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Category: Students

History Is Either Black Or White

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, History, Movies & TV, Students

(I am taking a class on transportation technology, which is essentially glorified auto shop, and is extremely easy. We are currently watching a video on the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the first hot air balloon. The video features historical reenactments of small parts of their lives.)

Student #1: “WAIT! If this was during the 18th century, how did they get this footage?”

(Half the class looks at her.)

Teacher: “This is a historical reenactment. People dressed up like them and were filmed like that.”

Student #2: “Yeah! If they’d filmed the actual events, this would be black and white!”

Translations At War

| MA, USA | History, Language & Words, Students

(One of the students in my history class is an exchange student, and English is not his first language. He sometimes gets a few phrases wrong. We are talking about the Civil War.)

Teacher: “What do you guys think was the most important factor in winning a battle in the Civil War?”

(Many kids raise their hands, including the exchange student.)

Student #1: “A larger army would win.”

Student #2: “Higher ground would help with the cannons.”

(The students continued to list things that would have given an army an advantage and why, until we get to the exchange student.)

Teacher: “What about you, [Exchange Student]?”

Exchange Student: “Human sacrifice.”

(Cue laughter, and strange looks, from the rest of the class.)

Student #3: “Human sacrifice? Like the Aztecs did?”

Exchange Student: “Uh… I think there was a bit of a mistranslation…”

(Apparently he meant to say “self sacrifice,” meaning that the soldiers would be willing to die for their cause. The class had a good laugh about human sacrifice being used to win the Civil War, though!)

Calling People Numbers Is Just Mean

| UK | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Students, Theme Of The Month

(I’m a TA, answering students’ queries about lab report writing in psychology.)

Student: “Okay, I’ve got the mean age 22.5. What else do I need to describe about the participants?”

Me: “What other information do you have from your questionnaires?”

Student: “Um, gender and ethnicity. Oh, I can report those… So they had a mean gender of 1.6 and a mean ethnicity of 1.3.”

Me: “What?!”

Student: “A mean ethnicity of 1.3.”

Me: “Are you sure about that?”

Student: “Yeah, look, the mean is 1.3.”

Me: “So, if you’d never met me and I wrote you a letter saying that my ethnicity was 1.3, you wouldn’t find that a bit weird?”

Might As Well Search All Of History

, | GA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Students

Student: “Can you help me find a book my professor told me to get?”

Me: “Of course. What is the name?”

Student: “Umm, I don’t remember…”

Me: “That’s fine; do you happen to know the author?”

Student: “No…”

Me: “Oh, well, is it on reserve? What’s your professor’s name?”

Student: “…the class is history?”

Me: “Which history class is it?”

Student: “Um…”

Me: “Okay, well, we’ll try a general search. What’s the book about?”

Student: “I think dead people…?”

Sin (Free) City

| ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, History, Religion, Students

(I overhear this conversation in geography class.)

Student #1: “Jesus was a Jew.”

Student #2: “No, he wasn’t.”

Student #1: “Yes, he was!”

Student #2: “No, he wasn’t. He was Christian!”

Student #1: “He was a Jew! That’s why they call it Jew-rusalem!”


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