Enclosed In A Guilt Cage

, , , , , , , | Learning | November 15, 2017

I am at a zoo with my school to learn about the animals, and one of the volunteers asks if there are any questions. I can’t remember my exact question, but I say something about “cages.”

The woman goes very stern and says, “We say, ‘enclosures!’”

Guilty, much?

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The Complements Are Complimentary

, , , , , | Learning | November 14, 2017

(We have just finished a test and we have started a new topic: probability. We are talking about complements, which are mutually exclusive events, and our teacher is telling us not to get confused with compliments.)

Teacher: “…so, never confuse your complements.” *walks up to me* “[My Name], your marks on the test were the highest in the class.”

Me: *getting excited* “What?!”

Teacher: *to class* “See? Don’t use that type of compliment.”

Class: “OOOOOOH!”

(I giggled a little, though I felt shocked and sad. Fingers crossed; I still might have gotten good marks on the test.)

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Deadly Debating

, , , , | Learning | November 14, 2017

(My English professor is going over the instructions on a persuasive essay.)

Professor: “You need to acknowledge your opposition — and if you’ve chosen a good, debatable topic, there will be opposition — and you’ve got to be civil about it. As much as you might hate the other side, you can’t just kill everybody who disagrees with you.”

Student: “Is that a challenge?”

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Special Friends Forever

, , , , , , | Learning | November 13, 2017

(In fourth grade I move to a new school. On my first day of school, a group of girls comes up to me and claims me as their friend. I become really good friends with one of the girls, and the rest are fun to play with at recess. Some of the girls aren’t as smart as I am, and one is missing a leg. All of them have another class that they go to for part of the day, but being nine, I don’t really think much of it. This happens in sixth grade: My teacher has asked me to stay behind so she can talk to me before I go to recess.)

Teacher: “[My Name], I see that you’ve been playing with [Friends #1, #2, and #3]. You shouldn’t be playing with them; we will find you new friends.”

Me: “But I like my friends, and all the other kids in class are mean or are into things I’m not interested in.”

Teacher: “Well, if you stop being friends with those girls, then people wouldn’t be mean to you.”

Me: “But my friends are friends with me, no matter who I hang out with. Why should I be friends with people who don’t like me because of who I am friends with?”

Teacher: “[My Name], those girls are Day School children and you’re not. You are one of the brightest students I have, and you shouldn’t be playing with them.”

Me: *looking at my teacher in confusion* “But [Teacher], I’m a child and I go to school during the day. What am I, if not a day school child?”

Teacher: *pauses* “Just go outside and try to make new friends.”

(It took me a while to work out that “day school children” meant kids who were in special ed. By the end of seventh grade, I was no longer friends with most of the girls that I was friends with in fourth grade. Some had changed schools, and some had just drifted naturally into different groups. I’m glad I never took my teacher’s advice to abandon a group of people who had welcomed me with open arms just because my teacher thought they were different than me. I’m now in my 30s and still count one of those girls as one of my closest friends.)

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Make You Laugh Like A Donkey

, , , , , , | Learning | November 12, 2017

(The summer before I start fourth grade, at age nine, I spend most days at a summer school/daycare hybrid with lots of kids up to my age. It’s brilliantly organized; each week has a specific educational theme, with snacks and activities and guests all focused on that theme all week, often including a Friday field trip related to it, too. One week in particular is focused on animals or farm life or something. We have a guest speaker who is telling us about different farm animals.)

Guest: “And what is this animal?”

Class: “A horse!”

Guest: “Right! What about this one? Kind of looks similar…”

Class: “A donkey!”

Guest: “That’s right! And did you know that sometimes a horse and a donkey will have a baby? Does anyone know what we call a half-horse, half-donkey?”

(My hand shoots up enthusiastically.)

Guest: “Yes?”

Me: “A JACKA**!”

(The class, and some of the instructors, erupt in laughter.)

Guest: *awkwardly* “Well, no, we call it a mule.”

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