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    Amplifying The Meaning Of Life

    | Canada | Bizarre/Silly, Teachers, Technology

    (Lectures held in big halls are usually recorded through the portable microphone that the professors can attach to their clothes. Therefore, for the lecture to be recorded properly, the microphone has to be worn and turned on. On this particular day, the professor is wearing the microphone but is having trouble turning it on.)

    Professor: “Is it on yet? No? Well, can you hear me?”

    Class: *scattered answers*

    Professor: “Well, regardless, we can’t do anything about that. Too bad for those guys who decided to skip today and listen to recorded lectures later. Boy, are they missing out. That’s why you should always come to lectures! Even when they’re recorded! Things like these can happen at any time! Well, anyway, let us begin!”

    (After a few minutes well into the lecture, the microphone finally comes on.)

    Professor: “Ah—” *pauses when his voice is suddenly amplified* “And that, my friends, is the meaning of life. Oh, boy! Those guys who decided to not to come to class today? They really missed out, didn’t they! That’s why you have to come to class every day. Something like could happen again and you could be missing out on something amazing! Now, back to the lecture.”

    Not Happy With The Answer To The Answer

    | CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Exams/Tests, Students

    (I’m a TA for a 220 student psychology class. It is after midterms and I’ve had students coming into my office all week to contest grades. I try to be sympathetic, but as the test was pure multiple choice, my hands are tied. One student, however, tries a different approach.)

    Student: “This is the wrong answer.”

    Me: “I know. That’s why you didn’t get any points for it.”

    Student: “No, it said I picked ‘B.’ I picked ‘A.’”

    Me: “No, you didn’t.”

    Student: “Yes, I did.”

    (This continues until I take out the student’s test and show her she actually put the incorrect answer.)

    Student: “Well, I know I definitely put ‘A.’”

    Me: “I’ve showed you the test. What more do you want?”

    Student: “Someone changed my answer.”

    Me: “The only person who has had access to these tests has been me.”

    Student: “Well…”

    Me: “Are you saying out of a class of 220, I picked your test specifically, and changed that one specific answer to annoy you?”

    (The student behaved after that.)

    Turns Out Not So Great (Britain)

    | OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Staff

    (My cousin, who was born in England but raised in the United States, is in the process of filling out college applications. Since there is a major university in our city, and I am a recent graduate of that university, he asks me to take him to campus so he can apply in person.)

    Cousin: “Hi. I’d like to apply for admissions.”

    Secretary: “Okay, hun. Here’s the packet you’ll need to fill out. You can use that table over there, and bring it back up whenever you are done.”

    (My cousin fills out the application, with me helping. When he’s done, he returns it to the secretary who takes it. She says someone will be in touch, and we turn to leave. However, just before we get out the door, she stops us.)

    Secretary: “Oh, hold on! There’s a problem here, hun!”

    Cousin: “Is there? Did I forget a section, or something?”

    Secretary: “No, that’s not it. It’s that you have your place of birth listed as Manchester, England.”

    Cousin: “Yes, that’s correct. I was born in England, but raised in the US. I’m a citizen, if that’s the problem. I have my social security card if you need to see it.”

    Secretary: “No, dear, that’s not the problem. I believe you are a citizen. It’s that all foreign-born applicants must take an English-language proficiency test. We don’t want you to get behind in class because you can’t understand what’s going on.”

    Cousin: “Umm… but, I was born in England and raised in the US. I ONLY speak English.”

    Secretary: “I’m sorry, but only applicants who were born in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand are exempt from the test.”

    Cousin: “Oh, okay. That makes sense. I was born in the UK.”

    Secretary: “No, dear, you said you were born in England, not the UK.”

    Cousin:  ”But, England is a PART of the UK.”

    Secretary: “Dear, we don’t like dishonest applicants. If you were born in the UK you would not have listed ‘England’ as your country of birth.”

    Cousin: “Okay. I see the confusion. British politics is a bit weird. But, England is a part of the UK. The full name is ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.’”

    Secretary: “Dear, I’m not stupid. I know that. You said you were from England, not Great Britain or Northern Ireland.”

    Cousin: “Ma’am, with all due respect, England is a PART of Great Britain which is, in turn, a PART of the United Kingdom.”

    Secretary: “You’ll still need the test to prove you can understand English well enough to be a student here.”

    Cousin: “I need a TEST to prove that I speak and understand English, the language I am speaking to you now, even though I come from the country the language is NAMED after?!”

    (At this point, I can see my cousin is about to scream or cry in frustration. I step in.)

    Me: “Ma’am, could you please get your supervisor?”

    Secretary: “I don’t see why that’s necessary.”

    Me: “Please, get your supervisor for me.”

    (She storms off for about five minutes. From the back we here ‘IT IS NOT!’ followed by ‘ARE YOU SURE IT IS?’ Then, a different woman approaches us.)

    Supervisor: “Don’t worry. Everything is taken care of. You won’t be needing the English-language proficiency test, and I’ll be sure to educate my staff better on the UK. Have a good day!”

    Getting Into The Meat Of History

    | Singapore | Extra Stupid, History, Holidays, Students

    (In Singapore, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving, so people are generally unaware of its origins. During a general paper class, we have to read up on an article about the American family, and eventually we stumble across the topic of Thanksgiving day. Having an American family, I explain what Thanksgiving is about to my friends. We go back to reading the article, and a few minutes later…)

    Friend: “I GET IT NOW!”

    Me: “Get what?”

    Friend: “Why Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.”

    Me: “Enlighten me.”

    Friend: “Look at this.” *reads from article* “‘The day on which Thanksgiving is celebrated was signed into union by Abraham Lincoln.’”

    Me: “…so?”

    Friend: “DON’T YOU GET IT?!”

    Me: “Am I supposed to?”

    Friend: “It was signed into union by AbraHAM Lincoln. Ham! Turkey ham!”

    Too Weak To Study Versus Two Weeks Of Study

    | USA | Exams/Tests, Lazy/Unhelpful, Students

    (I’m taking a notoriously difficult class, where the average exam score is around a 50% at best. We have an exam tomorrow.)

    Classmate: “So, how are you going to study for the exam?”

    Me: “I went through all of my notes plus the notes our professor put up online, read all the sections of the textbook, did the recommended problems in the book, and I’m going to do a couple of the practice exams.”

    Classmate: *wide eyed* “That’s a lot of work to do in one day.”

    Me: “I know… That’s why I started two weeks ago…”

    (I passed with flying colors. She didn’t.)


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