That Went Down The Tubes

, , , , , | Learning | May 3, 2018

(I’m a teacher’s assistant. A physics teacher has a demonstration that he’s used for years: he draws a cello bow across a glass tube, making it hum, and shows how gradually dipping it in water changes the pitch. This year, the demonstration takes a different turn.)

Teacher: “As you can see, I have a glass tube, a cello bow, and a bucket. Now, we’ve been talking about frequencies and vibrations, and I’m sure you remember the slow-motion video of the violin from last week. I’m going to slowly draw this bow across the tube. What do you think’s going to happen?”

Student #1: “It’s probably going to make a noise.”

Student #2: “No, no, it’s not flexible like the strings. Nothing’s going to happen.”

Student #3: “But remember, we watched the video with wine glasses? Glass can-–”

Student #4: *interrupting* “IT’S GOING TO EXPLODE!”

Teacher: “Well, let’s see.”

(He places the tube in its stand and begins to pull the bow. The tube instantly shatters, and the fragments fall into the bucket that he would have otherwise filled with water.)

Teacher: “[Student #4], very good. The minute vibrations induced by the bow are too much for a fragile glass tube like this to handle. Next week, we’ll introduce tubes of varying thickness to see what happens then.”

(After class, I hear the story.)

Me: “So, I hear your tube demonstration went wrong today.”

Teacher: “Ah, no, it went perfectly. The important thing isn’t the expected outcome; it’s that they got a chance to learn something new.”

(He thinks for a second.)

Teacher: “And that they don’t realize I screwed up a demonstration I’ve done for every class for the past fourteen years.”

Sadly, We Know This Type Of Teacher

, , , | Learning | May 3, 2018

(This takes place in the late 90s just as computers are becoming super common in households, but some low-income families such as mine don’t have one yet. I also have very bad handwriting, which has caused a lot of problems with graded assignments. Most teachers have been understanding, but my English teacher is not. I constantly get bad grades and comments on my work to use a computer so she can read it. One day, she pulls me aside.)

Teacher: “This is unacceptable! Your scruffy handwriting is difficult enough in class, but I will not have assignments like this anymore! You NEED! NEED! NEED! to type them up from now on.”

Me: “I don’t have a computer at home; we can’t afford it.”

Teacher: “Everyone has a computer. Even if I believe you, you could always use the IT department or go to a library.”

(IT does not let students work on non-IT projects in their rooms, and the only library nearby is open nine am to three pm on weekdays, school time, which I explain to her.)

Teacher: “You are just giving me excuses now. I’m sure you are lying! Now, type this up before next week, or I will be having words with your parents.”

(I cannot type it up. IT won’t let me work on it, and the library is always closed, so I have no choice but to turn in a handwritten essay. My teacher keeps me behind and starts screaming.)


Me: “I tried, but nowhere is available.”

Teacher: “Stupid little boy! I will be having words with your parents, and we will see how much of a liar you are.”

(She calls my mum in a few days later with me.)

Teacher: “[My Name] has been turning in some very subpar assignments, and he claims—” *laughs* “—that you don’t have a computer to type them up on. I just don’t believe that, and think it’s simply down to spite.”

Mum: “Well, times are difficult for us, and I’m really trying to save something for one, but I don’t know how much longer that will be. Why are handwritten notes not acceptable, by the way?”

Teacher: *immediate snapping* “What?! How can you not have a computer?! You have to!”

Mum: “They’re quite expensive, and we don’t have the money. But you aren’t answering my question; why are handwritten essays not good enough?”

Teacher: “You irresponsible parent! Your first investment should be in your child’s education. You should have bought it years ago! How could you not plan like that?! Your child cannot pass with this!”

(My mum asks me to leave the room. I just remember a massive shouting match between them. I remember my mum screaming about how she’s struggling to buy food, and the teacher saying she doesn’t care because she wants an easier time reading essays.)

Mum: *leaving* “I’m pulling you out of this school!”

(My mum eventually complained to the principal. Within a month, letters were sent home to everyone saying that handwritten essays were also accepted. A week later, to the shock of everyone, the IT rooms were opened for everyone, and I never saw that teacher for the rest of the year.)

Seeing It From Both Sides

, , , , , , | Learning | April 29, 2018

(In a Shakespeare class, we’re talking about gender presentation in the play, “As You Like It.”)

Professor: “Is sex really symmetrical?”

Classmate: “If you do it right, it is.”

Professor: *dryly* “I’m not talking about f******.”

The Sub Is Drawing A Blank

, , , , , | Learning | April 27, 2018

(I am going to band class. We have a substitute teacher none of us have met yet.)

Substitute Teacher: “Okay, class, we will be going to the computer lab to do band work.”

Class: “What about the stuff on the board?”

Substitute Teacher: “That is nothing.”

(Being an annoyingly curious lot, we ask her how she knows this.)

Substitute Teacher: “I have a paper right here.”

(We go to the computer lab and do the music work. The next day, we ask the teacher what was on the board.)

Teacher: “What? That was your work! Why didn’t you do it?”

Class: “We were told to do something else. The sub said that a paper told her to do it. “

Teacher: “What paper?”

Class: “That one.”

(The teacher looked at it. Guess what? It was BLANK. Our teacher never hired that sub again.)

It’s All An ACT

, , , , | Learning | April 26, 2018

(My Latin teacher is a massive know-it-all and knows that he’s smarter than a vast majority of people.)

Classmate: “Didn’t you say you didn’t do well on the ACT?”

Teacher: “No, that sounds way too humble for me to say.”

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