The Scariest Halloween Means Repeating Algebra

, , , | Learning | October 31, 2019

(It’s my first year as a college student, and I’m trying to make an effort to get more involved in local events. Halloween is right around the corner, and my physics professor has teamed up with a bunch of his students to set up a ‘Haunted Physics Lab’ for the local school kids. I offer my help as a volunteer, and get assigned to direct the (mostly middle-school-aged) field trip kids and their chaperones from one room of our ‘Haunted Lab’ to another. I’m also under 5′ in height, and look somewhat young for my age.)

Me: *greeting the latest field trip group as they leave one room* “Wasn’t that cool how the green volcano blew up?!” *most of the kids eagerly agree while I point the next stop on their ‘tour.’* “All right! Now, if you’ll just go down this hall and turn right at the—“

Random Teacher: *looking at me strangely* “What do you think you’re doing?”

Me: *unsure if my gothic costume is offending her somehow* “Um, I’m sorry; is something wrong, ma’am?”

Random Teacher: *giving me an exasperated look* “You’re supposed to stay in line with the rest of your class. Get back in your correct group now, please!”

Me: “But–! U-uh, ma’am; I’m a university student- I don’t—“

Random Teacher: *gently grabs my wrist and tries pulling me towards the group of very confused kids* “Enough of that; now, this is a very nice treat our local college has set up for you, and you should be more respectful of that!”

Me: *wrenches wrist out of grasp and pulls out a lanyard from beneath my costume* “Ma’am, I am a [Acronym] UNIVERSITY STUDENT. This is my ID and my ID number AS A COLLEGE STUDENT. I am volunteering here to guide you and your charges to the next part of said show!”

Random Teacher: *turns bright red and instantly changes tactics* “Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry; I truly thought you were a part of our group! We’ve had a lot of classes combined for this, and you– Well, you look so young and small!”

Me: *embarrassed but amused* “It’s fine; I just really don’t want to repeat algebra!”  

(She then quietly apologized again for getting so assertive, but I told her I understood that she was trying to be firm in front of all the other students (who, to be fair; were quite riled up by all the crazy ‘experiments’ they’d already seen!). I later told my professor, as well. He only laughed. But seriously, why would I be in costume and giving out directions if I wasn’t meant to?!)

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