A Pitiful Attempt To Be Understanding

, , , , , | Learning | May 14, 2021

I’m a college sophomore. I traveled abroad during the winter break. A couple of days into the new semester, I come down with a rather intense case of chickenpox. I never had it as a kid, so it knocks me out. I am basically stuck in bed with a head that feels like it’s going to explode and blisters everywhere, including inside my mouth and throat.

I call my department and fax them my doctor’s recommendation to stay away from the rest of humanity for a couple of weeks. They tell me not to worry; they will inform all my professors of my absence and I can make up any work as soon as I come back. I am incredibly grateful.

When I come back, I make sure to visit all my professors during office hours so I can catch up. All of them are incredibly gracious and helpful except my linguistics professor, who stands me up during his office hours.

Unable to find him anywhere, I go to his class. To my surprise, there is a test today. I very meekly go up to him and explain my situation.

Me: “I have been sick and absent for the past two weeks and had no idea there was a test. I don’t even know what material is covered on this test. The department assured me I could make up my absences as soon as I came back.”

The professor responds in the most condescending tone you can imagine.

Professor: “Oh, what a pity. Come to my office tomorrow and take the test.”

Me: “Professor, what material is being covered by the test?” 

Professor: “Oh. It’s chapter two and three.”

I go home, frantic, and spend all night devouring chapters two and three. I’m not a linguistics major, so this is not my cup of tea.

The next morning, I have barely slept, but I feel ready to at least pass the test. I walk to my professor’s office confidently. He hands me the test, and I sit down.

When I look at the paper in front of me, I recognize nothing. Absolutely nothing I studied is on this exam. I walk up to the professor.

Me: “Excuse me, sir. Is this the right test? The test you gave yesterday?”

Professor: “Oh, yes!”

Me: “I studied chapters two and three from the book, but they don’t have anything to do with what’s in the test.”

Professor: “Well, what I included in the test was all discussed in class and written on the board.”

Me: “But, sir, I was absent for two weeks due to illness, as I reminded you yesterday.”

He looks at me for a second.

Professor: “Oh, what a pity.”

He turned his glance away from me.

I went back to the desk, did what I could, and turned the test in, completely sure that I had failed. I had.

Knowing that I would probably fail the class, I decided to drop it and concentrate on catching up in the classes I know I could do well in. When I went back to my professor so he could sign the required form to allow me to do just that, he just looked at me and said, “Oh, what a pity,” as he signed.

I did retake the class and got a great grade. Linguistics is still not my cup of tea, but at least the second time around I got a professor that taught me more linguistics than “pity”.

1 Thumbs
320

We’re Too Uneducated And Inexperienced To Title This

, , , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: jayda92 | May 7, 2021

When I was a teaching assistant, I used to work as a substitute teacher for very unruly classes — the classes licensed teachers wouldn’t accept. I had full responsibility and worked all hours, and my numbers showed that my class was making great progress. I just had some bad luck that caused me to not finish teaching college at that time.

Because I didn’t have my license, my boss came to me one day and told me that I was actually “too uneducated and inexperienced” to teach and that I “must have had someone telling me what to do” behind me. I told her I didn’t, but she didn’t believe me and told me she’ll be watching me like a hawk to see if I was fraudulent, changing grades and stuff.

I never did anything to my students. I’m not a cruel person and I didn’t want anyone implying that I wasn’t doing my job as expected. They all got to the next year with scores higher than we would’ve expected beforehand.

But. I started to behave like a beginner student teacher, to my boss only! I asked really stupid questions like, “How can I make my class quiet? I’m really too uneducated to know, so can you please help this teacher out by showing me?” I knew fully well that my formerly disruptive class wouldn’t ever listen to her. I called her for anything and everything: a parent wanting to talk to me, a kid who fell down and needed a band-aid… anything. I made sure to tell her I was too uneducated and inexperienced to handle such a task and I needed to observe a true pro work.

My colleagues got in on it, too. They started pointing out everything I wasn’t allowed to do but expected to do, and they told my boss that she was being very hypocritical by expecting me to do so.

In the meantime, I was discussing gamification, the need for programming and English in primary school, showing older colleagues new teaching methods and digital assistance… All the goodies.

After six weeks, my boss was done. She called me to her office and apologized to me for saying that I was too uneducated and inexperienced. She said she was renewing my contract and got some budget to pay for half of my studies.

I was happy to tell her that I gotten a new job that would pay for everything to get me my license and I would get full creative freedom… without being watched like a hawk.

This was two years ago. I almost have my license now and I still work at that awesome school that hired me after the allegations of being “uneducated and inexperienced” at my old job.

1 Thumbs
524

I’m An Adult And I Wouldn’t Eat It, Either

, , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: _hylas | May 6, 2021

My parents used to try and pull the “if you don’t finish your food you can’t get up from the table” trick, but I’d say, “Fine,” and sit at the table for hours until they gave in. There was no phone, no TV, no anything — just me, some vegetables, and a set of exhausted parents. I was apparently totally capable of just… saying no and sticking to my guns.

