It’s A Dragon! It’s A Kangaroo! No, It’s A Disappearing Teacher!

, , , , , , , | Learning | March 31, 2021

I’m the same person from the origami prank. This story involves the same teacher and, unlike the previous story, the rest of the class, as well. This story involves the same teacher – and, unlike the previous story, the rest of the class as well.

During our last ever day of high school, we have a little class party, as one last hurrah before our final exams start. Our school has a farm, located at the bottom of a small slope. The main science block is shaped like a beveled ‘L’, and located at the top of the slope, with the bottom of the L positioned parallel to the farm building, at the top of the slope. Our classroom is located on the bottom part of the L (the side nearest to the slope). The staffroom is located near the bottom corner, near a passageway that leads to the slope, granting access to the farm. The farm is fenced off, and part of the fence juts out somewhat, forming a small gap between it and the side of the building.

In addition to the main science block, there are two demountable classrooms also located at the top of the slope, outside the science block proper. If one were to look down at the farm building from the top of the slope, said demountable classrooms would block part of the farm building from view. Every other part of the area was visible in a way that anyone at the bottom of the slope could be seen from the top – except for a blind spot where the gap was located, thanks to the demountables being in the way (though the entrance to the gap itself wasn’t part of the blind spot). The farm building was also positioned in a way that gave anyone standing right in front of it a surprisingly good view of anyone walking around nearby. Keep all this in mind, because it comes into play later.

Roughly half an hour into our party, we end up going down to the farm, as our teacher had set up a pinata for us earlier. We take turns spinning around and hitting the pinata, with our teacher’s going after everyone else.

It’s while we’re taking our second turns that one of my classmates ([Friend #1]) has an idea. During our teacher’s turn, he has us sneak away, and hide off to the side of the farm building. We slowly slip away while she’s spinning around, alone or in pairs. By the time we hear her hit the pinata, all seven of us have squeezed ourselves into the gap between the side of the building and the fence, doing our best to remain still and stifle our laughter.

These next few paragraphs are a combination of what our teacher said afterwards, that which was recounted by [Friend #1] – who remained near the entrance to the gap to keep an eye on our teacher’s movements -, and what I saw myself.

Our teacher, upon realizing that we’d seemingly vanished, let out a loud huff and walked out to the front of the farm building, looking around. Seeing a distinct lack of people, she went ‘really?’, and walked back up to the classroom, thinking that we’d simply taken the opportunity to run back up. She was quite surprised when she threw the door open, only to be greeted by a completely empty classroom. She walked back to the top of the slope, and looked down – completely missing us, thanks to the demountable classrooms hiding the gap (and us) from her view. Even more perplexed (and a wee bit vexed), she went into the staff room, and asked a colleague if she’d seen any of us pass by. No dice. Frustrated, she walked out of the staffroom, started heading down the slope – and stopped dead, as she saw all of us, milling around.

You see, right after she walked into the staffroom, [Friend #1] gave us the signal, and all seven of us rushed back to where the pinata was located. We barely had enough time to take our respective places and school our expressions, before our teacher came out of the staffroom and started heading down the slope. While most of us looked up at her with expressions of shock/utter confusion (but made no move to walk towards her), [Friend #1] – along with another friend of mine ([Friend #2]) – ran up the slope to meet our teacher – who, by now, looked UTTERLY confused.

Science Teacher: “Where did you guys go??”

Friend #1: “We didn’t go anywhere, Miss – Where did *you* go?!”

Friend #2: “You just disappeared after hitting the pinata!”

Cue one very confused and weirded-out teacher, who was half-convinced that she was going mad (read: very confused because she couldn’t work out how we’d seemingly disappeared) – until another friend accidentally let slip that it was actually a prank. Not that it would’ve mattered – she would’ve found out once we’d gotten back to the classroom!

And that’s the story of how [Science Teacher] fell into an alternate universe.

It’s A Dragon! It’s A Kangaroo! No, It’s A Whole Mess Of Rabbits!

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The Only Thing Scarier Than Creative Writing

, , , , , , | Learning | March 29, 2021

I’m in an English Studies class and the teacher is known for his jokes and sarcasm. We’ve just done a creative writing task based on an image prompt, and we’re discussing one of the stories.

Teacher: “Have you ever broken a bone?”

Student: “Yeah. My leg, playing football.”

Teacher: *To me* “Have you ever broken a bone?”

Me: “I do parkour, so… many.”

Teacher: “I’ve only ever broken one.” *Absolutely serious* “It wasn’t mine.”

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Wait Until You Hear About Centaur Babies!

, , , , | Learning | March 20, 2021

In the fourth grade, I became obsessed with the discovery of “mermaid babies” — babies who are born with webbed feet and/or hands, or with their legs and/or feet fused together. Every week in my class, someone was required to present a news report on any topic we wished, and of course, my topic was on this interesting phenomenon of mutations.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm following my week to present led a lot of my classmates to get annoyed and skeptical with me. One kid even came up and basically called me a liar and a fraud because her mom told her mermaid babies aren’t really mermaids but babies with their skin fused together. She got especially annoyed when I just gave her a confused look and went, “Duh, it’s not like they’re born with gills or something,” and walked away.

I finally gave my presentation, starting with a short fictional story I read about pregnant women laying by a “mermaid lake” who then gave birth to actual mermaids. I made sure to mention that the story was just a legend — incorrect word but I didn’t know that — and wasn’t real, before diving into my actual findings about a baby who had to have surgery to separate their legs.

I’ll never forget the look of awe on my teacher’s face as she listened to me speak. And after I was done, she set her grading clipboard down and asked, “So… Wait… Are these real mermaids? Like, can they breathe underwater and everything?” 

I stood there, dumbfounded for a second, before replying, “No, Mrs. [Teacher]. Mermaids aren’t actually real; it’s just the baby’s legs stuck together.”

I wish I could remember what I wrote and read to my class. It still bothers me to this day, wondering where in my presentation I went wrong for her to ask me that.

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“Oof” Isn’t A Strong Enough Word

, , , , , | Learning | March 18, 2021

I am an American teaching English in China and my current class is a small group of preteens. One of my students is an eleven-year-old boy who is legally blind. He sits at the front of the class, I reverse the colors of the digital whiteboard to white writing on a black background, and he can more or less make it out.

I’m playing a game where I quickly ask the class questions on something we just read and call on students to answer them. When they answer correctly, I toss them a piece of candy.

Me: “What was Moe’s secret ingredient? [Blind Student].”

Blind Student: “Salt!”

Me: “Very good!”

I toss him a wrapped candy and he makes no attempt to catch it. It bounces off his face and lands on the floor. He fumbles around for a few seconds until he finds it while I stand there frozen, contemplating what I have just done.

Me: “Perhaps I should not throw things at blind children.”

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Ring Me Once, Shame On Me…

, , , , , , | Learning | March 6, 2021

It is the first day of the new semester of my third year of college. The professor has spent a large portion of the class reviewing the syllabus.

Professor: “…and cell phones should be off or set to silent. If you interrupt my class with a phone call, I will take a half-grade off your next test.”

My phone starts ringing with a recognizable fanfare from a famous video game series. The professor stops speaking and everyone stares at me.

Professor: “You going to answer that?”

Me: “Nope. Going to pretend like it’s not happening.”

Professor: “Ha! Good call.”

I got full credit on the next test.

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