“Answer Your Cat’s Questions” Day Isn’t Until January 22!

, , , , , , , , | Learning | May 20, 2020

Like many professors during the current health crisis, I am teaching my class online from home. I have online office hours every day, and I tend to lock myself in my home office so I can have peace and quiet when I’m talking with my students.

This morning I am holding office hours with three of my students, answering questions about a lecture topic. After ten minutes of back and forth, there seems to be general agreement among the students, but I want to make sure.

Me: “How does everyone feel about that? Any more questions?”

There was a moment of silence followed by a very loud “MEOW.”

My students heard it and started laughing from three different time zones. They got it, but apparently, the cat had gotten stuck in the office and she definitely had a question.

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Not Always Legal (Aid Clinic)

, , , , , , | Legal | May 19, 2020

The law school at my university offers a “legal aid clinic,” where students can get free legal advice. This story does not take place there. It takes place in the philosophy department with a philosophy professor.

Professor: *Answering phone* “Hello, this is [Professor].”

Long pause.

Professor: “Oh, you must want the legal aid clinic. Let me find you their number.”

Longer pause.

Professor: “So, you want to know if there’s an ethical argument here before you consider a legal one?”

Very long pause.

Professor: “No. It’s not ethical to sue your mother because she gave your dog an unoriginal name.”

He hangs up and turns to a colleague.

Professor: “How do I make this an unlisted number?”


This story was featured in our May 2020 roundup!

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Sending The Bully Crying To His Mom

, , , , , | Learning | May 19, 2020

My mom and I look very much alike, to the point that my family often jokes I’m her clone with my dad’s health problems thrown in. Think Reese Witherspoon and her daughter — that level of similarity.

My mom is a substitute teacher, and she sometimes subs at my school or even for my class. I’ve long since gotten over the awkwardness of calling her “Mom” in class, since it’s obvious anyway. I’m somewhat new at my school, and this is the first time my mom has subbed for my class at this school. When she’s about to turn on a projector, I happen to be sitting closest to the light switch.

One boy in the class, also a new student, badly wants to be the class clown but is actually just a bully.

Mom: “[My Name], can you hit the lights?”

Me: “Sure, Mom.”

Bully: *Pointing at me and laughing* “Haha! You called the sub ‘Mom’!”

There’s a moment of silence as the entire class contemplates how stupid his comment was. The bully seems upset that he hasn’t gotten the whole class jeering at me.

Classmate #1: “Dude… that is her mom.”

Bully: “What? How would you know that?”

Classmate #1: “Just look at them.”

Bully: “But I— I didn’t know that!”

Classmate #2: “And do you really think we have two [Extremely Uncommon Last Name]s in the same room by chance?”

Classmate #1: “Seriously, [Bully], just sit down and shut up.”

He did sit down and shut up. Within a few months, he realized his mean attempts at being funny weren’t getting anywhere, and he started acting a lot nicer. I’m glad I attended a school where the students didn’t put up with things like that.

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The Real-Life Cookie Monster

, , , , , | Learning | May 17, 2020

This happens during our first “remote learning” class meeting with our statistics teacher after the quarantine starts. She’s trying to explain how things are going to go when she’s interrupted by her six-year-old daughter. We can only hear our teacher’s side of the conversation.

Teacher: “What? No!” *Back to us* “Sorry, guys. [Daughter] wanted to have cookies for breakfast.”

Classmate: “Oh! I had cookies for breakfast!”

Teacher: “NO! DON’T TELL HER THAT!”

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“Patient Presented With Symptoms Of Not Being Dead”

, , , , , | Healthy | May 15, 2020

In gym class, we are learning how to check our pulse by placing our index and middle fingers on the carotid artery, on the neck to the side of the windpipe. The teacher is having the class run laps and take our pulse.

My friend is having a hard time finding her carotid artery and can’t take her pulse. She approaches the gym teacher for help. The teacher tries to find her carotid artery on her neck.

Teacher: “I don’t know… Go see the nurse.” 

Friend: “Seriously? I have a pulse. I’m fine.” 

Teacher: “Well, I can’t find it. Go see the nurse.” 

My friend reported to the very puzzled school nurse who confirmed that she did, in fact, have a pulse and helped her find it. I sometimes wonder if that nurse had to keep medical records for students, and what on earth she wrote for that patient encounter.

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