Fast forward to a school trip. It’s lunchtime and on offer are sandwiches. A couple of kids have cheese and onion sandwiches, but the rest of us are being offered, insanely, pâté sandwiches. I think this is a crazy thing to feed a group of forty schoolchildren, but clearly, the school didn’t agree. I ask if I can have a cheese and onion sandwich and I’m told that no, I can’t, because I had to sign up for the vegetarian option in advance.

At this age, I have no idea what pâté is, but I can see it and smell it, and I know it’s not happening. I ask again for some cheese and onion sandwiches, and I’m told there’re none left and I’m going to have to eat the other kind.

I was an absolute model student up until the age of, like, sixteen, but there is this one teacher who absolutely hates me regardless. Think, “How dare you write in cursive when I haven’t taught you cursive yet?!” She seizes upon this opportunity.

Teacher: “Don’t be picky! You’re holding everyone up. You should just eat the sandwich.”

I’m poking this thing and the texture is totally freaking me out — my biggest issue with most foods.

Me: “Can I just skip lunch?”

Teacher: “No, absolutely not. You have to eat and you have to eat that sandwich.”

Me: “I’m not trying to be fussy, but if I try and eat that sandwich, I’m going to throw up.”

Teacher: “Stop being dramatic. You’re not going to throw up; you’re just a picky eater and you need to get over it.”

So, I bit into the sandwich, and not fifteen seconds later, I started throwing up everywhere. Clearly, [Teacher] was not expecting this and she had no idea how to react.

A bunch of the other teachers came over to check that everything was okay, and she tried to explain to them what had happened. They had to call my parents — as was the throwing up protocol — and they were very interested to know why the teacher had force-fed their child a lukewarm pâté sandwich.

In the end, they broke out the crisps and an apple because, unsurprisingly, there were things to eat other than meat paste in bread, and [Teacher] gave me a wide berth for a good few weeks.

1 Thumbs
494

A Mono-Track Mind

, , , , , , | Learning | May 3, 2021

In my freshman year of high school, I have some pretty bad luck with my health early on in the year. Somehow, I manage to catch strep and tonsillitis AT THE SAME TIME, so I miss about two weeks of school. I am okay for a while after the full course of antibiotics, but I start feeling sick and groggy again pretty quickly so I go back to the doctor. This time, I have mono. Not only that, but I have TWO DIFFERENT STRAINS of mono.

My school, in their infinite wisdom, says I can’t miss any more days or I’ll have to repeat the semester. Great. So I try to just power through, which is made more difficult by the fact that my first class of the day was algebra.

I’m sitting in class, nodding off HARD while trying to pay attention and take notes, pinching my arm black and blue trying to stay awake. Eventually, I decide to take a ten-second power nap to try and recharge a little bit. I close my eyes and count to one…

Teacher: *Shaking my shoulder gently* “[My Name]?”

Me: *Groggy* “Huh?”

Teacher: “Your pencil’s still moving, but your head’s been down for ten minutes.”

Me: “What?!”

I look at my desk and see pencil scribbles everywhere.

Me: “Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. I’m trying to pay attention, I swear I am…”

I frantically try to clean up the scribbles and grab the desk when I get dizzy.

Teacher: *Concerned* “[My Name], you look like h***. What’s wrong?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I have mono.”

Teacher: *Shocked* “What?! What are you doing in school? You should be at home resting!”

Me: “I’d love to be, but the office said I can’t miss any more school since I missed so much last month.”

My teacher is silent for a moment, clearly angry.

Teacher: “Put your head back down and go to sleep. I’ll print the notes for you. Do you need, I don’t know, water or something? Anything I can get you?”

Me: “I’m okay. Are you sure?”

Teacher: “I’m sure. Go to sleep.”

I thanked him and went to sleep. I genuinely don’t remember the rest of the day, or most of the recovery period, but when I got home my parents had gotten a VERY apologetic call from the office saying that I could stay home until I was better and my teachers would email me notes and assignments. Turns out my algebra teacher had gone to the office and demanded an explanation as to why one of his students was being forced to attend class when they were too ill to even stay awake and the vice-principal, who was awesome and way better than the principal, hadn’t heard about this and demanded an explanation, as well. I might hate math, but that was the absolute best math teacher I ever had!

1 Thumbs
905

I Pledge Allegiance To Tea And Scones

, , , , , | Learning | April 29, 2021

I was a teenage boy attending high school in the USA. Every morning, the whole class would stand up and, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, recite the pledge of allegiance. I did not join in.

As time went by, the homeroom teacher noticed my lack of standing and pledging, and she got angrier and angrier, until one day, she flipped out.

She grabbed me by my shirt and dragged me through the halls of the school, red-faced and screaming almost incoherently about the pledge, the flag, patriotism, and so on and so forth. She dragged me through the office, past a surprised-looking receptionist, and thrust me through a closed door and almost onto my bum in front of the principal, still screeching away at the top of her lungs.

When he could finally get a word in edgeways, the principal said;

Principal: “Why do you refuse to recite the pledge, young man?”

Me: “Well, I’m English. Why would I?”

I thought the teacher was going to burst a blood vessel in her brain when he calmly accepted my explanation. I ended up changing homerooms the next week. Can’t imagine why.


This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of April 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of April 2021 roundup!

1 Thumbs
732