Educating This Children’s Crusade

| Learning | April 14, 2016

(After a fairly long philosophical discussion:)

Me: “I really think you should read Slaughterhouse-Five.”

Student: *totally serious* “But I haven’t read the first four.”

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Will Need To See A Doctor(ate) After This

, | Right | February 4, 2016

(It’s my first day of working the front desk at the center. My coworker takes a call, which he puts on speaker so I can hear and learn the appropriate reactions to certain common questions, should they come up.)

Coworker: “Hello, this is the [University Center]. My name is [Coworker]. How can I help you?”

Client: “I need help writing my doctoral thesis.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, we primarily provide services to undergrad students.”

Client: “But your website says you have someone who does doctorate level work!”

Coworker: “Yes, sir, but he does doctorate level statistics, and does not work in our writing department. He will not be able to assist you in writing your thesis.”

Client: *growing angry* “I just want someone to do the work! I don’t care if he’s in the writing department or not!”

Coworker: “Unfortunately, sir, we are explicitly told not to do work for students, but rather aid them in understand concepts.”

Client: *shouting* “That’s ridiculous! What purpose do you people serve if you won’t even do a doctoral thesis! You’re getting paid aren’t you? You f***ing lazy, useless undergrad s***s don’t even deserve to be here!”

Coworker: *pauses* “Excuse me, sir, let me transfer you to my manager.”

Client: “Please do! Then I can tell them what a f***ing t**t you are!”

(Coworker transfers the call, and then looks at me.)

Coworker: *dryly* “Well, unfortunately for him, I transferred him to an empty desk. [Manager] doesn’t work weekends.”

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Shopping Around For A New Holiday

| Learning | December 22, 2015

(I am waiting with one of my fourth-grade students for the others to arrive so we can begin class. It is just after Halloween, so we are discussing holidays. The student is Muslim, and although I am not Christian, I do celebrate Christmas.)

Student: “So, if you made your wish on Christmas, could the Christmas Man still bring it to you, or do you have to ask him before?”

Me: “He comes the night before Christmas, so you have to ask him before.”

Student: “Is Christmas your favorite holiday?”

Me: “Yeah. What’s yours?”

Student: “Eid. It’s three days long. How long is Christmas?”

Me: “Just one day. That sounds like fun, having a three-day holiday.”

Student: “Yeah, it’s good, because it means if your mom won’t take you to Mall of America the first day, she might take you the second day.”

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Try Again, Says ‘I’

| Learning | November 27, 2015

(One of my second-grade students is writing a lowercase ‘l’ on her iPad screen. She’s having trouble making the line straight, so she’s marked up and down a few times until she accidentally crosses the ‘l.’)

Me: “[Student], rewrite that last letter and make it look less like a ‘t.'”

Student: “Yeah. Sorry. It started out as an ‘l,’ but then it just got out of hand.”

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Good Friends Push You

, | Learning | November 18, 2015

(I am learning to drum in a drum group, and a friend and I are the only ones learning a certain kind of drum. We’re a little lacklustre.)

Tutor: “Not good enough! Push yourselves! [My Name], [Friend], push yourselves!”

(My friend turns towards me and pushes me.)

Friend: “Done!”

Me: “He said push yourself, not push me…”

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