grade. At our school, everyone has a free period that lasts about half an hour. During this time, you can have a study hall period or join a club. I join an art club. I walk into the room and see an older male sub sitting at the teacher’s desk. We all settle down and wait for instruction.)

Substitute Teacher: *being totally serious* “So, [Regular Teacher] is out today, in case you couldn’t tell. I am not [Regular Teacher], because she is a young, married lady. I am not any of those things.”

(My friends and I are looking at each other and trying not to laugh.)

Substitute Teacher: *still being serious* “She didn’t leave any plans, and I don’t feel like thinking, so you can have a study hall. Do homework, play computer games, nap, meditate…”

(By now, the whole class is giggling. We try to hide it to be respectful.)

Substitute Teacher: *still serious* “I don’t have roll paper thingy for you guys, so I’m going to pass around a sheet of paper. Please keep the paper in portrait form. Write your names in a list, each one parallel to the prior one. Some people may drop the paper. In this case, the top may become the bottom and the bottom may become the top. If this happens, carefully proceed to pick up the sheet of paper and continue writing your name under everyone else’s. If you drop the paper, it may also flip from portrait to landscape. If this happens, make sure you return the paper to its original position before continuing to write your name.”

Me: “We’re in eighth grade! We should know how to write our names in a list and pick up a sheet of paper by now.”

Substitute Teacher: *flustered* “Well, I didn’t have a good childhood, and I didn’t know, so there’s no need to be disrespectful, young lady.”

(He proceeded to pass around the paper and then meditated throughout the class. My friends and I were laughing so hard. That’s probably the best encounter I’ve ever had with a sub.)

Projecting Your Work Ethic On To The Project

, , | Learning | December 10, 2017

(I am a sophomore in my last semester at a junior college. This is the last class that I need to take to get all my credits so I can move on to a four-year university next semester as a junior. I am in a group for a project with three freshmen boys, whereas I am female. Two of them are, for the most part, unmotivated, and they wait until the last minute to do their work. The third one gets his work done fairly early and does a good job at it. I am notorious for starting super early and getting everything done, so I don’t have to worry about it. Our project is a simple four-page paper detailing a monument in South America. We divide the project up so each of us writes one page. The night before the project is due, [Classmate #3] and I are diligently fixing last minute bits of our pages. [Classmates #1] and [#2] haven’t even opened the file. Desperate, we decide to finish their sections, too, since we don’t trust that they will actually do it. Because I am petty, I print one copy with all our names and one copy with only my name and [Classmate #3]’s. The next day:)

Classmate #1: “I am so sorry I didn’t work on the project. I didn’t know it was due today. I thought it was due Thursday!”

Classmate #2: “Yeah, me too. We both thought it was due Thursday! Thanks for finishing it though, guys.”

Classmate #3: “It’s okay.”

Me: “No, it’s not okay. You guys are in college now. You need to get your s*** together!” *slaps both copies on the table* “I want a sincere apology, and a promise that on our next project you will try your d*** best to give me the best work you have ever done. I want to see tears, boys, or your name doesn’t go on the project.”

Classmate #1: “Are you serious?”

Me: “Dead serious.”

([Classmates #1] and [#2] were stunned, but gave us both very sincere apologies and made good on their promise to do well on the next project. I never even planned on leaving their names off the project, I just wanted them to think I would take their names off to motivate them. It worked, and [Classmate #1] even thanked me for kicking his butt into gear, because it motivated him to work harder in his physics class, which he was failing. Sometimes you just have to be the bad guy- or girl- to get through to people.)


Performing An Amazing Feet

, , , , | Learning | December 8, 2017

(I teach swimming lessons. Today I’m one-on-one with a girl who is about eight years old. I am currently introducing her the dolphin kick — kicking with both feet together — when she suddenly switches back to the kick she is used to, mid-lap.)

Me: “That looked great at the start, but how come you stopped the dolphin kick in the middle there?”

Student: *shrugs*

Me: “When we’re doing dolphin kick or breaststroke or whatever, you have to do it all the way through.”

Student: *with complete seriousness* “My feet live their own life!”

Me: *after busting out in laughter* “Your brain gives the orders, hun! Make them respect the chain of command!”

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