Uh… Uhm… Title

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Learning | April 20, 2017

(This story takes place in the class “Programming I”, where we are learning how to code in the programming language known as C#. I am typing away at my work, when I hear a faint “uhm” come from a fellow student seated beside me. I turn over, and see them looking my way, pointing at their screen. For clarification, this person is very clear and fluent in English… when not focused on work.)

Student #1: “Could you… uh… check… code…?”

Me: “Sure. What’s wrong?”

(Leaning over, I start to analyze their code. I don’t see anything wrong, and no errors pop up when they run the program.)

Me: “What is the problem?”

Student #1: *waving their hand around aimlessly in front the screen* “Code. The uh… you… the… euh… ehh.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Student #1: *pointing at the now running program* “Just… eugh… ehhelp…”

(Confused, I test the program a few times, eventually realizing that the two possible results are mixed up. Note, this can be VERY EASILY SOLVED by changing a single character.)

Me: “Oh, the results are switched around! You just have to switch them out for one another, or change the ‘greater than’ symbol with the ‘lesser than’ symbol!”

Student #1: *continuing to wave hands about and point at the screen in arbitrary place* “Huuuh? But… no… the… hu… eeh… euhh… mmmmh…”

Me: “Everything else is fine. I can’t help you if I don’t know what the problem is!”

(After trying to reword what I mean several times, they eventually go silent and flat out ignore me. After getting back to my work, they call over Student #2, and speak in the same slurred way.)

Student #2: “What’s the problem?”

Student #1: “Could you…” *points at screen* “…the…”

(Student #2 then goes through every single line Student #1 made, mumbling to himself about what each piece of code does. Student #1 sits back and blankly stares as Student #2 works it out.)

Student #2: “You just need to switch the two around.” *turns around and walks away*

Student #1: “Okay, good. Thank you! That helps.”

(Screaming internally, I continued to work on my own programs. For the rest of class, Student #1 just stared at the screen, didn’t actually change anything, and eventually procrastinated on their phone.)

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