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What If You Hate Rugby AND Running?

, , , , , | Learning | June 30, 2021

I always hated playing rugby. Unfortunately, it was mandatory at my secondary school, unless I was prepared to take a hockey stick home every week, which wasn’t practical on a bike.

That was, until the first games afternoon of the year I turned sixteen. A games master quickly organised a game for the group I was in and cheerfully announced:

Games Master: “And anyone who argues with the ref will be sent on a run!”

That sounded a much better prospect, but I didn’t want to get into too much trouble. So, I trotted up to him.

Me: “Excuse me, sir. Did you mean what you said about people who argued with the ref?”

Games Master: “I don’t know. What did I say?”

Me: “You said people who argued with the ref would be sent on a run.”

Games Master: “Oh. I suppose I did.”

Me: “Please, sir, can I have an argument?”

He burst out laughing.

Games Master: “Go on, then.”

I hadn’t actually expected this to work, so I didn’t have anything prepared. I came up with something like, “I think rugby is the stupidest game I have ever played.”

I was sent on a run. And they never tried making me play rugby again.

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The Science Of Silence

, , | Learning | June 29, 2021

In eighth grade, we have this science teacher who is known for being a bit eccentric. She is fairly relaxed usually, but often our classes get really rowdy and she gets upset. This is one of those days, and to try and control the class, she tells everyone that the next person who talks is getting expelled from class.

A few minutes pass in total silence — from our end, anyway. I — a good student, but really scatty and talkative, by no means innocent of talking in class — spend that time admiring my friend’s ruler, which has “Wind In The Willows” characters on it.

Then, it happens.

Me: “This is a cool ruler—” *gasps*

Yes, I was the ONE KID who got expelled that day — and for a totally innocuous comment! I expected my Mum to FLIP, but for once, she was really un-Mum-like and just laughed it off as me being my usual inattentive self.

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That’s A Fair Question

, , , , | Learning | June 28, 2021

In eighth grade, we had a really young English teacher. She looked and acted so young, a rumour spread across the class that she was eighteen, which, of course, was impossible, but hey, we were thirteen. What did we know? Predictably, all the boys developed huge crushes on her.

One day, we were in class and somebody was passing a note, and the teacher intercepted it. She took it from the person who had it, unfolded it, and read it out loud.

Teacher: “‘The teacher’s really hot, but she wears white socks.’”

Not missing a beat, and entirely deadpan, she turned to the class and asked:

Teacher: “What’s wrong with white socks?”

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Linda Belcher Did A Stint As A Teacher

, , , , , | Learning | June 24, 2021

Back when I was in middle school, a group of boys apparently decided to start having “peeing contests”. In other words, they were trying to pee into the urinal from as far away as they could and were making a gross mess in the process. Initially, the school freaked out because they thought there was a leak, but the plumber they hired couldn’t find anything — a big financial hit, given how small the school was.

I’m not sure how, but eventually, one of the teachers figured out what was happening and our principal asked all of the teachers to make an announcement about it in their homerooms.

Teacher: *Very sternly* “Now, we don’t know who all is involved with this, but we know that some of you boys are playing a little ‘game’ in the bathroom, and it needs to stop immediately. It’s incredibly gross and you need to put your pee where it’s supposed to be!”

There was a slight pause and the tension in the room immediately dissolved as she realized the accidental rhyme she had just said to a bunch of very immature and now snickering eleven-year-olds.

Teacher: “Ah, jeez… You know what? You know what? I’m going to recreate that Uncle Sam poster and put ‘Put that pee where it’s supposed to be!’ on it and stick it over the urinal.”

And she did! It stayed there for the rest of that school year, and we never had another urine-related incident while I attended that school.

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What’s Latin For “Whoops”?

, , , , , | Learning | June 22, 2021

I switched high schools midway through my first year and found that, unlike my old school, my new one taught Latin. As another student also joined the school at the same time as me, she and I were given separate lesson plans to the rest of the class to try and “catch us up.”

I was generally very polite and quiet at this point in my life, particularly toward authority figures, but my outward behaviour didn’t always reflect my internal monologue. 

One day, the teacher reprimanded the other later starter because her textbook was closed and she wasn’t even pretending to be working. I, however, was nearly finished with the assignment. For some reason, though, the teacher then brought me into it.

Teacher: “What about you, [My Name]? Are you Superman and able to read your book through its cover?”

Me: “Yes, of course, I am.”

A few moments later as the class erupted, I realised with growing horror that I had actually said the thing I was thinking.

Teacher: “Oh, that’s hilarious, [My Name], very funny. Do you know what else is funny? Saturday morning detention.”

I didn’t have a great home life and my parents had very strict ideas about respecting adults, so frankly, I was terrified about how I would explain this to them. I spoke to the teacher after the class, apologised profusely, and explained that my inner voice had gotten away from me and that I had actually finished the lesson so he caught me by surprise. He thanked me for apologising but explained that he had actually been joking, too. Looking back on it now, I’m not sure if he just saw how panicked I was and took pity on me.

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